A quintessential part of any trip to Singapore should be exploring its famed night markets for great bargains and great food. There’s a whole experience to be had in these bustling bazaars, which are extremely popular with the locals.
Exploring night markets, more popularly known as pasar malams in Singapore, is a popular pastime in the ‘Little Red Dot’ (especially for the snacks on sale). If you’re planning to visit a night market here, keep note that a lot of them tend to move from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, and some only happen during certain festivals like Ramadan – so it’s best to be smart and plan your trip in advance.
Chinatown Street Market
One of the most famous night markets in Singapore, this space is a treasure trove of neat rarities and great local cuisine. If you’re looking to scour for some traditional art like Chinese calligraphy and ceramic plates to decorate your home, this is an ideal spot to hunt them down. There’s also a whole bunch of dining spots on offer that’ll easily satisfy your hunger after a long day.
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A popular spot where you can find all manner of glittering trinkets at really cheap prices, you will be spoilt for choice at Bugis Street. Here you’ll see stores in every nook and cranny, tightly pressed against one another as the vendors hawk their wares: from kitschy baubles to the ever-popular powerbanks, phone cases and Merlion-plastered t-shirts. There are also clothes, food and a myriad of other items sprinkled all about – so you can definitely find something for much lower prices if you look hard enough.
The Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar pops up around (you’ve guessed it) Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and tends to liven up right after sunset as devotees end their abstinence. The most popular items for the picking are food – the finest in Malay and Indian Muslim street food that you can find in Singapore. To capitalise on the spike of customers, a lot of younger hawkers sell innovative snacks like Flaming Unicorn Ice Cream. Be warned: it’s usually packed since plenty of people come here to fill their bellies after a long day of fasting.
This market can be easy to miss as it’s hidden in one corner of the Little India enclave, which itself is loaded with lots of things and places to discover. It’s well worth your effort to come explore the Little India Arcade for it offers so much, especially items to do with Indian food or culture. Some of the more popular options are stalls that sell intricate traditional Indian clothes, beautiful henna parlours and fabulous culinary options – hard to miss, with the intoxicating fragrance simmering everywhere.
This location is every local’s favourite little secret when it comes to finding the best cuisine to munch on at night. Lau Pa Sat boasts a variety of local dishes under one roof and it’s always a delight to explore this space. With a legacy that started in 1894 and having been recently restored, the market is located right in the central area, so it’s perfect to explore when you’re hobnobbing some of the nightspots or tourist attractions around town. Oh, and it’s open 24 hours – perfect for the late-night supper when you just feel like munching.