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Chinatown Heritage Centre

Travellers' Choice award winner
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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 454 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 200
  • 117
    Very good
  • 28
  • 5
  • 4
Extremely interesting

Life for the early Chinese in Singapore was tough. How many managed to eke out an existence is hard to believe. The museum walks you through the tailor shop of a relatively well... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 days ago
Toronto, Canada
via mobile
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454 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 354: English reviews
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
85 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Life for the early Chinese in Singapore was tough. How many managed to eke out an existence is hard to believe. The museum walks you through the tailor shop of a relatively well off shopkeeper, then takes you upstairs to the floor where 40 people shared one kitchen, one toilet and one shower. Absolutely fascinating, as we're the displays on... More 

Thank granniesteph
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

This is very nice for someone that is interested how the Chinese people 's way of life was in the past. And also really nice for someone that is Chinese-origin. The audio guide and all museum diplays are excellent. They really makes me feel like real and enjoy their stories. It is worth for money and to visit if you... More 

Thank Thanatcha M
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This museum is converted from a shophouse, it's not as spacious as other museums in Singapore it's definitely well designed and thought through. A nice trip back in time and everything looked so life like. It was located just a few steps away from the Chinatown mrt station so getting there was easy.

Thank Pink P
Level Contributor
87 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

if you come visit singapore you should do certainly chinatown and don't forget the museum! Do this. Try to get in the weekdays to have a tour where you can fully enjoy! Other visitors may perhaps be disturbing.

Thank excaliburArdennen
New Jersey
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I did not expect much from this center and it far exceeded my expectations. The audio guide was terrific, each room represented the story of a person or family who settled in Chinatown. Very well done. Plan to spend a couple of hours.

Thank Heidi S
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place is a worthwhile visit for tourists that want a feel of some culture and heritage. There is a $15 admission charge and you get an audio headset for a self-guided tour around this museum. You can relive the experiences of the first Chinese settlers in the Chinatown area, from laborers to tailors and doctors. The upper floors have... More 

1 Thank Dew D
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We recently went to the CHC for a guided tour. My British cousin was visiting and I brought her to the CHC because I've always believed it is a must see. It was even better than my last trip. We took the guided tour with Chan who was so knowledgeable and well-read on the topic that we learned more than... More 

1 Thank howellschris
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum has recently re-opened and the investment has been well worth it. It's an extraordinary insight into how people (primarily Chinese immigrants) lived and it is quite shocking. Definitely worth a visit.

1 Thank ClaireLABarker
Level Contributor
48 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This place is a must to get the chans to understand chinatown. We hade a lovely and dedicated guide. For two hours she made us intrested in the history of Chinatown. The have kept one of the houses as a museum so you can take part of the way they lived before. We can highly recommend this place.

1 Thank Carina T
Level Contributor
117 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A very well organized museum around the real life of Chinese coolies who migrated from China to Singapore during the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. Very impressive to see the appalling conditions in which they survived. The reconstitution of the housing is perfect to the details. Well worth you time and money (15 st $). Aircon will... More 

1 Thank Terry B

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Staying in Chinatown

Neighbourhood Profile
Chinatown is a classic combination of colourful 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 neighbourhood