Nothing screams “hipster” as loud as an adventure to Haji Lane, Singapore’s OG indie neighbourhood. And although you cool cats can’t blow grape-flavoured smoke hoops at shisha joints anymore, there’s still plenty to do. For instance, you can get a tarot card reading, have your face printed on your coffee, and pick up one-of-a-kind outfits at the many vintage shops.
And that’s barely scratching the surface of what this eclectic neighbourhood has to offer. Here are 9 cool things to do in Haji Lane.
Haji Lane Singapore Guide (2018) – Top things to do & how much they cost
|Haji Lane store||What to do||Price|
|Selfie Coffee, La Marelle Cafe & Boutique, and various Haji Lane Cafes||Go cafe-hopping||$7 and up|
|Meomi Cat Cafe||Have tea while cuddling with cats||$13 for the 1st hour, $5 for subsequent 30 mins|
|The Nail Social||Get your nails done||$16 (express manicure) and up|
|Blue Jaz Cafe, Going Om, Good Luck Beerhouse & various Haji Lane bars||Grab a beer and listen to live music||$20 to $30 per pax|
|Grammah||Shop for vintage dresses and clothes||$26 (blouses) and up|
|SSFW||Shop for handmade jewellery and accessories||$39 and up|
|Tara Light Within||Try tarot card reading||$60 for 30 mins|
|Visual Orgasm||Get tattooed||$150 and up|
|99 Percent Hair Studio||Get a creative hair dye job||$349 to $439|
Go Haji Lane cafe hopping – from $7 per pax
Haji Lane is quite a heaven for hipster cafe hopping, so if your ‘gram needs a boost, a Saturday here may just do the trick. You can visit Selfie Coffee Singapore, which is a cafe that literally serves coffee with your photo printed on it. Hot drinks are $7.50, and if you want a slice of cake to go with it, it’s about another $8. There’s also La Marelle Cafe & Boutique. The smoothies are around $7, and if you want to get some cakes or brunch food as well, it’ll come up to around $15 to $20 per pax. Muslim diners take note – although Muslim-owned, they are not listed on MUIS’s directory of halal-certified establishments.
Get some cuddles at Meomi Cat Cafe – from $13 for 1 hour
As explained in our cat cafe price guide, I have mixed feelings about animal cafes. It’s the same struggle I have with zoos and aquariums – I love looking at and cuddling up to the animals, but it sucks that there’s no real way to know if the animals are treated humanely. But that’s just me.
To be fair, the felines at local cat cafes all seem clean and happy enough, so no red flags there. If you’re interested in having a furkid cuddle up to you while you enjoy a cuppa, you can do that at Meomi Cat Cafe in Haji Lane. It’ll cost you $13 for the 1st hour and $5 for subsequent 30 mins. This price includes a cup of juice or tea. Do note that there is an age restriction for customers: You have to be minimum age 6 and up.
Address: 668 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188801
Get an express manicure at The Nail Social – from $16
My manicure mantra is “go bling or go home”. If I’m going to spend money to have my nails professionally done, I want them to have rhinestones and glitter and look as Ah Lian as possible. The trouble is that those are super expensive. As a MoneySmart employee, I am forced to feel some guilt over spending $120 on a manicure that literally stops me from opening cans and picking up my phone…
Introducing The Nail Social: This salon brands itself as a social enterprise (“a socially conscious salon”) that trains and employs underprivileged women to provide them with fair income. Bye bye guilt! (throws confetti in the air)
The prices are quite typical of nail salons: An express mani is $16 while the classic is $35. Add $30 for gel, and $3 to $10 (per nail) for nail art.
Address: 2A Haji Lane 2F, Singapore 189 235
Knock back a beer & listen to live music at hip Haji Lane bars – from $20 per pax
By nightfall you’d probably be done with your cafe-hopping and shopping, but don’t head home just yet. The nightlife scene in Haji Lane is super happening, so why not stay back for a beer and live music? Here are some of the bars and how much you’re likely to spend at each one of them.
Some of the more affordable bars include Blue Jaz Cafe, Going Om and Good Luck Beerhouse. Based on personal experience and online reviews, most people spend about $20 to $30 per pax. Of course, the eventual damage to your wallet depends on how much you drink and eat, so if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest booze, you should take a walk around the stretch and look out for ongoing promotions.
Shop for vintage dresses at Grammah – from $26
If you’re the kind who simply can’t be spotted in the same outfit as the other girl on the MRT, vintage shopping is for you. But I say first: Don’t expect to “pop some tags” cos the “$20 in your pocket” won’t buy you anything. That said, when compared to other fancy vintage shops, Grammah is relatively affordable. You can get a blouse for under $30, and dresses from $58. They are also on Carousell, so you can check out more prices there.
Currently there’s another store called Moodswings Vintage, but by 13 October they will be gone. There used to be Modparade and Dark Horse Vintage stores too, but they’ve since closed down and are now only available online.
Moodswings Vintage address: 66 Haji Lane Singapore 189 259
Shop for jewellery at SSFW & The Silver Triangle – $39 and up
Stroll the alleys of the quirky Haji Lane and you’ll find quite a few stores selling kitschy trinkets and jewellery. Check out SSFW – previously called Green Poppies – which sells handmade accessories. Although they have lifestyle products (homeware, footwear, etc), they began as a jewellery store. The pieces are mostly $39 and up, and you can find everything from minimalist chic designs to novelty ones. Another accessories store to visit is The Silver Triangle.
SSFW address: 75 Haji Lane Singapore 189 268
Get a tarot card reading at Tara Light Within – $60 per 30 mins
If sci-fi films are anything to go by, it’s never wise to meddle with time and the universe. But if you’re feeling a little kaypoh about what the future has in store for you, head down to Tara Light Within for a tarot card reading experience.
It’s $60 per 30 minutes, and you can make a booking either via phone or Skype. If your love life isn’t going so well, you can also ask for a “tarot love spell” – I honestly don’t really know what that is, but whatever it takes for love and happiness right?!
Think you can be the next Professor Trelawney? Tarot reading classes are available as well.
Address: 23A Arab Street Singapore 199 722
Get a tattoo at Visual Orgasm – from $150
Okay, fine. Getting a tattoo is serious – ahem, permanent – business, so I doubt you’d be getting inked at any ol’ tattoo parlour. If you think it’s cool and spontaneous to get inked on a whim… power to you. You have my blessings and (for your sake) I hope your tattoo artist knows how to spell.
While I don’t have any tatts to speak for, I’ve heard and read many good reviews about the artists at Visual Orgasm. The studio is featured on many “Top Tattoo Studios” lists so if you’re thinking of getting one, you can consider them. After doing research on the artists’ styles and deciding on one, you will need to make an appointment for a price quotation. It depends on the size and intricacy of your design, and prices start at $150.
Address: 2 Haji lane Singapore 189 195
Get unicorn hair at 99 Percent Hair Studio – from $349
Most people will advise against bleaching and dyeing your hair too much, but to hell with that! I’m all for transforming your tresses into a majestic unicorn mane because guess what? Hair grows back. When you’re sick of it or it gets too unmanageable, you can just snip it off.
Of course, I’m not saying you should buy DIY bleach kits and make a mess, but if you dream of having rainbow hair and have the money to get it done at a salon, why not? 99 Percent Hair Studio is a popular salon for colourful dye jobs, and they have an outlet at Haji Lane. They’re expensive though – the creative colour service costs $349 to $439.
Address: 40 Haji Lane #01-01, 189233
How to go to Haji Lane
You may enter Haji Lane from either Beach Road or North Bridge Road. Both are around 500m from Bugis MRT.
What’s your favourite Haji Lane cafe or shop? Share it with us in the comments below!