Ok, I’ll start by saying my views are slightly biased as I’ve frequented Holland Village ever since I was a pinafore-wearing RGS girl in the 90s. Besides a brief 2-year stay along East Coast Road when I first arrived in Singapore, I have always lived within 5-15 minutes drive of Holland Village. (If you’ve lived in Singapore long enough, you’ll find that for a country this tiny, people are oddly attached to their districts… An “Eastie” from Siglap/Katong/Tampines etc will rarely ever willingly shift to the West, and likewise a “Westie” will rarely venture East unless they need to head to the airport!)
I’ve been meaning to pen a guide to navigating the Holland Village enclave for some time, but kept putting it off as there’s just so much to say about the place! So I shall end the inertia by starting with a “Part 1” first!
The Holland Village area is an ideal accommodation choice for the sociable-body who enjoys being connected to the city but desires a more relaxed place to call home once office hours are over. Just 10-15 minutes drive from the Orchard Road shopping belt and about 15-20 minutes drive to the CBD via the AYE, Holland Village is served by many bus routes and also Holland Village MRT station along the Circle Line as well as nearby Buona Vista MRT station along the East-West Line.
Holland Village is literally a 24-hour foodies’ paradise (there’s a kopitiam, or local coffeeshop, that serves up piping hot fried rice even at 3 am! ) Whether it’s local hawker fare, gourmet ice cream, wood-fired pizzas, filet mignon or hot & spicy tomyamgoong, there’s bound to be something here to tantalize your palate. On a liquid diet? Family-friendly pubs and bars are dotted about the area, chugging out ice-cold pints, good old pub grub, and even airing live matches during football season.
If you need more than food to nourish your soul, there’s also plenty of lifestyle stores that call Holland Village home. Whether you enjoy spending an idle afternoon flipping trashy magazines (head to Thambi Magazines, offering The Widest Spread of local & foreign magazines on the island, a total of some 7,000 publications in various languages!) or whipping up tasty treats (Chip Bee Gardens hosts several cookery enthusiasts’ haunts like Lemon Zest, a niche kitchenware store, Shermay’s Cooking School and Phoon Huat, a local baking supplies store). If furry, four-legged friends are your preferred companions, you’ll also find Holland Village to be one of the more pet-friendly areas of Singapore. Many of the restaurants will allow you to dine al fresco with your furry friend, provided the latter is tame and leashed. There are also at least 3 well-stocked pet stores in the vicinity.
For the well-groomed set, you’ll find neighbourhood services that have you covered (or uncovered, in certain cases!) from head to toe – there’s several hair,nail and beauty salons, aesthetic medical spas and even salons specializing in hair-removal and eyebrow grooming.
And then of course there’s all the essentials like supermarket, drugstores, 24-hr medical clinic and banking (the last I checked, there were 7 different banks located here!)
I’ve done my best to cover as much ground as I can while I sit waiting for my next appointment, I’ll go into greater depth on my favourite Holland Village hangouts in subsequent posts, stay tuned!