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Alsagoff Arab school's main building  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Singapore > Walks, Tours & Itineraries

Kampong Glam Mosques Tour

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Our Kampong Glam Walking Tour zig-zags through this original Malay quarter. Enjoy a walk through Singapore's islamic architecture and culture.

The Start: Hajjah Fatimah Mosque

We begin at Hajjah Fatimah Mosque on Beach Road. Note its architecture, which features a mixture of Islamic and European styles. A ‘leaning’ minaret that looks almost like a church steeple stands beside the gold onion dome. It tilts 6 degrees off centre and is locally known as Singapore’s “Leaning Tower of Pisa”.

From Hajjah Fatimah Mosque to the Old Malay Cementary

From here, proceed down Beach Road in the direction of Keypoint. Cross the traffic light before turning right into Jalan Sultan. Continue walking down Jalan Sultan for about 10 minutes and you will arrive at Alsagoff Arab School located on your left. Built in 1912, it is the oldest madrasah in Singapore. Entry is not permitted into the grounds but you will be able to spot its original wide verandahs and double storey arches from the school gates.

Now, head down towards Victoria Street. Cross the traffic light and you will arrive at Malabar Muslim Jama-ath Mosque. Known also as the Golden Dome mosque, it is home to the Malabar Muslim community (originally from Kerala in India) in Singapore. Admire its distinctive architecture consisting entirely of uniquely designed blue and gold mosaic tiles.

Walk along the mosque’s facade on Victoria Street and you will find a little lane on your right that is lined with grasses and tall trees. It is an entrance to the Old Malay Cemetery located behind Malabar Mosque. Walk down the lane and you will soon spot a mounted tomb made of yellow tiles. You will find tombstones of Malayan royalties and it is believed that a number of Malayan Princes were buried here.

From the Old Malay Cementery to Istana Kampong Glam

After this slight detour, backtrack to Malabar Mosque. Cross Victoria Street and walk down the row of shophouses along Victoria Street. You will arrive at Jalan Pisang after a 15 minutes walk. Turn left into Jalan Pisang and walk down. Blackmarket, Fragrance of Makkah Trading, and Hajah Maimunah Restaurant are located here. You may stop to do some light shopping or take a break and have a bite.

As you head down Jalan Pisang, take a quick look at the Sultan Mosque, which will come into full view on your right - we will get back here later. Note the ring below the gold onion dome of the mosque. It is a feature of Sultan Mosque and completely made with the bases of dark soya sauce bottles contributed by the Malay community in Singapore.

As you exit Jalan Pisang, you will find Jamal Kazura Aromatics on the opposite side of North Bridge Road. Established in 1933, Jamal Kazura Aromatics specializes in oil-based perfumes and home fragrance products and is one of the few remaining original stores left on North Bridge Road. Admire its wooden furnishings and original setting which has been carefully preserved. You will get a sense of what North Bridge Road was like in the past.

Turn left and walk away from the Sultan Mosque to the east, down North Bridge Road, and then turn right into Kandahar Street. You will find Sultan Mosque on your right and Istana Kampong Glam which houses the Malay Heritage Centre on your left. Walk down and enter into the Malay Heritage Centre. You will be greeted by a beautiful and picturesque garden compound. A small Bugis boat, an old yellow carriage, and a replica of a Malayan Palace are on display here. You will find gelam trees after which Kampong Glam was named in the compound as well. A small Palladian style building housing the Malay Heritage Centre and Museum is located in the centre of the compound. It was originally the residing palace of Sultans.

From Istana Kampong Glam to Sultan Mosque

When you are done venturing around the Malay Heritage Centre, exit from its Sultan Gate entrance and walk down south. You will find Gedung Kuning which houses Tepak Sireh Restoran immediately on your right. Take a look at the Palladian style architecture of the building. It is painted in yellow- a colour symbolising royalty for Malays. Enter and you will find old photographs and a write up on the history of Gedung Kuning displayed on the walls.

Walk around the restaurant and you will arrive back on Kandahar Street. Take a look at the row of colourful shophouses along Kandahar Street. They showcase either Late Shophouse or Art Deco style architecture. Late Shophouse style architecture display elaborate ornamented exteriors while Art Deco style architecture display a mixture of Classic and Geometric designs. You will find restaurants such as Bumbu and Rumah Makan Minang housed in these shophouses. You can stop to have lunch at either of them for both restaurants serve good Asian cuisine.

Walk up Kandahar Street in the direction of Sultan Mosque. At Rumah Minang Makan, turn left and walk up Muscat Street. You will arrive at the visitors’ entrance of Sultan Mosque within about 5 minutes. Built in 1820, it is the oldest mosque in Singapore and was gazetted as a national monument in 1975. Walk around to admire its impressive Indo-Gothic style architecture and check out its prayer hall too. There are guides around to give you a detailed account of the history of Sultan Mosque and answer any questions.

Right in front of the Sultan Mosque is Bussorah Street, a beautiful lane with restored shophouses, restaurants and boutique stores. Our Kampong Glam Walking-Shopping Tour starts from here.

Type of tour/trip: Walking Tour
Difficulty/exertion: Moderate
Location: Kampong Glam, Singapore
Starting point: Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Nearest public transport: Bugis
Finishing point: Sultan Mosque
Distance & duration: 5km, 4-5 hours
Food/drink stops: Hajah Maimunah Restaurant, Tepak Sireh Restoran, Bumbu, Rumah Minang Makan

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