Tanjong Pagar: Where Skyscraper and Shophouses meet


As long Singapore’s borders remain shut, we have time to explore the city that we call home since 2019. Recently, we have visited Tanjong Pagar, a historic district in Singapore’s Central Business District. The hip neighborhood shows Singapore’s diversity in tradition and progress like no other area. In Tanjong Pagar, you find shophouses from the 19th century as well as skyscrapers, and even the highest building of Singapore. The multicultural neighborhood is also known for its excellent bar scene and international restaurants. No wonder the area was voted one of the 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world in 2019.

When we visited Singapore during our Look-and-feel-trip in 2019, Tanjong Pagar was recommended to us as a potential residential area. Eventually, we decided to move to Robertson Quay, but Tanjong Pagar would undoubtedly have been an alternative option.

In this guide, I will guide you through Tanjong Pagar and tell you what makes it so unique. I will also show you the best food spots, bars, boutiques, and hotels.

The Tanjong Pagar Rd is the main road and runs from the very north to the south of the quarter.

Tanjong Pagar: “Cape of stakes” – Malay

– a name that reflects its origins as a fishing village situated. It refers to the wooden stakes (kelong) that hold up fishing villages in water. 



Tanjong Pagar is a historic district located within the Central Business District in Singapore, straddling the Outram Planning Area and the Downtown Core. The main road with the same name leads from “Little Korea” in the north to the Keppel Viaduct in the south. From Tanjong Pagar Rd, smaller streets and hills lead off, where many bars and restaurants are located.

What defines Tanjong Pagar?

Tanjong Pagar is known for its mix of heritage and modern architecture. While it is hard to miss the towering pillars at the main road (Carlton City, the Oasia and the Orchid Hotel) that characterize Singapore’s cityscape, there are many shophouses from the nineteenth century too that define the quarter’s streetscape alike. And with the Tanjong Pagar Centre/Guoco Tower, there is also Singapore’s tallest building in Tanjong Pagar. The marrying of the traditional and the modern is what makes Tanjong Pagar so unique.


Oasia Hotel Downtown — it’s hard to miss the towering garnet pillar with green vines dangling across its 27 storeys

Duxton Hill

On a hill, another little neighborhood within Tanjong Pagar is pretty popular among locals and tourists. On the street, you will see quaint blue, red, and purple shuttered terrace houses and boutique shops on cobblestone streets lined with palm trees and lush fauna. During the day, it’s quaint, colorful, and quiet. At night, the neighborhood comes alive with bars and lounges fling open their doors.

“Little Korea”

Tanjong Pagar has been greatly influenced by Korean culture in recent years and is therefore called Little Korea and Koreatown by locals. On a 300 m stretch of Tanjong Pagar Rd near Duxton Hill, there are about 15 Korean food outlets worth a try!

The Pinnacle@Duxton

There is a remarkable building that you can see from everywhere in Tanjong Pagar. That’s “The Pinnacle@Duxton”, the world’s largest residential complex. The imposing, 156-meter-high building is located near Duxton Hill and stands out as an example of how HDB confronts the challenges of meeting housing needs in an urban setting. Its seven 50-story high towers rise as tall as skyscrapers and are linked at the 26th and 50th levels by sky bridges. Each sky bridge is home to a 500-meter-long sky garden that offers recreational areas for sport, socializing, and enjoying the stunning view. By the way, the 50th-story sky bridge is open to the public (S$6 fee).

Pinnacle@Duxton, ein HDB-Wohnungsbau


During a stroll through Tanjong Pagar, you will likely come across murals, too, even though they are usually quite rare in Singapore. If you look closer at the painting, you will see the ladies using modern and very high tech gadgets, such as laptops or a badminton racket. One even holds a Chanel handbag. The clash of tradition and progress is a significant narrative in Singapore, and this piece speaks to this intersection of old and new.

Food Guide Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar is known for its international restaurants and colorful nightlife. Especially on Craig Road and Duxton Hill, there are many bars and restaurants. At the northern end of Tanjong Pagar Road is “Little Korea” with cozy restaurants.

Breakfast, Brunch & Coffee

Five Oars Coffee Roasters – Melbourne-style restaurant with stylish interior and delicious brunch options.

Bearded Bella – Breakfast, but also Lunch & Dinner Place with high dining ambient and interior design. Shady outside area in backyard-style.

The Populus – Quaint cafe located opposite Cantonment with modern food and excellent coffee.

Five Oars Coffee Roasters is very melbourne-style.

Lunch & dinner

Lucha Loco – Cool Mexican restaurant where you can sit outside in a garden area with great happy hour offers (Frozen Lime Margarita only SGD 11 from 5-7).

Trattoria Pizzeria Logic Singapore – Quiet and modern Italian restaurant chain from Japan.

Fat Prince – Excellent middle eastern food and superb cocktails

The Marmelade Pantry (Oasia Hotel) – Nice and quiet restaurant with a high ceiling and a Scandinavian interior decoration.

Tippling Club –  Ultra-progressive modern gastronomic experience and top class service that made the Worlds 50 Best restaurants list in Asia for the past few years.

Rhubarb – Superb establishment serving French cuisine using seasonal ingredients and showcasing well-executed French techniques (1 Michelin Star).

Latteria Mozzarella Bar – One of the best places to have authentic Italian food with a breezy patio-covered outside area.

Latteria Mozarella Bar inmidst of lush greenery.


To comprehend the variety of flavors that come with food in Singapore, which is a delicious hybrid of Chinese, Malay, and Indian, I can recommend visiting a hawker center—an outdoor market filled with a dizzying array of food stalls. Tanjong Pagar has two popular hawker centers with good ratings:

Maxwell Food Centre – Tourists and locals alike queue for plates of chicken rice from Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice or others.

Amoy Street Food Centre – New-age hawkers redefining what Singaporean food ought to be. There’s A Noodle Story, which serves Singapore-style ramen.

A typical food stand at Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market.


CIN CIN (Oasia Hotel) – Hotel bar that specializes in an extensive collection of gin from around the world.

IB HQ | A Cocktail Bar – Cozy place and excellent customer service with a shophouse ambiance and a unique choice of drinks.

BAR-CELONA – spanisches Tapas-Restaurant mit Wein und Cava

Boutiquen & Shops

Apart from many Korean and international eateries, there are also lovely boutiques along Tanjong Pagar Road, mostly wedding boutiques and (Korean-themed) wedding photography stores.

Butterflies & Marigolds – Timeless styles.

Dressabelle – Local label with fashionable, modern threads.

Monument Lifestyle – Mixed café and clothing store concept.

Huggs-Epigram Coffee Bookshop – Coffee and Bookshop with more than 400 titles while local authors write 90 percent of the books.


Whenever you come to visit Singapore, I can recommend Tanjong Pagar as a place to stay. The lively district is located very central but also well connected: It’s walking distance from Singapore’s Chinatown district, and With the green line (East-West Line) you can reach downtown (Raffles Place, City Hall) and other trendy areas such as Tiong Bahru, Outram Park, Lavender or Kallang within a few stations.

In Tanjong Pagar, there are some beautiful hotels, with excellent service, gastronomic offer, and popular roof-top terraces or bars. Those are the ones I would like to recommend to you (if you book via my links I will receive a small commission):

Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore – Superb hotel that has won several awards and exudes Tanjong Pagar feeling like no other. With an excellent pool area and sun terrace on one of the higher floors (Bali Vibes!).

Oasia Downtown Singapore – The Oasia Hotel characterizes the image of Tanjong Pagar like no other. The hotel’s pink-orange aluminum casing was planted with 21 species of climbing plants, which continue to grow in the building year after year. With its unique design, the hotel even won the award for “Best Tall Building in the World” in 2018. Four integrated “Skygardens” not only serve as a beautiful outdoor area but also provide natural ventilation and replace the air conditioning system. The building stands in the place of a former park, but with its well-thought-out design offers ten times more green space. The in-house CIN CIN Bar is extremely popular with locals and tourists.

Sofitel Singapore City Centre – You can’t go wrong with Sofitel, really. The one located in Tanjong Pagar offers a long outdoor pool with great views on the city center and The Pinnacle@Duxton as well as an excellent French hotel restaurant “Racines” and an exclusive hotel bar “1864 The Bar”.

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