Although Singapore is one of Asia’s most popular city destinations, and a favorite stopover for passengers enroute to and from Australia, boasting plenty of different attractions, not that many people know about the city’s different museums, and while you will not find here the likes of Rembrandt and Michelangelo, the museums of Singapore do offer a unique experience to their visitors, which cannot be found elsewhere on earth.
This article will take you to five of Singapore’s must-visit museums.
Occupying the impressive Neo-Palladian building of Empress Place, right next to the Singapore River, The Asian Civilisations Museum is certainly one of the best attractions in Singapore. As its name suggests, this fantastic museum displays the cultures of Asia’s tribes and nations, with emphasis on those groups that created Singapore.
Exhibits are rich and fascinating and include ethnic costumes, traditional jewelries, ancient books, sculptures, religious artifacts, archaeological findings and relics, and what not…
There are free English guided tours of the museum every day, which are really recommended, as they enhance the experience.
Not far from here, on Armenian Street, you can visit the truly unique Peranakan Museum.
The Peranakan is a relatively new ethnic group which started to develop circa 1800, when Chinese migrants married local Malay women and adopted some local traditions, in order to assimilate into society.
There are plenty of beautiful exhibits here, including costumes, traditional handcrafts, replica of Peranakan homes and so on, and although it is not a particularly large museum, it is well worth visiting, especially if ethnic cultures and traditions are your thing.
Still in the same vicinity, the National Museum of Singapore is the city-state’s oldest and largest museum, and its main feature, the “Singapore History Gallery”, can easily be titled as one of the best attractions in Singapore: The gallery can be described as a time tunnel where the visitor walks through dozens of beautifully designed life-size displays that replicate scenes from the city’s past… Highly recommended!
Another five minutes’ walk will bring you to Bras Basah Road and the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), which occupies the beautiful colonial building of Saint Joseph’s Institution, where one of Singapore’s first Catholic boys’ schools once operated, and specializes in contemporary art from Singapore and its neighboring countries, boasting the world’s largest collection of contemporary art from Southeast Asia.
Last but not least is Mint Museum of Toys, on tiny Seah Street, right behind the famous Raffles Hotel and just a short walk from the Art Museum, as well as from the National Museum of Singapore.
This is the world’s first toys museum and one of the nicest family attractions in Singapore. It is not overwhelmingly big (Which is good news for those of you who museums are not their cup of tea), but is nonetheless packed with tens of thousands of nostalgic toys, including “prehistoric” versions of Popeye, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Beatles buttons and what not…