The Top 10 Most Cultural & Patriotic Singapore Landmarks

The Top 10 Most Cultural & Patriotic Singapore Landmarks

As we celebrate 55 years of independence this National Day, let’s take a moment to remember some key milestones in our history. After all, Singapore has thrived during uncertain times and come a long way since its founding as a colony!

Through some of Singapore’s landmarks, we can appreciate and treasure our heritage as well as learn more about the challenging times we have gone through. 

Also, it would be a reminder that we have what it takes to forge ahead – even in challenging times such as now, as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ready to walk down memory lane? Here are the most cultural and patriotic Singapore landmarks to check out this August (and beyond)!

1. The Istana

Address: 35 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238823
Visiting times: 8:30am to 6pm daily
Learn more here 

Built by the British Colonial government for its governors, the Istana building was completed in 1869 and known as the Government House. 

When Singapore gained self-government in 1959, it got renamed Istana – which means “palace” in Malay and the building was handed over to Singapore’s government. 

Today, the Istana has six function rooms for ceremonies and to receive foreign dignitaries and guests.


2. The Civilian War Memorial 

Address: Bras Basah Road and Beach Road intersection, Singapore 189701
Visiting times: Open 24 hours daily
Learn more here

Affectionately known as the “Four Chopsticks” by locals, the Civilian War Memorial is made up of four columns that are 67 metres tall. Each column represents a core ethnic group (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian) in Singapore that perished during the Japanese Occupation, a dark time in our national history.

This national monument is built over a burial chamber which contains exhumed remains from the mass graves of civilian war victims. A memorial service is conducted on 15 February every year, in memory of the war victims. 


3. National Museum of Singapore

Address: 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897
Visiting times: 10am to 7pm daily
Learn more here

The National Museum is Singapore’s oldest museum, with a history dating back to 1887. If you wish to immerse in the history and culture of Singapore, this is the place to go! 

Through its permanent offerings, the Singapore Gallery and Life in Singapore: The Past 100 Years galleries, you can learn about the nation’s past and present, which is presented in an engaging, fun manner.


4. Former Ford Factory

Address: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588192
Visiting times: 11am to 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday
Learn more here

If you’re a history buff, you might be interested to visit the Former Ford Factory, which was where the British surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942. Formerly Ford Motor Company’s first Southeast Asian car assembly plant, the building relocated to its current site in 1941. 

Expect to glimpse into the lives of pre-war Singaporeans and also learn about the British surrender and Japanese Occupation in more detail through the exhibition.


5. National Gallery Singapore

Address: 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957
Visiting times: 10am to 7pm from Monday to Thursday and Saturday, 10am to 9pm on Friday
Learn more here

If you are an art lover, the National Gallery should be on your must-visit list! At 64,000 square metres, it is Singapore’s largest visual arts venue! Conveniently located in the former Supreme Court and City Hall, the gallery spans over two historic buildings that have played a significant role in Singapore’s history. 

It features a carefully curated collection that allows visitors to immerse in the unique art, history and heritage in the region.


6. Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall

Address: 9 Empress Pl, Singapore 179556
Visiting times: 10am to 9pm Daily
Learn more here

The Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall was initially completed in 1862 to be a Town Hall with a theatre, but was too small for either function. In 1901, the Town Hall was then part of a memorial hall to commemorate Queen Victoria, who passed away that year. 

With a rich history of over 150 years, the Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall supports the growth of Singapore’s arts industry.


7. Fort Canning Park 

Address: River Valley Rd, Singapore 179037
Visiting times: Open 24 hours daily
Learn more here

Originally known as Bukit Larangan (“forbidden hill” in Malay), Fort Canning is filled with ancient artefacts and greenery that will appeal to everyone in the family. In fact, it sometimes doubles up as an outdoor concert venue! 

Whether you’re into nature or history, there’s something for you to check out at Fort Canning. Highlights include the ASEAN Sculpture Garden, Spice Garden, the Fort Gate and Battle Box, which was a former underground military complex in World War II.


8. Esplanade Park Memorials

Address: Along Connaught Drive, 179682
Visiting times: Open 24 hours daily
Learn more here

Built in 1943, the Esplanade Park is among the oldest heritage parks in Singapore. It was redeveloped in 1991 to better showcase Singapore’s historical landmarks. As you walk around the park, take a moment to honour the brave soldiers who fought in the war at the Lim Bo Seng Memorial and the Cenotaph. 

Also, do check out the beautiful Tan Kim Seng Fountain, which was built in 1882 to celebrate the Chinese philanthropist’s contributions to Singapore!


9. The Cathay 

Address: 2 Handy Rd, Former Cathay Building, Singapore 229233
Visiting times: 10am to 10pm from Monday to Saturday, 11am to 2am on Sunday
Learn more here

The Cathay is so much more than just a shopping mall! It used to be the first skyscraper and first air-conditioned cinema to screen American and British films in Singapore. 

This iconic building was opened by Cathay Organisation and founder Dato Loke Wan Tho in 1939 and has always been associated with classic entertainment. 

Fast forward to today, you can still catch a movie in one of the Cathay Cineplexes’ nine cinema halls.


10. Raffles Hotel

Address: 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
Visiting times: Open 24 hours daily
Learn more here

Named after Singapore’s founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, Raffles Hotel has hosted famous guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II and Rudyard Kipling. Since its opening in 1887, Raffles Hotel has evolved with the addition of new facilities and hotel wings over the years. It is one of the most famous hotels in Singapore that everyone should visit at least once!


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