With a mix of colonial and modern architectural influences, Singapore is home to unique and iconic landmarks that warrant more than one visit. With stunning buildings such as a towering Art Deco-style structure, a lush airport complex with a massive indoor waterfall, and a restored Victorian theatre, there’s no shortage of spectacular buildings to see around the island.
Here are some of the most iconic architecture in Singapore worth visiting, again and again.
National Gallery Singapore
Converted from the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall into Singapore’s most famous art museum, the National Gallery is known not just for its wide collection of artwork, but also its architecture. Visitors can admire colonial-era architecture in the former Supreme Court wing of the museum, with wide dome ceilings and grand paintings hanging from the walls.
Don’t miss the National Gallery’s hidden research library, which feels like you’ve travelled back in time, featuring spiral staircases, arched windows, and wooden furniture. If you’re looking to get a taste of the colonial era, spend an afternoon wandering the beautifully restored National Gallery.
Address: 1 St Andrew's Rd, #01 – 01, Singapore 178957
Opening Hours: Monday–Sunday from 10am–7pm
Parkview Square and Atlas Bar
Located in the heart of Bugis, Singaporeans might notice an imposing Gotham-esque building that stands out from the others with its Art Deco-styled facade. Parkview Square is one of the strangest buildings in Singapore, with its ominous exterior making visitors wonder what it holds within. Home to the Atlas Bar, one of Singapore’s most popular bars, it’s no wonder why this charismatic drinking establishment resides in such a building.
The Atlas Bar is a luxurious 1920s-themed bar featuring a towering selection of gin, rum and other pours. The Art Deco design continues inside the bar with intricately designed ceilings, large windows, and a grand chandelier. Apart from the bar, Parkview Square also houses an art museum, which exhibits contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photography. Though the art museum is currently closed, the Atlas Bar continues to deliver an elevated experience through its fine house pours and classy interior.
Address: 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
Opening Hours: Monday–Friday from 10am–10:30pm, and Saturday from 12pm–10:30pm
Jewel Changi Airport
Designed by acclaimed Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, Jewel Changi Airport has become one of Singapore’s iconic landmarks despite its relatively young age. Opened only in March 2019, it features the world’s tallest 40-metre indoor waterfall in a lush forest landscape. The airport mall has been widely praised for its unique design and incorporation of natural elements. Visitors can even go on a gentle hike through a sloping indoor forest, and admire the view from above on a suspended glass bridge.
Jewel Changi Airport has won multiple design awards internationally, notably the International Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum in 2016, and the Special Jury Award at the 2019 Mapic Awards, which recognises outstanding real-estate projects.
Address: 78 Airport Blvd., Singapore 819666
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall
There’s no building in Singapore that exudes old-world charm more than the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. Dating back to the Neoclassical era in 1905, the theatre was built during the then British-administered Singapore, inspired by the popular Victorian Revivalism architectural style. Restored in 2014, the building now hosts concerts and plays, along with other arts-themed events.
Visitors can still spot the Victorian influences in the theatre, with its signature marble colonnades and wide balconies reminiscent of the grand theatres back in the day. Its façade is equally as extravagant, with a clock tower built into the exterior of the building itself, along with a domed roof. If you’ve got a free evening, we highly recommend spending it here while enjoying a soothing classical performance amidst the theatre’s grand architecture.
Address: 9 Empress Pl, Singapore 179556
Opening Hours: During shows, concerts, and plays
Marina Bay Sands
How could we leave out MBS? An infinity pool that seemingly drops into the horizon on the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands’ hotel might seem like something straight out of a movie scene, but it is in fact, real, and a big part of one of Singapore’s most iconic buildings. Another famed project by Moshe Safdie, the same visionary behind Jewel Changi Airport’s famous indoor waterfall, it’s no surprise the pool itself attracts curious visitors wanting to take a dip and admire the city skyline. Using glass to create the impression of an endless pool is definitely a novel use of architecture to achieve such an effect.
The hotel is as grand as its pool, with its three towers supporting the infinity pool at the top, and a premier gold-lined casino taking up its ground floor. Stay a night at the hotel to get the full experience, which gives you access to the famous pool, as well as the hotel’s well-known casino.
Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
You can’t miss the Esplanade’s durian-looking exterior from Singapore’s skyline. The oddly shaped concert venue was designed by DP Architects and Michael Wilford, a famed English architect, and has made waves for its unusual design. But Esplanade’s true beauty lies within its concert halls, which were intricately built for acoustic quality. Visitors to Esplanade can take a tour of the building itself, where you’ll learn more about how the concert venue was constructed, tour its grand concert hall, and end off with a photo opportunity with the famous durian domes.
Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Opening Hours: Daily, times depend on show timings
Formerly a historic Catholic Convent with Caldwell House, a historical building designed and built by George Drumgoole Coleman on its property, CHIJMES (Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School) has a rich history despite being a shopping and lifestyle complex today. Visitors can still view the building’s structural design from the early 1800s, and dine inside the former convent itself, which is now used for wedding functions and private events.
Address: 30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996