Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)

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Asian Civilisations Museum

Top choice in Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay

This remarkable museum houses the region's most comprehensive collection of pan-Asian treasures. Its galleries explore the history, cultures, textiles and religions of Southeast Asia, China, the Asian subcontinent and Islamic west Asia. The galleries are curated to emphasise the cross-cultural connections developed through Singapore's history as a port city. The Tang Shipwreck exhibition showcases over 500 pieces of recovered booty – look out for the Chinese bronze mirrors, one of which is over 2000 years old.

The museum occupies the stately Empress Place Building. Designed by British architect John Frederick Adolphus McNair and built using Indian convict labour in 1865, it originally housed the colonial government offices. Note the elegant fusion of Palladian classicism and tropical touches, among them timber louvered shutters and a wide, shaded porch.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay attractions

1. Raffles Landing

0.07 MILES

This spot, between the Asian Civilisation Museum and Old Parliament House, marks the place where Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on 29 January…

2. Cavenagh Bridge

0.07 MILES

Built in 1869, this suspension bridge links the north and south banks of the Singapore River. Don't bring your horses or cattle as they will not be…

3. Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall

0.07 MILES

Completed in 1862, the Victoria Theatre was one of Singapore's first Victorian Revivalist buildings, inspired by the Italian Renaissance. It reopened in…

4. First Generation

0.09 MILES

Chong Fah Cheong’s First Generation is one of Singapore's best loved and most joyful sculptures, depicting five young boys leaping into the river below.

5. Old Parliament House

0.11 MILES

Built in 1826, the Old Parliament House is Singapore's oldest government building. Originally a private mansion, it became a courthouse, then the Assembly…

6. Bird

0.12 MILES

A voluptuous bronze sculpture by Colombian figurative artist Fernando Botero.

7. Lim Bo Seng Memorial

0.12 MILES

This 3.6m-high pagoda was built in tribute to Major-General Lim Bo Seng, a Singaporean WWII hero.