1 day in Kampong Glam: Singapore’s Hip Haven for Digital Nomads
1 day in Kampong Glam: Singapore’s Hip Haven for Digital Nomads

1 day in Kampong Glam: Singapore’s Hip Haven for Digital Nomads

Welcome to Kampong Glam, the vibrant heart of Singapore where tradition meets modernity, and digital nomads find their ideal oasis. Dive into the rich culture, tantalizing cuisine, and thriving coworking scene of this dynamic district. Join us on a journey through Kampong Glam, where every corner tells a story, and where work and play seamlessly intertwine.

Singapore‘s Kampong Glam district has rapidly risen to prominence as a favored destination for digital nomads in recent years. Nestled in the heart of the city-state, this historic neighborhood offers an enticing blend of heritage, contemporary amenities, and a burgeoning coworking culture. As you explore Kampong Glam, you’ll find yourself captivated by its diverse tapestry of experiences, making it a must-visit for those who seek a unique and immersive destination.

1. Kampong Glam: A Glimpse into Its Charismatic Charm

Kampong Glam’s allure lies in its unique blend of cultures and history. The district was once a bustling trading hub for Arab and Malay communities, evident in its well-preserved shophouses and historic landmarks. Today, it has evolved into a lively melting pot of tradition and modernity.

  • Why Kampong Glam Has Become So Popular?Kampong Glam’s popularity among digital nomads can be attributed to several factors:
    • Cultural Immersion: The district provides an authentic glimpse into Singapore’s multicultural heritage. You can explore the grand Sultan Mosque, visit Malay Heritage Centre, and browse the eclectic mix of shops and boutiques that sell everything from handcrafted goods to contemporary art.
    • Food Paradise: Kampong Glam is a gastronomic paradise. From the fragrant Nasi Padang stalls to trendy cafes serving specialty coffee, the district offers an array of dining options to tantalize your taste buds.
    • Cozy Workspaces: Digital nomads will find a range of coworking spaces and cafes where they can be productive while soaking in the district’s unique atmosphere.
    • Strategic Location: Situated near Singapore’s Central Business District and just a stone’s throw from Bugis and Arab Street, Kampong Glam offers easy access to essential amenities and transportation hubs.

History of Kampong Glam

The history of Kampong Glam is a fascinating journey that spans centuries, reflecting the multicultural tapestry of Singapore. This district, located in the heart of the city-state, has evolved from a humble fishing village to a bustling trading hub and, today, into a vibrant cultural enclave. Let’s delve into the rich history of Kampong Glam:

Early Days: Fishing Village to Sultanate

Kampong Glam’s history can be traced back to the early 19th century, but the area’s roots go much further. Originally, it was a small fishing village inhabited by the indigenous Orang Laut people. However, in the 16th century, the region came under the influence of the Johor Sultanate, which controlled parts of the Malay Peninsula.

The Sultanate recognized the strategic location of Kampong Glam, situated along the banks of the Rochor River and near the sea, making it an ideal spot for trade. As a result, the Sultanate established Kampong Glam as a thriving center for commerce and diplomacy.

The Arrival of the British

In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, which allowed the British East India Company to establish a trading post on the island. As part of this agreement, Kampong Glam was designated as the area where the Sultan’s palace, known as the Istana Kampong Glam, would be located.

The British recognized the strategic importance of Kampong Glam’s port and, over time, they expanded their control over the region. This marked the beginning of significant changes in the district.

Arab and Malay Influence

During the 19th century, Kampong Glam became a hub for Arab and Malay communities. Arab traders and immigrants settled in the area, bringing with them their culture, language, and Islamic traditions. The district became known for its vibrant Arab influence, and this cultural richness remains palpable today.

One of the most iconic landmarks of Kampong Glam, the Sultan Mosque, was built in 1824 by Sultan Hussein Shah. It is a stunning example of Islamic architecture and remains one of the most prominent mosques in Singapore.

The Kampong Glam We Know Today

Over time, Kampong Glam continued to evolve. The shophouses that line the streets of the district began to emerge in the mid-19th century, becoming centers for trade and commerce. These shophouses still stand today, preserving the area’s architectural heritage.

In 1957, Singapore achieved self-governance, and in 1965, it became an independent nation. Kampong Glam’s significance as a cultural and historical district continued to grow, and it was officially designated as a conservation area in 1989 to protect its heritage.

Today, Kampong Glam is a thriving neighborhood that seamlessly blends its rich history with modernity. It has become a hotspot for tourists, art lovers, and digital nomads seeking to experience its unique charm.

Cultural Significance

Kampong Glam’s cultural significance is multifaceted. It serves as a testament to Singapore’s multicultural heritage, with its Arab, Malay, and indigenous influences all coexisting harmoniously. Visitors can explore the Malay Heritage Centre, which provides insights into the history and traditions of the Malay community in the district.

Additionally, Kampong Glam hosts various cultural festivals and events throughout the year, such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which celebrates the end of Ramadan with vibrant street decorations and performances.

2. Full Itinerary: A Day in Kampong Glam

Make the most of your day in Kampong Glam with this comprehensive itinerary:


  • Start with Breakfast: Kickstart your day with a traditional Malay breakfast at Zam Zam or try a modern twist at Wild Honey.
  • Sultan Mosque: Visit the iconic Sultan Mosque, a stunning architectural marvel. Respect local customs and dress modestly.

Late Morning

  • Malay Heritage Centre: Immerse yourself in Malay culture at the Malay Heritage Centre, where you can explore exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays.


  • Arab Street: Stroll along Arab Street and enjoy lunch at one of the many eateries. Don’t miss out on the delectable shawarma or Middle Eastern cuisine.


  • Haji Lane: Explore the colorful Haji Lane, known for its street art, quirky boutiques, and trendy cafes.
  • Art Galleries: Visit the nearby art galleries such as DECK and The Private Museum to appreciate contemporary art.


  • Dinner: Indulge in a delightful dinner at a local restaurant or food stall, savoring diverse dishes like satay, murtabak, or laksa.
  • Nightlife: Experience Kampong Glam’s vibrant nightlife with live music, cocktails, and friendly gatherings at places like Blu Jaz Café or Going Om.

3. Getting to Kampong Glam and Navigating the District

How to Get There:

Kampong Glam is conveniently accessible from various parts of Singapore:

  • By MRT: Take the East-West Line and alight at Bugis MRT Station (EW12). Kampong Glam is just a short walk away.
  • By Bus: Numerous bus services, including 7, 32, and 197, stop near Kampong Glam.
  • By Car: If you prefer to drive, ample parking facilities are available nearby.

Getting Around Kampong Glam:

Kampong Glam is a relatively compact district that can be explored on foot. However, if you want to venture further or beat the tropical heat, you can also use these modes of transportation:

  • Bicycles: Rent a bike from one of the many bike-sharing services available in the area.
  • E-Scooters: Electric scooters are a convenient option for covering short distances within the district.
  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available and can take you to other parts of Singapore if needed.

4. Where to Stay: Accommodation Options in Kampong Glam

When it comes to accommodations in Kampong Glam, you have a range of options to suit your preferences and budget:

  • The Sultan: A boutique hotel that combines modern luxury with a touch of heritage, offering a unique stay experience.
  • The Shophouse Hostel: Perfect for budget-conscious travelers, this hostel provides a cozy and communal atmosphere.
  • Kampong Glam Inn: A no-frills hotel offering comfortable rooms at affordable rates.
  • Airbnb: Explore a variety of apartments and private rooms for a more personalized stay experience.

5. Where and What to Eat: Kampong Glam’s Culinary Delights

Kampong Glam is a food lover’s paradise, offering a diverse array of dining experiences:

  • Zam Zam: Known for its legendary Murtabak, this restaurant is an institution in Kampong Glam.
  • Wild Honey: Enjoy an international breakfast experience with a wide selection of dishes from around the world.
  • Alaturka: Savor authentic Turkish cuisine with flavorful kebabs, baklava, and more.
  • Rich and Good Cake Shop: Satisfy your sweet tooth with traditional kueh and pastries.
  • Nanyang Old Coffee: Taste local coffee and traditional kaya toast at this charming kopitiam.

6. Coworking Opportunities in and Around Kampong Glam

Digital nomads seeking productive workspaces in Kampong Glam will find several options:

  • The Great Room: Located in Centennial Tower, it offers flexible coworking plans and stunning views of the city.
  • Woolf Works: A female-focused coworking space promoting collaboration and empowerment.
  • The Company: A vibrant coworking space with a creative and inspiring environment.
  • Kampong Glam Coworking Cafes: Explore cafes like Working Title, Ciao, and Artistry, which offer a conducive atmosphere for remote work.

In conclusion, Kampong Glam’s magnetic charm and unique blend of tradition and modernity make it an ideal destination for digital nomads seeking inspiration, culture, and productivity. With its rich history, diverse cuisine, and thriving coworking scene, this district in the heart of Singapore beckons travelers from around the world to experience its vibrant energy. Plan your visit to Kampong Glam, and you’ll discover a place where work and leisure harmoniously coexist, offering an unforgettable adventure that awaits your exploration.

Explore Kampong Glam with its cultural riches and modern conveniences. Discover its vibrant history, savor its diverse cuisine, and immerse yourself in its coworking culture. Join us on a journey that captures the essence of this enchanting district. Kampong Glam is your canvas; let your adventures begin.

For more information on Kampong Glam, visit Singapore Tourism. Explore the Malay Heritage Centre to delve deeper into the district’s history.

Experience the blend of tradition and modernity in the heart of Singapore’s Kampong Glam. Plan your digital nomad adventure today!