Experience Singapore’s rich culture and history at the Civic District
Best known as the landing point of Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles, the captivating Civic District is where you’ll get the opportunity to marvel at historical institutions like the Asian Civilisations Museum, alongside more modern landmarks like Capitol Piazza. If you are an avid art and history fan and only have a few hours to spare on your visit, put these spots at the top of your list. Here’s an easy half-day itinerary to get you started.
Spend an hour exploring Asia’s rich culture
The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) preserves and showcases Asia’s diverse cultural heritage, and delves into the historical and artistic connections between the various cultures in the region.
Through the curated collection of objects, artefacts and artworks from China, India, Southeast Asia and the Islamic world, the ACM exhibitions provide cultural insights into the people who have settled in Singapore over the past two centuries and help cultivate an appreciation for its multicultural society.
Address: 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Take a one-hour guided tour at the National Gallery Singapore
Home to the largest public collection of Southeast Asian art in the world, the National Gallery Singapore is housed within two heritage buildings – the beautifully restored former Supreme Court and City Hall – and showcases more than 8,000 pieces from Singapore’s National Collection.
Once you’re done perusing the exhibition and art pieces, stop by Gallery & Co. and pick up some locally designed souvenirs. Inspired by Southeast Asian art and culture, the curated range of design collectibles and prints, homeware, fashion, and children’s products has already ranked it amongst the world’s best museum shops.
Address: 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Recharge with a feast of local flavours (approximately one hour)
Tantalise your taste buds at National Kitchen by Violet Oon. Founded by renowned local chef and author Violet Oon, the restaurant is located within the Gallery and you can dine at its scenic veranda to complement your sumptuous feast.
Created from recipes that Oon has collected over the years, the menu offers a mix of authentic Peranakan (Straits Chinese unique to the region) cuisine and Singapore heritage dishes. Recommended dishes include ngoh hiang (deep-fried beancurd skin rolls filled with minced prawn, crab and chicken), ayam buah keluak (chicken stew cooked with spices and the local buah keluak black nut) and chap chye (braised mixed vegetables and beancurd skin).
Address: National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing), #02-01
Indulge in an hour of retail therapy at Capitol Piazza and Raffles City
A retail, dining and entertainment complex, Capitol Piazza is the result of a project to redevelop the historic Art Deco-style Capitol Theatre and its adjoining buildings. It houses some of the finest dining options and fashion boutiques, including Finnish cult favourite Marimekko – famous for its classic Unikko poppy design – and homegrown menswear label Benjamin Barker, known for its dapper collection of clothes and accessories fit for a gentleman.
For more brands to choose from, cross over to Raffles City via the underpass. This shopping mecca offers a variety of fashion brands from high street fashion to designer labels.
Address: 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178905