Explore Singapore’s most sizeable shopping area by day and return later to see its transformation into a busy night market.
The Bugis Street Shopping District isn't renowned just in Singapore, but across the whole of Asia. Although the actual old cobbled Bugis Street can still be seen, the district has ballooned into a hub of commercialism. Additional spots include Bugis Square, Bugis Junction, Bugis Village and New Bugis Street. All of this sprang up following a redevelopment of the area back in the 1980s. Before this, Bugis Street had an altogether seedier reputation. Today, affordable food, live music and family-friendly activities accompany the Bugis shopping experience. It is now very much a place for everyone.
Don't underestimate the size of the Bugis Street Shopping District; you should give yourself at least two hours to take it all in, or more if you're on the hunt for things to buy. As a rule, shops on the ground floor are geared more towards the tourist market. Therefore, if you're after cheap souvenirs, this is where to look. For more serious bargains, climb to the upper floors. Clothes, media, art, jewellery and more can be purchased here, though not all of it is genuine. Bargaining with vendors is almost a prerequisite of the Bugis Street experience.
As the sun sets on Bugis Street, the district takes on a new personality – street food and fresh juices are wheeled around on carts, and local musicians pitch up and play. The atmosphere is more traditional and much livelier than earlier in the day. All in all, it's possible to spend the best part of a day in the Bugis Street Shopping District.
The Bugis Street Shopping District is in downtown Singapore. If your hotel is in this area, it's easiest to walk. On public transport, the best way to get here is by bus. Bugis Street is open every day. Shops work to their own timetable, but there are always plenty open.