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Fort Canning Park: Historical Landmark From WWII With IG-Worthy Spots

Fort Canning Park, Singapore

Fort Canning Park is one of the most iconic parks in Singapore. Despite it not being as huge when compared to Singapore Botanic Gardens or Macritchie Reservoir, its prime location in the city centre plus the ancient artefacts scattered around makes it a significant landmark. 

With chill walking trails and historical sites that make for IG-worthy backdrops, here’s what you can do at Fort Canning Park for when you want to gai gai with your friends and family.

IG-worthy spots that give Bali vibes

fort canning park - Sang Nila Utama Garden
A candi bentar split gate is a common sight in Bali, but there’s also one at Fort Canning Park.

Who needs to go to Bali when you can take similar pics for your Insta feed in Singapore? The Sang Nila Utama Garden at Fort Canning Park is named after the founding prince of Singapura, and was designed to replicate a 14th-century Javanese garden.

The red bricks and intricate volcanic rock murals really make it feel like we time-travelled back to royal times. From a replica of the Wringin Lawang split gate from the Majapahit Empire to a recreation of a Balinese freshwater bathing spring, there are plenty of picturesque backdrops to give your friends some wanderlusting envy.

fort canning park - spiral staircase 2
One of the most popular photography spots in Fort Canning.

You can also head to the spiral staircase for a more dramatic OOTD. Shooting from a lower angle will make your photo look more interesting with the contrast between the tree line and the rock stairs. Just make sure to exercise caution when taking a photo!

Visit historical sites that played a role in World War II

fort canning park - battlebox
Image credit:
Battlebox via Facebook

Your history teacher would have probably drilled into your memory the significance of Fort Canning Park in our colonial history: it was where Lieutenant-General Arthur Pervical surrendered to the Japanese forces on 15th February 1942.

The room where this piece of history occurred is the Battlebox. It’s now a museum but is currently undergoing renovation. It’ll reopen to the public in October 2023, where you’ll be able to take a look at the drama and tension behind the British’s decision to surrender.

Tickets will be free, although interactive elements like the VR experiences and guided tours will come at an additional cost.

fort canning park - gothic gates
The gothic gates at Fort Canning Park.

Other still-standing historical sites that you can visit include the old gothic gates and nine-pound cannon that were supposed to defend Singapore’s shores.

Walking trails with “ancient” ruins

Before Sir Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore and built his home on the hilltop of the park, it was the OG Sang Nila Utama who ruled from his grand palace here. Although his estate was abandoned centuries ago leaving only ruins, you can go on a leisurely stroll around to see the cool artefacts that were found in archaeological digs.

fort canning park - walking map
Image adapted from:

From an old tomb that supposedly contains the remains of the last ruler of pre-colonial Singapore to gold ornaments that date back to the 14th century, this walking trail is a must-do for history buffs. Who knew that our little red dot had treasures buried in the grounds? But please do not go to Fort Canning Park with a shovel and a metal detector – not our dai ji if you kena caught.

Things to do at Fort Canning Park

fort canning park - spiral staircase

The lush gardens at Fort Canning Park are a nice respite from the buzz of nearby Clarke Quay. But it’s not your typical garden with just trees everywhere and a beautiful pavilion. There are plenty of Instagrammable spots around for when you’re really feeling your OOTD, and all the historical landmarks and artefacts from yesteryear gives the park a lot of character.

Book a Fort Canning walking tour.

Getting there: Take the Downtown Line to Fort Canning Station, come out through Exit B and turn left to Jubilee Park.
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Lighting hours: 7pm-7am

Fort Canning Park
Admission Fee
Free entry
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Fort Canning Park, Singapore
Opening Hours:
Monday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
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Originally published on 25th February 2021. Last updated by Raewyn Koh on 18th August 2023.
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