10 Best Museums You Can Visit in Singapore for Free

BY Joel Conceicao



Free museums in Singapore

Singapore may be known for its Crazy Rich Asian vibes, but you don’t always have to break the bank to have fun in the Lion City.

One of the best things about Singapore is that museums are free. Which museums are free, exactly? Well, it depends. But if you are a Singaporean, PR, or a tourist with a child under six, you can enter plenty of museums without forking a single cent.

Besides, nothing beats a free visit to a museum in Singapore, whether you are looking to save money after splurging on a staycation or looking to stretch your budget for a day of fun.

In terms of how many museums there are in Singapore, you are spoilt for choice, with over 50 museums to check out. And if budgeting is forever top of mind, here are the best free museums you can visit in Singapore:

  1. National Gallery Singapore
  2. National Museum Singapore
  3. Indian Heritage Centre
  4. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
  5. Reflections at Bukit Chandu
  6. Asian Civilisations Museum
  7. Malay Heritage Centre
  8. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum
  9. NUS Museum
  10. Parkview Museum

Do take note that even though these are free museums in Singapore, tourists have to pay an entrance fee to enter most of these museums.

01. National Gallery Singapore

Old-world architecture. A modern Southeast Asian art collection. With some of the city’s best restaurants, including the three-starred Odette. The National Gallery is one of the best museums in Singapore you can visit for free. However, travellers will have to pay a small fee to enter this historic building. It will be worth the price, however.

Neighbourhood: Civic District

Address: 1 St Andrew's Rd, #01 – 01, Singapore 178957

02. National Museum Singapore

Is entry to the National Museum of Singapore free? Yes, for Singaporeans, PRs, and children under six years. Tourists need to pay a small price again. But visiting the nation’s oldest museum is always worth whipping out your wallet for. If the charming colonial facade doesn’t get you, then the cutting-edge technology that lies within is sure to impress.

Neighbourhood: Civic District

Address: 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897

03. Indian Heritage Centre

Little India is bursting at the seams with colour and heritage. To find it all under one roof, make a beeline for the Indian Heritage Centre. A sleek and modern facade houses fascinating permanent galleries that tell the stories and culture of the region’s Indian community. Tourists need to pay a small fee.

Neighbourhood: Little India

Address: 5 Campbell Ln, Singapore 209924

04. Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is a tiny building that’s big in terms of historical impact. This two-storey colonial villa is now converted into a museum. Its past life was home to wealthy Chinese merchants and even a Kempeitai branch office for the Japanese military in World War Two. If you are a tourist, a small entry fee is required.

Neighbourhood: Balestier

Address: 12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874

05. Reflections at Bukit Chandu

Reflections at Bukit Chandu is another beautifully restored bungalow that pays tribute to the battle of Pasir Panjang and the brave men of the Malay regiment who fought in it. Come here for interactive exhibitions and super unique artefacts. Admission is free for Singaporeans and PRs only.

Photo credit: @prisquek

Neighbourhood: Pasir Panjang

Address: 31 - K Pepys Road, 118458

06. Asian Civilisations Museum

Step back in time at the Asian Civilisations museum. Learn the stories of traditional communities in Southeast Asia explored through sculptures, paintings, and sacred objects. And see the famous Tang Shipwreck collection from 9th century China. Tourists have to fork out a small fee for entry.

Neighbourhood: Civic District

Address: 1 Empress Pl, Singapore 179555

07. Malay Heritage Centre

Malay Heritage Centre

Malay culture and history take centre stage at the Malay Heritage Centre. Formerly a sultan’s palace, this grand old building is where you can learn about Singapore’s Malay community. However, the museum is currently closed till further notice because of revamp works (updated 22nd November 2022).

Neighbourhood: Kampong Glam

Address: 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501

08. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum

One of the best free museums in Singapore is the iconic Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, built for the public veneration of a left canine tooth believed to be Buddha’s. It was discovered during the restoration of a collapsed stupa in Myanmar in 1980. Singaporeans, PRs, and children under six can enter for free.

Neighbourhood: Chinatown

Address: 288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840

09. NUS Museum

Another excellent free museum in Singapore to check out is the NUS Museum. Besides being the oldest university museum in town, it is home to over 8,000 artefacts and artworks, from ancient Chinese art to Indian classical sculptures. Admission is free for all. If you also have time, you can check out the nearby Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Photo credit: @nusmuseum

Neighbourhood: Kent Ridge

Address: 50 Kent Ridge Cres, Singapore 119279

10. Parkview Museum

You can find Parkview Museum in Parkview Square (which locals jokingly refer to as Gotham for its dark and brooding facade). The museum is anything but bleak, though. Visit here for the largest Salvador Dali collection outside of Spain and a collection of imperial Chinese stone Buddhist carvings. Admission is free for all.

Photo credit: @blaqplastiq

Neighbourhood: Bugis

Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188778

Bonus: quirky and interesting museums for the culture vulture

There are plenty of options to get your cultural needs satiated in the city-state. Plus, there is no shortage of under-the-radar attractions to check out. From an eccentric camera-shaped museum full of vintage photo-taking equipment to a former underground WWII bomb-proof bunker, here are six more alternative museums in Singapore for the culture vulture to visit:

11. Vintage Camera Museum

As its name suggests, the Vintage Camera Museum is all about old cameras, with models dating as far back as the 1800s, ranging from spy cams to drones attached to pigeons during the war. Pro tip: be sure to snap a photo of the building’s camera-shaped exterior and try a few of the vintage cameras out – it’s allowed here unlike other museums

Neighbourhood: Kampong Glam

Address: 8C Jln Kledek, Singapore 199263

12. Battlebox

Venture nine metres underground into the Battlebox, a former WWII bomb-proof bunker and command centre. What awaits is a mazy labyrinth of rooms filled with wartime artefacts. If you’re a history buff, this is the perfect opportunity for you to relive the drama behind the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942.

Neighbourhood: Central Business District

Address: 2 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179622

13. Katong Antique House

Yet another bastion of Peranakan heritage in town is the Katong Antique House. Overflowing with all things Peranakan, from batik sarongs to beaded slippers and pineapple tarts to retro furniture, this two-storey pre-war shophouse is where you can explore meticulously restored rooms that reflect how a typical Peranakan family lived in the past. 

Neighbourhood: Katong-Joo Chiat

Address: 208 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428907

14. Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum Singapore

Holding the Guinness World Record for the biggest collection of tortoise and turtle items, the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum has many adorable shelled critters roaming its grounds, from the African spurred tortoise to the pig-nosed turtle. The animals are the personal collection of owner Connie Tan, who has gathered them over the last 40 years.

Neighbourhood: Yishun

Address: 81 Lor Chencharu, #01-16, ORTO 769198

15. Madame Tussauds Singapore

Be it celebs, sports stars, or politicians, Madame Tussauds is a great place to get your dose of pop culture and to strike a funny pose or two. But what’s really cool is you get to live the lives of these superstars, like trying out a full-sized F1 VR simulator or dancing like a Bollywood actor in front of the camera – the choice is yours!

Neighbourhood: Sentosa

Address: 40 Imbiah Rd, Sentosa, 099700

16. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

History buff or not, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is always good fun, being the only natural history museum in Singapore. A big part of Lee Kong Chian’s collection comes from the original Raffles Museum. Even more impressive is the over a million specimens from the region you can admire here, including three massive dinosaur skeletons.

Neighbourhood: Kent Ridge

Address: 2 Conservatory Dr, Singapore 117377

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