From a vibrant civic and commercial district to a beautifully preserved cultural enclave and museum, these historical places in Singapore are a must visit.
Start your journey with a leisurely bumboat cruise along the Singapore River, which was a busy waterway and the commercial
There are 13 points to start your river cruise on, but for easy access to the next stop on this itinerary, take the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to Raffles Place station and walk to the Boat Quay jetty or alight at Clarke Quay station to get to the cruise booth outside Clarke Quay Central.
9.45am: The Padang
Alight at Boat Quay and take a short 15-minute walk to the ‘Padang’, which means flat field in Malay. The Padang, the historical heart of the Civic District, is where Singapore’s independence was declared on 9 August 1965. Two years later, in 1967, the Garden City campaign was launched, spearheading the national effort to “green” Singapore. This culminated in land being set aside for the ambitious Gardens by the Bay development, which is one of Singapore’s most photographed landmarks today.
As you stand at the Padang, look across to where Marina Bay Sands® (MBS) is—the architectural wonder of three hotel towers with a connecting sky park that stands proudly on reclaimed land. Beyond MBS is Marina Barrage, an engineering feat that was executed as part of Singapore’s efforts to increase its fresh water supply by increasing the island’s water catchment area.
Be sure to stop by the new National Gallery Singapore, which faces the Padang. Formerly home to the country’s Supreme Court and City Hall, it is now Singapore’s largest visual arts venue and offers a unique perspective on art in the region with an impressive collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art.
From the Singapore River walk to Connaught Drive or St Andrew’s Road towards the Padang.
10.30am: Chinatown walking tour
It won’t take long to commute to Singapore’s Chinatown. In the olden days, the shophouses of Chinatown were crammed with immigrants in search of a better life. Tea and opera houses, as well as opium dens, were the most popular forms of entertainment, and the Chinatown Street Market was where people congregated to shop, eat and
The recently restored Thian Hock Keng temple at Telok Ayer Street is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore. Right along the same street is the Masjid Al-
Walk to North Bridge Road to take bus 124 or 174 to Upper Cross Street or take the MRT from City Hall station to Outram Park station.
12 noon: Peranakan Museum Singapore
Gain insights into the lives of the Peranakan* people at the Peranakan Museum on Armenian Street. Peranakan culture, which is a unique fusion of ethnic Chinese, Malay and Indian elements, features elaborate arts and crafts as well as distinct cultural traditions and mouth-watering cuisine. Located in a restored school building, the Museum houses the world’s finest and most comprehensive collection of Peranakan artefacts. Learn more about Peranakan history as you admire the artefacts on display, and find out about historical Peranakan figures who played an important role in Singapore’s history. Best of all, as you explore the museum, you will notice that many aspects of Peranakan traditions are still practised in modern Singapore.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
From the bus stop outside People’s Park Complex along Eu Tong Sen Street, take bus 124 or 190 to Hill Street and alight at the Armenian Church.