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Visit the nation’s oldest museum, the National Museum of Singapore, that seeks to inspire the world with its intriguing stories and historic facts about Singapore. Its history dates back to 1849, when it first started as a section of a library at the Singapore Institution. After several relocations, redevelopment projects, and changes in name, it finally moved to its permanent site at Stamford Road in 1887, with the name recognised by most today: the National Museum of Singapore.
Not only is this Singapore’s oldest museum, but it is also a progressive showcase of Singaporean history, culture, and art. As you stand amidst a darkened space, you’ll be surrounded by stirring symphonies and a video montage displaying everyday life in Singapore. And that’s just the beginning. Walk through the museum to discover centuries worth of history: explore the permanent and temporary exhibitions to learn all about this fascinating country in a compelling narrative. You’ll be taken by the neo-classical building, with its modernist extension of glass and metal. Further, a dynamic range of events are hosted here: from festivals to film screenings, you’ll see it all!
Here are some of the must-visit permanent collections of the Museum:
When we’re far away from our loved ones, allow nature to speak our emotions out loud to them. This exhibition lets visitors retrace complex emotions at various points of Belayar (voyage) in the Malay Archipelago during the 19th century- from departure to return, through the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings.
Take the guided or self-exploratory route through a specially-curated exhibition that has narrations by Curators Daniel Tham and Iskander Mydin alongside themes of Knowledge and Power and Seeing the Indigenous!
The 1950s and 1960s signified a period of change for Singapore. Beset with uncertainties and challenges, it found an identity to call its own. This exhibition shows you how Singapore grew up into its own.
Learn about the educational opportunities for girls and female immigrants in the 1920s and get inspired by the public roles they took up in a previously patriarchal society. Follow them through the challenges they faced in working out their dream roles.
At this gallery, you’ll follow the development of the island: how it went from Singapura to a Crown Colony to Syonan-To, and finally, Singapore.
Enjoy an immersive installation of 69 drawings from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings into 3D animations. Enjoy Singapore’s colonial past with a touch of present-day modernity at this exhibition.
The Singaporean identity is infinite: race, culture, and language were laid into distinct and discrete categories. These categories were articulated in different ways by the island’s artistic practitioners, creating works that expressed a sense of national identity and belonging.
Here are some of the exciting temporary collections of the Museum this year:
(18 Mar 2021 - 28 May 2021)
This exhibition showcases the talents of beneficiaries from social service agencies and self-help groups. Using digital platforms like Zoom, they focus on awareness and engagement. Ceramic, performing arts, photography, drawing, and more is used to express their talents.
(27 Feb 2021 - 29 Aug 2021)
The National Museum of Singapore brings to you a visual record of the world-altering pandemic, showing you the museum’s Collecting Contemporary Singapore initiative. Documenting contemporary events and developments in Singapore, you’ll see artifacts and stories come to life.
(19 Dec 2021 - 29 Aug 2021)
Learn about Singapore’s journey from the 1950s to the present day in collaboration with The Straits Times, a tribute to the newspaper’s 175th anniversary. Peruse photographs and artifacts that include contributions from the public, audio-visual footage, scents, and special digital features.
Book your ticket to the National Museum of Singapore for a day of exploring over 1,700 artifacts preserved through Singaporean history. Multiple informative and fun exhibitions are hosted by the museum, helping you learn about Singapore’s history: from its inception to everyday life now. This historic building holds artifacts dating back to the 1880s! With this ticket, you get to witness state-of-the-art technology in displays, exhibitions (both temporary and permanent), screenings, talks, festivals, and more.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and children aged 6yrs and under (of any nationality) enjoy free admission. Make sure you carry a valid photo ID along with you.
Established in 1849 by the Singapore Institution Committee, this museum exhibited items of historical and archeological significance from Singapore and other Asian countries. The objective of this museum was to revive the region’s cultural heritage. After being moved to the Town Hall, it was moved back to the Singapore Institution in 1876 and is a must-visit for all in Singapore.
The National Museum was closed for 3.5 years when the building underwent a pricey revamp. After it reopened, many started viewing the museum building as a wondrous feat in itself. Seamlessly fusing old with new, the elegant neo-classical building had a new modernist touch of glass and metal.
The National Museum of Singapore was designed in Neo-Palladian and Renaissance styles. Consisting of two rectangular parallel blocks and a dome at the front of the building, this attraction is also renowned for its eye-catching architecture.
The museum holds a vast collection of precious artefacts, including the Singapore Stone, the Gold Ornaments of the Sacred Hill, Daguerreotype of Singapore Town, the will of Munshi Abdullah, the hearse of tan Jiak Kim, the portrait of Frank Athelstane Swettenham, a Peranakan coffin cover, and more.
National Museum of Singapore Address: 93, Stamford Road, Singapore 178897.
Bus: The closest bus stops are the YMCA bus stop, Singapore Management University (SMU), & Stamford Road bus stop. Bus lines 7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 64, 65, 77, 106, 111, 124, 128, 139, 162, 162m, 167, 171, 174, 174e, 175, 190, 700, 700A, 972 will bring you here.
MRT: The closest subway stations are Bencoolen Station, Bras Basah Station, Dhoby Ghaut Station & City Hall Station, all brisk walks to the museum. Metro lines L1 & L3 will bring you here.
Yes, it is. The museum has rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety of its visitors. It is also advised to book online reservations for safety reasons.
In light of COVID-19, multiple health and safety measures have been enforced. It is advised to book your tickets online. It is mandatory that visitors wear masks that cover their nose and face throughout their entire visit; they will also be subject to temperature checks by thermal scanners before entry. Individuals are required to enter only during their chosen time slot.
Yes. You can book your National Museum of Singapore tickets online; digital reservations are recommended for all.
It is recommended the National Museum of Singapore during the week or in the morning to beat crowds.
Your National Museum of Singapore ticket gives you access to all areas accessible by the public (including temporary and permanent exhibitions).
Exhibition captions are available in English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.
This ticket to the National Museum of Singapore can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the schedule for a full refund.
Yes, discounted tickets are available for Singapore citizens, permanent residents, and children aged 6yrs and under (of any nationality). Make sure you carry a valid photo ID along with you.
Still photography for private, non-commercial use as a visitor to the Museum is allowed.
Flash photography and the use of tripods are strictly prohibited inside the museum.
Video filming is only allowed with authorisation from the National Museum of Singapore.
Yes, the museum is wheelchair accessible.
Yes, you may rent manual wheelchairs at the museum, available at the Visitor Services counter at a first-come, first-served basis.
The National Museum of Singapore is located on Stamford road, Singapore 178897.
Yes, the museum is easily accessible by public transport. It can be reached by bus or metro. You can even drive to the museum if needed as parking is available.