National Museum of Singapore

Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : 2 - 3 hours

Entry Fee : Permanent Galleries (Level 1, 2 and Glass Rotunda):
Adult: SGD 15,
Concession: SGD 10

National Museum Singapore, Singapore Overview

Home to a myriad of historical artefacts as well as exhibits, the National Museum of Singapore also boasts of being the country’s oldest museum, dating all the way back to 1887. Not only is this museum an important architectural as well as cultural landmark of Singapore, but it is also a unique cohesive mixture of rich history and modern-day display techniques and facilities.

The Singapore History Gallery is the chief attraction of this fascinating museum, where a story-telling approach comprising of various perspectives has been adopted to detail Singapore's past, all the way from the 14th century. There are 11 permanent galleries at this informative treasure trove, where one can see not just the history of the country, but the development of its culture, and the history and transformation of its landscape. The extensive resource centre at Singapore's National Gallery houses about 15,000 publications relating to the cultural studies, design, and history of the country. A ramp spiral within the building leads to the exhibition of the national treasures of Singapore like the Singapore Stone. Apart from its vast collection of data, the National Museum of Singapore also hosts workshops, film screenings, story-telling sessions, and activities designed to engage the whole family. 

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National Museum of Singapore Tickets

Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents: Free
Non Citizens and Non-Permanent Residents: 
Adults: SGD 15 
Students/ Seniors (above 60 years of age)/ Special Access: SGD 10 
Children below 6 years of age (any nationality): Free
  • Keep in mind that a valid proof of identity is needed to enjoy concessional admission fee to the museum. 
  • For non-citizen and non-permanent resident students who study in specific schools and universities as prescribed by the museum management, entry is free.

Singapore History Gallery

Spanning 2,800 square metres of gallery space, the Singapore History Gallery is a glass-clad building situated within the central glass rotunda. It traces the history of Singapore from the 14th century through the use of artworks, interactive exhibits and multimedia like images and films, projected on the 15-metre cylindrical walls of this gallery. One can see the various segments of Singapore’s history expressed here through art. Witness the transformation of the island from being the thriving port of Singapura to the Crown Colony during British colonisation to the fortified Syonan-To of World War Two to modern day Singapore, spanning 700 years of well-documented history.

Permanent Exhibitions

The National Museum of Singapore is host to a number of exhibitions that offer important information to its visitors in a fun and unique way. While many of these exhibitions are permanent, some of them are also special exhibitions, which are only showcased at certain points of the year or keep changing from time to time. 

Art of the Rehearsal 
This video exhibit was installed by the famous artist Sarah Choo Jing, and serves to showcase the life of the Singaporean dancers who practice in the back lanes of the districts in the city. The video depicts the rigorous training and hard work that goes behind ensuring consistent performance by a performer each and every time. 
Venue: Gallery 10, Level 1
Timings: 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM. 
Entry fee: Free 

Growing Up
Through personal anecdotes as well as modern interactive installation systems, this exhibition offers an insight into the lives of the children who grew up in Singapore in the tumultuous phase of the 1950s and the 1960s. Despite the social and political unrest that the country was witnessing, the children somehow managed to find friendships and develop a personal local identity, and this is precisely what the exhibition talks about.
Venue: Level 2, Growing Up Gallery
Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Entry fee: Free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and visitors below 6 years of age 

History of the National Museum of Singapore
From the installation of the museum as the Raffles Library and Museum to the donation of the two gold coins that marked the start of the collection of the museum; and from the shifting of the museum to the Town Hall and then relocating yet again; the exhibition talks in detail about the number of events that took place before the National Museum of Singapore as we know it today was actually created. 
Venue: Grand Staircase, Level 1
Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Entry fee: Free 

Magic and Menace
This exhibition takes place at the Goh Seng Choo Gallery and takes visitors to the world of the supernatural beliefs that the traditional Southeast Asian societies practice. Visitors at this exhibition also get to learn how traditional healers make use of the curative powers of plants and animals to heal ailments and diseases. 
Venue: Level 2, Goh Seng Choo Gallery
Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 M 
Entry fee: Free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and visitors below 6 years of age

Modern Colony
Through its extensive display of the personal belongings of both the affluent Straits-born and migrant Chinese women, the Modern Colony Exhibition strives to showcase how these women fought to establish their identity amidst a patriarchal background, and the various challenges that they faced in the process. 
Venue: Level 2, Modern Colony Gallery 
Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Entry fee: Free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and visitors below 6 years of age

Surviving Syonan
The exhibition shows how the local residents of the country had to cope up with the massive changes that occurred in their life when they directly came under Japanese occupation in the year1942. Nevertheless, the Singaporeans responded with great resilience and self-reliance, and it is these values that the exhibition celebrates and honours. 
Venue: Level 2, Surviving Syonan Gallery 
Timings: 10:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Entry fee: Free for Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and visitors below 6 years of age
 
There are other permanent exhibitions also that are held at the National Museum of Singapore, including Story of the Forest; Singapore, Very Old Tree; Singapore History Gallery, Voices of Singapore and Wings of a Rich Manoeuvre.

Guided Tours

Singapore History Gallery:
English:
Monday - Friday: 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM,
Saturday, Sunday: 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM,
Mandarin:
Monday, Friday: 2:30 PM,
Saturday, Sunday: 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM,
Japanese:
Monday - Friday: 10:30 AM,
Every 1st Saturday of the month: 1:30 PM,
French: Every 1st Thursday of the month: 12:00 PM,
Korean: Every 2nd Thursday of the month: 11:30 AM,

The Farquhar Collection (Goh Seng Choo Gallery & Story of the Forest at the Glass Rotunda):
English: First Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM,

Life in Singapore Galleries:
Goh Seng Choo Gallery:
2nd, 3rd, 4th Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM,
Modern Colony Gallery:
2nd, 3rd, 4th Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM,
Surviving Syonan Gallery:
3rd Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM,
Growing up Gallery:
4th Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM,
Voices of Singapore Gallery:
4th Wednesday of the month: 1:00 PM
  • To assure the quality of service, only 20 people on a first come first serve basis are allowed to take part in the tour per day. 
  • For groups which have more than 8 visitors, joining the daily guided tour is not allowed without having booked the group tour at least 4 weeks in advance. 

Architecture of the National Museum of Singapore

The National Museum of Singapore is housed in a magnificent building with heavy influences of neo-Palladian architectural style, with a symmetrical outer structure, use of Doric and Ionic columns, and large, triangular pediments above the windows. These impressive pediments bear the coat of arms of Queen Victoria, a tribute to the golden jubilee of the monarch’s reign. One of the chief architectural delights of this building is the glass rotunda inside, a 16-metre high structure made of restored Victorian glassworks, topped off with an iconic dome, an architectural landmark. The dome is covered in coloured panels and arched windows which allow the complex to be beautifully lit up. The 11 metre high Glass passage connects this colonial building with the new extension of the museum.

How to Reach National Museum of Singapore

Bus: There are 2 bus stops within walking distance of the National Museum, the YMCA bus stop and the Singapore Management University, Stamford Road bus stop. One can reach the YMCA bus stop through buses 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 64, 65, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 139, 162, 162m, 167, 171, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 700, 700A, 972. Alternatively, one can arrive at the SMU, Stamford Road bus stop through buses 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 131, 147, 162, 162m, 166, 167, 171, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 700, 700A, 857.

MRT: The National Museum of Singapore is very well connected to all lines of the MRT. The MRT stations for the various lines are within a 500-metre radius of the entrance of the museum.
  • Travellers using the Downtown Line may alight at the Bencoolen Station.
  • Travellers using the Circle Line may alight at the Bras Basah Station or the Dhoby Ghaut Station.
  • Travellers using the North-East may alight at the Dhoby Ghaut Station.
  • Travellers using the North-South Line may alight at the City Hall Station or the Dhoby Ghaut Station.
  • Travellers using the East-West Line may alight at the City Hall Station.
Car/Taxi: The museum is located at 93, Stamford Road. The car parking for the museum is located towards the left from Stamford Road onto the Fort Canning Road. 
The hourly parking rates applicable at the museum are as follows:
7:00 AM to 06: 00 PM: SGD 2.50 per hour (or part thereof)
6: 00 PM to 03:00 AM: SGD 4.00 per entry
3:00 AM to 07:00 AM: SGD 4.00 per hour (or part thereof)
Grace Period: 10 minutes (only pick up and drop off allowed)

However, note that there is only limited parking facility available at the National Museum. In case there is no space at the car park, avail parking facilities at either of the following places: Singapore Management University, Manulife Centre, Fort Canning Park, and YMCA.

Tips, Etiquettes & Rules

  • The gallery is temperature-controlled and one may end up feeling a little cold inside. Thus, it is advisable to carry extra clothing to keep warm. 
  • Amenities at the museum include lifts, toilets, accessible parking lots, strollers and wheelchairs, lockers and free WiFi access.
  • The museum also has an official National Museum of Singapore Mobile App, which provides exhibition content in different languages including English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. Try and download the app before the visit to find out important information. 
  • Eating and drinking is strictly prohibited in the galleries and museum premises. 
  • Refrain from touching any gallery walls, display panels, showcases and other objects that are on display in the museum. 
  • Flash photography and selfie sticks are not allowed in the gallery. Only still photography, for private and non-commercial use as a visitor, is permitted inside the museum. For videography, seek prior permission from the concerned authorities of the National Museum of Singapore.

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