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Chinatown Heritage Centre

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 48 Pagoda St., Singapore, Singapore
Phone Number: +65 6534 8942
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The colourful past of Chinatown comes alive within the walls of these three...

The colourful past of Chinatown comes alive within the walls of these three beautifully-restored shophouses on Pagoda Street, comfortably nestled in the midst of Singapore's bustling Chinatown district.

Every nook and cranny in the Chinatown Heritage Centre pulsates with the memories of yesteryear, offering an experience like no other as one is transported to Chinatown in the budding years of Singapore's establishment as a seaport.

From the desperate hopefulness of the many "Sinkheh" (new migrants) - risking life and limb to embark on an arduous journey from the various Chinese provinces to the promised land of Singapore - to the raw, seedy and underground practices of gambling dens and secret societies, be prepared to experience a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality as you step into the pages of Chinatown's history.

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is the only place in Singapore that has recreated the original interiors of its shophouse tenants in the 1950s, offering visitors an honest, revealing glimpse into the lives of Chinatown's early residents.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 249 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 113
  • 89
    Very good
  • 37
  • 6
  • 4
Just revamped, nice tour

The new set up only opened on Jan 28. S$15 to go in and do an audio tour in this authentic 3 floor building. Will not take more than an hour, but it is interesting to get a glance... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
via mobile

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249 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
271 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

The new set up only opened on Jan 28. S$15 to go in and do an audio tour in this authentic 3 floor building. Will not take more than an hour, but it is interesting to get a glance of history and feel how the Chinese lived until a few decades ago, amazing. Well done!

Thank Tigerwoods100
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
116 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Dropped in here, CNY, to learn a tad and see how the chinese did it. If you want to learn about another culture, this is the place to start. Watch out for the low-step just outside the entrance! It's a real trip :-)

Thank Greville
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Level Contributor
265 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The entry fee is S$15 per adult which includes an audio tour. The museum is set out on three floors and illustrates how individual Chinese lived in a shophouse as well as a wider history of Chinatown. Well worth a visit

1 Thank Lee S
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This newly reopened heritage center is located in an old shophouse (commerce on first floor front, residential quarters at back and on second and third floors), where many Chinese immigrants gained a foothold in Singapore in the late 19th and 20th centuries. The recreated tailor's shop, family quarters, shared kitchens and bathrooms, and people's stories reminded me of The Tenement... More 

1 Thank T2011PQcarol
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I really enjoyed this place. The staff was very nice, and the exhibits were very informative. I spent over an hour and was drawn in to looking at/reading all the exhibits learning the story of the Chinese immigrants to Singapore. Very good English and Chinese language explanations to everything. They only downside I had was I could not get the... More 

Thank Michael D
Level Contributor
40 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Not a large exhibition, but the recorded commentary was really good. It was humbling to understand how people had lived in squalor but made the most of it. You'll never complain about stress again after you visit here, realising what a modern conceit 21st century stress is! Nicely air conditioned so it provides some relief from the heat outside.

Thank michaelo230
Crowthorne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We visited by chance at first thinking that this was just a tourist information centre. It turned out to be the 2nd day of opening after an extensive refurbishment programme so the staff were very excited and keen to speak to visitors. Much of the museum is given over to recreating the cubicle living of early 20C Chinatown. Each 8... More 

1 Thank Thrombeldinbar
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
186 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Decent effort to showcase migrant Chinese culture in Singapore. Not very big, but rather informative. As a tourist, I'd rather you explore Chinatown's streets as they are

Thank stpnfz_fay
Tehran, Iran
Level Contributor
37 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2015

I think in singapour is more beautifull things than it but in compare this with same in Maleysia I'm sure that it couldn't compare really it's so much better

Thank mina h
new zealand
Level Contributor
426 reviews
156 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

Apparently very good. Some of the website links advised this was open and even hotel concierge also said it was. Regrettably on arriving the centre is closed till end 2015.

1 Thank thesmdm

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Staying in Chinatown

Neighborhood Profile
Chinatown is a classic combination of colorful sights, enticing smells, and sometimes startling sounds. The precinct is unique, however, in its blending of religions and cultures. A Hindu temple, an Islamic mosque, and a Chinese Buddhist temple sit almost side by side. This sense of cultural harmony continues as you venture just outside of Chinatown to the nightlife areas of Club Street and Duxton Hill. There you’ll mingle with Singapore’s multicultural residents at the modern bars and restaurants dotting the bustling streets. An afternoon in and around Chinatown will leave you culturally enlightened, well fed, and loaded with souvenirs. In the evening, reward yourself with a well-deserved cocktail as the locals come out to play.
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