Exploring Holland Village
Holland Village is one of Singapore’s most famous expat enclaves, and for good reason. Holland Village, aka ‘Holland V’, is packed full of great restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and a whole host of other amenities. Plus it’s only a short distance to the beautiful Botanic Gardens, and to the shopping mecca of Orchard Road.
The district of Holland Village is named after Hugh Holland, who was an architect and an amateur actor and was an early resident of the area. Holland Road is known as ‘hue hng au’ in Hokkien (one of the Chinese dialects spoken in Singapore), meaning “behind the flower garden”. The “flower garden” refers to the Botanic Gardens. Originally a Dutch area, it was later occupied by British military personnel, who were stationed at the nearby Dempsey Hill barracks. This rich history makes it very popular with European expats, although these days people from all nationalities live in the neighbourhood.
Holland Village has a dedicated MRT station, which is on the Circle Line. From there, it’s just a couple of stops to the interchange with the Downtown Line at Botanic Gardens. The Downtown Line takes you all the way into the centre of Singapore, making it a great option for those commuting into Raffles Place and its surrounds. There are also plenty of bus routes to get you around the local area, and beyond.
It’s a cinch to get to Orchard Road by car or taxi, just follow Holland Road. Farrer Road provides an easy link to the AYE (Ayer Rajah Expressway) and the PIE (Pan-Island Expressway). Many of the condominiums offer private shuttle services to get you to work and your family to school. Taxis are usually plentiful, and there are a number of taxi stands in the area.
What to expect
The area has a real neighbourhood feel, and feels a bit bohemian, especially in the evenings, when many of the restaurants and bars spill out onto the pavements. Holland Village has all the different amenities you could possibly want, right on your doorstep. Whether you want a haircut, a massage, great crusty bread, a fantastic butcher, or a cosy cafe to meet friends, Holland Village has it all.
There is a great selection of Western and European cuisine, as well as a decent hawker centre for you to sample some of Singapore’s favourite dishes. Many of the popular expat clubs are within the vicinity, such as the Hollandse Club, Swiss Club and Tanglin Club. There’s also easy access to a number of international schools, located nearby, such as Tanglin Trust and Dover Court.
Living in Holland Village
Holland Village is very popular with families, due to its proximity to many of the international schools, and its varied housing options. The area offers a laid-back feel, and is leafy and green.
Chip Bee Gardens and the north of Holland Road are the places to find landed properties. There are plenty of condominiums too – from smaller, lower-rise blocks, to more modern but bigger developments. It’s popularity can sometimes mean it’s a little over-priced, but there is always plenty of choice of units, as people come and go.
This quirky cafe-slash-shop is truly the epitome of a hidden gem. Tucked away, it looks like a residential home, but step inside and it’s a great little cafe (drinks only, no food) and shop, selling clothing, accessories and copies of the magazine.
Monocle Shop, 74 Jalan Kelabu Asap, Singapore 278267
One of the few places in Singapore where you can get your hit of this trendy superfood. Project Acai serves up nourishing bowls and smoothies, which are packed full of nutrients.
Project Acai, 27 Lorong Liput, Singapore 277738
Brunch is a bit of an institution in Singapore. Breko is a great low-key option if you are in the mood for some great waffles or one of their innovative, breakfasts-in-a-pan. They also lunch options too, like steaks, burgers and waffles.
Breko, 38 Lorong Mambong, Singapore 277694
If you are planning to rent in Holland Village, speak to Greyloft’s property consultants for the best advice on renting.