Discover the unique museum scene in Singapore with our guide to the city’s top cultural institutions. From the comprehensive National Museum of Singapore to the historical Reflections at Bukit Chandu, we’ll take you on a tour of the best museums in the city. Explore the rich history and cultural heritage of Singapore through fascinating exhibits, interactive installations and immersive experiences. Here is a list of the top museums to visit in Singapore.
1. National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest and largest museum in Singapore, showcasing the history and cultural heritage of the country. The museum’s collection includes over thousands of artefacts, including ancient ceramics, WW2 exhibits and historical photographs. A highlight of the museum includes the Singapore History Gallery, which takes visitors on a chronological journey through the country’s history and the Goh Seng Choo Gallery, which exhibits an impressive collection of Peranakan artifacts. The museum also hosts various exhibitions and events as well as educational programs for children. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance or via online here.
2. Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum is located in the historic Empress Place Building, which overlooks the Singapore River. It is a museum dedicated to the history, civilisation and culture of Asia, with emphasis on the civilizations of China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Islamic world. The museum’s collection includes over thousands of artefacts, including porcelain, textiles, and sculptures. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents to permanent galleries only – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance or via online here.
3. Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum (SAM), operational since 1996, is a contemporary art museum located in the historic port region of Tanjong Pagar. Its collection focuses on contemporary art from Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on works by Singaporean and Singapore-based artists. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, installations, videos and other media. It frequently hosts temporary exhibitions featuring both regional and international artists. SAM also features a kids corner where children are able to create bespoke art craft. Tickets can be booked online here.
4. Malay Heritage Centre
The Malay Heritage Centre is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and heritage of the Malay community in the country. The Centre is situated in a refurbished palace known as Istana Kampong Gelam, which was once the residence of the Malay royalty and aristocracy in Singapore. The Centre features a range of exhibits and displays that provide insights into the social, cultural, and historical aspects of the Malay community in Singapore.
5. Former Ford Factory
The Former Ford Factory is a historic building located along Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore. It is a significant landmark as it was the site of the British surrender to the invading Japanese forces during World War II in 1942. Today, the building has been converted into a museum that serves as a reminder of the impact of war on the people of Singapore. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that give visitors insights into the events leading up to the British surrender and the experiences of civilians during the war. It also exhibits the efforts of local communities to support the war effort and their struggles to survive under Japanese occupation. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance.
6. Reflections at Bukit Chandu
Reflections at Bukit Chandu is a museum and heritage centre located in a restored colonial bungalow that tells the story of a Malay Regiment and its contribution to the defense of Singapore during World War II. The museum is named after Bukit Chandu, a hill where the Malay Regiment made its last stand against the Japanese army during the Battle of Pasir Panjang in 1942. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that showcase the experiences of the Malay Regiment during the war. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance or online.
7. Fort Siloso
Fort Siloso is Singapore’s coastal fort and on-site military museum containing well-preserved WWII military structures complete with wax figures of Japanese & British soldiers. We have previously covered Fort Siloso here. Admission to the fort is free of charge for everyone.
8. The Air Force Museum
The Air Force Museum in Singapore is a museum dedicated to the history and evolution of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) located next to the Paya Lebar airbase. The museum is consisted of two main sections, the indoor gallery and the outdoor gallery. The indoor gallery features a range of exhibits that showcase the history of the RSAF, including the early days of the Singapore Air Defense Command, the formation of the RSAF and its evolution over the years. The outdoor gallery, on the other hand, features a range of aircraft that have been used by the RSAF over the years including fighter jets, transport planes and helicopters. Admission to the museum is free of charge for everyone.
9. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a museum in Balestier, Singapore, dedicated to the life and achievements of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest leaders of modern China. The memorial hall is housed in a restored villa that was once the headquarters of the Southeast Asia branch of the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that showcase Sun Yat Sen’s life and legacy in Singapore. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance.
10. Children's Museum Singapore
The Children’s Museum Singapore is an interactive two-level museum that aims to engage children in educational and playful activities that promote learning and creativity. The museum features a variety of exhibits and installations (e.g. supermarket) that allow children to explore various topics and themes through hands-on activities and imaginative play. Check out The Hidden Chamber which is a small space which screens a short immersive theatre show on time-travelling voyage.
11. The Changi Chapel and Museum
The Changi Chapel and Museum is a memorial and museum located in Changi, Singapore, dedicated to the memory of the thousands of prisoners of war and civilians who were imprisoned in Changi during World War II. The museum is housed in a replica of the original Changi Chapel, which was built by prisoners of war during their internment in Changi. The chapel was used as a place of worship and solace for the prisoners, who faced harsh conditions and abuse at the hands of their captors. Free entry for Singaporeans or Permanent Residents – visitors from abroad can purchase tickets at the entrance or online.