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Singapore Museums and Memorials

Admission fees are stated as: Adults / Children & Seniors
Landmarks and Memorials


Kranji War Memorial
North Singapore. Address: 9 Woodlands Road 22km
Located off Woodlands - a community a few kilometres north of the zoo is the Kranji War Memorial - is the final resting place of some 20,000 Allied soldiers who died in Southeast Asia during World War II. The eerie stillness together with it's size and simplicity is a vivid reminder of the scope of the conflict during W.W.II. For the curious, a register containing the names of those who died is available for inspection. Singapore's first two presidents (Yusuf Bin Ishak and Dr. Benjamin Sheares) are also buried in Kranji Cemetery.
Public Transport: Take the SBS bus 170 from Rochor Road

Merlion Park Open daily 6.00 am - midnight. Free.
City Centre. Address: Fullerton Road (near mouth of Singapore River)

Perhaps the most photographed site in Singapore, Merlion Park, is situated just across from Fullerton Square. The Merlion (half lion, half fish) is Singapore's national mascot, adorning everything from chocolates to pewter ware. Bring your camera.
Public Transport: From Raffles Place MRT walk towards the Esplanade. Otherwise, take the TIBS bus 167 or 182 from Orchard Road

Parliament House
City Centre. Address: Next to the Empress Place
Constructed in 1827 Parliament House was formerly a stately two-storey mansion known as 'Court House' that was built for a wealthy Singaporean merchant. Nowadays this beautiful example of Victorian colonial architecture is home to Singapore's Parliament and is Singapore's oldest government building. For those fascinated by bureaucracy it is possible to watch Parliament in action from time to time. Call 3368811 for information.

The bronze elephant out front has a story as well inasmuch as it was given to Singapore by King Chulalongkorn of Siam (Thailand) in 1871 (King Chulalonkom is aka Rama V of the King & I musical fame).
Public Transport: From Raffles Place MRT walk across Cavenagh Bridge.

Raffles Hotel
City Centre. Address: One Beach Road
Though it might seem a bit odd to put a commercial enterprise on a list of museums, Raffles Hotel somehow fits. As Somerset Maugham once wrote, "Raffles (Hotel) stands for all the fables of the exotic East". Indeed, one enduring story has it the last tiger in Singapore was shot and killed under a billiard table in the the hotel bar. Opened in 1887, the Raffles Hotel is perhaps Singapore's most famous landmark. Setting the standard for opulence and luxury (it was the first building in Singapore to have electric lights - and - fans!). Even though many of the world's most influential people have been guests it's real fame has been insured by the literary giants (Noel Coward, Somerset Maugham, and Herman Hesse amongst others) who have stayed there.

After W.W. II the hotel fell on hard times becoming quite dilapidated until 1987 when the government declared it a national monument prompting a SGD160 million renovation. As with any renovation some of the old charm is lost but there's no mistaking that this is a grand hotel and definitely worth a visit - even if it's only for tea and tiffin (a light curry dish) or a Singapore Sling (the Sling was invented at the hotel by a bartender circa 1916).
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT walk through Raffles Plaza.

Statues of Sir Stamford Raffles
City Centre. Address: Empress Place, near Victoria Theatre
Raffles was, by all accounts, an extraordinary man. Self-educated he was ahead of his time in his benevolent attitude towards the local population. As such there are 2 statues in Singapore to commemorate Raffles. The first one, a dark bronze cast which was officially unveiled in 1887 that stands outside the Victoria Theatre. The second statue unveiled in 1972, is cast in pure-white polymarble and is located on the bank of the Singapore River to mark the site where he originally landed.
Public Transport: Raffles Place MRT walk towards Cavenagh Bridge

Supreme Court and City Hall
City Centre. Address: St. Andrew's Road
Although not open to the public, the Supreme Court building itself is interesting and a good photo-op. Dating back to 1939, this classical building with its stout Corinthian columns was once the exclusive Hotel de L'Europe and is one of the last colonial constructions in the city.

Perhaps not as picturesque but historically more important is City Hall where beneath colonnade the huge flight of steps is where the Japanese surrendered at the end of W.W. II.
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT walk towards the Padang along St. Andrew's Road

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Museums


Asian Civilisations Museum Daily 10.00 am - 6.00 pm. SGD3.00/SGD1.50
City Centre. Address: 39 Armenian Street

This small, pleasant museum tucked away on what is almost a side street aims to introduce Westerners to the world of Chinese beliefs, symbolism and Chinese scholarship while at the same time showcasing the best of antique Chinese furniture, ceramics, jade and works of art.
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT walk along Stamford Road

Changi Prison and Museum Mon.- Sat. 9.30 am - 4.30 pm. Free.
East Singapore. Address: Upper Changi Road North

The prison itself is the site of a W.W.II Prisoner of War camp and is still very much in use today. However it is the museum that is of interest to tourists today displaying photographs, sketches, paintings and artifacts that document the Japanese invasion of Singapore and the conditions imposed on the prisoners incarcerated there or forced into slave labor on the infamous Burma railroad. Next to the museum is a replica of a chapel built by Allied POWs during World War II as a tribute to the men who lived and died in captivity.
Public Transport: From Tanah Merah MRT take the SBS Bus 2 to the Changi Chapel and Museum

S'pore Art Museum Tues. - Sat. 9.00 am - 6.00 pm. SGD3.00/SGD1.50
Heritage District. Address: 71 Bras Basah Road

Located in one of Singapore's finest colonial structures complete with a silver dome, the former St. Joseph's Institution, (the country's first Catholic school) the Singapore Art Museum's premises nearly qualify as an exhibit. An eclectic exhibition schedule brings world renowned artists to Singapore together with a focus on modern art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. Guided tours are available - call 332-3222 for details.
Public Transport: From Dhoby Ghaut MRT walk towards Bras Basah Rd.

S'pore History Museum Tues. - Sun. 9.00 am - 6.00 pm. SGD4.00/SGD2.00
Heritage District. Address: 93 Stamford Road

Housed in the impressive National Museum building, itself a national monument, the Singapore History Museum explores the rich heritage of the people of Singapore, from the ethnic and cultural diversity to the birth of the nation through interesting displays and a 3D multimedia show. On Fridays there are 2 special night tours (Tales of the Night) that begin at 7.00pm. and 7.30pm (the tours last about an hour).

Appropriately, the museum has quite a history. First initiated in 1887 as a double entity, The Raffles Library and Museum, by then Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Frederick Weld. During the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II (1942-5), the Raffles Library and Museum managed to stay intact under the charge of Japanese vulcanologist Professor Hidezo Tanadate, who was on friendly terms with General Yamashita, the Commander of the conquering Japanese Army. The Museum separated from the library in 1960 and was renamed the Raffles Museum. After Singapore's independence in 1965, the name National Museum was adopted. In 1993, the National Museum came to be a part of the National Heritage Board (NHB) along with the Singapore Art Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum.
Public Transport: From Dhoby Ghaut MRT walk towards Stamford Road.

Mint Coin Gallery Mon. - Fri. 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. Free.
West Singapore. Address: 20 Teban Gardens Crescent

Unfortunately, and unlike brewery tours in many cities, the Singapore Mint doesn't give out product samples at the end of the tour... That said, the Singapore Mint does produce the country's coins and collectors will be interested in the display of domestic and foreign coins.
Public Transport: From Boon Lay MRT take the SBS bus 154 to Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim. Enter from Teban Garden Crescent.

Philatelic Museum Tues. - Sun 9.00 am - 4.30 pm. SGD3.00/SGD1.50
Heritage District. Address: 23B Coleman Street

The Singapore Philatelic Museum is interesting enough for both stamp and non-stamp collectors. Collectors can while away the hours over a reasonable collection of local and international stamps while those less interested can learn a bit of the island's history through a display of stamps and postcards. There is also a display showing how a stamp is issued from concept and artwork through the printing setup until the final product. Guided tours are available. Call 337-3888 for more information.
Public Transport: From City Hall MRT walk along Coleman Street

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Singapore Hotels - Early fire engine at Civil Defence Museum
Places of Interest

Many people, especially those living in Asia, visit Singapore on business for a couple of days and afterwards spend a few hours shopping before hopping on a plane to somewhere else - then spread the rumour that there's not that much to do.

Well that's simply not the case. In addition to many interesting historical sites Singapore is very proactive in generating events, shows & festivals in all areas of the city. There is always something happening in Singapore.

Furthermore, one of the great things about touring Singapore is the size and ease of access. You don't need to spend 2 hours on a tour bus to get some attraction. Indeed, you don't really need to join an organised tour as Singapore is extremely easy to discover by yourself. For history buffs and museum aficionados there's plenty to see and you can easily do it on your own at your own pace. Singaporeans are very helpful to anyone with a map in hand.

That said, here's a brief guide of some of Singapore's more popular museums and memorials. As well there are a number of free maps for walking tours and good guide books available in any bookstore for those who want more in depth information.

Please remember that whilst all care has been taken in assembling this information, operating hours and admission fees may change without notice. Best to call ahead.

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