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Calling all aspiring Van Goghs and book lovers

Civic & Cultural District

Bras Basah Complex: 231 Bain St


If you are a crafts or book enthusiast, Bras Basah Complex is the place for you! The Bras Basah Complex is the hub for all things books, stationery, and craft supplies. Built in 1979, it became home to the bookstores that were operating along North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. It quickly became a centre for bookstore owners and gained itself the name ‘city of books’.

Before you venture into the Complex, be sure to look at the building from a distance. Sitting above the 5-storey complex is a 25-storey residential block. Bras Basah Complex is an example of a mixed-use building in Singapore – it houses both commercial and residential units. 

An interesting feature of the residential block is its open space, called a void deck in Singapore, is located on the 5th floor. You can venture up to the 25th floor for a bird’s eye view of the Civic & Cultural District. Walking around the void deck is a little like walking on rooftop gardens – it’s just that it is actually the ground floor of the residential building.

Today, the Complex houses stores like Popular and Art Friend – store names that are familiar to most in Singapore. For our avid bookworms, there is a little gem on the second floor that sells preloved books at very affordable prices. We’ll leave you to seek them out, and remember to tag us when you find it! 

So, if you want to travel back in time to catch a glimpse of Singapore 80s-style, Bras Basah Complex is worth checking out. For those of you who can’t resist books and crafts supplies, we suggest setting a spending budget before you explore this paradise.

Be sure to tag @hericollsg when you visit to share your experience with us! 

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