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Guide To Visiting Joo Chiat Singapore [2024]

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Joo Chiat Singapore

Best Joo Chiat Singapore
Best Joo Chiat Singapore

Joo Chiat in eastern Singapore is a colourful, historic neighbourhood that epitomises the unique Peranakan heritage with its terraced and era-specific shophouses that is the undeniable soul of the modern Singaporean city.

Taking one’s gaze away from the modern things to do in Singapore means discovering a timeless Old World with a blended tradition that showcases the nuanced cultural past of this Lion City.

Stroll through this old world by navigating the shady lanes, old shops and archaic yet deserving nooks of Singapore.

Historical and Cultural Exploration

(Credit: Singapore Tourism Board)
(Credit: Singapore Tourism Board)

Peranakan Heritage

Start at the Katong Antique House, a museum and shop located on the charming Joo Chiat Road offering insight into the Peranakan community. Visit here to get a sense of how life was for the Peranakan in the past, as well as to bask in the comfort of antiques.

Another not-to-be-missed experience is The Intan Museum. This private Victorian-style home-cum-museum displays a huge collection of Peranakan objets. These include strands of beadwork that will defy your efforts to take in their beauty, as well as the most exquisite pieces of porcelain. The owner is an obsessive relics collector who gives personal tours of his collection and regales visitors with stories about the artefacts.

Architectural Highlights

Joo Chiat acquired its renown when its gorgeous Peranakan shophouses started being highlighted, with many Instagrammers captured along Koon Seng Road and Joo Chiat Road. The pastel coloured buildings with beautiful ceramic tiles make good photography spots and the individual gems like Rumah Bebe are historical buildings that definitely define the area. Take a wander and take in the sights.

Culinary Delights

(Credit: Tech News)
(Credit: Tech News)

Local Favorites

Any visit to Joo Chiat must include a stop at the renowned 328 Katong Laksa, a piping hot bowl of creamy coconut broth with thick rice vermicelli noodles. Or, local favourite, the Hainanese Chicken Rice at Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice, where the chicken is tender, and the rice absorbs the delectable chicken oil.

Cafes and Bakeries

Also for café fans, Micro Bakery 8 Kitchen with pastry is a wonderful choice to hang out and enjoy the delicious products. If you like buttery croissant, you can try Petit Pain Bakery.

International Cuisine

Looking for something different? La Bottega Enoteca is here for you with its delicious Italian cuisine, or head to Salt & Palm for modern Asian food with a twist. Your gut will thank you.

Unique Eateries

Kings Cart Coffee, which transforms into Joo Chiat Oyster House at night, is a quirky functioning two-stage venue merging two completely different food experience. This new coffee shop-turn-pub offers good coffee during the daytime and fresh oysters at night.

Shopping and Boutiques

(Credit: Female Singapore)
(Credit: Female Singapore)

Unique Stores

The quality of shopping in Joo Chiat is unparalleled, on the street you’ll catch impressive shopfronts; boutiques and stores that are unique and quirky. Cat Socrates is a cat-lovers dream of a book store and trendy accessories, while A Vintage Tale is fantastic for clothes with mesmerising Instagram-worthy interiors.

Local Craft and Art

Onlewo is a standout with its homedecor and fabrics made with gorgeous visual designs, while Singapore Trading Post carries collections of fusion modern colonial-inspired furniture for the home.

Eclectic Mix of Shops

The district offers numerous stores selling garments and accessories from fashion to vintage trends, and arts and crafts from local artisans and designers. Get to know affordable products and offer support to the locals to thrive through economic growth.

Leisure and Recreation

(Credit: Singapore Sidecars)
(Credit: Singapore Sidecars)

Spas and Relaxation

After a day spent exploring, book an appointment at Feet Haven Reflexology, a haunt for tourists and expats alike. It’s paradise for tired hands and feet.

Family-Friendly Spots

Another option worth considering is Figment shophouses that provide co-living spaces in chicly curated restored heritage shophouses. There is also the Family Heritage and Art Trail @ Katong Joo Chiat, another fun and educational way to discover the neighbourhood together.

Accommodation

(Credit: Stacked Homes)
(Credit: Stacked Homes)

Village Hotel Katong

Village Hotel Katong remains a good option if you are looking for generous, well-equipped rooms and a few Peranakan touches in the interiors: its grand interiors are a throwback to another Singapore.

Other Nearby Hotels and Serviced Apartments

There are others, including a number of high-quality serviced apartments, too, while all are reasonably priced and within easy reach of the main road, on which hotel rates get increasingly inflated. From there, it’s easy to walk either into or away from Joo Chiat, to any number of other places.

Nightlife and Entertainment

(Credit: Today Online)
(Credit: Today Online)

Evening Hangouts

Night time is when this neighbourhood comes to life. Alibabar The Hawker Bar is a popular spot, for drinks and local food, while Lower East Side serves up Mexican dishes and cocktails.

Live Music and Events

It also has its own festivals and events featuring local talent throughout the year, so keep an eye out. Joo Chiat really comes alive.

Joo Chiat Singapore

A walk in Joo Chiat never disappoints. You can overload your senses, possibly to the point that you end up with sensory overload.

There’s always something new. Just when you think you’re in Joo Chiat’s heritage and traditional Peranakan shops, homes, and cuisine, Joo Chiat surprises you with newer shops, hawker food and nightlife options; so you’ll never get bored.

You can also always go to the tried and tested – with a fine-dining meal. With that out of the way, a guide to what’s happening in Joo Chiat if you’re there the first time, second time, or third time.

Check out some of our other related articles and guides below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have any questions about Joo Chiat in Singapore, you can refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Joo Chiat in Singapore below:

What is the best time to visit Joo Chiat?

The best time to come is December – February, when the weather is far more comfortable for wandering around. Also on the upside, Joo Chiat is an always-lively place and is constantly peppered through the year with cultural events, celebrations, festivities, and more, so you’ll never really go wrong when choosing a time for a visit.

How can I get to Joo Chiat?

Joo Chiat is also easily accessible; take the MRT all the way to Paya Lebar station, which is the nearest station. From there, you may choose to take a light stroll along the fragrant flowery pathways-lined shophouses, or hop on a bus that bring you directly to the centre of Joo Chiat. Taxi and rideshare services are readily available as well.

Are there guided tours available in Joo Chiat?

Yes, guided tours of the area will give you a comprehensive sense of place, including insightful information on the Indian rowhouses, shopshouses, chapel, mosque, Indian banyan tree, museums and ethnic cuisine. A recommended tour is arranged by Joo Chiat in Heritage.

What are the must-try dishes in Joo Chiat?

When you’re in Joo Chiat, definitely try 328 Katong Laksa and Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice. 328 Katong Laksa is well-known for its robust and flavoursome coconut-based soup with thick rice noodles sprinkled with shrimp and cockles. Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice is a must-try household-name restaurant as well; you simply can’t go wrong with their smooth and juicy chicken piping-hot off the grill served with fragrant rice and a choice of sauces to flavour the chicken further.

Where can I find unique souvenirs in Joo Chiat?

Cat Socrates and Onlewo, another local custom store, offer books and accessories, as well as quirky home decorators, rooted in the artists-and-craftsmen vibe of the neighbourhood. Onlewo, an exquisite fabrics and textiles shop, also deals in ‘Proudly Made for Peranakans’ and ‘Proudly Made for Singaporean’ products, such as material. Either of these stores will offer unique souvenirs that appear to have personality and were designed with love.

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I'm currently the editor at FunEmpire Media. I've over 8 years of experience in the media industry discovering the best local businesses, places and things to do. From lifestyle, entertainment, food, travel, education and more, I strive to curate the very best in Singapore. Singapore.

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