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Singapore is full of unique attractions, world-famous architecture and incredible culture, colour and character. Whether you’re in Singapore for a quick layover or longer, this guide will help you find all the most colourful photography locations in Singapore.
Where to find the most colourful photography locations in Singapore
Tan Teng Niah & Little India
Most people have seen photos of the colourful ancient house of Tan Teng Niah located on Kerbau Road, Little India. This is a two story Chinese villa built in 1900 and the only surviving Chinese villa in Little India. It often has a colourful stall set up in front of it so depending on how clear of a shot you want, you would have to get here early (before 8am) to photograph this location without the stall in the way. Alternatively you can do as I did and photograph from the back - you can’t even tell it’s there!
This is a business and a residence though so please be respectful of the people living and working in the property.
Little India itself is so much fun to explore. We were lucky enough to be there during the Diwali Festival of Light so there was lots of street decorations
Old Hill Street Police Station
The Old Hill Street Police Station has become famous for its rainbow shades of window shutters. The building is no longer a police station and now houses the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Communications and Information on Hill Street. The location is labeled on Google Maps.
I would suggest taking a photo from the opposite side of the road as I did - just wait for the traffic light sequence to mean there are no cars. Or if you want to be in the photos and you have a companion, you can go onto the central reservation and they can take the shot from the opposite side of the road. Just watch out for traffic!
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Chinatown
The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple may look ancient but it was actually only built in 2007. This does get very busy so prepare to battle the crowds or go early for a photo. Alternatively, this spot is incredible at night with the lights and rich colours if night photography is your thing.
Be aware you will need to cover up inside the temple and be aware that this is still an active place of worship.
Chinatown is also worth spending an afternoon exploring, with all the street food and stores, small laneways and shops, there is plenty to photograph and there are often lanterns or street decorations up.
Masjid Sultan Mosque & Arab Street
There are two great photo spots of the Masjid Sultan Mosque, one is from the bottom of the pedestrianised Bussorah Street. The other is from Muscat Street where it joins with Kandahar Street with the archway framing the mosque.
The neighbouring streets are also full of street art, colourful restaurants and bars, shopping boutiques and instagrammable spots. The famous Arab Street and Haji Lane are the most vibrant, with countless colourful buildings to see, photography and eat at. There is even a cafe called Selfie Coffee where you can send your selfie to the baristas and it is printed onto your coffee!
Gardens by the Bay and displays
This list wouldn’t be complete with a mention of Gardens by the Bay. This incredible green area and the huge Supertree Grove has become instantly recognisable in recent years, and with the unique gardens and backdrop of the luxurious Marina Bay Sands Hotel, there are countless angles and photography spots to choose from. Be sure to arrive early in the morning or late in the day so you miss the harsh midday light (and the humid heat!).
The Gardens by the Bay are completely free to enter, making it a great place to explore and photograph and even come back to as many times as you like. There are two Domes in the gardens with displays - The Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome. You do need to pay to enter both of these and while I’ve been told they are spectacular, we had limited time and the tickets were too expensive to do justice ($20 per adult for one of the domes or $28 per adult to enter both domes).
There are also two daily Garden Rhapsody music and light shows at the Supertree Grove, both are also free to attend and they run at 7.45pm and 8.45pm every day. The theme of this is changed monthly so even if you’ve been before, it’s worth going back. Seeing the Gardens lit up at night is incredible and completely different from the daytime, so it’s worth going back again to photograph at night!
Fort Canning Park and underpass
This location in Fort Canning Park has become somewhat of an instagram hotspot in recent years. The Park itself is well worth exploring, with traditional gardens, a spice garden, archaeological finds on display and plenty of shaded greenery.
Fort Canning Park is right next to the Old Hill Street Police station, so you can enter from there. But the famous photo location of the circular hole with a tree above is actually the steps up from the underground pedestrian tunnel entrance to the park which you can access from Canning Rise. The actual location is marked on Googles Maps as Fort Canning Park Tree Tunnel.
If you go on a weekend or middle of the day there is likely to be a queue. We went on a weekday and there was still a handful of people there waiting for a photo too.
Now this spot isn’t exactly ‘colourful’ in fact it’s a completely white church. I haven’t seen it on Instagram or social media much but the church is famous as the church used in the Crazy Rich Asians movie.
I loved this location to shoot in because the church is so unique being completely white and it looks great to have a focal point or object which is brightly coloured, such as my bright red dress in this shot.
Art Science Museum
This museum is very distinctive in it’s white lotus flower building shape and sits as part of the Marina Bay Sands complex area. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit here but tickets for the individual exhibition Future World: Where Art Meets Science are 18 SGD (about $13 USD). I recommend going at the first ticketed slot in the day at 10am to beat the crowds and have people-free photos.
I’ve linked a beautiful photo of the museum by Yuni over on Instagram @yuniqueyuni and she’s based in Singapore.
This is just one of several colourful bridges in Singapore and is located in the Clarke Quay area. The whole of Clark Quay is very colourful with brightly painted shops and loads of cafes, bars and restaurants along the water. It can be very touristy which is why we avoided it on this occasion, however the bridge itself is super fun and colourful to photography so I’ve linked this lovely shot from Gracie of @doitforicecream.
If you’re looking for other colourful bridges then check out the bridge at Kolam Ayer ABC Waterfront, it’s a bit out of downtown but as a consequence, way less touristy.
Haw Par Villa
I saw this location shared on several occasions by Angie of @blushblushtomato on Instagram. I don’t know if it was the childhood stories of visiting this cultural park that went with it, the Chinese folklore and stories or whether it was the colourful photos but I loved it and I was just sorry to not have the chance to visit it on our trip because it is quite a way out of the main downtown area and towards the coast.
Chinese and Japanese Gardens
The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are actually closer to the border with Malaysia then they are to Singapore downtown but these stunning gardens are well worth a visit. The reason I’m featuring someone else’s photo is because the Gardens were sadly closed while we were there and they will be closed for renovations until 2021. But if you do have the chance to visit them in the future, the beautifully landscaped gardens and brightly coloured pagodas are well worth the trip out of the city.
This beautiful shot is from one of my favourite colourful content creators, Suvarna, who is on Instagram as @suvarnaarora
These beautiful traditional houses are pastel coloured and picture perfect. They’re actually on the main road towards the airport so you would have to get a taxi there to see them.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that while these houses are beautiful and a well-preserved colourful piece of traditional culture, these are still people’s houses. Blocking their driveways, moving their bins and generally being disrespectful is not appropriate for a photo.
Abdul Gafoor Mosque
This mosque definitely isn’t as well-known as other places of worship in Singapore, but it’s bright yellow and pretty intricate on the outside. If you’re in Little India, it’s worth heading to this spot.
This mall is in Orchard and is very popular with locals and tourists. It often has a lot of pop-up shops or temporary installments so I can’t say for sure what you’ll find there but there is plenty of colourful spots to see and photography.
Check out this colourful shot from @zippyzipeng
Do you have any other colourful spots in Singapore that you would add?
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