Singapore is a city rich in history that dates back thousands of years, and the city-state showcases its remarkable background at the National Museum of Singapore, located conveniently in the Downtown Core. Singapore’s history is what helped shape its current modern empire, and guests interested in learning more can find all the information they need in the breathtaking exhibits of the National Museum of Singapore!
About the National Museum of Singapore
Housed in a stately building close to the Downtown Core, the National Museum of Singapore is located at 93 Stamford Road and is open to the public from 10am-7pm daily. For visitors who are interested in budget-friendly attractions, the National Museum of Singapore offers free admission to citizens of Singapore as well as 50% off admission rates to foreign students and foreign travelers over 60 years of age.
The National Museum of Singapore was constructed in 1849, first serving as a library and museum, before transitioning to a full-service museum later in 1887. Upon entering, guests are greeted in a grand rotunda-style lobby that branches out to the main exhibits on four floors, including the underground basement. The National Museum of Singapore is adorned in Renaissance architecture with ceilings that cascade up into the sky. As guests venture through the building, they will get to walk through glass-top passageways that bring the sunny outdoors, in.
Within the gallery, guests will find permanent exhibits as well as temporary traveling displays. There is an outdoor balcony as well as a theater for special events. Guests can dine at the on-site restaurants, rent a locker for personal item storage, and relax in the peaceful serenity of the yard and gardens. Visitors can explore the museum on their own or sign up for a guided tour.
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Exhibits Inside the National Museum of Singapore
When visiting the National Museum of Singapore be sure to reserve at least three hours in order to take in the whole experience and see all of the exhibits. Each room provides a glimpse into the culture and advancements that led up to modern-day times. The museum offers several permanent exhibits that can be wandered through, each having a unique story to tell.
Magic and Menace
Paying tribute to the supernatural beliefs that are coveted in the Southeast Asian culture, the Magic and Menace exhibit is for those who wish to step away from logic, even if only for a little while. This exhibit is located on the second floor of the museum and is open from 10am to 7pm daily. Guests will learn about how nature was regarded for its magic and healing powers.
An extraordinary look into the early 19th century and how British colonization helped form what the metropolis of Singapore is today, Modern Colony showcases exhibits from the early 1900s to the 1930s. Modern Colony is located on the second level of the museum and visitors will get to look at clothing fashions of the era as well as learn about advancement opportunities for women.
Singapore, Very Old Tree
An artistic history exhibit where visitors can learn about iconic trees of the city-state. This exhibit is located in the glass rotunda and features trees that have a story to tell about how nature helped shape the look of Singapore. There are a total of 17 tree photographs to admire in this interesting gallery.
Surviving Syonan is a powerful exhibit that illustrates the resilience and strength of the citizens of Singapore during the Japanese occupation from 1942-1945. Guests get the opportunity to check out photographs and artifacts while listening to recorded narrations of the events that unfolded during the occupation. The Surviving Syonan exhibit is located on the second level of the museum.
Voices of Singapore
A throw-back to the 1970s and 1980s, Voices of Singapore highlights music, theater, and self-expression artistry that shaped the culture during this era. Guests can listen to music that was popular in Singapore as well learn about artists of the region. This exhibit is packed with records, posters, cameras, and other interesting artifacts.
Seasonal Exhibits at National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore offers an impressive lineup on fascinating exhibits all year long. Not only are there several permanent exhibits to stroll through, but there are a few guest favorites that are open during select seasons of the year.
Packaging Matters is a lighthearted exhibit where guests can wander through the displays, look at vintage food packages, and learn about the mass production of some of Singapore’s favorite snacks of the 1960s and ’70s. Visitors will learn how factories operated and how package branding helped move product. Packaging Matters is open from April to September.
Singapore Youth Festival Art Exhibition
Be inspired by some of the youngest artists of Singapore while admiring the art pieces showcased at the Singapore Youth Festival Art Exhibition. This gallery is located on the first level of the museum. Singapore Youth Festival Art Exhibition is held during the month of July and the museum offers workshops led by the artists on the weekends.
Located in the glass atrium, Reunion is a moving experience where guests will learn about the Labour Movement of Singapore during the 1960s. This exhibit is open from July until November. Learn about employer and employee relations during the movement and hear from some of its most powerful leaders through recorded speeches and narratives.
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Dining and Shopping at National Museum of Singapore
At National Museum of Singapore visitors can spend the day learning through enriching exhibits as well as relaxing with friends and family. Be sure not leave the museum without dining at an extraordinary cafe or restaurant and doing some shopping.
Food for Thought
Located on the level one concourse, Food for Thought is a clever restaurant where guests can dine on extraordinary American-style dishes while engaging in meaningful conversations with friends, family, and complete strangers! Food for Thought is open from 10am to 7pm and offers a menu that is friendly for all budgets. Enjoy homestyle breakfast scrambles, creamy carbonara, ribeye steak, or even a classic beef burger with french fries.
Janice Wong Singapore
For a fresh cup of gourmet coffee or handcrafted tea, stop by Janice Wong Singapore, located on the first floor of the museum. Janice Wong Singapore is open from 11am to 6pm Tuesday-Sunday and has a fun and colorful atmosphere. Visitors are welcome to indulge in artistic sweet treats as well as sip on a hot or cold beverage that is created with a passion for fine details.
A fine dining restaurant located in the airy atmosphere of the rotunda, Flutes is for those who want to enjoy gourmet food and luxury wines. The restaurant features an open and clean ambiance, complete with pressed white linens and modern Asian decor. At Flutes, guests can reserve a seat for brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner. The menu includes succulent seafood, fresh vegetables, and other succulent cuts of meat. Each dish is served up to look like art on a plate and pairs well with the extensive wines this restaurant offers.
Take home a souvenir from the Museum Label gift store to commemorate a special trip to the museum. Museum Label is open daily and houses an assortment of books, jewelry, and trinkets that inspire the imagination and have cultural significance to the region. Museum Label is open from 10am to 7pm daily and can be found on the first level concourse.
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Getting to National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is located in downtown and is easy to get to from any neighborhood. The museum offers free parking for driving guests, and public transportation is an option for getting to the museum.
For those who want to catch the subway, head over to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. Guests also can take a bus to the YMCA or SMU bus stops. Both stops are just outside the museum entrance.