Travel restrictions may still be in many parts of the world but your travel dream doesn’t have to be on hold this year. Holland is where the east meets West, here European culture comes to life in a uniquely Singaporean way.
Holland Village, normally abbreviated as Holland V, is located along the boundary between the planning areas of Bukit Timah and Queenstown in the Central Region of Singapore. Its popularity for shopping and dining is known for the young Singaporean.
It was established in the early 1900s by Singapore’s Dutch community. Holland Village was the former home of British Army personnel and their families. Plantations, colonial estates and nurseries once marked this neighbourhood, and its European-influenced legacy can still be seen in the architecture of its quaint shop-houses and low-rise buildings.
The district was named after the English architect Hugh Holland, but was colloquially known as hue hng au (‘behind the flower garden’ in the Hokkien dialect), in reference to its close proximity to the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Over the years, Holland Village has gathered a reputation for being a creative commune and an incubator for local artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. The main stretch of Holland Village along Lorong Mambong discontinued a skilful European charm, and is a trove of al fresco cafes, restaurants and popular lifestyle outlets.
We have much to discover in this thriving and modern neighborhood that is rich in heritage from its shopping to its dining experience.
Exploring Holland Village
Visitors who’d like an insight into traditional Singaporean businesses can pay a visit to Thambi Magazine Store at Holland Road Shopping Centre. Owned by third-generation owner Sam Thambi, this business traces its lineage back to the 1940s, when Sam’s grandfather and father sold newspapers and magazines to neighbourhood residents and British soldiers. The location of Canninghill Square is located near to Holland Village where there are plenty of amenities to cater to District 09 residents. Please see Canninghill Square website.
For a quick correspondent from the lively activities of Holland Village’s main stretch, take a stroll to Chip Bee Gardens, a five-minute walk from Holland Village’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Exit B. This area was formerly a military estate established in the 1950s to house members of the British Army, and the beautiful architecture on display here makes it ripe for a bout of urban exploration.
Current tenants include modern art galleries, a smattering of local cafes, and homegrown retail outlets offering everything from customized notebooks to statement pieces for your wardrobe. We recommend a visit to TAKSU, a Southeast Asian-themed art gallery that boasts an extensive collection of contemporary paintings from some of the region’s finest painters.
How to get there
To get there the fast and easy way is by taking the subway to the Holland Village station on the circle line.
If you are willing to come to the city, you will either involve a transfer from the Downtown line at Botanic Gardens. After reaching the station, get out at Exit C and you would be on the edge of the neighborhood.
Where to shop
Nowadays there are fewer places to shop in Holland Village than before, however, a few gems still remain. To get the product you want to buy, visit Holland Village shopping center of what the neighborhood was like a few years ago. This is the perfect place to get souvenirs that are more interesting than Singapore and the other things you commonly find.
The bar scene?
Holland Village is known for its laid-back atmosphere and unpretentious bars. Visit Singapore Stalwart during the week from Sunday to Thursday until 9 pm for a low budget of ten dollars. Buy draught beers and house wines for just ten dollars.
For a unique bar, go to Park HV, unmissable in its retrofit shipping container. It provides patrons with alfresco space to enjoy a drink or two.
The Food Scene?
There are many restaurants that cater to every plate according to your budget and you can get foods as low as ten dollars. Whether you’re hungry for a hearty dinner or a decadent dessert, Holland Village’s wide ranging food offerings are certain to increase your appetite.
Start your morning with breakfast at Baker & Cook. Helmed by New Zealand TV personality and celebrity chef Dean Brettschneider, this bakery is known for its artisanal pastries and home-made jams.
To indulge in a period of shopping for organic produce, drop by taste. Located in the cosy Raffles Holland V shopping mall, this 557-square-metre space houses ten different sections, including a cheese room and a charcuterie. Seasonal produce is flown in from France, Japan, Thailand and the United States on a fortnightly basis.
If you’re craving for a taste, visit Holland Drive Market and Food Centre. Located just along Lorong, this hawker centre serves up varieties of local dishes, including nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk, served with a wide array of side dishes), chicken rice and laksa (spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup).