Are you a traveler? Maybe an explorer or a researcher? Or a guide? Then you have come to the right place. Singapore Art Museums are gold mines for tourists who are interested in history, culture, science and fine arts.
So, if you are wondering what to do in Singapore as you reach the final days of your trip, then don’t worry. We have you covered. We have prepared a list of some of the most impressive art museums around the city. So, go on, delve in!
Singapore Art Museum
As the name suggests, this one focuses on international contemporary art practises specialising in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The building reflects the 19th century colonial British architecture. Although initially it housed a Catholic school when it was built, in 1996, it was re-purposed as a museum. Artists from around the world participate in exhibitions that take place here.
It is conveniently located near Bras Basah MRT station. In order to attract more visitors, it also houses other sources of entertainment for kids and families.
National Museum of Singapore
With its history dating back to 1849, this is one of the oldest and largest museums in Singapore. It was known as Raffles Library and Museum. The museum primarily focuses on Singapore’s history. One can see an extensive collection of items from art sculptures to fashion and photography. Moreover, these reflect the development of Singapore from the start till the present time.
Items related to Singapore’s history are shown in various sections of this museum. This is done with the help of short informational videos. As a result, visitors can get detailed information about Singapore’s history in a fun manner.
Bars Basah and Doby Ghaut are the nearest MRT stations. The museum remains open between 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and entry costs between SGD $5 and SGD $10.
National Gallery Singapore: South-East Asian Art Museum
National Gallery Singapore is the de-facto visual arts institution that oversees the largest collection of modern public art in Singapore. Former Supreme Court and City Hall, it was restored and transformed in the early 2000s.
Showcasing an impressive range of visual arts, it has achieved an international following due to its collections. Therefore, it has become a global hub of tourists who want to experience a slice of Southeast Asian visual arts. No wonder, it has won numerous awards from the prestigious Singapore Tourism Awards for its role in adding to the vibrancy of the country’s tourism landscape.
- Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism
- Best Attraction Experience
- Best Customer Service (Attractions)
Singapore ArtScience Museum
Built in the shape of a lotus, and designed by Moshe Safdie, the ArtScience Museum attracts hundreds of visitors. Additionally, it is located near Marina Bay Sands, the popular resort.
The ArtScience Gallery, its primary exhibition, consists of three galleries – Curiosity, Inspiration, Expression. It features curated works and touring exhibitions of other museums and artists. As a result, this is one of the must-see museums in Singapore.
If you part of a niche group of tourists who wants to know more about the Peranakan culture, then earmark this one. It focuses on their culture and heritage, with specialisations on former Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca, and other Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia. It is housed in the Old Tao Nan School building at Armenian Street, which once served as a school for preserving Chinese culture and heritage.
The museum showcases 10 permanent galleries themed around Peranakan community and life. There are many facts which are not that famous in public. So, it will be naturally interesting for someone with a special regard. You can learn a lot about Peranakan community while visiting this museum.
It display origins, an introduction to Peranakan culture, their twelve-day wedding ceremony, arts and crafts on Nonyas, their religious beliefs, politics and commerce, and, of course, fasting with feasting. As a conclusion, you will get to see an introspection of contemporary Peranakans and how they feel about their heritage and their future in this new world.
The Peranakan Museum can be reached via MRT with closest stops being City Hall and Bras Basah. A short walk from either of the stations will get you there. Adults are charged 6 dollars as entry fees. Entry fee is reduced to half on Friday nights, so you can plan better. Special discounts may be obtained on purchase of tickets for the whole family. So, what are you waiting for?
Asian Civilisations Museum
This is one of Singapore’s four national museums. With emphasis on South East Asian cultures and civilisations, it depicts bronzes and sandstone sculptures from Chola dynasty and Buddhist artefacts from India. Further, it also focuses on China’s and West Asia’s material histories. Notably, Singapore’s diverse ethnic groups trace their ancestry from them.
Moreover, the Asian Civilisations Museum also displays the noble art of South-East Asia, which includes Khmer sculptures and Javanese temple sculpture. It is conveniently located near Raffles Place MRT.
The Changi Museum
Everyone has heard of the Changi Museum. Haven’t you?
It is a national treasure, and is dedicated to Singapore’s history during the Second World War. As a result, it inspires future generations to come and deepen their appreciation of the heroic deeds and inspirational stories that outspread in Changi during the war. It has a collection of paintings, photographs, and personal effects donated by former POWs. Also in the museum is a collection of watercolour paintings by Mary Angela Bateman. She was among the thousands of women and children held at Changi Prison for more than three years during the war.
Since it’s about one of the most significant time periods of human history, tourists are generally very interested in visiting the museum. So much that they often spend hours roaming around and diving into the history. Thankfully, admission to the museum is free, and the nearest MRT is Tana Merah and Tampines.
Singapore Philatelic Museum
If you are done with World War II, then it’s time to get lighter and take interest in stamps. The Singapore Philatelic Museum shows the postal history of the country, with an extensive collection of stamps that were in circulation since the earliest of times. Enough material to induce a sense of vanity in you, this museum also holds different events related to art, science, technology, culture, and education.
It can easily be reached via MRT and the nearest stops are City Hall, Bras Basah, Clarke Quay. Who knows, visiting this museum may drive you to resume that old hobby…
Mint Museum of Toys
The best museum for families with kids, the Mint Museum of Toys is a rarity in itself. It is dedicated to the different types of toys that were popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. It has a gigantic collection of over 50,000 toys collected from 40 different countries including vintage toys and memorabilia.
Kids love this museum and adults are known to take a walk down the childhood memory lane when they visit it. Located near MRT station of Bugis, the entry is free for kids under the age of 2 years. A guided tour is also available for families.
Although these 9 were handpicked, there are many more museums which are as good. So, if you are done visiting them, then it would be a good idea to check the following out too:
- BTRTM | Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
- Singapore Sports Museum | Singapore Sports Hub
- Maritime Experiential Museum – Resorts World Sentosa
- Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
- Red Dot Design Museum
- Singapore Coins and Notes Museum
- Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris Museum
Whether you like art science, sculptures, or toys. If you are into sports, history, or culture. Then, Singapore has captured it all in its wide range of museums. People can visit these exhibitions and gain a wealth of knowledge. Understanding about the past of a country is an interesting exercise, and we hope you will enjoy it.
So, tell us, which of the museums have you visited or planning to visit? Which one is you favorite? The Changi or the Mint?