Five nostalgic photo spots at Bugis

Better known as a shopping district in the middle of Singapore, it’s easy to miss these retro photo spots Bugis has.

Charlotte Chang

You’ll never meet anyone who loves thriller movies more than her.

Published: 30 November 2021, 10:14 AM

Bugis just seems to be perfect for any occasion: A family get-together on the weekends, an after-school hangout spot for students, or even a casual first date meet-up.

But having spent so much time at Bugis, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the place is home to some memorable backdrops for your Instagram feed.

Here’re some aesthetic photo spots you might have missed at Bugis.

1. Parkview Square

Situated right behind Bugis MRT station, the office building is the perfect spot to look lost in your thoughts as you contemplate its cold modern design.

Completed in 2002, Parkview Square is dubbed the Gotham City of Singapore with its architecture that resembles a building from the Batman universe, and is easily recognisable with its statues at the front and back of the building.


The crane statue is said to be facing China and longs to fly back home. PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTHOPIA/SYLVESTER EDWIN


There are also statues of notable figures in history guarding the plaza, such as Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, and Abraham Lincoln.

Do use a wide-angle lens to capture the numerous sights here!

Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778

2. Bugis Street

With over 600 shops, Bugis Street is one of Singapore’s largest street-shopping locations, and is also where many Singaporeans have spent their teenage years. 

From shopping for cheap clothes before online shopping was a thing to impulsively getting piercings, Bugis Street has bore witness to many of these youthful antics that are no more than precious memories of the past now.


Crowds do tend to rush in at very irregular timings, so taking photos here is all about the right moment. PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTHOPIA/SYLVESTER EDWIN


Even after so long, Bugis Street’s retro vibe is timeless, and it’s never too late to feel young again. 

Photographing yourself in the middle of the walkway easily brings you back into the past, so why not give it a shot or two?

Address: Bugis Street, 3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867

3. National Design Centre

As its name suggests, the National Design Centre is all about getting creative with your shots.


The simplicity of the National Design Centre let photographers’ creative juices flow.


From angles to perspectives to the right lighting, the National Design Centre is the perfect place to practice your photography skills. 

With an empty corridor and pillars coupled up with old stickers around the area, this place allows you to use your imagination as much as you want, leaving much room for many different genres of photos.

For starters, try playing around with the pillars for a simple hide-and-seek themed shoot. Can’t go wrong with minimalism.

Address: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Rd, Singapore 188969

4. Bras Basah Complex

Built in the 1980s, Bras Basah Complex is known as the City of Books in Mandarin and is the home of five floors of second-hand books. The shopping centre also has photography shops, as well as shops selling art supplies.


The mall also offers much simpler backdrops like this rooftop playground. PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTHOPIA/SYLVESTER EDWIN


However, an escalator trip to the roof of the building will reveal an open space looking up at residential buildings, and a right turn will bring you to a playground facing a wall mural that reflects the childhood of those who grew up there.

Before beginning your shoot here, do stop by some of their bookstores for a quick throwback to your primary school days. You might even find some of your old books here!

Address: ​​Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain St, Singapore 180231


CHIJMES is where many Singaporean couples take their engagement photos, and serves as a wedding venue that has witnessed the significant checkpoint of many love lives.

The building, which I only recently found out is an acronym for Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School, was built in the 1840s and has since taken on multiple purposes. 

From a Catholic convent to an orphanage and even a residential space for CHIJ students at some point, CHIJMES now has options for dining, shopping and entertainment, on top of the usual weddings.


Fun fact: The famous stairs at CHIJMES does lead somewhere, just that it’s locked. PHOTO CREDITS: YOUTHOPIA/ SYLVESTER EDWIN


To contrast the beautiful classy architecture, try wearing a dark outfit when taking photos here. Alternatively, you can go with a long flowery dress to match the vibe too.

Address: CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996

Bugis may have seen multiple generations of Singaporeans grow up, but the heartland spirit there is as timeless as the precious memories spent there. 

So the next time you’re at Bugis, throw on your best fit and snap some shots at these places as you take a walk down memory lane!

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