History & Origins
Bugis actually refers to a group of people who were among the first groups of people to arrive in Singapore following the establishment of the British trade settlement in 1819. Many of the Bugis people were seafarers with origins from the area now known as the Maluku Islands (Sulawesi in Indonesia).
The housing in the Bugis URA planning subzone are mixed residential and commercial. In particular, a modern mixed-use development nestled between Rochor Road, Beach Road, and Ophir Road named DUO. DUO offers Bugis residents an integrated experience - Grade-A office spaces, boutique retail gallery, a 5-star hotel and premium homes - all in one.
Transportation & Connectivity
Bugis MRT Station (EW12/DT14) is an underground interchange station connecting the East West Line (EWL) and the Downtown Line (DTL). It is also linked to 7 bus stops that allow residents & visitors alike to connect to 24 bus services (2, 7, 12, 12e, 32, 33, 48, 51, 57, 61, 63, 80, 130, 133, 145, 170, 170A 175, 197, 851, 851e, 960, 960e, 980). Within walking distance from the Bugis district are also Bencoolen (DT21) and Bras Basah (CC2).
While there are no government schools in the Bugis district, the area has a handful of non-mainstream educational institutes including LASELLE College of the Arts, Kaplan Singapore, School of The Arts (SOTA) and Insworld Institute. Further north of Bugis are where Stanford Primary School and Alsagoff Arab School are located.
In conjunction with the urban redevelopment plan which saw Bugis experience an urban awakening, the shopping and commercial scene saw a significant boost, quickly becoming a popular spot for hordes of young people who often flock to Bugis Street to buy cheap clothing (predominantly from Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam). There are 2 major malls in Bugis - Bugis Junction and Bugis+. Bugis Junction is Singapore’s first and only air-conditioned sky-lit shopping streets flanked by charming historic shophouses, representing a showcase of new and old-world integration. While Bugis+ is primed as an entertainment and F&B hub targeting youths.
What Bugis lacks in green parks, it makes up for in unique activities. For example, the MINT Museum of Toys features a private collection of toys spanning decades of cartoons and movies. The area is also home to 2 old-school favorite food places, Chin Chin Eating House (for those craving cheap & good Teochew cuisine and chicken rice) as well as Ah Loy Thai (which used to be at Shaw Tower). At Haji Lane, there is also Singapore's oldest Mosque (Masjid Sultan) and plenty of bespoke cocktail bars (e.g. BarStories and LongPlay) to enjoy your after-office hours.
URA Master Plan
Bugis is part of URA’s Draft Master Plan 2019 to expand Singapore’s art and cultural precinct. To do this, new park spaces and sidewalk enhancements will connect three precincts - Fort Canning Park District, Bras Basah.Bugis District and the Civic District. As part of its plans to rejuvenate the neighborhood, URA released a land site on Tan Quee Lan Street spanning 11,530 square meters for development in the first half of 2019. The area will also benefit from initiatives to preserve and promote the unique charm of the nearby Kampong Glam Historic District.
Did You know?
- Bugis is often the host region for the Singapore Night Festival that happens annually in August since it began in 2007
- In Bugis, you can find a bar that has been voted Singapore's most romantic cocktail bar - Mr Stork at the 39th floor of the hotel Andaz Singapore boasts stunning 360-degree views of the city center
- Tucked away in an alley at the back of traditional shop houses in Bugis, there are colorful spiral staircases which have become an iconic photo-spot for tourists and locals. Check them out at Bugis village near 251 Victoria St.