More information  

Peranakan Museum

Our rating:


A sister to the Asian Civilisations Museum, The Peranakan Museum is set in a gorgeous three-storey building on Armenian Street and is well deserving of an hour or two of your time. You’ll find it at the base of Fort Canning Park and just a short walk from the National Museum.

Help us hold our breath. Donate to Travelfish today!
Click here for more information on how you can help.

Dating back to 1912, the building that today houses the museum began life as the Tao Nan School, when it taught practical courses to students in Hokkien and later in Mandarin. It was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, then reverted to being a school. It was later converted into a museum. At first, it housed a permanent exhibition of the Asian Civilisations Museum, and then in 2005 it was closed and redeveloped to showcase Peranakan culture as the Peranakan Museum.

The Peranakan Museum: Worth a look without even going in.

The Peranakan Museum. It’s worth a look without even going in.

The museum comprises nine galleries across three floors. The first gallery is one of the most interesting, as it covers the identity of the Peranakan people. Peranakan means “child of” in Malay and it is used to describe people of mixed ethnic heritage. In Singapore’s case, Chinese Peranakans are in the majority but in other parts of Southeast Asia you’ll find Indian and Eurasian Peranakans, for example. The predominantly photographic display details the lives of Peranakan people in Singapore.

Who are the Peranakan people?

Who are the Peranakan people?

The next five galleries occupy all of the second floor and are dedicated solely to the extensive wedding rituals of Peranakan people. The displays are detailed and very well presented, with the bedrooms being especially noteworthy. The last floor is a catchall of everything: language and fashion (gallery 6), religion (gallery 7), public life (gallery 8) and food (gallery 9). If you’re limited for time, be sure to take a peek at the religion gallery, which includes ancestor worship and death rituals.

Now that is a bed.

Now that is a bed.

While you’re welcome just to wander the museum at your own pace, there are free one-hour tours in English on Monday to Friday at 11:00 and 14:00, Saturday 11:00 and 15:00 and on Sunday and public holidays at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:00.

The museum also offers semi-regular activities and special events. Check their website for details.

The closest SMRT stations are City Hall and Bras Basah. A visit to the Peranakan Museum fits in well with Fort Canning Park, the Armenian Church or the National Museum.

Popular attractions in Downtown Singapore

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Downtown Singapore.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Downtown Singapore.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Downtown Singapore.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Downtown Singapore.
 Read up on how to get to Downtown Singapore.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Downtown Singapore? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Downtown Singapore that are listed on

Top of page