Singapore is home to over 50 museums, from the well-known places like the National Museum of Singapore, ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay Sands and the Asian Civilisation Museum, to some of the quirky, niche and interesting ones. Here are some of the lesser known museums in Singapore you can considering visiting on your next family day out!
Learn about all-things Peranakan at The Intan, located at owner Alvin Yapp’s home, which is now an independent cultural and social space. This museum offers an intimate look and experience of the Peranakan culture, along with Yapp’s personal collection of diverse Peranakan furniture and antique pieces including tiffin carries, apparels and antiques.
Be sure to book an appointment before you head down as the tours are conducted in small groups only. Complete the tour by enjoying a traditional Peranakan Tea Appreciation.
Address: 69 Joo Chiat Terrace
Opening hours: Visits are strictly by appointment only (minimum of 4 people per group)
Admission: $60 per visitor
This is a trip down memory lane for many, going through many levels of toys that date all the way back from the 1840s to the present pop culture trends. A step into the MINT Museum of Toys is a rush of nostalgia for all ages. There are over 50,000 pieces of vintage toys and collectables from across the world and is the only museum that was purpose-built for toys.
If you enjoyed characters like Popeye, Batman, Star Wars, alongside classic teddy bears and Disney characters, be sure to take a good look at those rare vintage toys that are displayed at the museum. The MINT shop even sells a range of original and replica toys for you to bring a piece of nostalgic history home.
Address: 26 Seah Street
Opening hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm, daily
Admission : $7.50 (child aged 2-12 years), $15 (adult)
Long before the digital era where photos are taken at the click on the shutter button, film cameras were so huge and bulky that it is near impossible to just bring it out for street photography shots anytime you want. Step into the museum dedicated to purely vintage cameras, with over 1000 old-school cameras. The best part? Some of these cameras are there for you to pick up and test them out! Additionally, lookout for other kinds of cameras like the spy cameras, pigeon cameras and more at the museum.
Address: 8C & 8D Jalan Kledek
Opening hours 10.30am – 9.30pm, daily
Admission $15 (child below 12 years), $20 (adult)
Yes, there is a musical box museum right here in Singapore. Bet you didn’t see this coming, yeah? Musical boxes date all the way back to the early 1800s and has now become a mechanical musical instrument we adore. Learn about the history and popularity of these musical boxes, as well as our relationship to them when they first made their way to Singapore.
The founder’s personal collection of musical boxes throughout the years, sourced both locally and regionally, where each tells a fascinating story.
Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street (beside Thian Hock Keng Temple)
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, Wed to Mon
Admission: Free (children up to 6 years), $6 (student), $12 (adult)
Enter the world of turtles and tortoises, roaming around freely at the park. Housing over 700 of these reptiles from more than 40 different species, the museum currently holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of turtles and tortoises in the world, where some of the rarest reptiles are housed right here.
Expect to see some of the prized gentle giants in the world such as the Alligator Turtle, Radiated Tortoise, Pig Nose Flying Turtle and Six-Legged Tortoise. In addition, you can also pet and hand feed some of them while learning more about these reptiles.
Address: ORTO, 81 Lor Chencharu #01-16
Opening hours: 10am-6pm, daily
- [Standard] $10 (children 3-6 years), $14 (adult)
- [Singapore Residents] $6 (children 3-6 years), $6 (seniors above 62 years), $10 (adult)
Chinese opera is a performing art form in Chinese traditions where actors don elaborate costumes with heavy headpieces and perform with intricate and stylised movements. This museum is set up by Mr Bian Hui Bin who was exposed to Chinese opera from a young age while growing up in mainland China. He set up this museum to educate visitors about the art form through the development of Chinese operas in Singapore since the time Southern Chinese set foot on the island.
Tucked away in a rustic shophouse in Kampong Glam, this museum features the costumes, props and stories employed by the various opera troupes in Singapore including the Cantonese, Teochew, Qiong, Hokkien (Xiang Opera, Li Yuan Opera and Gezai Opera) and Yue opera.
Credit: Singapore Chinese Opera Museum
Address: Sultan Plaza, #01-27, 100 Jalan Sultan,
Opening Hours: 11am -7pm, Mon – Fri (reservation required)
Credit: CNN Travel
The Battlebox is not just a museum, but it is the actual site that was used in the World War II. Built in 1936, this place used to be the underground command centre inside Fort Canning Hill by the British army. What makes this place so special for Singapore is that it was exactly there, inside the Battlebox when the British made the decision to surrender Singapore to the invading Japanese on 15 February 1942.
Today, this restored underground command centre unveils how this secret bunker functioned during the war through recreations of settings, artefacts, and immersive shows. Relive history at this museum located 9 meters below ground, which has been voted as one of the top museums by tourists.
Address: 2 Cox Terrace, Fort Canning Park
Opening Hours: Entry via guided tours only
Admission: $9 (child), $18 (adult)
If all these still doesn’t entice you, check out our post about the tour on a secret bunker in Chinatown.