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Chinatown Heritage Centre

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Address: 48 Pagoda Street, Singapore 059207, Singapore
Phone Number: +65 6224 3928

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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Singapore Self-Guided Audio Tour
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 396 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 166
  • 106
    Very good
  • 27
  • 5
  • 4
Unique perspective of Chinatown history

Located just up the street from the Chinatown MRT station the Chinatown Heritage Centre, surrounded by tourist shops and restaurants, is well worth visiting. The $15 entrance fee... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Fremantle, Australia
via mobile
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396 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 308: English reviews
Fremantle, Australia
Level Contributor
290 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 882 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Located just up the street from the Chinatown MRT station the Chinatown Heritage Centre, surrounded by tourist shops and restaurants, is well worth visiting. The $15 entrance fee includes a audio headset, which is essential as there are no explanation signs on the ground & first floor. The ground floor houses a re-created tailor's shop and living quarters and the... More 

Thank Dingo_dude
Bali, Indonesia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Took me longer to stayed here than I intended. It's like going back in time and witness the history by ourself. I love the stories .. Some very touchy

Thank DheeAbigail
Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This small but perfectly laid out museum in one of the old shop houses in Chinatown is a good example of how, with its audio tour tourists are given a good view of the history of how the poor people and the working classes lived in Singapore in days gone by. Laid out as it used to be many years... More 

Thank figgy66
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This museum does a solid job of presenting what life was like in the "old" Chinatown. The recreations of businesses and (squalid) living conditions were generally well executed, and are worth the ticket price. These displays don't have captions, so you need to listen to the audio commentary provided with your ticket - this was fairly interesting, but the commentary... More 

Thank Case_11
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

so enjoyed the beauty of the buildings and the explanations of the sculptures and temples, all within walking distance of my hotel

Thank Felicity H
Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level Contributor
109 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

You can easily spend a day browsing around the markets and just sitting at a great cafe drinking cold beer and eating great food while you watch the throngs of people go by. This is a liquorice all sorts place, you can see, hear, taste or buy anything and everything imaginable made in China. Depending on where you buy and... More 

Thank Meganinafrica
Level Contributor
27 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Great value visit. $S15 gave us the run of the place and an audio system to explain it. Really impressive displays which allowed us to understand the Chinese experience in Singapore - very sobering in many ways

Thank Andrew R
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This gives real depth to Singapore's recent history. It's very well done, the audio guide tells the story through individual lives as you tour the tiny rooms they lived in.

Thank Annie W
Level Contributor
91 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Migrants take perilous journey in search of better life in a far away land. This museum tells the history of the Chinese migration to Singapore and their daily lives. The exhibits are true to time period, the electronic tour guide provides lot of information. If you are into museums, the Chinatown Heritage Center is a must instead of wasting your... More 

1 Thank clemc
New Jersey
Level Contributor
213 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Lots of shops with the same merchandise purporting to be bargains, and even a few actual ones at the low end, but the rest: the same price as the US price. The internet is the leveler of all. But once the shopping bug has got ya, ya gotta shop.

Thank Jerry W

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Typical questions asked:
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  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

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.
Explore this neighborhood