TOP 10 Museums in Singapore

What better way to explore the rich cultural heritage of Singapore than to visit museums? Singapore has a number of well-curated and well-maintained museums with a vast amount of exhibits. Many of them are housed in historical buildings, which adds to their charm. Step in and be drawn into a world lost in time!

TOP 1 National Museum of Singapore

Located a stone’s throw away from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station and Fort Canning Park, the National Museum of Singapore is Singapore’s oldest museum with history that dates back to 1849, when it opened on Stamford Road as the Raffles Library and Museum. It is also the largest museum with a growing collection of about 15,000 publications related to cultural studies, design and Singapore’s history, and several exhibitions and programmes all year round. It has two main galleries: the Singapore History Gallery, which traces the history of Singapore from its beginnings in the 14th century to the present day, and the Singapore Living Galleries, which focus on four themes: food, fashion, film and photography. The dazzling Singapore Night Festival is also held here, where the iconic facade of the National Museum of Singapore springs into life with the mind-blowing light installations.

Address : 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897

Opening hours : 10am-7pm daily


TOP 2 National Gallery Singapore

Housed in two national monuments – the former Supreme Court and City Hall – National Gallery Singapore is nothing short of breathtaking. The interior is an elegant integration of the City Hall and former Supreme Court, and complementing it is the unique collection of more than 9,000 artworks from across Southeast Asia spanning the 19th century to the present, making it one of the world’s largest public collections. Feast your eyes on the architecture of the national monuments as you get up close with the city hall chamber and the various features of the former Supreme Court such as the rotunda, the foyer, the historical lobby, the balcony and the terrace.

Address : 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957

Opening hours : 10am-7pm daily


TOP 3 Asian Civilisations Museum

The Asian Civilisations Museum sits by the shores of the Singapore River, in the former Empress Place Building which housed government offices during the British colonial rule. It specialises in a diverse collection of Asian artefacts and focuses on the many historical connections between the cultures of Asia, and between Asia and the world. The bulk of the artefacts originated from Southeast Asia such as crafts, tools, weapons, utensils, and costumes of the Malays and other indigenous Southeast Asian cultures. Look no further if you’re looking to understand the culture and history of Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Address : 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555

Opening hours : 10am-7pm daily


TOP 4 ArtScience Museum 

Shaped like a white lotus flower, the ArtScience Museum is part of the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. It overlooks Marina Bay and the Central Business District and it is located right next to the Helix Bridge. Take a stroll in its 21 galleries and be awed by exhibits from renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Salvatore Dali and Leonardo da Vinci. A specialty of this museum is its integration of art, science, design, media, architecture and technology. A permanent, must-visit exhibit is Future World, which features interactive digital installations and is refreshed every few months. There are also significant exhibitions that explore aspects of science including big data, particle physics, paleontology, marine biology, cosmology and space exploration.

Address : 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974

Opening hours : 10am-7pm daily


TOP 5 Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Art Museum, also known as SAM, is the first art museum in Singapore. It opened its doors in 1996 and occupies the campus of a restored 19th-century mission school. The museum is now a contemporary art museum with one of the world’s most important public collections of Southeast Asian contemporary artworks. SAM draws from its collection and collaborates with international contemporary art museums to co-curate and present contemporary art exhibitions. Contemporary art of the region is also given international exposure through SAM’s travelling exhibition programme and collection loans.

Address : 8 Queen Street, Singapore 189555

Opening hours : Saturday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-9pm


TOP 6 Malay Heritage Centre

The Malay Heritage Centre houses a museum which showcases the rich history of the Malay community. Catch a glimpse of the way of life of the early Malay settlers in Singapore, imagine the brave sea-faring Bugis villagers and warriors in action and reminisce the golden years of the Malay entertainment industry in the galleries. There are also many programmes and free performances by Malay artists. Located in the compounds of the famed Istana Kampong Glam which was the former residence of Malay Sultans, there’s no better place to experience and learn more about Malay culture.

Address : 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969

Opening hours : Tuesday – Sunday 10am-6pm (closed on Monday)


TOP 7 Peranakan Museum

As its name suggests, the Peranakan Museum focuses on the art and culture of the Peranakans in Southeast Asia. The term Peranakan generally refers to people of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage. They descended from Chinese traders who married local women in the Straits settlements of Penang, Melaka and Singapore. There are also small communities of other Peranakans such as the Indian Peranakans. The fusion of cultures resulted in the unique and distinctive Peranakan culture which manifests in the way they cook, dress and decorate their houses. Look out for the geometric designs that accompany colourful and elaborate features. These are often in bright lively colours and can be found in design elements around the house and on kitchen utensils such as bowls and plates.

Address : 39 Armenian Street, Singapore 179941

Opening hours : Saturday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday 10am-9pm


TOP 8 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Nestled in the National University of Singapore, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum specializes in the research, education and outreach of Southeast Asian biodiversity. With over 500,000 rare Southeast Asian animal and plant specimens, some dating back to the 1840s, it is the perfect place to explore the diversity of life on earth. Several landscape features are integrated into the architecture of the building, such as the sea-cliff planting on the building façade, the mangrove swamp courtyard and the beach terrain at the rear of the building. A major highlight of the museum is the fossils of three 150-million-year-old diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs, one of the biggest creatures that have ever roamed the earth. They are more than 80% complete, which is a rarity.

Address : 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377

Opening hours : Tuesday-Sunday 10am-7pm, closed on Monday


TOP 9 Red Dot Design Museum

Red Dot Design Museum sits right beside the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in a full glass building. Be ushered into the world of design as you step into the museum which is home to over 200  design works which have won the international Red Dot Design Award, one of the largest design awards in the world. The museum’s permanent collection features only the best designs that have earned the prestigious Red Dot quality seal which is only awarded after rounds of adjudication by an independent panel of design experts. Be mind-blown by product designs that are both creative and clever, and totally practical. The best part is you can bring some of these ingenious design works back by choosing your pick at the design shop.

Address : 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940

Opening hours : 10am-8pm daily


TOP 10 Singapore Philatelic Museum

Stamp lovers rejoice! Curating philatelic materials from the 1830s to the present day, the Singapore Philatelic Museum has an impressive collection of stamps from member countries of the Universal Postal Union. The museum aims to stimulate interest in philately and use stamps as a window to the world to learn about different topics such as science, technology, history and culture. It is housed in a century-old, double-storey, colonial building commissioned in 1906 which was formerly part of the Anglo Chinese School.

Address : 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807

Opening hours : 10am-7pm daily



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