There’s no denying that Singapore is an expensive city, which is why I try to regularly write posts with the potential to save Travelfishers some money. I’ve recently covered budget places to stay like Singapore’s cheapest hostels and family rooms under S$120, and now I turn my focus to the city’s diverse and world-class museums. With a little planning, you can save 50% on regular admission prices or even get in for free.
First up is the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM if that’s too many syllables) which offers a crash course in the art and cultures of the entire continent. It’s definitely worth the full admission fee, but every Friday night from 19:00–21:00 tickets are halved to S$4 for adults and S$2 for children. For students with a valid ID card admission is always S$4.
The Peranakan Museum also offers Friday night discounts and from 19:00–21:00 admission is S$3 for adults and S$1.50 for children. The student rate is always S$3. Alternatively, buy a joint ticket to the Asian Civilizations Museum and the Peranakan Museum for S$10 any day of the week (they cost S$14 separately).
Better yet, admission to the Singapore Art Museum is completely free every Friday from 18:00–21:00. This also applies to visiting exhibits and the 8Q extension for contemporary multi-media art. Students always get a discount and pay just S$5 instead of the full S$10 ticket price.
The only way to get a discount at the National Museum of Singapore is by flashing a student card (S$5 instead of S$10), but admission to the “Living Galleries” is free every day from 18:00–20:00. You might even find these displays about traditional fashion, film, photography, and hawker food more interesting than the main history gallery. Additionally, admission is always free to the new exhibit of natural history drawings from Singapore’s colonial days.
Admission to the Red Dot Design Museum, one of only two in the world, is free during the monthly Market of Artists and Designers (MAAD). While this will save you the usual S$8 entrance fee, you’ll probably spend more than this on the unique jewellery and clothing from local designers.
Ever since the fancy ArtScience Museum opened people have complained the S$28 admission fee is too high. The museum has finally responded… sort of. In what may be the only two-tier pricing system in Singapore, residents and citizens get a discount of S$2-4. If you’re just visiting, save some money by purchasing a family pass or a combination ticket to the museum and Marina Sands Skypark.
Finally, admission to the seven museums operated by the National Heritage Board (including the National Museum, Asian Civilizations Museum and Art Museum) is completely free on seven “Open House” days throughout the year. The next will be Christmas Day and New Years Day. Keep an eye on their website for 2012 “Museum Open House” dates.
By Tanya Procyshyn
Last updated on 14th November, 2014.