Things To Do, Places To Visit: Queenstown — A Guide


Queenstown is one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods, being one of the earliest housing estates built by the Singapore Improvement Trust. It bore the name of Queen Elizabeth II to mark her coronation in 1952, a year before the neighbourhood was built. A great deal of Singapore’s firsts were cemented on this very ground – the first public polyclinic, library, and sports complex among others. While metal plaques now take the place of where these landmarks once were, parts of Queenstown still remain as fond memories for those who have lived in the area.

The junction connecting Queensway Shopping Centre, Anchorpoint, IKEA, and Alexandra Village Food Centre is always abuzz with activity. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Walk down memory lane through this guide from day to night, as we explore both the old and new sides of Queenstown.


Tanglin Halt Market is a popular breakfast spot that opens in the wee hours of the morning, from as early as 5 or 6am. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Your day begins here at Tanglin Halt Market, situated in the heart of the Tanglin Halt neighbourhood. Join the queue for Jiu Ye, one of the main breakfast offerings at the food centre here. They specialise in Hong Kong style Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice rolls) with a variety of fillings – all of which are made on-demand and steamed on wide metal trays before serving with a blanket of light soy sauce.

The uncle at Jiu Ye makes Hong Kong style rice rolls with his trusty steamer upon a customer’s order. /  Photo: Christy Chua
Translucent thin rice rolls are filled with toppings from char siew, prawns, turnip, egg, and bits of shredded cabbage. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Jiu Ye

Address: 48A Tanglin Halt Rd, #01-09, Singapore 148813

Operating Hours: Daily except Tuesdays, 6:00 am – 10:00 am

Beside the market, Tanglin Halt Roti Prata is often crowded with customers and passers-by watching the passionate young man flip these thin sheets of crispy dough on an open hot plate facing the road. The 29-year-old prata shop also sells Nasi Kandar (rice, curry and a variety of side dishes), originating from Penang and popularised by Tamil Muslim traders from India.

Tanglin Halt Roti Prata has been in operation for 29 years, selling prata in the morning, Nasi Kandar from midday, and Nasi Briyani on weekends only. /  Photo: Christy Chua
They do prata two ways here – plain or egg – nothing more or less. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Tanglin Halt Roti Prata

Address: #01-365, 49 Tanglin Halt Rd, Block 49, Singapore 142049

Operating Hours: Daily except Tuesdays, 5:00 am – 3:00 pm


Tanglin Halt Market has multiple stalls decked with dried provisions and spices. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Soak in the sights and sounds of nostalgia as you navigate the Tanglin Halt neighbourhood, which is slated for demolition in the next couple of years. While many of the shopkeepers intend to retire upon this change, their legacies will live on in the memories of those who grew up here.

Spot Tanglin Halt’s street cobbler who sets up a makeshift stand with plastic chairs at the traffic junction across the market. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Amin Koh Cobbler

Address: Commonwealth Dr, 46-3, Singapore 140463

Operating Hours: 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

Kian Seng San Kee is a provision shop selling local childhood snacks such as gem biscuits, potato wheels, and kuih piring (thin rainbow coloured crispy biscuits). /  Photo: Christy Chua

Kian Seng San Kee

Address: 49 Tanglin Halt Rd, Singapore 142049

Operating hours: 8:00 am – 3:00pm daily

Tanglin Halt Market is where many residents have been getting their fresh produce from for years. /  Photo: Christy Chua

At the edge of Tanglin Halt, you will see a set of red and white low-rise flats which are in contrast to the typical high-rise structures in most of Singapore’s neighbourhoods. Blocks 57, 61, 67 to 73 Commonwealth Drive were the first to be built by the Singapore Improvement Trust, the predecessor to the Housing Development Board.

These three-storey red and white blocks at the edge of Tanglin Halt are some of the oldest public housing in Singapore with people still residing in them. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Just behind these blocks, you’ll find the remaining train tracks of the now-defunct Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Railway line which ran between Malaysia and Tanjong Pagar. Trains used to halt at this station, hence giving the neighbourhood its namesake. This path is part of the larger Rail Corridor hiking trail – head on down for another 7km and you’ll reach the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.

These dismantled tracks were part of the former Malayan Railways, which were built to service the booming tin and rubber industries in Malaya and the port at Keppel. /  Photo: Christy Chua
The Rail Corridor which connected the stations of the past is now a popular recreational route for cyclists and hikers alike. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Former Malayan Railways

Address: 67 Commonwealth Dr, Block 67, Singapore 140067


Located under a HDB block at Stirling Road, Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee offers a rustic, cosy spot for a morning cuppa. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Stop by the flagship outlet of Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee for a midday refuel. Inherited by the son of one of Singapore’s pioneering coffee roasters, Mr. Tan Tiong Hoe, the roastery-cafe has held the title as the bridge between the second-wave and third-wave specialty coffee. By offering beans across a spectrum of roast profiles from origins including India and Indonesia, trust that your cup would be right up your alley.

Besides specialty coffee, Fresh Cafe Distributors next door is run by the second generation of the Tan family which specialises in medium-dark/dark roast beans mostly originating from Asia. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee

Address: 170 Stirling Rd, #01-1133, Singapore 140170

Operating Hours: 8:30 am – 5:20 pm (Mondays to Fridays), 9:00 am – 3:50 pm (Saturdays and Sundays)


Sheikh Indian Pakistan Food is popular for their freshly made naan and chapati, paired together with a myriad of curries and tandoori chicken. /  Photo: Christy Chua

For lunch, visit one of Singapore’s first hawker centres to be built – ABC Brickworks Hawker Centre. The resettlement of hawkers from the streets into organised stalls happened in the late 1960s to 1980s, out of the necessity for proper sanitation and amenities. Named after the old Archipelago Brewing Company and the presence of brickwork companies in the area, this hawker centre saw over 150 hawkers coming together under one roof then. 

Some popular stalls today include Fatty Cheong, Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee, Sheikh Indian Pakistani Food, and Project Penyek.

Fatty Cheong’s roasted meats can be served as single portions with rice or noodles, or you could opt for a whole chicken or duck to share with the family. /  Photo: Christy Chua
Havelock Rd Blk50 Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is run by an elderly couple who has been frying Hokkien Mee for over 50 years. /  Photo: Christy Chua
Nasi Putih Ayam Penyet and Project Penyek are adjacent stalls specialising in Ayam Penyet and Ikan Penyet, which are smashed fried chicken or fish served with rice and a tantalising sambal. /  Photo: Christy Chua

ABC Brickworks Hawker Centre

Address: 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006

Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 8:00 am – 12:00 am (Sundays)


Adjacent to Kent Ridge Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hortpark is a learning pitstop for nature lovers exploring the Southwestern part of Singapore. /  Photo: Christy Chua

One does not require green fingers to be able to appreciate the art of gardening. Explore the four different zones in Hortpark, an experiential learning garden for all ages spanning 9-hectares. Spend the afternoon marveling at the variety of butterfly species, edible vegetable and fruit plots, and appreciating plant species native to Singapore.


Address: 33 Hyderabad Rd, Singapore 119578

Operating Hours: 6:00 am – 11:00 pm daily


Queensway Shopping Centre is one of the oldest shopping centres in Singapore connected with an apartment building above. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Dubbed informally as ‘Singapore’s Sports Mall’ since its establishment in 1974, Queensway Shopping Centre was one of the first multi-purpose shopping complexes to be built. Beneath the octagonal-shaped facade, sports lovers would find their own heaven among rows of shops selling sports equipment and shoes.

Katong Laksa is known for the short strands of thick vermicelli noodles, hence the dish is typically eaten with only a spoon. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Slurp on a comforting bowl of laksa at The Original Katong Laksa Since the 1950s in the basement. Legend has it that the shop was founded by a hawker who used to sell laksa by carrying buckets across a metal pole on his shoulder in the East Coast area, where the first outlet was born. 

The Original Katong Laksa – Janggut Laksa

Address: 1 Queensway, #01-59, Queensway Shopping Centre, Singapore 149053

Operating Hours: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm daily


The rooftop of Skyville Dawson and SkyTerrace overlooks Bukit Timah Hill and the west side of Singapore on one end. /  Photo: Christy Chua

Catch the sunset from the garden on the 47th floor at SkyVille @ Dawson and take in a breathtaking 360-degree view of Singapore’s southern and central regions. From the highest vantage point in Queenstown, admire some of Singapore’s iconic landmarks including Marina Bay Sands, and Singapore Flyer from a distance.

On the opposite viewing deck, one can catch a glimpse of boats docked at the Southern bay of Singapore near Keppel Bay. /  Photo: Christy Chua

SkyVille @ Dawson

Address: 86 Dawson Rd, Singapore 141086

Cap off the night at Abundance, a bar situated under an unassuming HDB block near Redhill. Serving Asian-inspired bar bites including braised pork belly bao sliders, chilli oil dumplings, and their rendition of Taiwanese dessert rolls filled with ice cream, ground peanuts and cilantro.

Abundance offers a variety of craft beers on tap. /  Photo: Christy Chua
As a bar serving Asian-inspired grub, they offer a range of hearty dinner options including crab fried rice and handmade noodles (unpictured), alongside sharing plates such as mala popcorn chicken. /  Photo: Christy Chua
This Taiwanese dessert roll with ice cream, cilantro, and ground peanuts is an interesting option for those feeling something adventurous. /  Photo: Christy Chua


Address: 63A Lengkok Bahru, #01-378, Singapore 151063

Operating Hours: Daily except Mondays, 11:00 am – 10:30 pm

🎥 For other unique experiences in the heartlands around Singapore, catch the entire Under My Block series here:

📍 Wondering what else to do in Singapore? Here’s a handy map of all the locations featured in the articles and videos under this series: 

Author Christy Chua

Catch up