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30 June

National Museum of Singapore: Fascinating Tour of the Past

Are you searching for family-friendly things to do in Singapore today or this weekend? Something that is exciting, educational, and inspiring at the same time? Singapore has an incredible choice of places that are undoubtedly worth visiting with kids. This time, we are going to discover the universe of history, science, and true masterpieces of art. It is the universe where the past, the present, and the future of the nation meet together in one place and welcome everyone to take a fascinating time travel. It is the universe of the National Museum of Singapore, and Newtonshow cannot wait to open its doors to you!


Related Reading: Check out our guides to the Science Center and Singapore Zoo.

The National Museum of Singapore is deservedly considered among the best museums to visit with kids in Singapore. Singapore's National Museum keeps many secrets and mysteries of the past and knows many inspiring stories about people who played an important role in the history of our nation. After all, it is essential to know, understand, and respect the past to make the future even brighter.

The National Museum of Singapore owns a lot to excite and inspire children of all ages. Amazing exhibitions, interesting tours, educational programs, and even real historical investigations for young detectives. Did we mention that you can create your own itinerary with the 'Itinerary Planner' feature to make the most of this visit? Moreover, the National Museum of Singapore serves as a venue for various events, so you will definitely find what to do and see in Singapore today or this weekend with your nearest and dearest. But first things first!

Is entry to the National Museum of Singapore free? Is it worth visiting the National Museum of Singapore? What is the National Museum of Singapore famous for? Newtonshow knows the answers and cannot wait to share them with you. It's time to begin our virtual tour of one of the most interesting and significant museums in Singapore!


National Museum of Singapore: The Story​

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The National Museum of Singapore is about our country's history, culture, and art. It is the oldest museum in the city-state and one of the largest museums in Asia.

The idea of creating a library and museum in Singapore was first introduced by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1823. However, the Singapore Library officially opened its doors at the Singapore Institution (now Raffles Institution in Singapore) at Bras Basah Road just more than two decades later. It was the first public library in Singapore. The Singapore Library and Museum was transferred to the colonial government and renamed the Raffles Library and Museum in 1874.

In 1877, Singapore got one of its most prominent hallmarks – a beautiful building that became home to the Raffles Library and Museum. In 1960, it became known as the National Museum (while the National Library was moved to its own building behind the museum). In 1993, it became part of the National Heritage Board.

Such a long and eventful history! The National Museum has seen a lot and has been through a lot, acquiring meaningful artifacts and exhibits that witnessed all those days and events.

Today, the National Museum is the oldest museum in Singapore and undoubtedly among the most significant ones. It is an important point on a city tour for all guests willing to explore Singapore and a must-visit for citizens of all ages.


National Museum of Singapore: Building

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The magnificent building of the National Museum of Singapore is amazing both from the outside and inside - and it deserves particular attention. It is a masterpiece by Colonial Engineer Henry Edward McCallum that officially opened its doors in 1887.

When you step inside the building, you find yourself under a mighty, beautiful dome in a grand rotunda that rises to a height of 27 meters. The dome features Victorian stained glass panels with floral and grid motifs that create true magic when natural light streams through them.

The Glass Rotunda is another highlight of the National Museum. It is the main feature of the museum's new extension, which is 16 meters in height and 24 meters in diameter.

The Glass Passage, which rises almost 11 meters off the floor, is a contemporary touch that perfectly complements the museum's neo-Palladian architecture.

As you can see, the National Museum of Singapore will impress with its exterior and interior and provide excellent opportunities to take many beautiful photos. Of course, the museum will also be amazed by its incredible collection of exhibits. That's what we are going to talk about now.


National Museum of Singapore: Exhibitions

Where to go and what to do today or this weekend in Singapore with your family? Let's explore incredible exhibitions at the National Museum. They will tell you a lot about the past of Singapore and its people, show beautiful art, let you look into the future, and not only.


Singapore History Gallery

It is truly a centerpiece of the National Museum of Singapore. Singapore History Gallery provides a unique opportunity to see and feel how Singapore lived and developed in the past, from ancient settlements to today.

This exhibition has many artifacts depicting the story of Singapore's earliest inhabitants, Singapore as a Crown Colony, and Singapore during the war and occupation. This exhibition helps you to live and feel the moment when Singapore gained its independence, as well as many other significant moments.

The Singapore History Gallery exhibition is divided into four sections: Singapura, Crown Colony, Syonan-To, and Singapore. Among its highlights are:

  • Singapore Stone (10th – 14th century)

  • Majapahit armlet and earrings (gold, 14th century)

  • Silver epergne (silver and glass, 1824)

  • A vinyl record of Singapore's national anthem

  • And others

  • Where: Singapore History Gallery


Singapore, Very Old Tree

This may sound unusual, but trees have a lot to tell us. Everything changes: seasons, years, decades - nature, buildings, people. And mighty trees remain silent observers of the story going on and on. Well, they are like living memoirs.

This idea became the basis for one of the most intimate exhibitions in Singapore. 'Singapore, Very Old Tree' by beloved local photographer and artist Robert Zhao tells the stories of 17 trees in Singapore and shows how deeply we are connected to them.

  • Where: Glass Rotunda


Wings of a Rich Manoeuvre

Are you ready to be impressed and inspired by a charming symphony of movement and light at this 'Wings of a Rich Manoeuvre' art exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore? Created by homegrown artist Suzann Victor, it is a chorus of eight kinetic chandeliers installed above the bridge connecting the museum's 19th-century building and its modern glass wing. Those wings' incredible choreography of light will undoubtedly leave you speechless.

  • Where: Glass Atrium


Story of the Forest

It is truly one of Singapore's most prominent museum exhibitions and an absolute must-visit for everyone. 'Story of the Forest' at the National Museum of Singapore by the world's famous Japanese digital art collective teamLab is a breathtaking showcase that immerses you into a magical night forest full of Singapore's native plants, flowers, and animals living their magic lives.

Can you imagine a fairy world blossoming and shining right above you? This creates just an incredible feeling. If you are trying to find some special things to do this weekend in Singapore, be sure to add the 'Story of the Forest' exhibition to your list.

  • Where: Glass Rotunda


National Museum of Singapore: Guided Tours And Itineraries

If you want to make even more of your visit to the National Museum of Singapore, you can take a guided tour led by one of the museum's highly dedicated docents. It will be an informative and exciting journey through the history of Singapore with fascinating stories and many unexpected secrets. There are also tours for art lovers through the Goh Seng Choo Gallery, 'Story of the Forest,' and breathtaking art installations. Each tour lasts approximately one hour.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of one of the museum's ready-made itineraries or even create your own itinerary with the museum's 'Itinerary Planner' feature. Browse the list of exhibitions and programs and choose your favorites. Add them to your itinerary. Choose the date of the visit and the desired starting time. Your unique itinerary is ready! Just export it as an image or email it – and enjoy your special adventure!

You can also book a group visit for a group of more than 20 people to spend meaningful time with your friends, colleagues, family, etc. Besides, the National Museum of Singapore organizes group visits for schools. Please note that group visits must be booked in advance.


National Museum of Singapore: School Programmes

The National Museum of Singapore offers interesting educational programs for students of all ages - from 5-6-year-old little explorers to 13+ young history geeks. Besides, there are inclusive programs for kids and students with special needs. From taking the first steps into history to conducting a real historical investigation, each program is focused on students of a certain age and aims to provide the most exciting and memorable experience for them.


Pre-School Programmes

  • All About Artefacts Through Music and Movement

It is an engaging 45-minute music and movement workshop for the youngest visitors. It is a fun way for kids to learn the history and culture of their country through play.


Primary School Programmes

  • Social Studies Field-Based Learning

It is a perfect chance to prove to kids that history and studying overall can be exciting. The program features interactive elements that help students learn about Singapore's eventful 700 years of history in a fun and interesting way.

Social Studies Field-Based Learning duration is 2 hours.

  • Docent-Led Tour of Singapore History Gallery

The museum's experienced and highly dedicated docents know how to make this museum experience for kids even more impressive and memorable. They can't wait to share many inspiring stories and reveal some secrets about Singapore's past.

The program lasts 1 hour.


Secondary School Programmes

  • Artefactually Speaking at the National Museum

Students get acquainted with the museum's artifacts and learn the story of Singapore in independent groups guided by a Passport activity booklet. On their fascinating journey, young discoverers meet Museum Educators who share their inspiring stories about our country.

The duration of this program is 2 hours.

  • Historical Investigation

What about conducting a historical investigation right in the museum? With voices of the past, an incredible collection of artifacts, and stories you won't hear anywhere else, it's going to be an unforgettable time travel experience.

Historical Investigation duration – 2 hours.

  • Docent-Led Tour of Singapore History Gallery

It is an interesting and meaningful tour through the Singapore History Gallery led by museum docents. Exciting information, impressive discoveries, and a great time are guaranteed.


Special Needs Education School Programmes

All kids and students with special needs can join a series of education school programs developed by the National Museum to help them enjoy this visit to the fullest. Kids craft, learn something new, play engaging games, interact with each other, and have a great time.


National Museum of Singapore: Accessibility

The National Museum of Singapore aims to ensure a comfortable and memorable experience for everyone. The museum's galleries and facilities are all wheelchair and stroller accessible. Service dogs are also welcome.

Access-Friendly Amenities

  • Designated accessible parking

  • Stroller parking

  • Manual wheelchairs (complimentary)

  • Quiet Corners (rest spots)

  • Sensory bags (free of charge - for families with children on the autism spectrum)

Quiet Mornings

If you wish to spend your time exploring the National Museum in a calmer, quieter, and more relaxed way, you can plan your visit for the Quiet Morning:

  • First Saturday of each month from 9 AM to 11 AM

  • First and third Thursdays of each month from 9 AM to 12 PM

Quiet Room

If you need a safe place to take a break from the tour, relax, and calm down, head to the National Museum's Quiet Room. It will become a shelter for those who might experience sensory overload, particularly for children with autism.

Please note that the Quiet Room is available for use when needed (it is not open to the general public).


National Museum of Singapore: Dine And Shop

The National Museum of Singapore is also a place to treat yourself to delicious food and aromatic coffee. After all, the number of exhibits is impressive, so you can spend hours wandering from one exhibition to another. That's when a lovely café in the museum will come in handy.

In the meantime, the museum's stores provide great opportunities for shopping. Of course, each item is a true masterpiece of art, whether it's a purse or a T-shirt.

Café Brera at Reunion

The National Museum of Singapore welcomes all its visitors to the charming Café Brera at Reunion. It offers a friendly and relaxing atmosphere and delectable refreshments. As soon as you enter the café, you can feel the aroma of fresh bakes and coffee. Treat yourself to mouthwatering local and international lunch sets. Have a nice talk with a cup of tea or coffee.

If you've already refreshed yourself, it's time to continue your fascinating adventure through the National Museum of Singapore.

  • Operating Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM


For a unique shopping experience (or just to admire even more art masterpieces), head to the MUSEUM MARKET by ARBY. It is a place with the highest concentration of style, originality, and creativity. Scarves, tote bags, T-shirts, purses, and more – everything is created by talented designers from Asia. Art is everywhere.

  • Operating Hours: 10 AM to 7:30 PM


National Museum of Singapore: Events

What about attending some exciting events at the National Museum of Singapore today or this weekend? Yes, the museum often serves as a venue for various workshops, festivals, displays, and other significant happenings. For example, the National Museum takes part in Singapore's famous Night Festival, a mind-blowing annual celebration of Singapore's infinite cultural heritage and art.

So, your visit to the National Museum can be not only interesting and educational but also fun and bright.


National Museum of Singapore: Visitors Information

National Museum of Singapore Location

  • National Museum of Singapore Address: 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897

National Museum of Singapore: Getting Here

How to get to the National Museum of Singapore? You can get here by MRT, by bus, or by car.

The National Museum of Singapore's nearest MRT stations are:

  • Bencoolen MRT Station

  • Bras Basah MRT Station

  • Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station

  • City Hall MRT Station

The National Museum of Singapore's nearest bus stops are:

  • YMCA bus stop

  • Singapore Management University (SMU), Stamford Road bus stop

If you are getting here by car, you can park at the National Museum of Singapore parking. Parking is also available at Singapore Management University, Manulife Centre, Fort Canning Park, and the YMCA.


National Museum of Singapore Opening Hours

  • Daily: 10 AM to 7 PM

Last Admission Time:

  • Glass Rotunda: 6:15 AM

  • All Other Galleries: 6:30 PM

National Museum of Singapore Admission

Tourists & Foreign Residents:

  • Standard Adult: $15

  • Concession: $11

  • Children aged 6 and below: Free

Singapore Citizens & Permanent Residents: Free


For more information on National Museum of Singapore ticket prices, visit the official website.

Website: National Museum of Singapore

How long does it take to tour the National Museum of Singapore? You need at least 2-3 hours to explore this incredible cradle of Singapore's history and culture. You'll return here again and again - to become closer to Singapore and its people.


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