Categories: Attractions

20 Museums In Singapore To Explore For A Dose Of Art, Culture, & History

Best museums in Singapore

Image adapted from (clockwise from top-left): @taime_coco, @catkellycat, @thecurator3, @tonywu98

Singapore is home to a large range of museums, meaning that wherever your interests lie – be it art, music, history or culture – there’ll be something for you. And because there are so many to choose from, here are the top 20 museums 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 could map out a museum-hopping trail.

1. Mint Museum of Toys

Image credit: @taime_coco

Mint Museum of Toys will let you take a trip down memory lane with mid-19th-century vintage toys from 40 countries. Their 8000-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.

Image credit: @zxlzxl027

Admission fee: $15 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and children between ages 2-12
Address: 26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382
Opening hours: Daily, 9.30AM-6.30PM

2. Singapore Art Museum

 [2019 Update: The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) buildings on Bras Basah Road and Queen Street are currently closed for redevelopment and upgrading works. In the meantime, do look out for their roving pop-up events like their SAM Mini Mobile Museum and their upcoming Singapore Biennale 2019]

Image credit: @pennyyrain

Singapore Art Museum curates local as well as international Asian contemporary art from China, India, Korea, and Japan. When you’re done exploring the museum, head opposite to SAM at 8Q to check out their Moving Image Gallery or attend one of their movie screenings. An added perk is their kid-friendly activities like art quizzes, which make for a great family excursion idea.

Image credit: @jennywmlam

Click here for more information on the museum programming at partner venues and spaces.

Admission fee: Adults: $10, Concession: $5, Seniors: $5
Address: #02-02, Stamford Court, 61 Stamford Road, Singapore 178892
Opening hours: Sat – Thurs: 10am-7pm | Friday: 10am-9pm

3. Singapore Philatelic Museum

Image credit: @catkellycat

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.

Image adapted from: @katcrane

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.

Admission fee: Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-7PM

4. Vintage Camera Museum

The Vintage Camera Museum is filled with over 1000 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.

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.

Read our article on the Vintage Camera Museum here. If you’re keen on buying old-school film cameras, check out our article here.

Admission fee: $20 for adults, $15 for senior citizens and children below 12
Address: 8C & 8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (including Public Holidays): 10.30AM-9.30PM

5. Peranakan Museum

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.

Admission fee: Free general admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
Opening hours: Sat-Thu: 10AM-7PM | Fri: 10AM-9PM

6. ArtScience Museum

If you’re someone who enjoys futuristic designs then you’ll love the ArtSciene Museum. They host many international exhibitions that fuse art and science together including film exhibitions of many Blockbuster movies. The Harry Potter one, in particular, had 6 galleries mimicking the Gryffindor Common Room, the Forbidden forest and other settings as well as displaying the costumes and props used on set.

Another programme is their Future World: Where Arts meets Science exhibition that treats you to an interactive journey of kaleidoscopic digital art – a magical sight indeed.

Admission fee:  Click here for admission details
Address: 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
Opening hours:  Daily, 10AM-7PM

7. Singapore Musical Box Museum

Image credit: @livelaugh1ov3

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.

Image adapted from: @guweimusic

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.

Admission fee:  Click here for admission details
Address:  168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619
Opening hours: Tue (closed) | Wed-Mon: 10AM-6PM

8. National Gallery Singapore

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.

Image adapted from: @marina_in_singapore

Admission fee:  Free general admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: Sat-Thu: 10AM-7PM | Fri: 10AM-9PM

9. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Image credit: @shuyilee

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum showcases over 2000 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.

Image credit: @tonywu98

Admission fee: Click here for admission details
Address: National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377
Opening hours: Mon: closed (except public holiday) | Tue-Sun and public holidays: 10AM-7PM

10. Red Dot Design Museum

Image credit: @heidirgardner

The Red Dot Design Museum has over 200 design works on display, inclusive of the latest ones by award winners. Their Human – Nature exhibition also explores how humans can excel beyond our natural ability when supported by technology and algorithms.

Image adapted from: @jennywmlam

Admission fee: Pay as you wish for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940
Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 10AM-8PM | Fri-Sun: 10AM-11PM

11. The Intan

Image credit: @businesstravellerin

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. Click here to book.

Address: 69 Joo Chiat Terrace, Singapore 427231
Opening hours: Daily, 7AM-10PM

12. Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum

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.

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.

Admission fee: Free admission
Address: 400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234
Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 8.30AM-5PM (Closed on Mondays and PHs)

13. National Museum of Singapore

Image credit: @daily.h2

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.

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.

Admission fee: Free general admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 93, Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
Opening hours:  Daily, 10AM-7PM

14. Singapore Sports Museum

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.

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.

Admission fee: Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs
Address: 6 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397698
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10AM-8PM | Sat-Sun and Public holidays: 10AM-9PM

15. The Maritime Experiential Museum

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.

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.

Admission fee: From $14 for adults. Click here for admission details
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10AM-7PM | Sat-Sun: 9.30AM-7PM

16. The Parkview Museum

Image credit: @lyamanbaloi

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.

Image credit: @andrei.smkh

On top of that, they also have complimentary guided tours on Wednesdays as well as art-based workshops.

Admission fee: Free admission
Address: Parkview Square, Level 3, 600 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188778
Opening hours:  Mon-Sat: 12PM-7PM | Sun (closed)

17. Asian Civilisations Museum

Image credit: @scatterbrained_creature

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.

Image credit: @museummagnifier

Admission fee: Free admission for Singaporeans and PRs (Permanent galleries only)
Address: 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Opening hours: Sat-Thu: 10AM-7PM | Fri: 10AM-9PM

18. Singapore City Gallery

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.

Image credit: @kakakwang

Admission fee: Free admission
Address: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 9AM-5PM | Sun and Public holidays (closed)

19. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery

Image adapted from: @rini_vvirr

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.

Image credit: @joenathanael

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.

Visits are only available through booking. Click here to book.

Address: 62 Hill Street, Singapore 179367
Opening hours: Mon (closed) | Tue-Sun: 10AM-5PM

20. Trick Eye Museum

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.

Read our article on the Trick Eye Museum here.

Admission fee: Adults: $25, Child (4-12 years): $20, Seniors: $20
Address: #01-43/44, Resorts World Sentosa, 26 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098138
Opening hours: Daily, 10AM-9PM

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. Instead of cafe-hopping, try museum-hopping instead!

For more cultural things to do in Singapore:

Giordan Neoh

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