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Explore, Eat, and Shop Your Ultimate Guide to Little India Singapore

Explore, Eat, and Shop: Your Ultimate Guide to Little India Singapore

Little India Singapore is a place where I’ve had countless adventures with my friends, and every visit is like opening a treasure chest of vibrant colors, mouthwatering flavors, and rich culture.

That’s why I want to share the allure and the hidden gems of this enchanting enclave with you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

How to Get to Little India Singapore

How to Get to Little India Singapore

    To get to Little India Singapore, you have two main options: via MRT or a private car ride. If you go by MRT transport, go to Orchard or Dhoby Ghaut station and take the North East Line platform.

    Traveling by car, you may access the Central Expressway (CTE) or BuBukit Timah Expressway (BKE).

    Here is your detailed itinerary:

    Via MRT Transportation

    Via MRT Transportation

    If you travel to Little India Singapore via MRT Station, you should board a train to Dhoby Ghaut Station, proceed to the North East Line platform (Purple Line), and board the train heading towards Punggol.

    Your travel time will only take 5-10 minutes before arriving at Little India MRT Station.

    Via Private Car Ride

    Via Private Car Ride

    To get to Little India Singapore via private car ride, you should go to Orchard Road. From there, look for signs going to the Central Expressway (CTE).

    Once on the CTE, take Exit 5B and drive along Bukit Timah Road until you reach Sungei Road. There, you will start to see signs of Little India.

    Things to Do in Little India Singapore

    Things to Do in Little India Singapore

    Little India is a captivating district that offers a unique blend of history, tradition, and modernity.

    Here are the fun and exciting things you can do in Little India Singapore:

    Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

    Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

    Your journey in Little India should begin with a visit to the awe-inspiring Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.

    This Hindu temple is not only a place of worship but also a magnificent architectural wonder. Dedicated to the goddess Kali, the temple features intricate sculptures, colorful artwork, and a vibrant atmosphere that will mesmerize you.

    As you enter the temple, you’ll notice the intricate carvings that adorn the entrance, depicting various deities and mythical creatures. 

    You should explore the inner sanctum, where the main deity, Sri Veeramakaliamman, resides. The aura of spirituality and the fragrance of incense make it a serene and captivating experience.

    Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is open daily to visitors, and you can even participate in some of the rituals or ceremonies if you’re interested in learning more about Hindu culture.

    Pro Tip
    In this temple, a strict dress code is observe d. You shouldn’t forget to dress modestly when visiting the temple, covering your shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.

    Explore the Indian Heritage Centre.

    Explore the Indian Heritage Centre

    Little India is not just a physical location; it’s a living testament to the history, culture, and traditions of the Indian community in Singapore. To gain a deeper understanding of this rich heritage, a visit to the Indian Heritage Centre is a must.

    The Indian Heritage Centre is a modern and interactive museum that offers a fascinating journey through the Indian diaspora in Southeast Asia.

    The exhibits at the museum are thoughtfully curated, with a combination of artifacts, multimedia displays, and engaging stories.

    From food and fashion to art and literature, you’ll learn about the diverse contributions of the Indian community to Singapore’s society.

    Visit Masjid Abdul Gaffoor Mosque.

    Visit Masjid Abdul Gaffoor Mosque.

    In the heart of Little India stands the Masjid Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, a symbol of harmony and diversity in this culturally diverse neighborhood.

    This mosque is not only a place of worship for the Muslim community but also a stunning architectural masterpiece.

    As you enter the mosque, you’ll be greeted by its grand and distinctive facade, adorned with colorful tiles and intricate motifs.

    The interior is equally impressive, with a tranquil atmosphere that invites Muslims and non-Muslims to admire the stunning craftsmanship.

    You’re free to take a guided tour of the mosque to learn more about its history, architecture, and its role in the local community.

    Get a henna tattoo or intricate mehndi design.

    Get a henna tattoo or intricate mehndi design.

    One of the most charming aspects of Little India is the abundance of skilled henna artists who can adorn your hands and feet with beautiful mehndi designs.

    Henna, or mehndi, is an age-old tradition that involves applying a paste made from crushed henna leaves to create intricate patterns on the skin. These designs are often associated with special occasions and celebrations in Indian culture.

    It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and take home a unique souvenir. Whether you choose a traditional design or a custom creation, the experience of getting a henna tattoo is both relaxing and visually appealing.

    Pro Tip
    If you want your Henna art to last for a few weeks, I suggest avoiding it getting wet for 3 to 5 hours so you’ll have a reminder of your Little India adventure long after you’ve left the neighborhood.

    Participate in Diwali celebrations.

    Participate in Diwali celebrations.

    If you’re fortunate enough to visit Little India during the festive season, you’re in for a real treat!

    Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is one of the most significant Hindu celebrations, and Little India truly comes to life during this time.

    This festival usually falls in October or November, and the streets of Little India are adorned with colorful decorations, sparkling lights, and intricate rangoli designs.

    I’m sure you’ll be captivated by the festive atmosphere, the aroma of delicious Indian sweets, and the joyful spirit that engulfs the entire neighborhood.

    It’s a truly magical experience that allows you to be part of the local traditions and celebrations.

    Take a photo at the Little India street art trail.

    Take a photo at the Little India street art trail.

    As you explore Little India, you should keep an eye out for the captivating street art that adorns many of the buildings in the neighborhood.

    The street art trail in Little India depicts various aspects of Indian culture, from mythological figures to daily life scenes. The vibrant and larger-than-life murals breathe life into the streets and provide a fantastic backdrop for your photos.

    Some of the most popular pieces of street art in Little India include the “Elephant Dreams” mural, the “Street of Harmony” mural, and the “Indian Heritage” mural.

    These artworks are not only visually stunning but also tell stories of the neighborhood’s history and the people who call it home.

    Snap a photo at the former house of Tan Teng Niah.

    Snap a photo at the former house of Tan Teng Niah.

    One of the most iconic and colorful buildings in Little India is the former house of Tan Teng Niah. No visit to this neighborhood is complete without having a photo capture of this building.

    Built in 1900, it was the residence of Mr. Tan Teng Niah, a Chinese businessman who married a local woman.

    The building’s unique design, featuring a combination of Chinese, Malay, and European architectural elements, reflects the multicultural nature of Little India.

    Today, the former house of Tan Teng Niah houses various shops and businesses, but it remains a symbol of cultural diversity. It has become a popular spot for photographers and Instagram enthusiasts.

    Best Places to Enjoy Little India Food

    Best Places to Enjoy Little India Food

    Little India Singapore is a food lover’s paradise. The neighborhood boasts a wide array of restaurants and food stalls, each offering a unique taste of Indian cuisine.

    Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to enjoy Little India food.

    Mr. Biryani

    Mr. Biryani is renowned for its flavorful and aromatic biryani. This traditional Indian dish consists of fragrant rice, succulent meat (or vegetables), and a blend of spices that’ll tantalize your taste buds.

    What makes Mr. Biryani special is its commitment to traditional cooking methods. The biryani here is slow-cooked to perfection, allowing the flavors to meld together harmoniously.

    You may opt for the classic chicken biryani, the rich and savory mutton biryani, or a vegetarian version.

    Address32 Norris Rd, Singapore 208274
    Contact Details+65 8661 4271
    Operating HoursTuesday to Sunday
    11:00 am – 3:30 pm; 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• Chicken Biryani
    • Mutton Biryani
    • Vegetable Biryani
    • Keema Naan (Minced Meat Bread)
    • Tandoori Chicken

    Nalan Restaurant (Little India)

    Nalan Restaurant, located on Chander Road, is another gem in the Little India dining scene.

    This charming eatery offers an extensive menu that showcases the best of South Indian cuisine. Whether you’re craving dosa, idli, or a hearty curry, Nalan has you covered!

    One of the standout dishes at Nalan is their Paper Masala Dosa. The dosa here is incredibly thin and crispy, served with a flavorful masala filling that will leave you craving more. 

    Pro Tip
    I suggest pairing your dosa with the coconut chutney and sambar, and ordering its famous masala chai for the full experience. I’m sure that these signature dishes will tickle your taste buds and will leave you craving more!
    Address82 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 217987
    Contact Details+65 9171 8282
    Operating HoursTuesday to Sunday
    11:30 am – 10:30 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• Fish Head Curry
    • Chicken Tikka Masala
    • Roti Prata
    • Murtabak
    • Masala Dosa Chai
    • Chilli Crab

    Komala Vilas Restaurant, Singapore

    If you’re looking for a vegetarian food haven in Little India, Komala Vilas is your go-to restaurant. 

    This iconic diner has been serving delectable South Indian vegetarian dishes for over 70 years. The extensive menu features a wide range of dosas, vadas, curries, and thalis. 

    Its Masala Dosa is a must-try! It’s a crispy crepe filled with a spiced potato mixture, served with coconut chutney and sambar. 

    The flavors are authentic, and the portions are generous.

    What makes Komala Vilas unique is its commitment to quality and tradition. The restaurant continues to use age-old recipes, ensuring that each dish tastes just like it would in India.

    Address76-78 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 217981
    Contact Details+65 6293 6980
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    7:00 am – 10:30 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• South Indian ThaliIdli with Sambar and Chutney
    • Masala Dosai
    • Medu Vada
    • Pongal
    • Kesari (Dessert)

    Mustard Singapore – Flavours of Bengal & Punjab

    If you’re in the mood for something different but equally delicious, you should head to Mustard Singapore. This restaurant offers a fusion of flavors from Bengal and Punjab, resulting in a unique and exciting culinary experience.

    The menu at Mustard is a delightful blend of sweet and savory, with dishes like the Mustard Fish Curry and Tandoori Paneer Tikka. The rich, aromatic curries are a highlight, showcasing the bold flavors of Bengal and Punjab. 

    This diner’s showstopper is a succulent piece of fish in a rich mustard-infused gravy.

    The restaurant’s cozy and contemporary décor, coupled with impeccable service, creates an inviting atmosphere that complements the food perfectly.

    Address32 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218552
    Contact Details+65 6297 8422
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    11:30 am – 3:00 pm; 6:00 pm – 10:45 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• Butter Chicken
    • Tandoori Fish
    • Bengali Fish Curry
    • Sarson Da Saag
    • Rogan Josh
    • Luchi (Bengali Fried Bread)

    Indian Express

    Indian Express is a popular spot among locals and tourists for its range of Indian street food, making it an ideal place for casual dining and snacking.

    One of the highlights is the selection of chaats. These savory and tangy snacks are the perfect way to begin your culinary adventure in Little India. 

    Whether you’re indulging in a plate of crispy golgappas or savoring a spicy pav bhaji, you’ll experience a burst of flavors with every bite.

    Beyond chaats, Indian Express also serves biryani, dosas, and various North Indian and South Indian specialties.

    The prices in this diner are reasonable, and the portions are generous, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers and food enthusiasts.

    Address38 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218555
    Contact Details+65 6341 7429
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• Chole Bhature
    • Paneer Tikka
    • Palak Paneer
    • Chicken Korma
    • Biryani
    • Gulab Jamun (Dessert)

    Kailash Parbat

    Our culinary journey in Little India wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Kailash Parbat. This restaurant specializes in chaat, snacks, and sweets, offering various Indian street food favorites.

    When you visit Kailash Parbat, you must order its Ragda Pattice. This delightful dish features crispy potato patties served with a spicy white pea curry, topped with an assortment of chutneys and garnishes.

    In addition to the savory dishes, this little diner also excels in the dessert department. Its selection of sweets, such as jalebi, gulab jamun, and rabri, is a delightful way to end your meal on a sweet note.

    It’s a great place to try a variety of street food items from different regions of India.

    Address3 Belilios Rd, #01-03 Hilton Garden Inn, Singapore 219924
    Contact Details+65 6836 5545
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    11:00 am – 10:30 pm
    Must-Try Menu Items• Pav Bhaji
    • Ragda Pattice
    • Bhel Puri
    • Chole Bhature
    • Raj Kachori
    • Sev Puri

    Best Shopping Spots in Little India Singapore

    Best Shopping Spots in Little India Singapore

    When you think of shopping in Little India, the first things that may come to mind are colorful fabrics, intricate jewelry, and exotic spices.

    While you’ll certainly find these items, this place has much more to offer. Let’s delve into some of the best shopping spots in this awesome neighborhood.

    Joyalukkas Jewelry

    Jewelry is a timeless symbol of beauty and culture, and you can find an incredible selection of exquisite pieces at Joyalukkas Jewelry.

    Whether you’re looking for ornate gold necklaces, dazzling gemstone earrings, or traditional Indian jewelry, Joyalukkas has it all.

    This family-owned business has been serving customers for over two decades, and its commitment to quality and craftsmanship shines through in every piece it offers. Plus, the friendly and knowledgeable staff will guide you through their vast collection.

    Address134 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218038
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    11:00 am – 9:00 pm

    DON DON DONKI City Square Mall

    When you need a break from the traditional Indian shopping experience, DON DON DONKI in City Square Mall is the perfect place to explore.

    This Japanese discount store offers a quirky blend of products, from fresh groceries to quirky stationery, household items, and even Japanese cosmetics.

    It’s a fun, unique shopping experience where you can find Japanese, Korean, and local products at surprisingly affordable prices.

    Address180 Kitchener Rd, #B2 05/18 City Square Mall, Singapore 208539
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    9:00 am – 12:00 am

    Tekka Place

    If you’re looking for an authentic and diverse shopping experience, you should head to Tekka Place.

    This sprawling complex offers a plethora of shops and stalls selling everything from spices, fresh produce, and clothing to electronics and accessories. It’s a one-stop destination for all your shopping needs in Little India.

    One of the highlights of Tekka Place is the wet market, where you can find an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, and spices. It’s a bustling hub of activity, and the vibrant colors and scents are truly a feast for the senses.

    You can also find stalls selling clothing, textiles, and Indian sweets, making it an excellent place to stock up on souvenirs and spices to take home.

    Address2 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218227
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    8:00 am – 10:00 pm
    (Open 24 Hours)

    City Square Mall

    If you’re looking for a modern shopping experience in the heart of Little India, City Square Mall is the place to be. This shopping center offers a mix of retail outlets, dining options, and entertainment facilities.

    You’ll also find various dining options, from local hawker stalls to international restaurants. After shopping, you can catch a movie at the cinema or have some family fun at the arcade.

    With its convenient location and wide range of offerings, this mall is an excellent place to relax and unwind during your Little India adventure.

    Address180 Kitchener Rd, Singapore 208539
    Operating HoursMonday to Sunday
    10:00 am – 10:00 pm

    Tips to Enjoy Your Visit

    Tips to Enjoy Your Visit

    Now that you know where to explore, dine, and shop, it’s time to know some essential tips to ensure you make the most of your visit to Little India Singapore.

    Respect local customs.

    Little India is a place of deep cultural significance for the Indian community in Singapore. It’s essential to show respect for the local customs and traditions.

    When visiting temples or places of worship, remember to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering.

    It’s also a good idea to observe and follow the practices of locals when you’re in these sacred spaces.

    Furthermore, you should be mindful of taking photographs in sensitive areas. Some locations may have restrictions on photography, and it’s always a good practice to ask for permission if you’re unsure.

    Try the local street foods.

    One of the highlights of Little India is the incredible street food scene. From delicious curries to mouthwatering sweets, the variety of culinary delights in the area is unparalleled. 

    You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to try local favorites like dosa (thin, crispy pancakes), biryani (flavorful rice dishes), and samosas (savory pastries filled with potatoes and spices). I swear, these Indian street foods won’t disappoint your taste buds.

    Engage with the locals.

    One of the most rewarding aspects of visiting Little India Singapore is interacting with the local residents. Many of them are eager to share their culture and stories with visitors. 

    You shouldn’t be afraid to converse with shopkeepers, street vendors, or fellow tourists.

    You might learn about the history of Little India, hear interesting anecdotes, or even get recommendations for the best places to eat or shop.

    Visiting Little India in Singapore is like a trip to another world within the city-state. The rich tapestry of culture, colors, and flavors is a feast for the senses.

    Once you set foot here, you should immediately immerse yourself in the vibrant streets, ornate temples, and mouthwatering cuisine.

    From traditional clothing that reflects the rich and diverse heritage of India to eye-catching souvenirs that will serve as lasting mementos of your visit, this neighborhood will never leave you disappointed.