Last Updated on May 22, 2022 by queenie mak
Singapore is a city full of colourful art murals. Many of them depict scenes from traditional festivals and everyday life while others are modern urban art that tells a story or an expression of the artist’s concept.
I love searching for art and culture everywhere I go. And the best part about searching for art murals in Singapore is that it is all free! Yup! Absolutely free!
And you can find street art all over the city. But if you have limited time in Singapore, you might want to concentrate your effort and search for murals in specific neighbourhoods.
That’s why I put together a guide on the best 9 neighbourhoods where you can find the best murals in Singapore. All you have to do is follow my guide and create your own street art tour in Singapore. Keep reading and find out how you can see the best art murals in Singapore.
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What you need to know before searching for wall murals in Singapore
Before you start looking for murals in Singapore, take a look at my Singapore solo travel guide and get an overview of Singapore first.
Here are a few additional tips before you go on a hunt for street art in Singapore:
- Singapore murals are everywhere! They are not limited to these neighbourhoods mentioned in this guide. All you have to do is look around and you might find the most surprising and lovely street art in Singapore.
- Sometimes the murals are drawn in narrow alleys. If you have a camera with a wide lens, that can help with capturing the street art.
- The best way to see street art in Singapore is by walking. It gives you the opportunity to walk into the narrow lanes and back alleys.
- However, it is best to take MRT between neighbourhoods with mural art so you can maximize your time.
- And the best time to go is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It can be quite hot during the day in Singapore.
Top 9 neighbourhoods to find mural art in Singapore
While there are many murals in Singapore scattered throughout the city, many of them are clustered in several neighbourhoods. Here are my top 9 favourite neighbourhoods to find Singapore street art:
- Telok Ayer
- Tanjong Pagar and Outram Park
- Tiong Bahru
- Little India
- Haji Lane
- Kampong Glam
- Armenia Street
- Joo Chiat Road and Tanjong Katong
I created a map and pinned all the locations for the art murals mentioned in this post. Click on the individual to find the street art name and location.
And I included the name, location and description of each of the street art in each section below.
All you have to do is follow the interactive map to find the location and read the description of the mural art.
1. Realistic murals in Chinatown
Besides temples and hawker centres, Chinatown is known as one of the best neighbourhoods for finding murals in Singapore. The area has the most realistic and lifelike murals you will ever see.
If you walk within the block of South Bridge Road, Upper Cross Street, New Bridge Road and north of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, you can find numerous graffitis, including these Chinatown murals:
- Mid-Autumn Festival Mural (Smith Street and New Bridge Road) – a scene of the Chinese festival by Yip Yew Chong
- Letter Writer Mural (north side of Chinatown Complex) – a man writing letters for Chinese immigrants for their families left back home in China. Mural by Yip Yew Chong.
- Detective Conan Mural (Smith Street and South Bridge Road) – a Japanese manga character discovers durian in a market in Chinatown. Mural by Yip Yew Chong.
- Woman in Traditional Outfit + Chinese Lantern + Houses Mural (in an alley between Temple Street and Pagoda Street) – a set of murals of scenes of life back in the day.
- Cantonese Opera Mural (Temple Street and South Bridge Road) – an elaborate scene of a Chinese opera performance by Yip Yew Chong
- Chinatown Complex Murals (at the entrance of Chinatown Complex on Smith Street) – a series of whimsical graffiti including Bruce Lee with a durian!
- Samui Woman Mural (on the side of the staircase on Banda Street) – it features a Samui woman who worked in construction and helped built Singapore.
- Three-storey Tea Shop Mural (in an alley between Temple Street and Pagoda Street) – an epic mural drawn by Yip Yew Chong, that is three storeys tall.
- Wet Market Mural (next to the tea shop mural) – an interactive mural that is a continuation of the tea shop mural.
- My Chinatown Home Mural (Smith Street and Temple Street) – scenes from inside a shophouse. Another mural by Yip Yew Chong
2. Street art around Telok Ayer
Telok Ayer used to be part of the coastal area along the island’s old waterfront. Today, the area has trendy cafes, amazing coffee shops, Michelin-level street food hawker stalls, traditional shophouses and of course, some of the best street art in Singapore.
When you browse between the boundaries of South Bridge Road, Cross Street, Telok Ayer Street and Maxwell Road, here’s what you will find:
- Old Trades Murals (Mohamed Ali Lane and South Bridge Road) – a series of murals showing a street vendor selling paper masks and puppets, a Mamak shop (convenience store), and a lion-dance costume maker. Murals are drawn by Yip Yew Chong.
- Thian Hock Keng Temple Mural (behind Thian Hock Keng Temple on Amoy Road) – a 44m long mural of scenes from the early lives of Hokkien immigrants in Singapore by Yip Yew Chong.
- Amoy Alley Mural (Amoy Street and Gemmill Lane) – a black and white drawing of a dragon by Chris Chai
- Zodiac Mural (Ann Siang Hill, east of South Bridge Road) – a changing mural where I once saw a mural of a chicken (when it was the year of the rooster) but now it is a portrait of a pig.
3. Traditional and urban art in Tanjong Pagar and Outram Park
While Tanjong Pagar is part of the Central Business District of Singapore, the area is famous for its traditional 19th-century shophouses. You can find many restaurants, cafes, or boutique shops in many of these converted shophouses. And at night, the area gets even busier with bar-goers searching for hidden cocktail bars.
While you meander through the streets of Tanjong Pagar, look between shophouses and small alleys and you will find the most exciting urban art in Singapore.
And closer to the Outram Park area which is also known for cafes and traditional shophouses, there are several more wall murals that are worth seeing.
- Floral Mural (Keong Saik Road and Neil Road) – a pastel abstract floral mural by Ripple Root.
- Chinese Women Mural (Duxton Road and Craig Road) – a long mural of Chinese women in traditional outfits and each one holds a modern device like a mobile phone or iPad. The muted mural is drawn by Justin Lee.
- Ikan Todak Mural (Duxton Hill and Tanjong Pagar Road) – a blue and white abstract mural of swordfish trapped by banana tree stems. The mural was by drawn Tobyato and is the story of how Redhill got its name.
- Evolution/Revolution Mural (Kreta Ayer Road and Neil Road) – a long mural dedicated to the Singapore music scene. Mural by Sam Lo.
- Planting the Seeds Mural (at the back of Art Porters Gallery on Blair Road) – a pair of Alex Face’s (famed Thai graffiti artist) signature characters in Peranakan clothing.
- Amah Mural (Everton Road and Everton Park) – a nostalgic mural of a grandma washing clothes. Mural by Yip Yew Chong.
- Barber Mural (on the other corner of the Amah Mural) – an old-school barbershop mural by Yip Yew Chong.
- Provision Shop Mural (Everton Road and Spottiswoode Park Road) – a mural of an old-school general store by Yip Yew Chong.
4. Interactive art murals at Tiong Bahru
Tiong Bahru is one of the best neighbourhoods to experience old-world charm and modernity at the same time.
The neighbourhood has many pre-war buildings designed in a style called Streamline Moderne, which has an Art Deco feel to it. But the quiet area really benefited from gentrification where modern eateries and boutique shops moved into converted shophouses.
Besides my two favourites, architecture and food, there are life-like mural paintings in Tiong Bahru too. Even some murals have a few chairs next to the wall. It’s not clear if these were initially part of the concept or if people in the neighbourhood put them there. Either way, the chairs make the murals so much more interactive.
- Piano Mural – (Seng Poh Lane and Seng Poh Road) – a piano mural outside of a music studio.
- Home Mural (Eu Chin Street and Tiong Poh Road) – a real chair is placed next to the home mural. Drawn by Yip Yew Chong.
- Bird Singing Corner Mural (next to Piano Mural) – the bird cages are also painted on the columns in front of the main mural. Drawn by Yip Yew Chong.
- Pasar & Fortune Teller Mural (southwest corner of Eng Watt Street and Seng Poh Road) – the largest of the three murals by Yip Yew Chong. It shows scenes of street hawker life back in the day in the Tiong Bahru area. (not shown below)
5. Colourful graffiti in Little India
Little India is an energetic neighbourhood in Singapore that is known for many things. Its vibrant culture can be seen in food, shops selling traditional clothing and homeware, and Hindu temples and mosques.
Besides the colourful architecture in the area, there are many graffiti scattered throughout the historical district.
During my afternoon walk, I found these two:
- Cattleland Mural (Kerbau Road and Race Course Road) – a whimsical mural to remind people of the neighbourhood back in the day when cattle trading was a big part of Little India. Mural by Eunice Lim.
- A Scent of Lights Mural (Clive Street and Campbell Lane) – represents all the smells and sights when you wander through Little India. Created for Artwalk Little India 2019 and drawn by SONG.
I know there are many more murals in Little India (based on my online search) but I didn’t spot them. But here are two to start you off. When you find more street art in Little India, let me know in the comments.
6. Vibrant wall murals at Haji Lane
Haji Lane must be the only street in Singapore that has the highest concentration of murals. The graffitis literally covers every single vertical surface of bars, bakeries, restaurants and boutique shops.
Look for these murals on Haji Lane and make sure to peek around the side streets and on Bali Lane too.
- Aztec Mural (Haji Lane and Beach Road, back of La Piedra Negra) – a giant mural outside of the Mexican restaurant by Didier Jaba Mathieu. It is about the indigenous people who ruled Mexico before the Spanish conquest.
- Ultraman and Merlion Mural (on a small lane in the center of Haji Lane) – created for a new Singapore Tourism Board campaign celebrating Merlion’s 50th birthday in September 2022. Mural by DPLMT.
- El Vuelo del Cálao Mural (Juice Clinic, 27 Haji Lane) – a vibrant graffiti of a tropical bird by Didier Jaba Mathieu.
- Bakery Mural (Italian bakery, 23 Haji Lane) – a pop-art mural by PrettyFreakyFantasy. Almost every exterior surface is covered with vibrant colours.
7. Kampong Glam murals and outdoor art gallery
Kampong Glam is one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods. Home to the Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre, there is plenty to do in the area including searching for street art.
Enters Gelam Gallery, Singapore’s first outdoor art gallery. With over 30 artworks by local and international artists, the murals are plastered on the two parallel back alleys of Muscat Street between North Bridge Road and Baghdad Street.
And besides the gallery, there are numerous Kampong Glam murals in the area. Here are some of my favourites:
- Boogie in the Dark Mural (left) and Find The Sun Within Yourself Mural (right) (Gelam Gallery) – the mural on the left shows a 70’s disco-theme underwater dance party. Mural by Nicia Lam, Yullis Lam and Novena Angela. And the mural on the right, drawn by Liyana Farzana Binti Zaihan, displays themes of finding your true self.
- Hands and Marbles Mural (Gelam Gallery) – a throwback to our simple childhood game of playing marbles on the ground. Mural by Andharas, a Malaysian artist.
- Phoenix Mural (Gelam Gallery) – graffiti by a Sei Nishiyama, a tattoo artist born in Japan and raised in Singapore. His large-scale mural painting is inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e and Manga.
- Bejewelled Mural (Baghdad Street and Muscat Street) – a homage to the diamond traders and jewellers who traded along Intan Street or Kampong Intan. Mural by TraseOne.
- Mural by Didier Jaba Mathieu (Arab street and North Bridge Road) – a vivid mural by Didier Jaba Mathieu. Not much is known about this graffiti.
- Girl with Lion Cub Mural (Victoria Street and Jalan Pisang) – a large horizontal muted street art by Ernest Zacharevic.
- Coffee Story Mural (27 Sultan Gate) – ARC coffee roaster (no longer there) commissioned a mural showing an old-style coffee roaster and the modern way of roasting coffee. Drawn by Yip Yew Chong.
- Man Holding a Camera Mural (Victoria Street and Jalan Kledek) – a man holding a camera outside of the Vintage Cameras Museum. Mural by Ceno2.
8. Contemporary street art at Armenia Street
Back in the early 1800s, Armenian immigrants settled in Singapore and helped develop the city, including the area east of Fort Canning Park, where the Armenian Church is built. And Armenian Street borrowed its name from the church.
Today, it is a pedestrian street with traditional shophouses, the Peranakan Museum and The Substation, Singapore’s first non-profit centre for contemporary arts.
There are many urban murals on Armenian Street, and here are the highlights:
- Armenian Street Mural Wall (34 Armenian Street) – the low profile wall with a series of murals in a rainbow gradient depicting the cultural flavours of the local district. A collab by RSCLS and commissioned by the National Heritage Board.
- Sing Along If You Know The Words Mural (top) and Art Should Comfort the Disturbed and Disturbed the Comfortable Mural (bottom) (side wall of The Substation, 45 Armenian Street) – the top mural is a black and white mural based on the idea of a mosh pit. Drawn by SpeakCryptic. And the bottom mural is a whimsical pastel mural drawn by Too Bee Suan.
- All Good Mural (side wall of The Substation) – Hello Pigu’s mural of a utopian garden with several fun-loving longevity peach bao (bun). Illustrated by Brenda Tan.
- Solidarity Project Mural (back wall of The Substation) – a large collaboration between Singaporean RSCLS and Indonesian street artists.
- Singa Mural (front wall of The Substation) – drawn by Boon Baked when Straits Record had a residency at The Substation.
- Rasa Sayang Mural (53 Armenian Street) – these pastel drawings depict a surreal look into the traditional Peranakan shophouses. Mural by Lab Six Five for the National Heritage Board to celebrate the reopening of Armenian Street.
9. Joo Chiat Road and Tanjong Katong’s Peranakan-inspired mural art
Katong is a residential neighbourhood east of central Singapore. The area has many heritage buildings like colonial bungalows, colourful Peranakan shophouses, and local restaurants serving Nyonya cuisine, a must-try while you are in Singapore.
Moreover, the neighbourhood has some of the best murals in Singapore. Many murals are inspired by the Peranakan culture and are part of the Katong Joo Chiat Art Circuit.
Most murals in the area are on the main street, Joo Chiat Road. But you should also look in the narrow alleys near East Coast Road.
- The Phoenix Mural (321 Joo Chiat Road) – the phoenix symbolizes life and rebirth, which represents the continuation of life after the past two years. The colours and patterns were inspired by Peranakan porcelain. Mural by Boon Baked.
- The Ferryman Mural (333 Joo Chiat Road) – this mural depicts a fantasy thriller show that involves a guy who can see spirits. Mural by Ink & Clog.
- Jalan Jalan Mural (357 Joo Chiat Road) – a group of sassy cats strutting down the road. The colours were inspired by Peranakan ceramics. Mural by Didier Jaba Mathieu.
- A History of Healing Mural (341 Joo Chiat Road) – a mural about the high infant mortality rate during Singapore’s early days. The life and healing themed mural is drawn by Tell Your Children.
- Children and Cat Mural (front entrance of Katong Antique House, 208 East Coast Road) – a realistic pair of children playing outside of the shophouse. Alvin Mark Tan created the murals. Also, check out the mural in the light well inside the private museum and at the back wall.
Which graffiti in Singapore are you most excited to see?
Even as I am writing this blog I realized there are so many murals in Singapore that I haven’t yet discovered. This means I have to go back to the city! And as I find more street art in Singapore, I’ll add them to the list.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and will use this guide to see street art in Singapore. Searching for wall murals is one of the best free things to do in Singapore. It might take a few days to cover all of them, but even if you only have 2 days in Singapore, you can see most of the murals mentioned in this post.
And if there are other worthy graffiti in Singapore that I missed, let me know in the comments below.