An Artsy Getaway in Kampong Gelam: Where to Stay and What to Do for Art Lovers
Craving a getaway from the work-from-home grind? If you're an art lover, there's really no better address in Singapore than Kampong Glam for a hip escape. This heritage enclave is spilling over with artsy adventures, alongside plenty of luxe launchpads to staycay in. Kick off your itinerary planning with our top picks for where to stay and what to do – suites decked with art, folklore-themed escape rooms, and oodles of street art await.
Where To Stay
With such picturesque surrounds, it's worth splurging on sky-high views at Andaz Singapore. Housed in its iconic honeycomb-patterned skyscraper, the hotel's luxuriously spacious suites offer panoramas of Kampong Gelam's colourful shophouses on one side, and Marina Bay on the other. You can soak up the scenery from the outdoor infinity pool on Level 25 or the teepee-chic rooftop bar on Level 39 too.
Andaz Singapore is located at 5 Fraser St, Singapore 189354.
Village Hotel Bugis
A pocket-friendly concept by Far East Hospitality concept, Village Hotel Bugis sits perched on the doorstep of buzzy Haji Lane. Rooms here are sleek and monochrome, equipped with rain showers, bathtubs, and cityscape views. You can count on being well-fed at their Halal-certified buffet restaurant The Landmark, which serves up a melting pot of cuisines from North Indian to Mediterranean.
Village Hotel Bugis is located at 390 Victoria St, Singapore 188061.
XY Hotel Bugis
You're already in the heart of art at Kampong Gelam, but XY Hotel Bugis ups the ante by bringing art right into your room. Each of this boutique hotel's suites are designed by different artists, with walls splashed with handpainted colour and furnishings tailored to themes. The Mystery of Time suite explores the passing of time with abstract blue murals, while Colour Clouds floats with spaceship-like clouds.
XY Hotel Bugis is located at 11 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199323.
What To Do
Take A Street Art Stroll
With practically every corner pulsing with colour, Kampong Gelam is Singapore's beating heart for street art. Lace up your boots and hit the streets of Ophir Road and Bali Lane, where Southeast Asia's first graffiti Hall of Fame unfurls in 238 metres of vibrant murals. You'll find works from 17 Singapore-based artists along this stretch, including a cheeky monkey creation by ANTZ and a piece inspired by ancient civilisations from Didier ‘Jaba’ Mathieu.
Next stop: Gelam Gallery. Cross a couple of streets to reach this outdoor art gallery in Muscat Street, featuring two alley walls covered with jaw-dropping murals and framed works. Finally, meander across Kampong Gelam to reach Aliwal Arts Centre. Its side walls are home to a rotating array of murals by local artists, including AlphaBatik – an explosion of colours inspired by traditional batik.
Beat A Folklore-Themed Escape Room
The legends of ancient Singapura come to life with escape room experience Amazing Chambers Singapura. This escape room experience offers themed thrills inspired by some of our island's greatest tales, spanning five themes and 800 years of history. Lead the hunt to retrieve Sang Nila Utama's lost crown, or become a code-cracker to turn the tide at the bloody battle of Bukit Chandu.
Amazing Chambers Singapura is located at 73 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198497, p. +65 6906 3271. Open daily 1pm–10pm.
Sniff Out The Scent of Adventure
We may be grounded in Singapore, but we can still travel the world nose-first at indie perfumery Sifr Aromatics. Besides crafting intriguing small-batch perfume blends like 'Sage Tea' and 'Sultan', they offer private Scent Journeys for an enchanting spritz of olfactory globe-trotting. Follow your nose through a world of fragrances, from Middle Eastern incense to Damascus roses to vintage Czech bottles.
Sifr Aromatics is located at 42 Arab St, Singapore 199741, p. +65 6392 1966. Open Wed-Sat 11am–8pm and Sun 11am–5pm.
Go Treasure-Hunting for Artsy Antiques
Looking for some vintage quirk to expand your art collection? Set aside a whole afternoon to dive down the rabbit hole that is The Heritage Shop. There's barely room to move in this antique store, thanks to a maze of knick-knacks that blanket its walls and ceiling. Arts lovers can lay their hands on treasures with a tale to tell, if you scour hard enough – rare vinyl, comic printing plates, ancient film mags, pin-ups, and more.
The Heritage Shop is located at 93 Jln Sultan, Singapore 198997, p. +65 6223 7982. Open daily 1.30pm–8pm.
What's an artsy staycay without a dose of museum-hopping? If you haven't yet explored the Vintage Cameras Museum, snap up this chance to check out its iconic camera-shaped facade and its thousand-strong trove of cameras – from spy gadgets to replicas of the world's largest camera. A short stroll away, the Malay Heritage Centre is a haven for history buffs with six permanent galleries on Kampong Gelam’s unique history and the Singapore Malay community.
Top Image: Thyla Jane on Unsplash