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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 428 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 183
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    Very good
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  • 4
Past of our grandparents

It shows us how our grandparents lived when they were young, what facilities they had and all the trouble they have to go through before getting task done

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Singapore, Singapore
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428 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 332: English reviews
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

It shows us how our grandparents lived when they were young, what facilities they had and all the trouble they have to go through before getting task done

Thank restrictedmic
wisconsin, usa
Level Contributor
100 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This museum is truly first-rate. The entrance fee gets you a headset that you use on a self-paced tour through this recreation of life in a Chinatown "shop house". You really get an intense and realistic sense of what life was like for the variety of people who made a home and life in this part of Singapore!

Thank whynothavefun
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

For those folks visiting modern Singapore for the first time, it is certainly difficult to imagine what life was like there even a generation or two ago. Singapore has always been a place that attracted ethnic Chinese willing to sacrifice in search of economic opportunity. This museum carefully and comprehensively recreates a picture of how average working Chinese lived until... More 

Thank C W
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Wonderful recreation of a crowded shop house. The detail of the lives there in the years up till 1950 were fascinating. Excellent audio guide, took us about an hour.

Thank Paul B
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
87 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is one of my favourite attractions in Singapore. It's a small 3-floored museum that shows you the lives of residents of Singapore Chinatown decades ago. You will be told stories of real people from all walks of life through their artifacts and pictures. Listening to the audio guide, you will understand the hard work, the hope and the struggle... More 

Thank realessence
Guildford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a fascinating place to visit and well worth the time. The history of shop houses and Chinese emigration to Singapore is very well portrayed and you get a really powerful sense of the harsh living conditions that people had to endure.

Thank car0lecraggs
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
1,185 reviews
672 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 584 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is a museum showing and display the history of Chinese Migrants to Singapore and the development of China Town in early stages.it is interesting and worth to visit.

Thank Darnel-HDI
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I visited Chinatown Heritage Center as part of a walking tour at my second day in Singapore, and it was definitely worth it! It is not a traditional museum, i would rather describe it as a well designed time capsule : one can see and understand a lot about the real life of Singapore's early pioneers who left their villages... More 

Thank nicklyt
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We passed by this attraction as we were exploring Chinatown. In the midst of the touristy, no-longer-quite-traditional Chinatown, this transported us back to the days of the first Chinese migrants getting into Singapore, and did so in a surprisingly insightful, thoughtful, and polished way. The amount of information, context, and history they crammed into the seemingly small centre is quite... More 

Thank PamRamali
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
85 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was included as part of a walking tour and I wouldn't have chosen to go there myself, but glad I did. Interesting display that really provides insight into life in the earlier years of Singapore. Certainly worth the visit.

Thank Kim R

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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