Running out of things to do in Singapore? We have rounded up the best museums in Singapore to head to! Having increased in number over the years and with an eclectic range of exhibitions on display, we’re sure you’d find a museum worth making a trip out for! Ever heard of the Singapore Musical Box Museum or Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall? Read on for our complete list of museums to get inspired by!
Best Museums in Singapore: History
National Museum of Singapore
[caption id="attachment_20336" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (National Museum Singapore / Facebook)[/caption]
It would be tough to miss this majestic neoclassical building on Stamford Road. The oldest and largest museum in Singapore, National Museum opened with much fanfare after refurbishment in 2009. Consisting of two main galleries: the Singapore History Gallery, which traces the island’s history from 14th century to present day and the Singapore Living Galleries which focuses on food, fashion, film and photography — this is one of the best museums in Singapore for an overview of our history and culture.
Address: 93, Stamford Road, S(178897)
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 7pm
The Battle Box
[caption id="attachment_20358" align="alignleft" width="740"] (Credit: The Battle Box)[/caption]
Get ready to be transported back to your history lessons in this Singapore museum. Popularly known as the Fort Canning Bunker this WWII British command centre was where the British decided to surrender to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. Go on a one hour tour of this underground bunker to uncover why and how Singapore fell to Japan in just 70 days.
Address: Fort Canning Park, 2 Cox Terrace, S(179872)
Opening Hours: Various timings. Visit their website for more information
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
[caption id="attachment_20348" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (Credit: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum)[/caption]
The best museum in Singapore for natural history, you’ll be in awe of some of the specimens found here. From the Singapore Sperm Whale, Leatherback Turtle and fossils of Diplodocid Sauropod plus over 2,000 more Southeast Asian specimens of plants, amphibians, mammals and dinosaurs on display, we definitely know we’ll be heading there this weekend!
Address: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore 2 Conservatory Drive, S(117377)
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun : 10am – 7pm
Best Museums in Singapore: Art & Design
National Gallery Singapore
[caption id="attachment_20332" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Credit: National Gallery Singapore)[/caption]
Housed in two of Singapore’s most iconic buildings, Supreme Court Building and City Hall, experience the world’s largest public display of modern Southeast Asian art at the recently refurbished National Gallery. With several family programmes and kid-friendly exhibits, this expansive place makes it one of the best museums in Singapore for a weekend outing with your family!
Address: 1 St. Andrew’s Rd, S(178957)
Sat – Thu: 10am – 7pm
Fri: 10am – 9pm
[caption id="attachment_20337" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Credit: ArtScience Museum)[/caption]
This iconic lotus-shaped museum is the first in the world to focus on the intersection of art, science and technology. Having held past exhibitions of works by some of the world’s best artists like Leornardo da Vinci and Andy Warhol, expect nothing less than a treat for your senses in this Singapore museum.
Address: 6 Bayfront Ave, S(018974)
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 7pm
Singapore Art Museum
Think, feel and imagine in this restored 19th century mission school turned contemporary art museum. This Singapore museum is home to a large Southeast Asian contemporary artwork collection and a growing collection in international contemporary art. Be sure to pencil in next year’s Singapore Biennale — an international contemporary visual arts exhibition, helmed by SAM since 2011.
Address: 71 Bras Basah Road, S(189555)
Mon – Thurs: 10am – 7pm
Fri: 10am – 9pm
SAM is currently closed for renovation. See here for more information for ongoing exhibitions at their partner venues.
[caption id="attachment_20339" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Parkview Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
Not many know that the ‘Gotham City’ aka Parkview Square building in Bugis houses a museum. This contemporary art museum recently opened its doors in 2017 and hosts thematic exhibitions involving local and international artists completely free of charge! Make sure to give this new museum a visit and look forward to workshops and complimentary guided tours provided you register in advance!
Address: Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Road, Level 3, S(188778)
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 12noon – 7pm
Red Dot Design Museum
[caption id="attachment_20359" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Red Dot Design Museum Singapore)[/caption]
This is the best museum in Singapore for architecture and design enthusiasts! Housed in a glass building, it showcases designs that win the annual International Red Dot Design Award in Germany. This is also the only Singapore museum open till 11pm from Fri-Sun, so head over here for some late night inspiration!
Address: 11 Marina Boulevard, S(018940)
Mon – Thurs: 10am – 8pm
Fri – Sun: 10am – 11pm
National Design Centre
Being the nexus for all things relating to design in Singapore, the National Design Centre is showing several permanent exhibitions along with its various events and programs. Catch the ongoing exhibition, Fifty Years of Design in Singapore, documenting Singapore’s design landscape across industries such as Visual Communications, Product and Industrial Design, Fashion and Accessories and Environmental Design, from 1965 to 2015.
Address: 111 Middle Rd, S(188969)
Opening Hours: Daily, 9am – 9pm
Fifty Years of Design in Singapore runs till 31 Dec 2018
Best Museums in Singapore: Culture & Heritage
Asian Civilisations Museum
Housed in a pale yellow colonial building facing the Singapore River, don’t miss a trip to one of Singapore’s best museums with a focus on culture and heritage. This museum tells stories of Asia including of Southeast Asia, China, South Asia and West Asia. Be swept away in the seven galleries of exhibits and tales showing you how kingdoms rose and fell and how civilisations came to form. Don’t miss out on the other ongoing events and the monthly family programme, Saturdays@ACM.
Address: 1 Empress Pl, S(179555)
Mon -Thurs, Sat – Sun: 10am – 7pm
Fri : 10am – 9pm
[caption id="attachment_20340" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Peranakan Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
Tucked away in Armenian Street, this museum houses the world’s most comprehensive history of the Peranakans spread over ten different galleries. Find permanent galleries depicting weddings, food, religion and life of Peranakans in Singapore and enter the world of a small but proud community.
Address: 39 Armenian Street, S(179941)
Mon – Thurs, Sat – Sun : 10am– 7pm
Fri: 10am – 9pm
Indian Heritage Centre
[caption id="attachment_20342" align="aligncenter" width="851"] (Credit: Indian Heritage Centre / Facebook)[/caption]
Interested in Indian culture and stories of its people? The Indian Heritage Centre is one of the best museums in Singapore for you to do that! The facade, inspired by the baoli (step wells in India), is only the tip of the iceberg to what’s inside this museum. Find five galleries exploring the history and culture of South Asian religion and communities in Singapore! A must-visit if you’re in Little India for the day!
Address: 5 Campbell Ln, S(209924)
Tues – Thurs: 10am – 7pm
Fri – Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sun: 10am – 4pm
Malay Heritage Centre
[caption id="attachment_20343" align="aligncenter" width="700"] (Cedit: Malay Heritage Centre)[/caption]
Located in the picturesque Kampong Glam district, this is one of the best museums in Singapore to learn about the rich heritage of Singapore’s Maly community. Explore this museum’s six permanent galleries spread over the two storey building and be mesmerised by the historical artefacts, interactive multimedia and colourful exhibits!
Address: 85 Sultan Gate, S(198501)
Tues – Sun : 10am – 6pm
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
[caption id="attachment_20396" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
This Singapore museum has to take the cake for being the prettiest! After you’ve visited the temple, head to the three smaller museums — Buddhist Culture Museum, Sacred Buddha Relic Chamber and Eminent Sangha Museum which house rare Buddhist artefacts and paintings. Admission to the temple and museum is completely free! Also, don’t forget to head to the rooftop garden for a view of Chinatown too!
Address: 288 South Bridge Road, S(058840)
Buddhist Culture Museum and Relic Chamber: Daily, 9am – 6pm
Eminent Sangha Museum: Daily, 7am – 7pm
NUS Baba House
[caption id="attachment_20369" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Credit: NUS Baba House)[/caption]
Can’t get enough of Peranakan heritage? We can’t either! Explore the curated display of domestic life and culture of a Peranakan-Chinese family that lived in this beautiful shophouse in the 1920s. Complete with furnishings of a traditional Peranakan household, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the past here!
Address: 157 Neil Road, S(088883)
Opening Hours: Tours and self-guided tours available via appointment only
Singapore Philatelic Museum
[caption id="attachment_20346" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Singapore Philatelic Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
Popularly referred to as Singapore’s ‘Museum of Stamps’, this museum is the custodian of Singapore’s philatelic material from the 1830s to date which depicts Singapore’s history and culture. Fun Fact! It is also a working post office, so be sure to send a postcard to a friend when visiting!
Address: 23-B Coleman Street, S(179807)
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 7pm
Singapore Museums You Never Knew Existed
Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum
[caption id="attachment_20347" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: Air Force Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
This is the best museum in Singapore for aviation and military history buffs! Enjoy the static aircraft displays and exhibitions that chronicle the history of the Republic of Singapore Air Force and marvel at the fighter jets, missiles and aircraft systems! Don’t leave your little ones out of the fun! Bring them along and let their imaginations fly with the interactive displays and role-playing games.
Address: 400 Airport Road, 534234
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun: 8.30am – 5pm
[caption id="attachment_20349" align="aligncenter" width="700"] (Credit: Singapore Sports Museum)[/caption]
Singapore’s first sports-related museum houses artefacts and memorabilia donated by athletes and fans. Take a tour of this Singapore museum and follow the history of sports in Singapore including local games like Chinese hopscotch, Chaptek and Five Stones. Also pay a visit to Our Heroes gallery honouring the country’s top sportsmen and women.
Address: 1 Stadium Dr, Singapore 397629
Mon-Fri: 10am – 8pm
Sat-Sun: 10am – 9pm
Vintage Cameras Museum
It is camera galore at this Singapore museum which boasts over 1000 cameras from as far back as 1800. Find spy cameras — James Bond types — to a 6 metre long Mammoth Camera to the newer 11 gram camera. Even the building of this museum, resembles a giant Rollei camera making it the largest shaped camera building in the world. The best part? You can pick up the cameras and tinker with them — but do it with care!
Address: 8C & 8D Jalan Kledek, S(199263)
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.30am – 9.30pm
MINT Museum of Toys
[caption id="attachment_20352" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: MINT Museum of Toys / Facebook)[/caption]
Find over 50,000 vintage toys in mint condition in this award- winning Singapore museum, spread over six levels, each with a theme of its own. With highly-sought after and valuable pieces sourced from around the world, the MINT Museum of Toys is the best museum in Singapore for vintage toy appreciators and collectors. From childhood favourites Betty Boop dolls to Beatles memorabilia from the 60s and vintage toys like Tintin and Astroboy, you’ll enjoy travelling back in time here!
Address: 26 Seah St, S(188382)
Opening Hours: Daily, 9.30am – 6.30pm
Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
[caption id="attachment_20416" align="aligncenter" width="720"] (Credit: Singapore Civil Defence Force / Facebook)[/caption]
Visit the oldest fire station in Singapore and trace firefighting and civil defence developments from the 19th century to present day. This is one of the best museums in Singapore to bring your little ones to! They will enjoy the red fire engines on display and interactive stations with kids-sized firemen uniform to dress up in. Psst! Don’t forget to check out the hose tower when there – Singapore’s highest viewpoint in the 1920s.
Address: 62 Hill St, S(179367)
Opening Hours: Tues – Sun: 10am – 5pm
Singapore Musical Box Museum
[caption id="attachment_20357" align="aligncenter" width="750"] (Credit: Singapore Musical Box Museum)[/caption]
We bet many of you have not heard of this Singapore museum before! Interestingly, musical boxes were an integral part of life under colonial rule in Singapore and the extensive collection in this museum harkens back to those days. Spend an afternoon here appreciating the tinkling of these musical boxes and uncover the stories behind these antiques.
Address: 168 Telok Ayer St, S(068619)
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed – Sun: 10am – 6pm
The Gem Museum By Far East Gem Institute
[caption id="attachment_20388" align="aligncenter" width="960"] (Credit: The Gem Museum / Facebook)[/caption]
This is the best museum in Singapore for gemmology lovers! Opened in 2015, this private Singapore museum’s aim is to share the love of gemology through education. It showcases gems and minerals from all around the world and educates visitors on the mine to market pipeline through various exhibits. Bring your little ones and let them have fun unearthing rocks in the Rock Garden’s sandpit.
Address: 222 Queen Street, #02-02, S(188550)
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 12pm – 5pm
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
[caption id="attachment_20379" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] (Credit: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall / Facebook)[/caption]
This two-storey colonial style villa in Balestier was the Nanyang headquarters of Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Chinese Revolutionary Alliance and played a pivotal role in the 1911 Revolution. This one of the best museums in Singapore to find out more about the role of Singapore’s Chinese community in the uprising that eventually led to the birth of modern-day China.
Address: 12 Tai Gin Rd, S(327874)
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 10am – 5pm
*Disclaimer: All terms and conditions apply; do call the respective museums and heritage centres for more information on current exhibits and opening hours before paying a visit. Remember to bring your NRIC / Student Pass when visiting these museums for identification purposes and student prices where applicable.
If our list of best museums didn’t entice you much, why not head to these stand-up comedy spots in Singapore and have a good laugh instead! Looking for more kid-friendly activities to do? Our curated list of fun things to do with your kids in Singapore should do just the trick! We also have discounted tickets to Singapore’s popular attractions if you’re looking for a day of fun at Sentosa and Gardens by the Bay among other attractions!]]>