The Best Hidden Museums in Singapore
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Obscure, Underrated Gems: The Best Hidden Museums in Singapore

When people think of museums in Singapore, the first things they’ll probably think of are the popular ones like the National Museum and the ArtScience Museum. But did you know there are other lesser-known museums on the island that are just as fascinating?

These hidden museums cover a great deal of niche topics—there’s one dedicated to vintage cameras, another to vintage toys, and another to music boxes. There’s even a museum about live turtles and tortoises—wonders never cease!

If you want to visit some hidden museums in Singapore, read on. I’ve listed some of the best ones worth checking out. 

Top 22 Hidden Museums in Singapore

Former Ford Factory

— From: eileenthetraveller

Address: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588192

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—9 am to 5:30 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Contact Number: +6564626724


At first, the former Ford factory may seem unassuming—it’s just a building that used to create cars. But it actually has an interesting history; aside from being a motorcar assembly plant, it was where fighter planes were assembled during World War II.

When Singapore fell, the factory was taken by the Japanese forces, and they made it into a temporary headquarters for the commander of the 25th Army. Eventually, Nissan took over to make military vehicles for the Japanese Army until the war’s end.

Because of the role it played during the war, the factory was restored by the National Archives of Singapore and made into a museum dedicated to World War II. Here, you can find pictorial exhibits and film documentaries about life in Singapore during the war.

Straits Enclave

— From: timeoutsg

Address: 318A Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427569

Contact Number: +6597897628

Experience the golden era of the Peranakan culture at Straits Enclave. In this museum, you’ll be treated to the sight of heirlooms and precious antiques collected from generations of Peranakans—some items can even be traced back to the early 1900s!

In addition to these heirlooms and antiques, this museum also keeps the traditional culture and crafts alive. You can try on a kebaya (an upper garment worn by Peranakans), learn Peranakan beading, and even taste a home-cooked meal!

Best of all, you can also interact with several members of the Peranakan community. If you’re curious to know more about their culture, don’t hesitate to ask. We found everyone super-friendly!

The Cathay Gallery

— From: cathaymalls

Address: 2 Handy Rd, #02-16 The Cathay, Singapore 229233

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—2 to 6 pm
  • Saturday—12 to 6 pm
  • Closed on Sunday


The Cathay is widely known as a shopping mall, cinema, and apartment building, but did you know it also houses a gallery? 

This gallery is dedicated to the history of the Loke family, the pioneers of the film industry in Singapore. The family is also known for their various business ventures on the island and in Malaysia starting from the mid-1800s. 

In this gallery, you’ll be thrilled to see the impressive personal collection of cameras, photographs, and costumes worn by the movie actors. You can also watch snippets of classic films from the 1950s and 1960s and learn more about film history. 

The Gem Museum

— From: laiyee_crystal

 Address: 9 Perak Rd, Singapore 208130

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Friday—12 to 5 pm
  • Saturday—11 am to 3 pm
  • Closed on Sunday and Monday

Contact Number: +6567343172


If you’re ever visiting the charming neighborhood of Little India, be sure to add The Gem Museum to your itinerary. As you can guess from the name, this museum is all about gemstones, and it’s the first—and most comprehensive—of its kind in Singapore. 

When you visit this museum, you’ll be able to see all kinds of stones and learn about how they are formed, mined and extracted, and sold to the market. There’s also a shop here, so if you want to splurge or buy a gift for someone, this is your chance. 

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

— From: yanghaoxiang666

Address: 2 Conservatory Dr, Singapore 117377

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—10 am to 6 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Admission Fee

  • Standard Rate—S$21 (adults), S$13 (child ages 3–12 years old, student, senior citizen, and person with disability)
  • Local Residents—S$16 (adult), S$9 (child, student, senior citizen, and person with disability)

Contact Number: +6566013333


For people who are interested in paleontology, this museum is for you. Located in the National University of Singapore, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is a treasure trove of unique specimens you never knew existed!

Here, you can find a real dinosaur skeleton, three diplodocid sauropod fossils that are about 80% complete, and even well-preserved remnants of a giant leatherback turtle. I haven’t even gotten to gush about the array of plants here—there’s so much to see!

If you grew up loving the Jurassic Park movies, this museum is sure to delight you!

The Battlebox

— From: widhakarina

Address: 2 Cox Terrace, Fort Canning Park, Singapore 179622

Admission Fee: S$18 (adult), S$9 (children)


The Battlebox is a hidden spot in Fort Canning Park—its entrance is amongst the greenery, so it’s easy to overlook it!

The Battlebox is a former British underground command center that was built in 1936 and used primarily during the war. It was part of the headquarters of the Malaya Command, and it was also where the British decided to surrender to the Japanese. 

After the war, the center was restored and converted into a museum. Here, you can find a display of wax figures recreating the conference that led to the British surrender. You can also see the bunkers and other original rooms used by the soldiers. 

The Singapore Musical Box Museum

— From: soundpilgrim

Address: 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 5 pm

Contact Number: +6598646021


Are you fascinated by the existence of the music box? If so, then you’ll love visiting the Singapore Musical Box Museum! 

This museum essentially traces the history of the music box—its rise in Europe during the 19th century until its eventual decline. It also informs you of the role Singapore played in developing musical boxes in Southeast Asia. 

This is the only museum dedicated to the musical box in Singapore, so there’s no other way to learn more about its history and see a wide variety of musical boxes from different eras other than coming here. 

Vintage Camera Museum

— From: anukmau

Address: 8C Jln Kledek, Singapore 199263

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 7 pm

Admission Fee: S$20 (adult), S$15 (senior citizen, child ages 6–12 years old), free (child under five years old)

Contact Number: +6562912278


Speaking of museums dedicated to a specific niche, another one worth visiting is the Vintage Camera Museum

This museum really goes all-out in terms of its subject matter. Firstly, the building’s facade is shaped like a camera, so it catches your attention instantly, and secondly, it houses a collection of about 1,000 vintage cameras. 

The best part is that the collection is incredibly varied. You’ll see the first cameras ever created (which are way bigger than our cameras now), the smallest camera, and even spy cameras used during wartimes (this is where I learned about spy pigeons). 

The museum also has a Click Art section, which is essentially filled with paintings that look like optical illusions. So, when you take photos here, it will seem like the paintings are coming to life and interacting with you—it’s so much fun!

JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games

— From: darylchiarizard

Address: James Cook University, 149 Sims Dr, Singapore 387380

Operating Hours

  • Monday and Thursday—8:30 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday—8:30 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday—9 am to 1 pm
  • Closed on Sunday

Contact Number: +6565766833


If you’re a big fan of video games, you shouldn’t miss out on visiting the JCU Museum of Video and Computer Games. Hosted by James Cook University, this museum traces the history of gaming as well as puts on display several vintage consoles. 

You can even play some retro—and rare—games on the consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Xbox. There are also other classic video game merch and paraphernalia that will delight all the avid gamers. 

There’s no admission fee, but you do need to book an appointment ahead of time via their Facebook page. 

The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum

— From: dapeng_lin

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

Operating Hours

  • Wednesday to Monday—10 am to 6 pm
  • Closed on Tuesday

Admission Fee: S$14 (adult), S$10 (child ages 3–6 years old), S$6 (senior citizen ages 60 years old and above)


Curious to see massive turtles and tortoises? Well, you better head to the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum—it houses an impressive collection of these reptile creatures!

To make things better, you get to interact with the animals here. I recommend checking out the Sulcata Tortoise for luck and the Malaysian Giant River Turtle for wishes. Others worth seeing are the six-legged tortoise and the soft-shell turtle.

You can come here by yourself, but you can also choose to book a tour with your friends or family. Check the website if you’re interested.  

Singapore Chinese Opera Museum

— From: porknchops

Address: 100 Jln Sultan, Singapore 199001

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Friday—11 am to 6 pm
  • Closed from Saturday to Monday

Contact Number: +6562923393


Located in Kampong Glam, the Singapore Chinese Opera Museum is dedicated to the history of Chinese operas in Singapore—which can be traced as far back as when the immigrants from southern China arrived here. 

You can find all sorts of exhibits and artifacts here, and many of them have been around for more than a century. Additionally, you can watch a live performance of operas from various Chinese communities (e.g. Cantonese and Teochew) or join an opera class!

Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery

— From: singaporetouristpass

Address: 28 Kreta Ayer Rd, Singapore 088995

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—10 to 11 am, 1 to 6 pm
  • Closed on Monday


Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery celebrates the rich history of the Kreta Ayer area, arguably the heart of Chinatown. After all, this is the area where the early Chinese immigrants used to reside when they arrived in Singapore. 

The gallery here is led by the students from Anderson Secondary School and Gan Eng Seng School and is interactive, so learning will be immersive. And there’s so much to learn about—from puppetry and calligraphy to Nanyin music and Chinese opera!

Additionally, the gallery boasts several photographs, objects, and other personal items donated by the local residents throughout the years. So, you can see a glimpse of how Kreta Ayer looked back then and appreciate how far it’s come. 

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Heritage Museum

(From: SingaporeIsland)

Address: 11 Jln Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—8:30 am to 12 pm, 2 to 6 pm
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday

Contact Number: +6563578266


Some hospitals in Singapore have on-site museums to educate visitors about the country’s medical history, and one of them is Tan Tock Seng Hospital. 

The heritage museum in this particular hospital tells the story of how the hospital began, as well as displays medical equipment, hospital artifacts, and other Peranakan items that were used to decorate the hospital’s former wards. 

You can also find an occasional art exhibition here. In particular, there’s a crystal installation named “The Healing Sky Garden,” located in the hospital’s atrium. 

The Intan

— From: hellozizilovepanda

Address: 69 Joo Chiat Terrace, Singapore 427231

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—7 am to 10 pm

Contact Number: +6564401148


The Intan is a private museum that lets you experience the charming Peranakan culture. For this reason, you can find all sorts of treasured Peranakan items, furniture, trinkets, and even vintage photographs!

For a memorable experience, I recommend going on a tour with the collector who runs the museum, Alvin Yapp. This tour gives you an in-depth history of Peranakan history and culture and gives you a taste of authentic Nonya dishes and tea—yum!

Children Little Museum

— From: raee_ishly

Address: 57 Aliwal St, Singapore 199933

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 9 pm

Located near Arab Street, the Children Little Museum is literally a hole-in-the-wall gem. Outside, it looks like a humble shophouse, but inside, it’s a treasure trove of vintage children’s toys from different eras. 

Most of the toys here come from the 1950s and 1960s, so even if you weren’t alive during these decades, you’ll still feel nostalgic. It’s also just interesting to see how toys evolved throughout the years. 

This museum used to have an admission fee, but now it’s completely free to enter. So, don’t miss out on it!

MINT Museum of Toys

— From: __tamzie

Address: 26 Seah St, Singapore 188382 

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—9:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Contact Number: +6563390660

Admission Fee: S$25 (adult), S$20 (child ages 7–12 years old, senior citizen ages 60 years old and above), free (child under six years old)


Another museum dedicated to vintage toys is the MINT Museum of Toys. This one boasts the largest vintage toy museum in Asia—with an ever-growing collection of 50,000 toys!

These toys also come from all over the world and range in terms of origin dates—the oldest goes all the way back to the 1840s! 

In addition to toys, the museum hosts learning programs and exclusive workshops for all ages. You can also join a guided tour to learn more in-depth about the museum. 

Katong Antique House

— From: jojogouw

Address: 208 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428907

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—11 am to 4:30 pm

Admission Fee: S$15 per person

Contact Number: +6563458544

Katong Antique House has been around 100 years, so the building itself can be considered a historical artifact. But when you step inside this two-story shophouse, you’ll be inundated with the charm of Peranakan culture. 

The walls are absolutely covered with framed photographs, and the furniture is undeniably from a bygone era. You’ll also get to try on some traditional Peranakan costumes and taste a few authentic snacks. 

Nanyang Old Coffee and Museum

— From: oceanmist_04

Address: 268 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058817

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—7 am to 6:30 pm

Contact Number: +6562216973


If Singapore has an official beverage, it would be kopi, and Nanyang Old Coffee is one of the best places to go for a cup. But what makes Nanyang Old Coffee stand out is that it’s not just a kopitiam—it’s also a museum! 

The museum part aims to educate visitors about kopi history. It also hosts workshops, so you can learn various techniques for brewing various kinds of kopi, which is helpful if you love making your own cup of coffee at home. 

Reflections at Bukit Chandu

— From: mr__rocketman

Address: 31 – K Pepys Road, Singapore 118458

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Sunday—9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Closed on Monday

Admission Fee: Free ( local resident, child), S$5 (adult), S$4 (senior citizen, student)

Contact Number: +6562506675


Reflections at Bukit Chandu is a museum you’ll find within Kent Ridge Park, which is also an underrated destination. The area of Kent Ridge Park used to be a battleground during World War II, which is why a war museum was constructed here. 

This museum features exhibits that tell you more about the Malay Regiment and what happened during the battle. There’s also a section about the aftermath and a tribute to the soldiers who fell when the battle was lost. 

Aside from exhibitions, you’ll also see the uniforms the soldiers wore and a few everyday items that they used back in the day.

Police Heritage Center

— From: adam2egg

Address: 28 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329560 

Operating Hours

  • Tuesday to Friday—10 am to 4 pm
  • Saturday—10 am to 1 pm
  • Closed on Sunday and Monday

Contact Number: +6564782123


Learn more about how the Singapore Police Force (SPF) came to be by visiting the Police Heritage Center. This museum traces the SPF’s history from colonial times to the present day, so you’ll learn a lot here. 

The props here—figures of policemen, barbed wires, and vehicles—really make the environment immersive, so it’s like you’re taking a walk in the past. 

If you can’t make it to the museum for whatever reason, you can choose to go on a virtual tour. Check the website to know more about how it works. 

Shimano Cycling World

— From: rsworks_cycles

Address: 6 Stadium Walk, #01-02, Singapore 397698

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Friday—10 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday—10 am to 9 pm

Contact Number: +6598305212


Are you a cyclist enthusiast? Then, you’ll love Shimano Cycling World, an experiential museum that aims to promote cycling culture in Singapore. 

It’s so cool seeing all the multiple cycling exhibits and an art installation, and if you’re in the mood for learning, you can join a workshop that teaches you about bike maintenance and how to fix up an old bike. 

Additionally, the museum hosts bike cruises, which you can join if you’re interested. These bike cruises take you through the various park connectors—an interesting way to see Singapore. 

Singapore Art Museum

— From: anna_dickie 

Address: 39 Keppel Rd, #01-02, Singapore 089065

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday—10 am to 7 pm

Contact Number: +6566979730


Immerse yourself in the beautiful world of art at the Singapore Art Museum, which is located on Tanjong Pagar Distripark. 

Boasting an area of 2,000 square meters, the art museum is filled with many exhibits; the themes change every now and then, so every visit is almost a unique experience. I also love that the exhibits make me think about life and technology. 

For example, I visited the Proof of Personhood exhibit, which examined identity in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). This exhibit filled me with existential dread, asking questions about what it means to be real and what it means to be a creative human. 

Bit heavy for a casual museum visit, sure, but hey, still worth it!