National Gallery Singapore

Weather :

Time Required : 2 - 3 hours

Entry Fee : Singaporean & Permanent Residents: Free
Non-Singaporeans: SGD 20
No entry fee for children below 6 years of age and handicapped people (along with one caregiver)

Timings : Saturday - Thursday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
Friday: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM,
Last entry 30 minutes before closing

National Gallery of Singapore, Singapore Overview

The National Gallery Singapore, located in the Downtown region, is an art museum showcasing the world's largest collection of colonial and post-colonial Asian and Southeast Asian art. Housed in the iconic former Supreme Court Buildings and the City Hall, its 8000-plus collection of modern and contemporary Singapore and Southeast Asian artforms, from 19th-century to the present day, is spread over two major gallery spaces.

With a whopping area of 64,000 square metres, this fascinating culture galore makes the National Gallery Singapore the largest museum and venue for the visual arts in Singapore. It houses six galleries, two of which are permanent, spread across three levels. One can see impressive artworks from major Singaporean artists like Georgette Chen, Liu Kang and Chen Chong Swee as well as famous Southeast Asian artists like Raden Saleh and Latiff Mohidin. Apart from viewing the incredible artwork, one can also engage in conversation with artists and curators, attend informative lectures and view spectacular exhibitions which explore fascinating themes. The National Gallery's Keppel Centre for Art Education delivers innovative and multi-sensory art experiences for the young culture vultures.

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Permanent Galleries at National Gallery Singapore

The extensive collection of the National Gallery Singapore is a wonderful combination of modern and contemporary art, dating back to the 19th century, representing the development of Singapore and Southeast Asian cultures. There are two permanent galleries here:

DBS Singapore Gallery: This gallery showcases the development of the culture and identity of Singapore from colonial times in the 19th century to the present day. Multiple facets of Singaporean art are highlighted in these exhibits, with each piece detailing the circumstances of the artist and how he responds to them. One can also learn about the most significant moments in Singapore's political, socio-economic and cultural history. There are over 400 artworks present here, with the oldest piece being a wood engraving from 1865 of a tiger attack.

UOB Southeast Asia Gallery: The grand history of Southeast Asian art can be witnessed in this gallery, with the region's tradition and modernity displayed through the exhibits. The development of major civilisations, religions, colonial powers and the struggle against it can be explored and understood here. Along with impressive paintings that represent the artist's interpretation of various components of society, one can also find rare books and artefacts in this gallery. The Stereoscope station helps visitors gain a better understanding of the history of the region through a display of a series of 3D images.

National Gallery Singapore Interior
Interior of the National Gallery of Singapore (Source)

The Buildings

Former Supreme Court Building
The Former Supreme Court Building, an amalgamation of ancient and modern, is a heritage monument of Singapore and boasts of a rich history dating back to several years. The Former Supreme Court with its extravagant architecture was officially opened on August 3rd 1939. It has a bearing of the colonial era and is reputed as the last building of those times. The palatial building comprises of courtrooms and offices coupled with a huge library.

City Hall
Built around 1929 and designed by a British architect, City Hall is a monument of national importance. Originally, the City Hall was the hub for different Government offices and courtrooms. This building has witnessed several important events that play a big role in Singapore’s history. The City Hall exemplifies a neoclassical architecture with a minimalistic design flaunting several Corinthian Columns that stands erected facing the Padang (flat field).

National gallery in Singapore
Link bridge between the Supreme Court and City Hall buildings (Source)
Keppel Centre for Art Education
Keppel Centre for Art housed at the National Gallery in Singapore is a hub for art connoisseurs where they can interact and give wings to their creativity. Several events are organized all year round that focuses on adults and children of all ages. This vibrant space introduces arts to the young minds at an early age and has been the winner of Children in Museum Award 2018.

Guided Tours of National Gallery of Singapore

1. Building Highlights Tour
Sheds light into the authentic history of the former Supreme Court Building
English
Daily: 11:00 AM, Saturday and Sunday: 3:00 PM and 11:00 AM
Mandarin
Friday – Sunday: 10:30 AM
2. DBS Singapore Gallery Highlights Tour
As the name suggests, DBS Singapore Gallery Highlights Tour takes visitors through the DBS Gallery and offer a valuable insight into the art and culture of the region.
English
Daily: 1:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday: 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM 
Mandarin
Friday – Sunday: 12:00 PM
3. UOB Southeast Asia Gallery Highlights Tour
Takes visitors on a guided tour of UOB Southeast Asia Gallery
English
Daily: 3:30 PM
Mandarin
Friday – Sunday: 3:00 PM
3. Highlights of Wu Guanzhong     
Join one of the guided tours and get an insight into Wu Guanzhong Expressions and Painting Singapore.
English
Friday – Sunday: 11:30 AM
Mandarin
Saturday and Sunday: 2:00 PM
4. Highlights of the Gallery Tour     
Tour the art collection of Singapore Gallery and Southeast Asia Gallery and get to know the rich history of these regions
English
Saturday and Sunday: 4:00 PM
Japanese
Every last Saturday of the month: 1:30 PM
5. Back-of-House Tour | Former Supreme Court: Unseen, Unheard     
Back of House Tour give visitors a glimpse into the restricted zones of the former Supreme Court building that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise
English
Friday: 5:30 PM, Saturday: 3:30 PM
Price: SGD 15 (per pax)
6. Insight Tour: Law of the Land     
Law of the Land gives a sneak-peek into Singapore’s Constitution and how had it developed over the years
English
Every 4th Friday of the month: 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM
7. Highlights of Law of the Land
Highlights of Law of the Land is a guided tour
English
Every first and third Saturday: 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
8. Self-guided audio tours are available for guests who want to explore at their own pace

9. School, private and group tours are also available

How to Book
The tickets can be bought online (https://www.nationalgallery.sg/visit/tours) or the ticket counter in basement 1.

How to Reach National Gallery in Singapore

MRT:
  • City Hall: Take Exit B from City Hall MRT Station. National Gallery Singapore is only 7 minutes walking distance via Art Connector.
  • Clarke Quay: From Clarke Quay, MRT Station take Exit E and walk for 10 minutes to reach the National Gallery.
  • Raffles Place: From Raffles Place take Exit B and walk for 10 minutes onto the Business District to the Gallery.
Bus:
  • Coleman Street Entrance: Bus no. 130 stops at Coleman Street Entrance. 
  • Padang Atrium Entrance: Bus routes 961 and 195 take passengers till Parliament Place. One need to walk to the gallery’s Padang Atrium Entrance from there.
  • Bus routes 61, 145, 174 and 197 stops at The Treasury Building. The gallery entrance is a 7 minutes walking distance from there.
  • Bus routes 75, 107, 10 and 167 stops at Victoria Concert Hall. The entrance is around 5 minutes walk away.
  • Bus routes 51, 63, 32 and 80 stops at Peninsula Place. The gallery is at 5 minutes walking distance from the stop.
Car or Taxi: 
  • The nearest taxi stand is at the Coleman entrance and another one is located at The Adelphi.
  • The car pick-up and drop off points are also located at the Coleman Entrance that can be reached after turning right on to Supreme Court Lane.
Car Parking:
The car park stands at the far right of Coleman Street. To reach the parking lot, turn left before St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Cost:
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM: SGD 1.30 per half hour
6:00 AM - 1:00 PM: SGD 3.20 per entry
Motorbike parking: SGD 1 per entry (no overnight parking allowed)

National Gallery Singapore Map
The direction map to National Gallery of Singapore (Source)

Shopping & Dining

  • City Hall Wing at Level 1 offers a dynamic space for shopping and dining.
    Timing: Saturday to Thursday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Friday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

  • Aura Restaurant at Level 5 serves authentic Italian cuisine infused with the finest ingredient.
    Timing: Daily: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM

  • Aura Sky Lounge at Level 6 focuses on Mediterranean cuisine with a mesmeric view of the skyline
    Timing: Daily: 11:30 AM – 1:00 AM

  • Supreme Court Wing at Level 1 specialises in Asian dishes along with cakes and beverages
    Timing: Saturday to Thursday and Public Holiday: 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM, Friday and Evening of Public Holiday: 9:30 AM – 8:00 PM

  • Courtyard Lounge at Level 1 offers exotic Asian-fusion tapas with a twist
    Timing: Monday to Thursday: 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Friday to Saturday: 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Sunday: Closed

  • Hachi Restaurant at Level 1 serves traditional Japanese food in a tranquil ambience
    Timing: Monday to Friday: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Saturday: 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM

  • The Public Height at Level 1 specialises in spirits and whiskeys accompanied by authentic Japanese cuisine
    Timing: Monday to Saturday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM

  • National Kitchen at Level 2 showcases the rich culinary heritage of Singapore and serves local delicacies
    Timing: Daily: 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Odette is a French restaurant at Level 1 and specialises in artisanal produce
    Timing: Monday: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM, Tuesday to Saturday: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

  • Smoke and Mirrors at Level 6 overlooks Marina Bay and the Padang and serves the finest selection of cocktails and spirits
    Timing: Monday to Thursday: 3:00 PM – 1:00 AM, Friday: 3:00 PM – 2:00 AM, Saturday and Evening of Public Holidays: 12:00 PM – 2:00 AM, Sunday: 12:00 PM – 1:00 AM

  • Yan at Level 6 is popular for its Cantonese cuisine that treats the taste buds
    Timing: Daily: 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM

Tips

  • Exhibits with striped wall labels are meant to inspire lively conversations and creative interpretations.
  • Open house events offer complimentary access to all visitors to all the galleries. The dates for these events are 18 May (International Museum Day), and 9 August (National Day).
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the galleries
  • There is no dress code. However, do carry something warm as the galleries are climate controlled to conserve the artworks.
  • Large handbags and bulky items need to be deposited at the lockers provided at B1.
  • All galleries are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available for loan at the Information Counters located at Coleman Street entrance, Padang Atrium entrance, and Basement 1 Concourse free of charge.
  • No flash photography or videography is allowed in the galleries. Photography is sometimes not permitted at the special exhibit galleries.

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