National Library

Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay

Designed by Malaysian architect and ecologist Ken Yeang, this white, curvaceous brains trust is home to numerous facilities, including a reference library, lending library and drama centre. For visitors, the real draws are the display of beautiful maps of Asia on level 10 (some dating back to the 16th century), and the library's program of free exhibitions. If you have little ones in tow, head to the forest-themed children's library in the basement for some story-time R&R.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay attractions

1. Cape of Good Hope

0.07 MILES

Cape of Good Hope is a spacious gallery showcasing local Singaporean artists, both established and up-and-coming.

2. MINT Museum of Toys

0.09 MILES

Nostalgia rules at this slinky ode to playtime, its four skinny floors home to over 50,000 vintage toys. You'll see everything from rare Flash Gordon…

3. SAM at 8Q

0.15 MILES

The younger sibling of the Singapore Art Museum, which is undergoing a significant revamp until 2021, is named after its address. Snoop around four floors…

4. Raffles Hotel

0.16 MILES

Although its resplendent lobby is only accessible to hotel and restaurant guests, Singapore's most iconic slumber palace is worth a quick visit for its…

5. Chijmes

0.22 MILES

Now the home of trendy restaurants and entertainment hot spots, including famed Whitegrass and exotic Coriander Leaf, neo-classical Chijmes was once a…

6. Singapore Art Museum

0.23 MILES

Formerly the St Joseph's Institution – a Catholic boys' school – SAM now sings the praises of contemporary Southeast Asian art. The museum was undergoing…

7. Sri Krishnan Temple

0.24 MILES

The polychromatic Hindu Sri Krishnan Temple has a magnificent silver-and-gold shrine.

8. Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple

0.24 MILES

Awash with the frenetic click of chien tung (Chinese fortune sticks), this is one of Singapore's busiest (and according to devotees, luckiest) temples. It…