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Visiting Singapore: Exploring Singapore Through Its Museums

Updated on September 1, 2013

Many Interesting Museums in Singapore

Despite being a small country, Singapore has many great museums which you can visit in order to learn more about the local history and culture.

1. National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore is the largest museum in Singapore with many permanent exhibitions on Singapore history and popular culture. The permanent exhibitions are divided among the Singapore Living Galleries and Singapore History Gallery. Occasionally, there are temporary exhibitions, such as the Princely Treasures From the House of Liechtenstein which showcased paintings and decorative items like an old clock and treasure box. Note that this temporary exhibition is open till Sep 2013.

Beautiful Antique Treasure Chest on Display

2. Asian Civilisations Museum

The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is dedicated to Asian art and culture but above all that, I love the museum for its architecture. It is located majestically by the Singapore River in a well-preserved 19th Century colonial building. The museum itself is divided into several galleries such as the Singapore River Gallery,Southeast Asia, China, West Asia and South Asian-focused galleries. The museum also makes for a great corporate event venue. Hence, do ensure that no private events are held there, before making your way over to ACM for a visit.

Peranakan Museum

Mural of a happy marriage at the Peranakan Museum
Mural of a happy marriage at the Peranakan Museum

3. Peranakan Museum

At the Peranakan Museum, you will be able to learn more about the Peranakan culture in Southeast Asia. This museum has many beautiful objects on display within its three floors such as the lovely kebaya (traditional costume), wedding gifts, furniture, beadwork and jewellery. You can also pick up a "family treasures" card from the information/ticketing counter and use this as a guide to explore the museum. It will teach you interesting facts such as the reason why wedding beds were decorated with butterflies - to ensure the new couple had many children!

Singapore Philatelic Museum

Stamps - A Window to the World
Stamps - A Window to the World

4. Singapore Philatelic Museum

The Singapore Philatelic Museum is located very near the Peranakan Museum. Here you will find a wide range of Singapore and foreign stamps. As you explore this small but unique museum, you will realise that stamps are more than just stamps. They also allow us to travel through time as stamps are usually issued to commemorate significant events. Of course, you will also find pop culture stamps here too, such as movie-related stamps featuring Star Wars characters. Before leaving this museum, stop by the museum shop and post a mail from the museum's post office itself or get yourself a personalised stamp.

Singapore Night Festival 2013

Dance performance at the Peranakan Museum
Dance performance at the Peranakan Museum

Special Events at the Singapore Museums

On selected public holidays in Singapore, there are open houses at the National Heritage Board museums including Singapore's National Day and Hari Raya. On these Open House days, admission is free to all. On other days, admission is free to all Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents for 11 museums (including the four listed above). Every August, look out for the Night Festival where there will interesting live performances and selected museums opening till the wee hours of the morning with free admission as well.

Singapore Night Festival 2012 Highlights

© 2013 lilian_sg


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    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 4 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Elias, Thanks for reading & commenting =) The museums do definitely allow people to learn more about Singapore's history and culture!

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Nice and informative list of museums in Singapore. I'm pretty sure one has a lot of things to do and many places to see in Singapore but visiting at least some of the museums you mention seems necessary.

    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 4 years ago from Singapore

      I see. Yes, definitely do include museums in your itinerary the next time you visit :)

    • MarketNewbie2 profile image

      MarketNewbie2 4 years ago

      Thanks for these useful information. We skipped the museums on our first visit for lack of time (not to mention tight budget), maybe we should make them our priority next time. :-D