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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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 127
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A very engaging way to showcase the history of Chinatown. It's a walk back in time as you step into the tailor work area, the kitchen in the backyard, the bedrooms of different... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Passy, France
via mobile
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311 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 243: English reviews
Passy, France
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A very engaging way to showcase the history of Chinatown. It's a walk back in time as you step into the tailor work area, the kitchen in the backyard, the bedrooms of different families.... Almost like walking into a film set. The audio explanation was very helpful too. As a result the children thought the museum very interesting and learned... More 

Thank 1ValRo
Neenah, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This small museum is definitely worth a visit. There are three restored shophouses and as you walk through, you listen to the stories of the Chinese immigrants who left their homeland to find a new life. Interesting, heartbreaking, unbelievable poverty, almost unimaginable living conditions. This museums bring those narratives and the people who lived them to life. Our group ranged... More 

Thank Mary S
Paris, France
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This museum is prefect. You are instantly living with these family. The atmosphere they created is nice and everything is real. You walk in the house, passing rooms after rooms. You have a free audio guide which is really good too. I definitly recommend this museum. Closed each 1st monday on te month

Thank AudreyB0
Santa Ana, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
168 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A must-visit in Chinatown. This museum displays and explains life in Chinatown in the early 20th Century. Everything is very nicely set and the explanations go a long way to immerse the visitor in what life was like in Chinatown, a central part of Singapore history.

Thank Olivier C
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was one of the highlights of our recent visit to Singapore and highly recommended if you are interested in history and the lives of ordinary people. Allow plenty of time as there is a huge amount to see. The ground floor of the centre recreates the shop-house of a tailor in the 1950s, living with his wife, family and... More 

Thank Melanie C
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

My granddad and his family lived on Sago Lane. Growing up, his shophouse has been my weekend and holiday home. I can remember the many hours playing along Chinatown's "Street of Death" and picking up coins thrown by devotees who were praying for the fate of their dead. It sounds eerie now but back then it was so fun. All... More 

Thank Cat L
Gothenburg, Sweden
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

In the heart of chinatown you find this new renovated heritage center! The audioplay is easy to follow and with the rooms you really get the felling of how it was to live here back in the days! Spend a few hours in chinatown and do make a visit here! Really good service aswell. Really recommend it!

Thank walljohanna
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The newly renovated Chinatown Heritage Centre is a must see (and a great way to fill a few hours on a wet day). The centre has recreated a real shophouse with store at front and the accommodation behind and above. There is a great audio guide which explains everything you see. It is very immersive - you stand in the... More 

Thank Becca3189
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I visited the heritage center to take a closer look of what's old chinatown is. I have never regretted the visit as I got a better understanding of the life of olden days in chinatown.

Thank Alice L
Paris, France
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2016

The Chinatown Heritage center re-opened its doors recently after a complete cleanng and relooking of the visit. I spend more than 1 hour in the past of Singapore, with so many different chinese people ; the taillor, the physician, ... living with them in the typical common house of the early 20th century. the 3rd floor also is totally new... More 

Thank 83Ness

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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.
Explore this neighborhood