Singapore Attractions Art, Culture & History Museums Singapore Philatelic Museum


Singapore Philatelic Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum Hot

(6 Reviews)
Website   2144   5   0
23-B Coleman Street Singapore 179807
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Listing created by malyanah on July 06, 2012    

Singapore Philatelic Museum was officially opened on 19 August 1995. The museum is located in Coleman Street, near to Peranakan Museum. In its official website, the museum regards itself as "the custodian and curator of Singapore's treasure of philatelic materials". The museum housed a collections of postage-related materials like stamps and postcards not only from different countries but different time periods as well. It is open every day from 9am to 7pm except on Monday where it is opened from 1pm to 7pm. The museum is housed in a two storey colonial building, which is a century-old.

Additional Details:

Entrance Fees:
Adult $6
Child (3-12 years) $4
Price Range
< $10


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User rating summary from: 6 user(s)

(Updated: September 17, 2015)

Worth a visit

I’m a stamp collector, so my perspective on the Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM) would probably differ from others. Now that most museums have free entry for Singaporeans and PRs, I feel that the SPM is worth a visit.

They have permanent exhibits, detailing the history of Singapore’s postal system and showing our history in an alternative way- through stamps. They also have temporary exhibitions that can be pretty interesting. Recently, I visited the museum and saw an exhibit on Elvis Presley. They didn’t just have stamps- they also had movie posters, vinyl records, sound recordings, and other assorted Elvis-related paraphernalia. It’s definitely a must-go for anyone who loves Elvis. They also usually have at least one kid-friendly exhibit, with some interactive activities for little ones. It’s a good place to bring your children if you need to while away an hour or two.

While I don't think the SPM is worth the trip if you have to pay anything more than $5 to enter, it’s still nice to take a look-see. It’s a small museum so you can cover everything quite quickly, and it’s fun to look at all the different stamps and postboxes that make up our history.

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Wide variety of stamps and more stamps

Although it is strategically located in the middle of three MRT stations, Singapore Philatelic Museum is one museum that is easy to miss if you do not keep a close lookout.

Enter the Singapore Philatelic Museum and you will be greeted by the souvenir shop on your left. If I am around the area, I will usually head down to buy stamps for postage. If new stamps are released and they are sold out elsewhere, there are chances that you may just find it at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Just let the counter staff know that you are there to get stamps. Otherwise, collector’s items such as stamps from other countries or first day covers are available there too. Postcards are sold there, though I feel that it is slightly pricey. Otherwise just spend some time admiring the designs of the different stamps. You probably didn't know they existed.

Next, head in to the exhibits gallery. Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR) are allowed to enter for free. Flash your I/C or student card at the counter before you enter. Foreign citizens will have to pay an entrance fee of S$6 for adults. However, entrance is free for all during festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya or Deepavali.

You will see the Permanent Exhibits Gallery (PEG) as well as one that changes according to theme. You will learn about the history as of how stamps came about, the first stamps, how stamps evolved over the years and so on. See if you are able to spot the few rare stamps with Swarovski crystals embedded on them. The variety of stamps available will probably leave you in awe. However, the Singapore Philatelic Museum will not be as big as the other museums, expect to only spend a maximum of about an hour or slightly more there. It would be a perfect place for stamp collectors otherwise; you might just want to give this place a miss as it is not much but just stamps and more stamps.

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Just for fun

This is one of my favourite museums in Singapore. I went there twice during my Junior College days hence my free entries but would consider it pricey if you would have to pay for such a small two levels museum.

It's pretty engaging with the varying themes in different rooms and props that you can take photos with but apart from the self indulgent of narcissism, there's not as much history about those stamps if that is what you're looking for.

I would think it's an ideal place for younger kids, nonetheless, keeping them entertained with the colours and photo taking opportunities all around.

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Philately Will get you Nowhere

The Philatelic Museum is in Coleman Street Philately. I am told that Will Get you Nowhere.
Forgive the pun. It should be stamped out! Set on the old Missionary/ Methodist/ Malayan/Publishing House building in Coleman Street, the Philatelic Museum contains what it says: a museum of stamps. They try their best with different exhibitions. Star Wars was the last one I saw. Sorry, unless you have stamps in your blood it is hardly an exciting place. And I am a stamp collector!

Sure, you can see some old post boxes and they try their best with thematic presentations which change regularly, but as Philatelic Museums go, frankly, it is it below par. Compared with similar museums in Taiwan and Tokyo, this one is not exceptional.

I grant you, there is some educational value to be had and schools do arrange visits to the place and, I imagine, the children learn a little. Nonetheless, there is very little on display which raises the blood pressure needle above the bland.

The small shop in the foyer is a disappointment, though you can buy most Singapore issues. As for the second hand stamps and cards on sale, there is almost nothing there to excite. But have you been to a stamp collectors market? Wheel chairs and walking sticks are the order of the day! Maybe excitement is dangerous to the health of the elderly.

It does try hard with regularly changing exhibits and in its attempts to educate through stamps, and I suppose that is something. But unless you are an avid collector, give it a miss.

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Merely a rest stop for seasoned museum hoppers

For such a tiny museum, the entry fees are steep. Perhaps that’s why this museum in particular is perpetually swamped with young families when there is no entrance fee. This museum seems very upbeat and fun—much brighter, cheerier and less mentally draining than most others. You could easily cover the entire museum in one afternoon if you’re not one to read every single exhibit like a textbook. There’s intriguing, but largely inconsequential trivia about everything related to stamps and snail mail. To seasoned museum hoppers, the philatelic museum will probably represent a rest stop for their tired brain cells. For young kids, this is one of the exceedingly few museums that isn’t utterly boring.

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Fascinating trivia - for the interested

Take my review with a pinch of salt: I visited the Philatelic Museum when entrance was free; I think it was a public holiday and all the museums were free then. Looking at the price now, I'm not sure if I would ever have gone in.

The main reason I went to the Philatelic Museum - out of all of the museums - was to see the comic book stamp exhibition. But since I was there, I toured the permanent exhibits too. It gave me a fascinating insight into the snail mail business. I understood things I took for granted, like what the ink chop on the stamp means, where it is supposed to be 'chop-ped', and the evolution of Singapore's postal history. I am an amateur stamp collector, but I never asked myself about these details before. If you are interested in such (some might say mundane) trivia, then the Philatelic Museum is for you.

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