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Timings : Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Singapore City Gallery, Singapore Overview

Singapore City Gallery is a three-storey visitor centre located between the historic Chinatown and the Centre Business District, famed for housing an enormous model replica of Singapore. Formerly known as the URA Gallery, the City Gallery traces the evolution of Singapore's physical transformation spread across 10 thematic areas and 50 audiovisual interactive exhibitions. Singapore City Gallery should definitely be visited by architecture and history lovers.

The City Gallery in Singapore traces the development story of Singapore - an excellent example of the fact that Singapore transformed to become one of the most liveable cities in Asia, over the past 50 years. Occupying an area of 2400 square metres, Singapore City Gallery is spread across three floors. The first floor has exhibits related to urban planning, architecture and other areas relevant to the Urban Redevelopment Authority's remit. The second-floor of Singapore City Gallery houses the replica of central Singapore, called the Central Area Model. The third floor comprises permanent exhibits on topics such as preservation of historically significant buildings, sustainable development and urban design. A popular attraction at the City Gallery of Singapore is the 270-degree panoramic sight and sound show depicting scenes from the daily life of Singapore.

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Singapore City Gallery Guided Tour

The Singapore City Gallery provides gallery tours free of cost. This tour takes you through various exhibits lined up in the gallery. The 45-minute tour is organised at 11:30 AM on the last Saturday of each month. The visitors experience stories of inspirational dreams, careful planning and detailed execution of the city of Singapore. This tour does not require pre-registration as the booking is subject to availability on first come-first serve basis.

Central Area Model

Central Area Model (the prime attraction of Singapore City Gallery) is an 11 by 10 metres replica of Central Singapore modelled at a scale of 1:400. Constructed out of balsa wood and acrylic, it is a combination of the individual area models built for public consultations in past decades, which were finally assembled in 1988 into one large model for display at the gallery. The Central Area Model is managed by Urban Redevelopment Authority whose role is to update the model, simulate new growth areas and discuss options between community, developers and government. It also displays plans for unbuilt buildings, apart from the existing buildings.

Highlights of Singapore City Gallery

How our city works:
The primary objective of this unit is to create awareness among people on how the urban systems keep Singapore going and how the hidden infrastructural networks help in meeting the daily needs of residents. There are interactive shows on the various urban systems followed by a series of interactive exhibits that allows one to explore how the city takes care of the consumption and supply of the various resources such as water, energy, waste, green and transport needs, keeping in mind the limit of land and resources. Residents can also pick some tips on how they can help reduce the load on their systems too. 

Shaping Singapore:
A key highlight representing the future of Singapore, Shaping Singapore is the exhibit that aims at indulging tourists in an interactive group game, allowing them to create their own wish lists for their neighbourhood and find out which future block best meets the needs. This neighbourhood is a must-visit for nature lovers, heritage buffs and tech visionaries. 

Mapping Singapore:
Another key highlight of Singapore City Gallery, Mapping Singapore is the attraction which is significant of the physical transformation that the city underwent for over 100 years, representing it in 40 different maps and plans. Tourists can trace the city's rapid evolution displayed through those permanent exhibits. They can uncover the earliest of roads built, the first steam tram that functioned, and the nation's very first public aquarium. Those interested in architecture can view the original architectural models by renowned architects Kenzo Tange and I.M. Pei, who contributed ideas that shaped Marina Bay into what it is today. 

A brush with history:
The name of the highlight speaks for itself. There are huge touch screens aimed at helping people view the conserved buildings, structures and neighbourhoods and realise how they looked in the past. Users can swipe their hands over the display to gradually reveal what they look like today, getting to view the complete transformation. One can take a look at the familiar landmarks like the Victoria Concert Hall and Capitol Singapore, as well as the streetscapes of historic districts such as Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown, and how they have transformed over the years while retaining their original characteristics. It is a must-visit for history buffs. 

Islandwide Model:
Tech enthusiasts must head towards the Islandwide Model at Singapore City Gallery to admire the latest technologies and get awed by an utterly magical experience. The best takeaways from this model include eyeing the power of 3D printing technology with the buildings and topography presented in fine details. There is a unique 3-minute projection mapping show that highlights all the urban planning strategies of the city and includes all the famous landmarks around the city. There are shows held every 20 minutes, starting on the hour between 9:00 AM and 5:40 PM on weekdays and between 9:00 AM and 2:40 PM on Saturdays.

How to Reach Singapore City Gallery

The Singapore City Gallery is located on the Maxwell Road and is well connected by public transport systems. The closest MRT Station is the Tanjong Pagar MRT. Alight at Exit G and walk to the gallery for a distance of 4 minutes. The bus stop is at a distance of two minutes and Bus No.80 and 145 stop at the bus stop near the gallery.

Tips, Etiquettes & Rules

  • Food and drinks are not allowed to be carried on the second and third floors of the gallery. 
  • Pets are not permitted in the gallery, except for guide dogs. 
  • Touching the models is something everyone must refrain from. Use of selfie sticks to take close up selfies with the miniature models is also not allowed. 
  • Use of tripods is not permitted in the gallery. Still photography without flash for non-commercial use is allowed. Photography or videography for commercial use is chargeable, and the permit depends on the authorisation from the gallery management. 
  • Although it is not prohibited to carry strollers or luggage to the gallery, one must be considerate about other visitors too and avoid it. 
  • Visitors should access all the three levels of the gallery using the glass lifts at the entrance facing Maxwell Food Centre. Vehicle drop off point is the bus bay facing Maxwell Food Centre, along Kadayanallur Street.
  • Buses picking up large groups should arrive on time, to avoid traffic congestion at the drop off point.
  • If VIP visitors are present, access to some parts of the gallery may be temporarily blocked. 
  • One must speak gently to avoid a lot of noise as it affects the learning and exploring experience of others.
  • No running and playing around is permitted in the gallery premises.

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