Home » The expat’s guide to where to live in Singapore – Siglap

The expat’s guide to where to live in Singapore – Siglap

Mary - Siglap

Welcome to the vibrant neighbourhood of Siglap in Singapore! Often overshadowed by the bustling city life, this hidden gem has its unique charm waiting to be discovered. According to Mary Holland, our local expat, this expat guide to where to live in Singapore will do a deep dive into the area and take you through the lesser-known corners of Siglap. Exploring its rich history, diverse culture, and the best-kept secrets makes it a must-visit destination. 

Suburbs of Singapore: Exploring the Hidden Charms of Siglap: A Local’s Guide

Unveiling the History of Siglap

Siglap boasts a captivating history rooted in coconut plantations and renowned fishing villages. Embark on a journey through the origins of this enchanting suburb, tracing its development from the early days to the present. Unearth the enduring historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into Siglap’s evolution.

The name “Siglap” finds its roots in the Malay word “si-gelap,” which translates to “dark one” or “the darkness that conceals.” Legend has it that Siglap earned this name either due to a solar eclipse during its founding in 1821 or the dense canopy of coconut trees that allowed little sunlight to filter through the area. This intriguing etymology adds a layer of mystique to Siglap’s identity, connecting its name to celestial events and the natural landscape.

Kubur Kassim Cemetery: Dating back to the early 19th century, Kubur Kassim Cemetery stands as a solemn testament to the passage of time. Serving as a burial ground for generations of Muslims in Singapore, this historical landmark holds within its grounds the narratives of countless lives and their enduring legacies.

Sook Ching Massacres Site: A haunting reminder of a dark chapter in Singapore’s history, the Sook Ching Massacres site bears Singapore’s systematic purge and massacre of ‘anti-Japanese’ elements during the Japanese occupation.’ Concealed within the now Bedok South Avenue and Bedok South Road, previously recognized as Jalan Puay Poon. This solemn location bears witness to a tragic episode in Singapore’s past. 


What type of accommodation can you find in Siglap?

Siglap is known for its laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere. The types of accommodation in Siglap mainly comprise low-rise private condominiums and landed properties, such as terrace houses, semi-detached houses, and bungalows, with a few older apartment blocks sprinkled throughout the area. These residences often feature modern amenities and are popular among expatriates and locals who desire a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Siglap is also well-loved for its proximity to East Coast Park, offering residents easy access to outdoor activities and the beach. The area is well-connected by public transport and has a range of shops, cafes, and local eateries, making it a comfortable and convenient place to live.

Where to eat and drink in Singlap

No exploration is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Unearth the hidden culinary gems of Siglap, from traditional street food stalls to modern cafes. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just looking for a delicious meal, Siglap has something to satisfy every palate. Where to eat in Sigplap? Well, here are some great recommendations to try. 

Best Sunday Irish Roast

Hubs Irish Bar:  HUBS Irish Bar in Singapore is at 889 East Coast Road. Its traditional wooden interiors and warm, inviting atmosphere capture the spirit of a classic Irish pub, making it a popular venue for a good Sunday roast. You can enjoy a range of authentic Irish beverages, including stouts, ales, and whiskeys, alongside a menu featuring hearty Irish favourites like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. Hubs often hosts live music nights, offering a slice of Ireland in Singapore.

Hubs Siglap

Traditional Restaurant

Hua Yu Wee – Located along the bustling East Coast stretch in the Siglap neighbourhood, Hua Yu Wee is a well-known culinary landmark offering patrons authentic, traditional Chinese seafood cuisine. This long-standing eatery, set in a rustic pre-war colonial bungalow, has become a favourite among locals. Most people come to Hua Yu Wee for its sumptuous chilli crab, sizzling hot plates, and other mouth-watering specialties, contributing to the East Coast’s reputation as a haven for food lovers.

The restaurant is open between 5:00 pm and 11:00 pm; takeaway orders are from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Hua Yu Wee is Located at 462 Upper East Coast Rd.

Hawker Centre

East Coast Lagoon Food Village- is nestled along the scenic stretch of the East Coast Park in Singapore. It is a popular hawker centre that offers a variety of local Singaporean street food in an open-air setting. This place is well-known for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning views of the lagoon and the beach. You can indulge in various dishes, such as satay, seafood barbecue, and the famous local chilli crab, among other local favourites like laksa, Hokkien mee, and char kway teow. 

For cafe lovers

PS Cafe East Coast Parksituated in the scenic coastal stretch of Singapore, offers a breezy al fresco dining experience amidst the lush greenery and tranquil sea breeze. Located at #01-05/06/07, 1110 East Coast Parkway, Cyclist Park, the café is a perfect spot for visitors who wish to enjoy contemporary comfort food while taking in the picturesque views of the water. The laid-back atmosphere is complemented by its sophisticated yet casual dining setting. Open Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm and Saturday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm, PS. Cafe East Coast Park provides an ideal weekday and weekend relaxation retreat.

Where to drink

Jags Bar- Jag’s Bar in Singapore is located at 922 East Coast Road and is open from 3 pm to 12 am Monday to Thursday, 1 pm to Friday and Saturday and 12 pm to 11 pm on Sundays. Jag’s Bar Siglap claims to be famous for being fast and friendly. Renowned for its eclectic selection of finely crafted cocktails. Regulars often rave about the attentive service, the curated playlist that sets the mood, and the fact that it is a great place to watch sports.

Jags Siglap

Things to do in Siglap

Living in Siglap offers a unique blend of tranquillity and vibrancy right at the heart of Singapore. Nestled along the eastern coastline, Siglap is flanked by the picturesque East Coast Road, known for its stretch of delightful local eateries and boutique shops that reflect the area’s rich heritage. Just a stone’s throw away, the East Coast Park provides residents with a scenic backdrop for various outdoor activities while enjoying the gentle sea breeze. With Marine Parade serving as the nearest town centre, those living in Siglap have easy access to modern amenities, ensuring that the residential experience here offers the perfect balance of laid-back coastal living and the convenience of city life in Singapore.

Sunset Siglap

Nature and Recreation

Escape the urban hustle and explore the green spaces and recreational activities Siglap offers. Discover the natural beauty that adds a refreshing touch to this bustling suburb, from scenic parks to hidden trails. If you fancy playing tourist for the day, then why not book yourself into a bike tour of the area here? If you are a bit of a foodie, try the area’s food and bicycle tour here.

Bedok Reservoir

Bedok Reservoir was originally a sand quarry; it has since been transformed into a reservoir to meet the country’s water needs and provide a recreational area for the community. Surrounded by a beautifully maintained park, Bedok Reservoir is an ideal spot for outdoor activity for those looking for a peaceful retreat from urban life.

The park features a 4.3 km track popular among joggers and walkers who enjoy the tranquil setting and the opportunity to spot various species of birds and other wildlife. There are also outdoor exercise stations scattered around the reservoir. There is also much to do on the water, such as kayaking, dragon boating, and fishing. The reservoir also hosts several events throughout the year, including dragon boat races and running competitions, making it a lively hub of outdoor activity. 

Siglap Park Connector Network (PCN)

The Siglap Park Connector Network (PCN) is an integral part of Singapore’s extensive network of green corridors, designed to link up parks and other natural spaces, providing scenic routes for recreational and commuting cyclists and pedestrians. This particular connector offers a picturesque and convenient way to travel along the city’s eastern parts, connecting them to surrounding parks and coastal areas. The Siglap PCN is part of a larger effort by the National Parks Board (NParks) to create a seamless green web that brings nature closer to urban dwellers. 

Singapore WakePark 

Wake Park Singapore, located in East Coast Park at 1206A East Coast Parkway, provides adventure-seekers with an exhilarating cable-ski experience. It’s a water sports hub that caters to wakeboarders of all skill levels, featuring a full-size cable system that pulls riders across a large body of water. As of my last update, the park operates Tuesday through Sunday, typically opening at 10:00 am and closing at 9:00 pm on weekdays and at 7:00 pm on weekends. However, these hours can vary, and sessions may be subject to pre-booking or weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check their official website or contact them directly for the most current hours and to make reservations.

Wakepark - Siglap

Are there any Schools in Siplap?

The educational landscape of Siglap, Singapore, has two prominent schools shaping young minds in the area. Victoria School is a prestigious all-boys school that has long been recognized for its rich history and commitment to academic excellence. Founded in 1876, it is one of the country’s oldest schools and has a well-established tradition of nurturing well-rounded individuals. 

International Schools

Nexus International School 

Nexus International School Singapore is a progressive educational institution offering a diverse and dynamic learning environment for students from early to pre-university levels. Founded to foster a community where inquiring minds, compassionate hearts, and creative expression flourish, Nexus embraces an innovative and student-centred approach to education tailored to its learners’ needs and aspirations. The curriculum at Nexus is based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework, complemented by cutting-edge technology and a strong emphasis on global citizenship. With its state-of-the-art campus, passionate educators, and a commitment to inclusivity and well-being, Nexus aims to nurture the leaders and thinkers of tomorrow, fully equipped to contribute positively to an ever-changing world.

Local Schools

Victoria School

With a curriculum emphasizing intellectual growth and character development, Victoria School seeks to instil values of leadership, integrity, and a sense of community in its students. The school prides itself on providing a conducive environment for learning, with state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of co-curricular activities, helping to ensure that its students are well-prepared for future challenges. As an integral part of the Siglap community, Victoria School enjoys a reputation as a leading institution for secondary education, where students are encouraged to pursue their passions and contribute positively to society.

St Patrick’s School

St. Patrick’s School is a beacon of academic excellence, emphasizing character development alongside academic achievement. St. Patrick’s School in Singapore has been a well-known all-boys Catholic educational institution since 1933. Operated by the Brothers of Christian Schools, also known as the De La Salle Brothers, it prides itself on providing a holistic education rooted in Christian values and traditions. The school offers a broad curriculum ranging from primary to secondary education. St. Patrick’s is renowned for its dedication to nurturing students academically, spiritually, and in extracurricular pursuits, including sports and the arts. With a strong emphasis on character development and community service, the school aims to develop students into responsible, service-minded individuals who contribute positively to society.

Schools in Siglap

Healthcare in Siglap

Are there any hospitals near Siglap?

Parkway East Hospital

In the realm of healthcare, Parkway East Hospital is a trusted healthcare institution serving the Siglap community. Parkway East Hospital is a private healthcare facility at 321 Joo Chiat Place. It was established with a commitment to provide comprehensive medical care; the hospital is known for its personalized attention and warm, friendly environment. It boasts a wide range of medical specialties and is staffed by a team of professional healthcare practitioners dedicated to delivering quality patient care. With its modern amenities and state-of-the-art medical equipment, Parkway East Hospital caters to Singapore’s local and expatriate communities, providing them with accessible healthcare services in a comfortable setting.

As you wrap up your journey through Siglap, you’ll likely find this hidden gem has much more to offer than you’ll meet the eye. Whether you’re a local looking to rediscover your roots or seeking an authentic Singaporean experience, Siglap promises a delightful adventure.

Siglap medical
Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!

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The expat’s guide to where to live in Singapore - Siglap

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