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Best museums in Singapore

There’s a large range of museums in Singapore, meaning that wherever your interests lie – be it art, music, history or culture – there’ll be something for you. Some are even hidden in the unlikeliest of places, from industrial buildings to heritage shophouses. 

Here are the ones you should visit, some with no entry charges at all for Singaporeans and PRs. Many of these are even located near each other – so you can map out a museum-hopping trail on your next day out. 

1. Mint Museum of Toys – Unique vintage toys

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Mint Museum of Toys will let you take a trip down memory lane with mid-19th-century vintage toys from 40 countries. Their 8,000-strong collection of wind-up tin toys, dolls, miniature cars, and more spans over 4 thematic levels, namely Outer Space, Characters, Childhood Favourites and Collectables.

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Book a visit at MINT Museum of Toys Singapore.

Admission fee: $25 for adults | $15 for senior citizens and children between ages 7-12
Address: 26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382
Opening hours: 9.30am-6.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6339 0660 | Mint Museum of Toys website 

2. Singapore Art Museum – Industrial gallery with in-house book cafe

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Singapore Art Museum (SAM) is known for curating local as well as international Asian contemporary art from China, India, Korea, and Japan. SAM’s OG buildings on Bras Basah Road and Queen Street are currently closed for redevelopment and upgrading works, but it recently swung the doors to its new space at Tanjong Pagar Distripark open to the public.

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Art exhibits here happen on a rotational basis, and there’s also a new outdoor installation called Wayang Spaceship. It’s by Singaporean artist Ming Wong and takes the form of a traditional Chinese Opera Stage. 

Price: Free for Singapore Residents and PRs | $5/student and senior and $10/adult for standard tickets
Address: 39 Keppel Road, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065
Opening hours: 10AM-7PM, Daily
Contact: 6697 9730 | Singapore Art Museum website

3. Vintage Camera Museum – James Bond-style cameras 

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The Vintage Camera Museum is filled with over 1,000 old-school cameras dating back to the 1800s. Their James Bond-style spy cameras disguised as cigarette lighters and machine gun shaped ones used by Japanese troops to “shoot” targets for practice are just some of the many special types on display.

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They also feature vintage photographs, photography tips and an authentic replica of the first ever picture taken on a camera. After you’ve been inspired by the beautiful photos, try your hand at perspective photography at their Click Art section.

Price: $20 for adults | $15 for senior citizens and children below 12
Address: 8C & 8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263
Opening hours: 10.30am-9.30pm, Daily
Contact: 6291 2278 | Vintage Camera Museum website

4. ArtScience Museum – Futuristic architecture at MBS  

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If you’re someone who enjoys futuristic designs then you’ll love the ArtScience Museum. They host many international exhibitions that fuse art and science together including film exhibitions of many Blockbuster movies such as Attack on Titan: The Exhibition

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Otherwise, check out its permanent exhibition Future World: Where Art Meets Science and be treated to an interactive journey of kaleidoscopic digital art – a magical sight indeed.

Book a ticket to ArtScience Museum – Future World exhibition.

Price: From $14
Address: 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
Opening hours: 10am-7pm, Daily
Contact: 6688 8888 | Marina Bay Sands website 

5. Singapore Musical Box Museum – Whimsical antique collectables

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If you’re big on music and old trinkets, the Singapore Musical Box Museum has just the collection for you. With over 40 antiques exhibited here, you’ll get a glimpse of the progression of craftsmanship for these whimsical collectables which are centuries old and mainly from Switzerland, Germany, and the US.

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Fun fact: Singapore played a pivotal role in the progress and development of musical boxes in South-East Asia in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Book a trip to Singapore Musical Box Museum.

Price: $12
Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068619
Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm, daily
Contact: 9864 6021 | Singapore Musical Box Museum website

6. National Gallery Singapore – Former Supreme Court & City Hall

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Blood of War by Vietnamese artist Le Huy Tiep.
Image credit: @vylsty01

National Gallery Singapore doesn’t just boast grand architecture, but also a myriad of Southeast Asian art dating back to the 19th century. In fact, it contains the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia including several kid-friendly exhibits and installations, making it a great place for an enriching family outing.

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Image credit: @halleaf

Book a trip to National Gallery Singapore.

Price: Free general admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: 10am-7pm, Daily
Contact: 6271 7000 | National Gallery Singapore website

7. Red Dot Design Museum – Modern architecture for design buffs 

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This contemporary building along the waterfront promenade at Marina Bay is among the top 8 design museums in the world. You’ll find over 2,000 exhibits inclusive of new ones from past Red Dot Design Award winners.

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Book a trip to Red Dot Design Museum.

Price: $10
Address: 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-8pm | Sat-Sun 10am-8pm
Contact: 6514 0111 | Red Dot Design Museum website 

8. The Intan – Traditional Peranakan shophouse 

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The Intan is a private museum that lets you experience the Peranakan culture, with their entire museum gallery set up like that of a traditional Peranakan home. With colourful metal tiffin lunch boxes lining the stair to the elaborately designed furniture, it’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of the local TV show, The Little Nyonya.

Visits are only available through booking – book a visit to The Intan

You can also view other offers for The Intan.

Address: 69 Joo Chiat Terrace, Singapore 427231
Opening hours: 7am-10pm, Daily
Contact: 6440 1148 | The Intan website 

9. Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum – Top Gun vibes 

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Indoor gallery.
Image adapted from: Republic of Singapore Air Force

Aspiring pilots or plane enthusiasts, the Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum has just the thing for you. Here, you’ll learn about RSAF’s history and missions through interactive displays and role-playing games in their indoor gallery.

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Outdoor gallery.
Image adapted from: Republic of Singapore Air Force

When you head out to the outdoor gallery, you’ll be met with actual fighter jets and missiles like the A4-C Skyhawk, the SF 260 Marchetti, and the Hunter Hawker, a definite notch up from toy planes.

Price: Free
Address: 400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234
Opening hours: Tue-Sat 9am-4pm (Closed on Sundays, Mondays & Public Holidays)
Contact: 6461 8507 | Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum 

10. National Museum of Singapore – Relic from 1849 

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As Singapore’s oldest museum, the National Museum of Singapore is a relic from 1849. Yet their exhibits like the Story of the Forest – a digital presentation that transports you to 19th century Malaya – incorporates technology and animation to give you an engaging glimpse of the past.

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Story of the Forest – a partnership display with Teamlab reminiscing the 19th century foliage of the Malay Peninsula.
Image credit: @natmuseum_sg

You’ll also learn about our little red dot’s developments from the 14th century to the present day as well as the progress we have made in terms of food, fashion, film, photography.

Book a trip to the National Museum of Singapore.

Price: Free general admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 93, Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Opening hours: 10am-7pm, Daily
Contact: 6332 3659 | National Museum of Singapore website 

11. Singapore Sports Museum – Sports exhibit for the whole fam 

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Sports medals won by Singapore.
Image credit: @3nle_regular

The Singapore Sports Museum lets you find out more about other sporting greats from the colonial times to those of present day. Within the museum, there is also the Traditional & Indigenous Sports Gallery where you can learn how to play old-school local games like Chinese hopscotch, chapteh, and five stones.

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Bike wheels.
Image credit: @astrokimmmmm

Besides being transported back to the kampung days, there are also child-friendly activities like sport-themed art and craft sessions, making this a place that the entire family can enjoy.

Price: Free admission for Singaporeans & PRs
Address: 6 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397698
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm | Sat 10am-9pm
Contact: 6653 8900 | Singapore Sports Museum 

12. Asian Civilisations Museum – Art from Asia & Southeast Asia 

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At the Asian Civilisation Museum, you’ll be able to discover the ancestral heritage of Singaporeans and understand the historical relations between Asia and the rest of the world. With over 1300 artefacts from civilisations all over Asia, the 11 galleries will touch on trade, faith and belief as well as different textiles of the past.

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Book at trip to the Asian Civilisation Museum or Asian Civilisations Museum: Explore Singapore’s Ancestry exhibition.

Price: Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs (Permanent galleries only)
Address: 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Opening hours: Sat-Thu 10am-7pm | Fri 10am-9pm
Contact: 6332 7798 |  Asian Civilisations Museum website 

13. Singapore City Gallery – Urban development geeks galore

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3D model of Singapore’s cityscape.

Image credit: @aaf_nida

Singapore boasts an organised city layout making many people wonder just how our city planners do it. At the Singapore City Gallery, you’ll find out just what goes into our nation’s urban development and rapid physical transformation. Their galleries include mini model layouts the Singapore cityscape and you’ve got to admit, the little HDB flats look so cute.

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Price: Free admission
Address: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: 6221 6666 | Singapore City Gallery website

14. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery – Singapore’s oldest fire station 

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Located in the country’s oldest fire station, the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery will let you embark on a learning trail about firefighting and rescue methods in the present day.

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Here, you’ll find antique fire engines and get the opportunity to ascend a hose tower. Visit their interactive stations as well and have a go at being a firefighter on an operation at their interactive stations.

Admission: Free
Address: 62 Hill Street, Singapore 179367
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-4pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 6332 2996 | Civil Defence Heritage Gallery website 

15. Trick Eye Museum – Trippy optical illusion for the kiddos

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The Trick Eye Museum contains trippy three-dimensional paintings and optical illusion pieces, themed after safaris, circuses, and nature landscapes. With so many innovative designs, you’ll never run out of photo opportunities there.

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Book a ticket to Trick Eye Museum Singapore

Price: $25/adult,$20/child (4-12 years), $20/seniors
Address: #01-43/44, Resorts World Sentosa, 26 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098138
Opening hours: 11am-7pm, Daily
Contact: 6592 0607 | Trick Eye Museum Singapore website 

16. The Parkview Museum – Gotham building gallery (Temporarily Closed) 

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Image credit: @parkviewmuseumsg

You won’t see Batman at The Parkview Museum Singapore, located in Singapore’s very own “Gotham building”, but you’ll definitely find a good variety of international and local contemporary art pieces. Their past exhibitions include a large collection of Salvador Dali’s pieces as well as imperial Chinese stone Buddhist carvings.

Price: Free
Address: Parkview Square, Level 3, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-7pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: 6799 6971 | The Parkview Museum website

17. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum – Jurassic World (Temporarily Closed)

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The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum showcases over 2,000 historical plant, mammal, and dinosaur specimens from Southeast Asia. Besides visual displays, certain exhibits also have soundscapes like that of singing birds and chirping frogs. And if you’re a massive fan of Jurassic Park, snap a shot with the huge dinosaur fossils at the Biodiversity Gallery.

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Book a trip to Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Price: $16 for Singaporeans, $20 standard rates
Address: National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (Closed on Mondays & Public Holidays)
Contact: 6601 3333 | Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum website 

18. Singapore Philatelic Museum (Closed) 

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Delve into Singapore’s postal history at the Singapore Philatelic Museum which features rare collections like the 1854 Indian stamps that were used in the Straits Settlements. Visit the Orange Room as well to know more about the world’s first stamp, and send out some postcards while you’re there.

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They also have occasional character themed galleries like The Little Prince in the Dark which give you a tactile experience with their blindfold tours, letting you get a taste of what it feels like to be visually impaired.

19. The Maritime Experiential Museum – Singapore’s Nautical History  (Closed) 

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The Maritime Experiential Museum doesn’t just house interesting information about Singapore’s rich trade history but also has many interactive activities. These vary from reading nautical charts to putting your knot-tying skills to the test or taking a photo in true-to-era outfits at the Learning To Navigate Chamber.

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An instrument used by sailors in the 1800s to determine latitude and longitude.

And if you’re a big fan of the 4D show at Universal Studios Singapore, you’ll love the Typhoon Theatre’s 4D show – a multi-sensory simulation of being on a ship that is navigating through a tumultuous storm.

20. Peranakan Museum (Temporarily Closed) 

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Traditional Peranakan floor tiles, tingkats and utensils
Image credit: @thecurator3

The Peranakan Museum houses a collection of artefacts relating to the Peranakan culture. These include traditional floor tiles, utensils as well as intricately beaded slippers. With interactive and multimedia displays available as well, it’ll be a great opportunity to learn more about this faction of our nation’s heritage.

Top museums to visit in Singapore

Whether it is to broaden your perspectives, deepen your cultural understanding or just to spend your free time, you’ll find a museum in Singapore that suits your interest. And with so many museums to choose from, you’ll have more than 1-2 to visit per month for the entire year. 

The next time you’re cafe-hopping, try adding museum-hopping into your itinerary too. 

For more arts and culture in Singapore: 

Cover image adapted from: Republic of Singapore Air Force
First published on 7th March 2019. Last updated by Dewi Nurjuwita on 26th July 2022.
A portion of this content may contain referral links to products. Our opinions remain our own.

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