When you talk about well-known galleries in Singapore, the common names that come to mind are usually the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Art Museum. Now, if you wish to go off the unbeaten track and pay a visit to the lesser-known museums, there are existing alternative choices for you to pick from!
View Singapore in a different light as you gain new insights about our little dot through their engaging and immersive exhibits! From exhibitions revolving around sports and religion to urban planning and civil defence, here are the 8 best museums in Singapore that you may not even know exist.
P.S. They are free for all Singaporeans!
Note: This list is strictly not in order.
1. Singapore Sports Museum
Being the pioneer sports-related museum in our little red dot, Singapore Sports Museum is committed to sharing the stories of Singapore’s sporting aspirations through their interesting exhibits. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a history buff or a sports fanatic, you will most definitely enjoy admiring the glorious artefacts and memorabilia donated by fans and athletes alike! If you would like to bring along your child’s stroller or visit the museum with your elderly parents, you will be happy to know that the museum is wheelchair accessible.
Singapore Sports Museum also offers a 45-minute weekday museum tour where their affable tour guides will walk you through their engaging exhibits. Take your pick from the following choices: Our Sporting Dream, Dream Athletes and Museum Artefact Highlights. You are sure to head home with nothing less than newfound knowledge of Singapore’s sports history!
Fun Fact: Sport-themed art & craft activities are also available for your little ones. This enables their creative juices to flow when they play around with colours and shapes!
Contact: +65 6653 8900
Location: 1 Stadium Drive, Singapore 397629
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm | Sat-Sun 10am-9pm
2. Singapore City Gallery
Bringing to life Singapore’s amazing transformation over the past 50 years, Singapore City Gallery boasts 40 immersive exhibits narrating our development story! One of their interactive exhibits is How Our City Works. Taking into account our limited land and resources, it showcases how Singapore has managed to take care of its various transport, waste, energy and water needs. While you’re there, make sure to pick up some helpful tips on how to reduce the burden on our systems too!
Another key highlight of theirs is the exhibit, Mapping Singapore, where you can trace Singapore’s evolution over a century through 40 maps and plans presented in this permanent exhibition. What are you waiting for? Come and discover more about Singapore’s landscape history through Singapore City Gallery!
Fun Fact: Keep your eyes opened wide for their Island-wide Model exhibit. Utilising the power of 3D printing technology, it displays Singapore’s buildings and topography in finer details!
Location: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm
3. Singapore Mobility Gallery
Featuring 7 fun hands-on exhibition zones, Singapore Mobility Gallery grants you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how LTA plans and designs their transport system! Striking an ideal balance between inclusivity and efficiency, they also leverage cutting-edge technology to achieve smarter urban mobility. Step into the shoes of a transport planner and look forward to a host of larger than life exhibits when you’re here!
Try your hands at building a sustainable yet efficient transport network alongside training public transport workers through Virtual Reality experiential activities. The best part of it all, you are allowed to explore the exhibits at your own pace as Singapore Mobility Gallery takes on a self-guided tour format.
Fun Fact: Visitors are encouraged to take a pledge to a car-lite Singapore upon reaching the last exhibition zone. Committing to a promise for the better of the nation is a great way to end your museum visit!
Location: No. 1 Hampshire Road, Land Transport Authority, Block 1, Level 1, Singapore 219428
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm | Sat 9.30am-1pm
4. Singapore Maritime Gallery
Discover Singapore’s transformation from a thriving trading post to a reputed global hub port when you set foot into Singapore Maritime Gallery. Sail into Singapore’s maritime beginnings and venture around their interesting exhibits for an immersive experience like never before! The go-to zones include the Ship Bridge Simulator for you to helm the mighty role of a ship captain, navigating various vessel types through diverse story-driven missions.
Another must-go exhibit is the Interactive Ship Spotter. This is where you can play around with live augmented reality scanners to learn about the unique features of vessels. For an optimal experience, Singapore Maritime Gallery strongly suggests spending at least an hour in their exhibition.
Fun Fact: They provide complimentary guided tours if you are coming as a school or group (minimum 20 pax), so do book early online for guaranteed slots!
Contact: +65 6325 5707
Location: 31 Marina Coastal Drive, Marina South Pier, Level 2, Singapore 018988
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 9am-6pm
5. Harmony in Diversity Gallery
If you didn’t know, Singapore is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world! Comprising of 4 galleries with interactive features and artefacts, Harmony in Diversity Gallery seeks to demonstrate the importance of maintaining harmonious inter-faith relations in Singapore.
Even though Singapore is recognised for its rich religious heritage, this very same diversity can also cause friction when inter-religious conflicts occur. Through this well-thought-of gallery, they hope visitors can understand that religious harmony is always a work in progress and continue to play a part in protecting this precious legacy. Enter the doors of Harmony in Diversity Gallery to uncover both the diversity and commonalities of the various faiths in Singapore!
Fun Fact: The Ministry of Home Affairs had collaborated with various organisations and community partners to develop this gallery!
Contact: +65 6221 8942
Location: 7 Maxwell Road, Ministry of National Development (MND) Building, Annexe B, #04-05/06, Singapore 069111
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
6. The Gem Museum
The Gem Museum promises to take you on a journey through the 4 different stages of how gemstones are transformed from the mine to market. Being the first and most comprehensive gemology museum in Singapore, it brings forth an enriching experience like no other from the start to the end. Unravel the formation of rocks before learning about gemstone extraction. After which, familiarise yourself with the various cutting styles of gemstones which will impact its colour and brightness.
Last but not least, you will be invited into their showroom to feast your eyes on the plethora of sizes, shapes and colours that gemstones have to offer. Let your imagination run wild and make the experience complete by designing your very own piece of jewellery with The Gem Museum!
Fun Fact: If you’re an astrology buff, look for your very own birthstone right there and then in their exquisite showroom!
Contact: +65 6734 3172
Location: 26 Kandahar Street, Level 2, Singapore 198888
Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 12pm-5pm | Sat 11am-3pm
7. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
You may only come across firefighters in the news or hear their fire engine’s siren blasting loudly when they drive past your house. Believe it or not, these men in their bulky firefighting suits have to carry 60kg worth of equipment each time they set off to their fire rescue missions. If you have always wanted to learn more about what they do, the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery offers you the chance of getting up close and personal with them!
Under a guided tour by none other than their very own fireman, learn about the latest firefighting and rescue technology made by the SCDF. Look forward to the engaging exhibit stations at Civil Defence Heritage Gallery where you can learn what firefighters have to undergo during a real-life operation!
Fun Fact: Did you know? The gallery is situated right inside the fire station itself!
Contact: +65 6332 2996
Location: 62 Hill Street, Singapore 179367
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm
The Navy may be out at sea on most days but they do have a museum on land too! Take a trip down memory lane with the Republic of Singapore Navy Museum as their exhibits will enlighten you on the early challenges faced by sailors, as well as how they overcame it. Having grown into an integrated maritime fighting force, be lost in a wave of fun as you eliminate their simulated enemy targets with weapons possessed by the Navy. Not only will you be given the opportunity to navigate a ship through the bustling Singapore Strait but you can also experience steering a submarine underwater.
The Navy may be mostly known for protecting our shores. But adding on to that, they have also assisted in countless overseas operations. Get a glimpse of what it is like to be a Navy Officer when you walk into our country’s very own Republic of Singapore Navy Museum!
Fun Fact: Be knocked off your socks when you first catch sight of the model ships and submarines in the Museum’s water tank upon entry!
Contact: +65 6544 5147
Location: 112 Tanah Merah Coast Road, Singapore 498794
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm | Sat 9am-3pm