Tampines is a vibrant town located in the Tanah Merah geographical region, along the north-eastern coast of the East Region of Singapore.
Once the home of farmers and villagers in squatter settlements, the town is now a bustling planning and residential area with all the amenities and conveniences of modern Singapore. Underpinned by a robust public transport network, Tampines is a mature estate that is known for its proximity to Changi Airport and Changi Business Park, Our Tampines Hub – the country’s first-ever integrated community centre and lifestyle hub – as well as its many parks and gardens. And yes, it is also home to the country’s largest IKEA store.
Ohmyhome Super Agent Farhan Bin Fuad affirms this: “Tampines is a very exciting place to live in right now as it is rising up to be the central hub in the East. It’s also well connected to the city area and Central Business District (CBD).”
The latter is no coincidence given that Singapore’s third-largest and third-most populated town was the first regional centre planned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) under an early Concept Plan, which detailed strategic land use and transportation guide to developing Singapore.
The plan set out broad principles to develop housing towns and industrial estates, among others, by adopting a ring structure of satellite towns around the central water catchment. The central area was established as the CBD, which was supported by sub-regional and fringe centres to bring jobs closer to home and alleviate congestion in the city centre.
Today, Tampines has exceeded that plan with significantly more residential and commercial developments for its 256,730 residents.
What you’ll find in Tampines
1. Growing public transport network
Public transportation is the backbone of Singapore’s development and, in Tampines, the network is rapidly growing.
There are currently six MRT stations that serve residents via the East-West and Downtown lines:
- Tampines West
- Tampines East
- Upper Changi
Xilin MRT station will soon be added to the Downtown Line, projected to be completed in 2024, in tandem with the Stage 4 opening of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
There are also two bus interchanges in town: the Tampines Bus Interchange and Tampines Concourse Bus Interchange. Another, the Tampines North Bus Interchange, is in the pipeline.
Tampines residents with cars enjoy easy access to Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Tampines Expressway for a faster commute to and from the city.
2. Food destinations
You can satisfy food cravings at Tampines Street 21, a stretch of eateries boasting a myriad of food choices.
For Western, Thai, Malay or Indian food, there is Al Azhar in this location, one of the most successful catering and restaurant chains in Singapore. It is open 24/7 so you’ll have plenty of options for your supper.
A few steps away is Saffrons, known for their mouth-watering biryani. If you’re looking for roast meats, fish soups and Tze Char (home-cooked style Chinese food), there’s a well-decorated Chinese hawker store nearby.
Other food spots in Tampines are located at Street 11, known as the Tampines Round Market and Food Centre, which offers some of the finest Sarawak cuisine.
There’s also Street 81, beside the Giant supermarket and a wet market, and Street 91, situated opposite the Tampines West MRT station.
3. Entertainment and recreation
For entertainment and recreation, one impressive community hub and several malls dot the town.
Our Tampines Hub
As Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle hub, the Heart of Tampines has over 30 facilities, such as a library, swimming pool, bowling centre, rock wall climbing, theatre, laser quest, table tennis zone, 1,800 seat sports hall, 20 indoor badminton courts and more.
The Community Garden at Level 5 is worth checking out for a view of the Town Square, which features a 5,000-seat stadium with a FIFA Quality Pro certified football pitch and home to the Tampines Rovers Football Club. It is the ideal venue for Tampines GRC events and other sporting activities under the sun, such as telematches, inflatable playgrounds and Family Fiestas.
There’s also an indoor arena at Our Tampines Hub, featuring two futsal courts, one in-line hockey court and four tennis courts, to complement the numerous sporting facilities it houses for the community. Free play for tennis is also available for seniors aged 55 and above every weekday (excluding public holidays).
But the best thing about the Hub is that it champions eco-sustainability through a closed loop system of environment solutions and features, such as solar panels, water catchment, storage and filtration equipment, irrigation features, green walls, natural ventilation, an electric carp park with charging stations, Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene roofs and a comprehensive food waste management system supported by an Eco-Digester Centre that converts food waste into three by-products, namely non-potable water, liquid plant nutrients and organic fertiliser that’s used by the Hub and shared with the community.
Located next to the MRT station is Century Square, Tampines One and Tampines Mall, often regarded as “the Orchard Road of the East” by residents for the wide range of shops and restaurants available.
IKEA, Courts and Giant
Another destination for residents is Tampines Retail Park, located along Tampines Avenue 10. This area is the location of the country’s largest IKEA store, as well as equally massive retail warehouses for Courts and Giant.
For the uninitiated, IKEA is a Scandinavian chain selling ready-to-assemble furniture, houseware, accents and food, among others.
Tampines is also home to a comprehensive mix of schools for children of different ages.
- Angsana Primary School
- British Council Pre-school
- Chongzheng Primary School
- East Spring Primary School
- East View Primary School
- Gongshang Primary School
- Junyuan Primary School
- Poi Ching School
- Saint Hilda’s Primary School
- Tampines North Primary School
- Tampines Primary School
- Yumin Primary School
- Dunman Secondary School
- East Spring Secondary School
- East View Secondary School
- Junyuan Secondary School
- Ngee Ann Secondary School
- Pasir Ris Secondary School
- Springfield Secondary School
- Saint Hilda’s Secondary School
- Tampines Secondary School
- Tampines Junior College (to be merged in 2019)
- Temasek Polytechnic
- ITE College East
- Singapore University of Technology and Design
- United World College of South East Asia (Tampines Campus)
For rest and relaxation, there are numerous parks around Tampines, such as the Tampines Eco-green which was opened in 2011. It showcases freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest and is conveniently connected to the Tampines Biking Trail and Sun Plaza Park. The latter is an excellent choice for kids as there are wide spaces for them to run around plus lush greenery, a playground and basketball court.
There’s also Tampines Central Park, located right next to Our Tampines Hub. Opened in the 1980s, it’s a wheelchair-accessible spot and is popular among exercise lovers. Parents can bring their children here for the fruit-themed playgrounds in the shapes of watermelon slices and mangosteens.
Two hidden gems that many may not know about are the Tampines Green Forest Park and Changkat Butterfly Garden.
The Green Forest Park, which can be found within walking distance from The Santorini and The Tapestry condos, is an impressive playground with a cargo net course, fitness corner and sandpit area with interactive play-boards.
The Tampines Changkat Butterfly Garden, meanwhile, is a free community garden with informative panels on butterflies and biodiversity, letting one learn as they explore.
What you’ll pay for housing in Tampines
With Tampines so connected to the rest of the country and to many town destinations, there’s no wonder property prices here are edging upwards. Many HDB sellers are seeing higher sale prices for their homes compared to the median prices in Q1 2021.
The median prices of Tampines HDB flats in Q1 2021
According to Farhan, four-room HDB resale flats are currently selling at around $600,000, or $150,000 higher than its median price of $450,000 during the first quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, five-room flats are selling for $700,000 and above, $145,000 higher than its median price of $555,000.
There are also two, newish BTO developments that might be of interest to buyers: GreenLace and GreenLeaf, which are about seven to nine years old.
There are three executive condominiums, which are hybrid public-private housing, that are reaching their Minimum Occupancy Period as well.
|Name of EC||Selling Price|
|Arc at Tampines||$725,000 – $1.18 million|
|The Tampines Trilliant||$925,000 – $1.8 million|
|Citylife@Tampines||$878,000 – $1.75 million|
Private properties in the area are also fetching higher prices. According to Squarefoot Research, all non-landed residential property prices in District 18, of which Tampines is a part, have been on an upward trend since the beginning of the year.
Older condos such as Tropica and Waterview have a price range of $800,000 to $1.39 million while newer condos, such as The Santorini and Q Bay Residences, average between $580,000 and $1.43 million.
Meanwhile, condos such as Alps Residences and The Tapestry are priced from $595,000 to $1.45 million.
Two new condo launches expected in Tampines in the next few years are Treasure at Tampines, which sits on the former Tampines Court HUDC site, and Parc Central Residences EC. Both developments will meet the Temporary Occupation Period in 2023.
The Tampines vibe
Though Tampines has changed greatly over the years, its charm is still apparent in its infrastructure, which features attractive designs, colours and finishes.
Blk 497 at Tampines Street 45
Block 497 at Street 45 is a great example of a good-looking, traditional HDB block with its symmetrical architecture, peach-coloured blocks and grand arches overlooking a basketball court. It is an Instagram-worthy subject and draws photography enthusiasts frequently to its vicinity.
Fun fact: This HDB block was featured in a 1990s Channel 8 series, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, as the setting for the characters’ home. The shot used to be synonymous with Tampines housing until fresher looks cropped up in town.
Blk 417 at Tampines Street 41
Block 417 at Street 41 features a Shutterstock-worthy façade resembling a retro television screen with a lost signal. This block has likewise drawn many avid photographers over the years, with tours even conducted just to capture the unique look of this building.
Blk 491-496 at Tampines Avenue 9
The HDB blocks at Tampines Avenue 9, meanwhile, look courtly, due perhaps to the seeming Tudor architecture inspiration with its geographical cut-outs in the void decks and high contrast black and white paint job.
The Gathering Place
The town also features unique spaces that support creative self-expression in the community while incorporating educational elements, thanks to Team Design Architects, which clinched the largest neighbourhood renewal programme competition organised by the Tampines Town Council.
The Tampines Cultural Hub is one of the results of their efforts. This hub features an iconic circular walkway and a metallic sculpture. There is also the Graffiti Walk, which allows residents a chance to showcase their artistic talents creatively in chalk; the 91 Exchange, where residents can set up weekend shops for marketing their own goods; and the Sensory Garden, Maze Garden and Green Belt which provide horticultural garden spaces for residents who want to be one with nature.
“If you want to live in the East, Tampines is the best option as you will be spoilt for choice,” said Farhan. “You can find everything there.”
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Frequently asked questions about Tampines
What is Tampines famous for?
Tampines is famous for its parks and gardens, such as the Tampines Eco Park, Tampines Central Park, Tampines Changkat Butterfly Garden, Tampines Green Forest Park and Sun Plaza Park. The town also hosts the largest IKEA in Singapore.
Is Tampines a good place to live?
Tampines is a mature housing estate that’s close to Changi Airport and Changi Business Park. It is well-connected to the CBD via the East-West and Downtown MRT lines, as well as three bus interchanges. If you like being on the eastern side of the island, you may find Tampines to your liking. Like the rest of the country, it has a number of malls, parks, eateries and schools that are easily accessible to all.
What is unique about the history of Tampines?
Tampines used to be covered by forests, swamps, and sand quarries. It was also a military training base until about 1987, when the town started to be constructed. Today, the town is subdivided into Tampines East, Tampines West, Tampines North, and Tampines Changkat.