Digging into the best things to do in Little India is a must for any trip to Singapore!
The buzzing district of Little India in Singapore is gritty, frenetic, and fun. The colourful & busy streets are lined with shops & markets. You’ll also find a collection of traditional Indian restaurants and Hindu temples. Singapore’s Little India is necessary stop for souvenir shoppers, foodies, and culture-seekers alike.
Not sure what to see & do in Little India? Start planning your visit with this guide to the best Little India attractions…
What to see & do in Little India, Singapore
View the intricate designs on top of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the region. The colourful & attractive Little India temple attracts throngs of visitors each day. Thanks to its interesting façade, it’s a highlight of your Little India sightseeing journey.
The top of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple features a pagoda-like structure. It’s lined with dozens of detailed statuettes. Although this a common sight for Hindu temples, this one stands out for its colourful designs.
The interior of the temple is equally impressive. Inside, you can dazzle at the temple’s bright statues and décor.
Throughout the day, the crowds visiting the temple grow larger. Luckily, it opens at 5:30am. Start your trip here before checking out the other top points of interest in Little India.
Gaze at the gold décor covering the interior of Leong San See Temple
Many of the most popular Little India attractions are temples. And among the finest in the neighbourhood is Leong San See Temple.
The temple was built to honour the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. It features a grand main hall resembling an opulent Chinese palace. The hall is covered in gold décor and bright red tapestries.
If you visit during a Chinese calendar holiday, you’ll get to experience a traditional vegan meal. As with many of the temples in the district, Leong San See Temple is an active place of worship. Always dress modestly and respect the locals coming to pray at the temple. It’s also cramped inside so you may need to wait to view the interior.
Work your way through the crowded aisles in the Mustafa Centre
Wondering what to do in Little India? Shopping is one of the area’s main attractions. Little India is known for its wide range of markets and malls. One of the most popular shopping centres in Little India is the Mustafa Centre.
Mustafa Centre is a 24-hour shopping mall that resembles an indoor market. The crowded corridors are packed with small stores. Within their narrow shop aisles, vendors carry all types of products.
Mustafa Centre covers over 6,500 square metres and claims to have more than 75,000 items for sale. Many of the stores are a little unorganized and messy, mostly due to the cramped space. If you can handle the mess, you can find almost anything inside the sprawling mall.
Eat Indian street food and shop at Tekka Centre
Little India Singapore has several markets including the Tekka Centre. It’s among the best places to visit in Little India for authentic Indian street food and one of the top-rated hawker centres in Singapore. Outside of this area, Chinese and Malay cuisine are more common.
During a hot and humid day, the air-conditioned market helps you beat the heat. The market is indoors. Its aisles are lined with vendors selling a variety of delicious Singaporean dishes. You’ll also find plenty of fresh produce and stalls selling just about everything.
Shop for souvenirs, trinkets, religious paraphernalia, and cheap household goods. You can also shop for inexpensive clothing from premium tailors offering affordable alterations.
Get lost in the narrow alleys in the Little India Arcade
Want to know where to go in Little India for an authentic henna tattoo? Visit the Little India Arcade.
The arcade includes a large collection of small shops and stalls forming narrow alleyways. Established in 1920, it retains a nostalgic atmosphere thanks to the preserved buildings.
If you can’t find what you want at the Tekka Centre, you may find it at the arcade. It’s a massive area full of food stalls and shops selling textiles and clothing.
Compared to the other markets and malls, the arcade isn’t the cleanest spot in Little India. The ground is often littered with debris. However, it’s an authentic shopping experience that you’re not likely to find elsewhere in the city.
Examine the interesting architectural designs at Abdul Gafoor Mosque
Hindu temples are among the top tourist attractions in Little India. But there’s also several impressive mosques in the district.
The Abdul Gafoor Mosque was originally built in 1859. It’s undergone many renovations over the years. You’ll notice a mixture of architectural styles, giving the location a unique look.
The exterior features Victorian, Moorish, Roman, and Southern Indian influences. It has Roman pillars and an Arabic-style cupola. Other interesting details include multiple minarets on the roof deck and an onion dome.
On your way into the mosque, stop and check out the sundial at the entrance. The interesting display has 25 rays. The rays feature lovely Arabic calligraphy to represent the 25 chosen prophets.
Stand before the tall Buddha statue inside the Temple of a Thousand Lights
The 15-metre-tall Buddha inside the Temple of a Thousand Lights is one of the top things to see in Little India. The name of the temple comes from the series of lamps surrounding the statue.
Along with the large central statue, the interior has many smaller Buddha statues and murals. However, the Temple of a Thousand Lights isn’t heavily decorated.
The interior is rather plain. It helps draw the eye toward the enormous statue in the centre. You can also pay a small fee to spin a wheel to discover your fate.
The exterior has more to explore. Walk around the building and check out the tiger statues and carvings covering the building.
Grab a snack in front of the House of Tan Teng Niah
Despite its small size, the House of Tan Teng Niah often appears in lists of the top things to do & see in Little India.
House of Tan Teng Niah is an authentic two-storey villa. It was built in 1900 and features traditional Chinese architecture. The local community preserved the building and covered the exterior in bright colours.
It’s the last remaining historic Chinese building in Little India. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside.
The house is a good meeting point as it’s easy to find due to its bright colours and a great spot to grab a snack. Although closed to visitors, several food stalls often park in front of the building.
Where to stay in Little India for sightseeing
Little India is one of the more interesting choices for where to stay in Singapore. There’s a smaller selection of places to stay in Little India than you might expect though.
Most of the best hotels in Little India fall within the budget and mid-range. The luxury segment of the market is noticeably absent. Here are few of the best accommodations options…
- Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon: This 4-star hotel in one best value mid-range picks in Singapore. The hotel is located beside the Mustafa Centre for all your shopping needs. Cool off in the outdoor pool to views over Singapore for the perfect end to a day of checking out the top points of interest in Little India.
- Park Hotel Farrer Park: This popular mid-range Little India hotel charms with rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. From your room, you’ll glean spectacular views of the Singapore cityscape. The relaxing Farrer Park is a quick walk away.
- Village Hotel Albert Court by Far East Hospitality: This modern boutique-style hotel is located south of Little India proper. It’s one of the most charming picks in the area. If the local restaurants & hawker centres don’t do the trick, four excellent dining options await on-site. Try the popular Shish Mahal Restaurant, serving up yummy Northern Indian cuisine.