History Museums in Singapore

THE 10 BEST Singapore History Museums

History Museums in Singapore

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Museums
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16 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travellers are saying

  • Zhee
    2 contributions
    Well explanation your by guide Jennifer by explaining to us clearly and let us the knowledge of what pass Singapore have through.
    Written 23 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sally C
    3 contributions
    While on holidays in Singapore I visited the Changi Chapel and Museum. My grandfather was a POW at Changi from the Fall of Singapore until liberation. I have been wanting to get here for some time however the last few visits to Singapore the Museum was being renovated. Very glad that I took the time to visit. Found some information on my grandfather and was advised by the guides there to email any further information to the curator for them to update. I do hope the information I have emailed the curator will be used to update information on my grandfather. I purchased our tickets online however could have easily just have turned up on the day. We did the tour via the robot which was an interesting way of telling the story of Changi. Definitely a place you need to visit
    Written 22 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • liucy752
    Taipei, Taiwan1,239 contributions
    This is a modern, well-organized and well-run museum. It displays different Asian cultures and the historical connections between them.

    The archaeological artifacts and ancient artworks on exhibition show the history of Singapore's special position as a global trading center and a melting pot of different cultures.

    The content is excellent, and the layout is well designed.

    The exhibition will be of interest to art lovers and history or archeology buffs. You may spend half a day to visit.
    Written 16 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Onn11
    Singapore, Singapore658 contributions
    The building is situated in a noisy and bustling part of the Little India district in Singapore, but going in, the feel is very different as it is quiet, cool and relaxed.

    Even for a local like myself, the exhibitions on the 3rd and 4th levels of the building about the Indian community in Singapore both past and present are refreshing as they relate the contributions made by this minority community as well as the rich experiences they came with when many of these ones migrated over to Singapore in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy a slow and relaxed way of learning more about the Indian diaspora in this part of the world.
    Written 17 November 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Steven B
    Barrowford, UK148 contributions
    Very interesting place. Not very big,but chronicles the fall of Singapore and life during the Japanese occupation and after the war. This place could use a little cafe,the only refreshments being a vending machine outside of the main building.
    The staff were very knowledgeable and friendly.
    Written 22 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • AyushBasu
    Singapore, Singapore199 contributions
    Situated in Singapore's heritage district of Kampong Glam and right next to the Sultan Mosque, the Malay Heritage Centre provides excellent cultural insights into the Malay community in Singapore. The visit starts at the upper level, followed by the lower level and two external outhouses, housing permanent galleries. They showcase stories and artifacts from both Singapore's national collection as well as contributions from the local community. It is a reflection of Kampong Glam's historical significance as well as the contribution of the local Malay society. The structure was once of traditional timber built on stilts, which has been thoroughly renovated over time. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00am to 6:00pm, with free admission for all Singaporeans & Permanent Residents. A couple of hours can be easily spent here.
    Written 29 February 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LostInTime
    Pittsburgh, PA11,682 contributions
    I walked around the inside of this old building. It’s right off the river. It’s pretty cool old architecture. It has a restaurant and museum inside. Very nice.
    Written 3 October 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SOH KIEN PENG
    Singapore, Singapore6,658 contributions
    I came to Police Headquarters (PHQ) for a meeting. As I was early, I went down to the newly renovated canteen at the second floor of PHQ block to take a look. The new canteen looks very well furnished, spacious and clean. There is even a cosy corner with newspapers for staff to relax.

    When I came out of the canteen, I saw that the Police Heritage Museum near the 2nd level lift lobby was open. Probably someone has suggested for it to be opened during lunch times. I walked in to take a look.

    The last time I visited this place was in 2017. I remember I organised the tour for my residents on the same day with a tour to the nearby ISD heritage museum. The residents found the tours very interesting, unique and informative.

    From handling secret societies lawlessness to communist subversive student riots and racial communal bloodshed to combating the Indonesia confrontasi, the Japanese Red Army hijack to the current threat of terrorism, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has come a long way maturing through the many crisis and store up in her arsenal a whole range of counter attack missiles and torpedoes, historical lessons, strategies and tactical experiences which are very enriching with a template for future policing. The heritage center summarised all these snippets of information in a short walk and like a history book illustrated the different epoch of upheavals and downfall.

    Marx's dialectical materialism perspective described the police as a machinery owned by the bourgeoisie or the ruling regime to suppress the under privileged and the opponents and serve the interest of those in power. That may be the case for the colonial epoch.

    I think it was the other way round for the ordinary citizens in Singapore. I grew up witnessing rampant secret societies' gang fights in my neighborhood and innocent meek hawkers giving protection money in order to avoid harassment and violence from the gang.

    When I was serving my national service in the army, I saw how my innocent platoon mates being extorted for money by gang members in his squad. It was a world of what in Darwin's term the fittest survived. Aggression and violence triumphed and dictated the daily lives of the innocent and the meek. If you cannot fight them, you join them. Gang subculture opearates and infiltrates the lower echelon of society.

    Blessed are the meek as they shall inherit the Earth. But those days, the meek are the ones being extorted, harassed and bullied. It was the SPF who clamped down all these lawlessness and organised crimes so that the innocent and the ordinary can lead their daily life safe without fear of being bullied and killed.

    When I was in Marine Police, I saw how pirates from the islands of our neighbours clad in swimming trunks came in fast speed boats to ransack and rob the TV sets from our chalets at Sentosa and St John's Island. It was the Police Coast Guard who armed with sophisticated machine guns and faster engines and assault crafts protects and defends our tiny red dot island from these intruders. Otherwise we would not be able to live safely.

    Today, Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world. We have registered historical lowest level of street crimes. The ordinary citizen works and plays in safe environment protected by the law.

    It is our SPF machinery that bestows us the ordinary citizen the right to live in a safe and protected environment. It is in the interests of the ordinary people and not manipulate as machinery for the rich and powerful.
    Written 1 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • fm_usagi
    Singapore57 contributions
    Went with a group of friends. Did not have guided tour though. The museum was abit out of the usual tourist haunts, but definitely worth going. Newspapers cutting and lots of photos that shown how the Eurasians stay in Singapore thru the times. Maybe with guided tour, you will enjoy even more. However, walking on our own and reading and viewing the exhibits at own pace does wonders too. Recommended to cater at least 1 hour to walk thru the galleries.
    Written 12 May 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Your Travel Buddy SG
    Singapore, Singapore13,031 contributions
    A place that our national housing and development shares the history of public housing in singapore. From the exhibits, I can see that we have come a long way. Informative!
    Written 18 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • SOH KIEN PENG
    Singapore, Singapore6,658 contributions
    Not every tourist had an opportunity to visit the Istana as it is typically open to the public only 5 times a year. But the Istana Heritage Gallery compensates those who missed the Istana with a meticulously detailed write-up on the history of this neo-Palladian style building since her birth.

    I had visited the Istana on several occasions but it is this gallery that really enlightened me on her history than the Istana grounds.

    It was pure coincidence to bump into this gallery. I was attending a computer class at MDIS Orchard Campus and was early for my class and I decided to detour and walk around the greenery in the Istana Park. And I found this little jewel in the middle of the greenery. However, the gallery is open only from 10 am and will close at 6 pm. When my class dismissed at 5 pm, I decided to drop by to visit the gallery.

    The gallery was not very big. It gave me an impression of an exhibition hall than a gallery. I was a bit disappointed but then, I met Ms Jean, an enthusiastic volunteer who was on duty at the gallery. She was friendly and was patient to accompany me for a gallery tour and was very keen to explain the significance of the numerous exhibits on display and on the various gifts from foreign dignitaries presented to our Presidents.

    It was the first time I came to know that the construction of the Istana owed much to the labor of the convicts who were deported from elsewhere by the British colonial government. I also learnt that the Istana was the residence of the British governor before it became the office of our first President, Some of the gifts from foreign dignitaries were impressive and the gifts showed the amount of respect we gained as an independent nation though geographically, we are a tiny nation..

    The history of the Istana is a mirror of the relentless struggle of our people against foreign domination. The British governors once lived here and the Japanese imperialists once occupied this building. But now it is the office of our democratically elected President and Prime Minister and we hope it shall remain in the hands of our people and our government.

    While the gallery is small, it illustrates the history of the Istana and the struggle of our nation.

    The gallery is just opposite the Istana and the Plaza Singapura. It is also besides Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Admission is free for both locals and foreigners.
    Written 24 June 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • richard m
    Ciudad Juarez, Mexico582 contributions
    Great painting or murals, about how they continúe tongo further, not to give up, even for a very small city state has to many things to offer
    Written 16 October 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sahriman Wahid
    1 contribution
    Growing up around Commonwealth Drive @ Block 56 in the 80s before moving out of Singapore is the best experience in my life.
    Written 3 July 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Richard B
    York, UK19 contributions
    An interesting place to spend an hour learning about the final days before Britain’s surrender to the Japanese during WW2.
    Written 15 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Roberts69
    Northampton, UK18,288 contributions
    The Kong Chow Cultural Centre (KCCC) is an interesting place and the building is eye catching too. Established In July 2013 this ‘living’ museum, equipped with graphic exhibits and multimedia kiosks, showcases its unique cultural characteristics - featuring artifacts, dynamic display of traditional Chinese martial arts, lion and dragon dances, and Cantonese Opera, as well as interactive hands-on activities. KCCC reflects the process on how the Xinhui clansmen as immigrants have integrated into multi-racial and multi-cultural Singapore, and its important contributions in nation-building. This lively cultural centre lets visitors feel the past come alive amid on-going activities of the clan association and its robust traditional cultural events. Here visitors will be immersed in a truly Cantonese cultural atmosphere. Admission is free. Scheduled group visits by students and other groups can be arranged. When I visited it was late evening but the centre gate and main door was open for a Chinese Opera rehearsal. I waundered in an a caretaker kindly let me have a look around. There are 4 floors with some interesting Chinese performing arts props scattered across them, such as Chinese Lion Dance heads. It was good to see these up close and be able to take some photos. The building itself is interesting and the walls are adorned with old photographs and interesting pieces of history explained in both Chinese and English. Certainly worth a visit especially as it's Free to get in.
    Written 6 November 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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