Singapore Area Guides: Singapore Central

Bukit Timah Area Guide

School Versus Education
“I am extremely anxious about the generation that is growing up literate but uneducated. They can read; they can write; they can pass examinations. But they are not really educated; they have not formed; they have not developed. They are not effective digits for the community.”
Lee Kuan Yew
1st Prime Minister of Singapore
Bukit Timah
Singapore Central, UAE
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Luxury villas, landscaped grounds, swanky shops and eclectic cafes (and did we mention that there’s also a natural rainforest in your backyard?). There are several reasons why Bukit Timah is one of Singapore’s most desirable and exclusive neighbourhoods, and why many expats claim ‘West is best’.

This gem of a neighbourhood has so much to offer. At the heart of the Western region, Bukit Timah is home to bungalows and modern houses in quiet and leafy suburban-style streets. Families are drawn to its large properties, many with outdoor living spaces, off-road parking and a pool. Areas such as Sixth Avenue, Signature Park, Maplewoods, The Tessarina and Parc Palais are popular for their attractive condos. As you’d expect, there’s a price for having such a sought-after address and Bukit Timah has some of the highest rents in the city.

Head north and you’ll venture into the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the only remaining pockets of natural rainforest left in Singapore. Here, you can trek up Singapore’s highest hill, hike, jog or cycle along one of its many trails, go rock-climbing, or simply enjoy the wonderful flora and fauna. It’s hard to believe that you’re on the outskirts of Singapore’s metropolis.

Bukit Timah has a bohemian vibe that’s brought to life by its arty hangouts, European restaurants and delis, and one-of-a-kind shops. If you’re not content with the growing bar scene here, it’s only a short drive to the livelier Holland Village, Orchard Road and Quay areas.

In line with its reputation as an expat-friendly area, there’s a great choice of international schools located in this this quiet community. There are also several family-friendly facilities including The Grandstand, which hosts food outlets, soft play centres and a Giant supermarket; riding clubs including Horse City Stables; playground fun at Watten Estate Park; and even a choice of daycare centres for your dog.

Transport links
Bukit Timah is well connect by public transport. You have the Beauty World, King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue and Tan Kah Kee MRT stations on the Downtown line, and Farrer Road on the Circle line. For motorists, the Pan Island (PIE) and the Bukit Timah (BKE) Expressways connect you to all other regions.

International schools include the Chinese International School, German European School Singapore, Hwa Chong International School, Hollandse, Singapore Korean School and Swiss School Singapore.

For family medicine, head to the International Medical Clinic – Jelita. The Gleneagles Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital are a short drive away, as is the Thomson Medical Centre and its 24-hour walk-in emergency clinic.

There’s a combination of high street brands and independent labels at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Beauty World Centre, Bukit Timah Plaza, Balmoral Plaza, and Cluny Court. Grocery options range from organic delis and the Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre through to Cold Storage supermarkets.

There are plenty of natural attractions at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Upper Pierce Reservoir, and a hiking trail at the disused railway track, The Green Corridor. Social and sporting members-only clubs include the Hollandse Club and Raffles Town Club.

Bars and restaurants
Bukit Timah Road and Sixth Avenue are a haven for cafes, restaurants and trendy bars, and for cheaper eats head to the Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre.

Who lives here?
Expats and well-heeled Singaporeans


Bukit Timah Ratings





Family Friendly


Transport Links


Bukit Timah Pros & Cons


Very family-friendly
A huge natural attraction at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Good variety of cafes and restaurants
Excellent location on outskirts of the city centre
Well served by MRT stations on the Downtown and Circle lines


Very high rents
Older shopping malls
Short drive to the nearest A&E department

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