Singapore certainly has a past worth exploring and it's through the historical buildings of the city-state that you can best glimpse through the prism of time. Beautiful old buildings such as Chijmes, Telok Ayer Market, Istana and Raffles Hotel, as well as the Old Parliament House, bear witness to their dignified roles of yesteryear. At the same time, The Merlion Park and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (better known as The Durian) play modern roles in the pageant of Singapore's many attractions and landmarks. And don't forget to visit the statue of the man who started it all off – Sir Stamford Raffles.
All Landmarks & Memorials in Singapore
A beautiful 5-building gothic-style complex, Chijmes (pronounced 'chimes') is one of the most popular dining, shopping and lifestyle venues in Singapore. Located on the grounds of a former convent school, Chijmes reopened in 1997 after years of restoration. Nowadays the main chapel (aka Chijmes Hall) is used for musical and art performances as well as for wedding ceremonies. Chijmes is a modern hotspot and fun nightlife venue but many still like to stroll around these charming colonial buildings in the daytime to shop at the boutiques and to admire its beautiful design and architecture.
Such items include beautiful stained-glass panels inside Chijimes Hall and Caldwell House, (the oldest free-standing house in Singapore, now an art gallery) and the Gate of Hope (a small gate of the old convent where many unwanted babies were left to be cared for by the nuns).
- Address: 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996
- Tel: +65 6337 7810
Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Known by the locals as the Durian because of its spiky roofing, Esplanade is another premiere performing arts venue in Singapore. Esplanade features a 2,000-seat theatre, a 1,600-seat concert hall, two smaller studios, a mall as well as two outdoor theatres and is situated along the promenade. The 2 spiky looking domes are the large theatre Read More...
- Address: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
Fort Canning Park Singapore
Behind the Singapore History Museum at Stamford Road, situated on top of a hill, is Fort Canning. You can get into Fort Canning via several accesses - the Park Mall underpass, the National Library underpass, the Hill Street Food Centre and the River Valley Swimming Complex. Besides being a welcome respite of quiet greenery in the city, Read More...
- Address: 70 River Valley Road, Singapore 179037
Formerly known as Government House, Istana is where the Singaporean President's office is located. It was built from 1867–1869 by Sir Harry St George Ord, Singapore's first governor. Constructed in the neo-Palladian Anglo-Indian style, it has beautiful surroundings and landscaping including a 105 mm Japanese cannon, a 6-foot-high statue of Queen Victoria hewn from Sicilian marble, 4 ponds and an old well. The Istana grounds are open to the public annually in celebration of the following occasions: Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 8.30am to 6pm
- Address: Office of the President of the Republic of Singapore Orchard Road, Singapore 238823
Kranji War Memorial
The Kranji War Memorial is far from the city centre, in the northern area of Singapore. This is where thousands of the Allied soldiers who died in Southeast Asia in World War II are buried. A register of the names of the soldiers who participated in the war is available for inspection. Singapore's presidents are also buried at Kranji. It's easy to find the cemetery via public transport. Take the MRT to Kranji station.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 6pm
- Address: 9 Woodlands Road, Singapore 738656
Lau Pa Sat (aka Telok Ayer Market)
Built in 1894, Lau Pa Sat is a popular hawker centre. This historic building was built with Victorian filigree cast-iron and is located in the heart of Singapore's business area.
At lunchtime, it's full of office workers. At night, the street is closed and there are many food stalls serving plenty of local favourites such as Read More...
- Opening Hours: 24/7
- Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
- Tel: +65 6276 0521
The Merlion is the mythical symbol of Singapore, located at Merlion Park at Marina Bay. The statue is a cross between a fish and a lion, spouting water out from the mouth into the river. This famous imaginary beast attracts over a million visitors per year.
The park itself has a nice setting with terraced seating Read More...
- Opening Hours: All day
- Address: One Fullerton, Singapore 049213
Old Parliament House
This well-run art house and heritage centre was built in 1827 and used as the Parliament House from 1965 to 1999. The famous former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, had his office inside. Nowadays, it houses many art exhibitions, dances, films and concerts.
One of the most recognisable statues in Singapore is the bronze elephant located at the front of the building, a gift from King Rama V of Siam (Thailand) to show his appreciation after a visit in 1871. Also featured inside the compound are a few dining experiences, including a Thai restaurant and a wine bar.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 10am to 8pm, Saturday from 11am to 8pm (closed on Sundays)
- Address: 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
- Tel: +65 6332 6900
This luxurious colonial-style hotel has a long history dating back to 1887 and has become one of the most important Singaporean landmarks. Among the long list of famous guests are household names like Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth II and the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Raffles Hotel features different suites and room types, along with a collection of distinctive restaurants, bars, and an arcade with over 40 boutiques and stores (think Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.). When visiting the Raffles, look out for its museum presenting the hotel’s rich history. The famous Singapore Sling cocktail is a product of the Raffles’ popular Long Bar. Read More...
- Address: 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
- Tel: +65 6337 1886
Raffles Place, situated right outside the entrance of Raffles Place MRT, is now occupied by skyscrapers such as the UOB Plaza and One Raffles Place. It’s Singapore's business and financial centre and is often known as the Central Business District.
From the viewing room on the 28th floor of One Raffles Place, which is open to Read More...
Statues of Sir Stamford Raffles
The city-state has 2 statues of Sir Stamford Raffles, recognised as Singapore’s founder. Sir Raffles' dark bronze statue stands tall in front of Victoria Theatre. Its replica, made in pure white poly-marble, stands at North Boat Quay to mark the spot where he first landed on the island in 1819. Both areas are popular with locals, especially on cool evenings.
- Location: North Bank, Singapore
Supreme Court & City Hall
The Supreme Court building, built in 1939, was one of the last colonial buildings to be constructed in the civic district area. Its handsome Corinthian columns boast murals by Italian artist Cavaliere Rodolfo Nolli. You can pick up a "Guide to the Supreme Court", as well as watch a mulitmedia presentation on the Singapore judiciary system and view the Supreme Court Open House and Exhibition. Next to the Supreme Court, an impressive flight of steps leads up to the City Hall. This is where the Japanese officially surrendered, at the end of World War II.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 8.30am to 6pm
- Address: 1 Supreme Ct Ln, Singapore 178879
- Tel: +65 6336 0644
The Padang, which means simply "field" in Malay, was the recreational centrepiece of colonial life. The old colonial civic district of Kuala Lumpur has a similar landmark. This open grass field was where the more sports-inclined British played a round of cricket, or where people took a nice stroll in the evenings.
The Singapore Cricket Club still exists today, and its members can still be seen playing cricket at the Padang on weekends. Today, the Padang becomes the focus of the whole nation's attention on August 9 – Singapore's National Day – when it became independent from Malaysia. An annual parade of soldiers, the navy, civil servants and students normally ends at this historic venue.
- Opening Hours: Daily