16 Heritage Trails In Singapore Every Singaporean Should Know

Heritage Trails In Singapore

As Singapore is a small country with a relatively short history, most would not expect this tiny island to have substantial heritage spots or many exciting stories to tell. Unfortunately, this is where Singapore has been misunderstood as a multitude of heritage trails are located all over the island and awaiting your exploring.

This weekend, instead of going about your regular weekend activities, show Singapore some love by embarking on one of its 16 heritage trails. It would definitely be worthwhile to get to know Singapore a little more and cultivate a deeper appreciation for how our tiny island came to be.

To help you get started on your journey, here are 16 Heritage Trails In Singapore That Every Singaporean Should Know.

Maghain Aboth Synagogue

Photo Credit: Roots


Unbeknownst to most, the Jewish community has played a significant role in Singapore’s development. Some prominent Jews you would have heard of include Sir Manasseh Meyer — a philanthropist who contributed to the founding of two synagogues in Singapore and construction of Raffles College — and David Marshall — a prominent member of Singapore’s political scene.

For an insight into their small but close-knit community and how they made Singapore their home, begin your learning journey at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue* — the oldest Jewish synagogue in Southeast Asia — and later the Jacob Ballas Centre next door.

*Do note that visits are only available via appointment. Please call +65 6337 2189 to ensure an appointment prior to your visit.

Maghain Aboth Synagogue
24/26 Waterloo Street,
Singapore 187968
Tel: +65 6337 2189
Nearest Station: Bras Basah

Jacob Ballas Centre
24 Waterloo Street,
Singapore 187950
Tel: +65 6336 5166
Sun to Fri: 8am – 6pm
Sat: 9am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Bras Basah

Gao Lin Gong

Photo Credit: Gao Lin Gong


The Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood is one of the best representatives of Singapore’s heartlands. Planned and developed in the 1970s, Ang Mo Kio has since grown from a collection of various kampongs into a modern town teeming with delicious hawker food, small businesses and high-rise buildings.

For those who are interested in the religious developments in the Ang Mo Kio neighbourhood, some places we’d recommend you to visit include Masjid Al-Muttaqin, the Catholic Church Of Christ The King and Gao Lin Gong Temple. Otherwise, why not take a stroll at Lower Peirce Reservoir, the second impounding reservoir built in Singapore.

Masjid Al-Muttaqin
5140 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6,
Singapore 569844
Tel: +65 6454 7472
Mon to Fri: 9am – 6pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Ang Mo Kio

Catholic Church Of Christ The King
2221 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8,
Singapore 569809
Tel: +65 6459 9958
Nearest Station: Ang Mo Kio

Gao Lin Gong Temple
791 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1,
Singapore 569974
Tel: +65 9022 0668
Wed to Mon: 6am – 8pm
Tue: 6am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Ang Mo Kio

Sasanarmsi Burmese Buddhist Temple

Photo Credit: NTU


With almost 180 years of history, Balestier began its days as an area filled with sugar cane plantations, old-school shops of vanishing trades and was known to harbour a few wild tigers in the neighbouring woods. Today, it is one of Singapore’s most prized historical districts and it really is a must-visit for all Singaporeans.

Did you know that Balestier is holds the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, previously the local headquarters for Dr Sun Yat Sen, one of the key participants in the Chinese 1911 Revolution? Other sights that you need to check out include the pre-war European terrace houses between Pegu and Martaban Roads and the 142-year-old Sasanarmsi Burmese Buddhist Temple.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
12 Tai Gin Road,
Singapore 327874
Tel: +65 6256 7377
Tue to Sun: 10am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh

Sasanarmsi Burmese Buddhist Temple
14 Tai Gin Road,
Singapore 327873
Tel: +65 6251 1717
Daily: 6.30am – 9pm
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh



Lying along the East Coast of Singapore is Bedok, once a coastal town thriving with fishing villages, coconut plantations and palm trees. In the past, Orang Laut fleets would look to Tanah Merah’s cliffs as a navigation marker, and this played a role in the development of Bedok as a fishing village to the bustling town it is today.

The Bedok Heritage Trail spans across 15km and some of the more interesting places to explore in this neighbourhood include Chai Chee, Kampong Bedok and Hua Yu Wee — a seafood restaurant housed in a 1920s bungalow, reminiscent of the beachside dining scene in the past.

Hua Yu Wee
462 Upper East Coast Road,
Singapore 466508
Tel: +65 6442 9313
Daily: 4pm – 11.30pm
Nearest Station: Bedok / Tanah Merah

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Photo Credit: Bukit Panjang


Often regarded as an area lined with plenty of good schools, fantastic eats and the ever so poignant Bukit Timah Hill, most would be surprised when they discover how extensive and rich is the history of the Bukit Timah area. From lush greenery to historical wartime sites, there is no doubt an adventure lying at every corner of Bukit Timah.

Commence your learning journey at the Former Ford Factory for a fresh perspective of World War II in Singapore and then get to know the wildlife and botany at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve a little better. If you’re into photography, a visit to the Old Bukit Timah Railway Station should pique your interest.

Former Ford Factory
351 Upper Bukit Timah Road,
Singapore 588192
Tel: +65 6462 6724
Sun: 12pm – 5.30pm
Mon to Sat: 9am – 5.30pm
Nearest Station: Hillview

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Hindhede Drive,
Singapore 589318
Tel: 1800 471 7300
Daily: 7am – 7pm
Nearest Station: Beauty World

Old Bukit Timah Railway Station
1 Bukit Timah Railway Station,
Singapore 599938
Nearest Station: Hillview

Chinatown Heritage centre


Arguably one of the hottest tourist spots in Singapore, Chinatown is one of the best areas to visit for a deeper insight into the lives of the Chinese community when they first settled in Singapore during the 1820s and how it has grown into the lively and vibrant area it is today.

There are 4 distinct sub-districts within the Chinatown heritage zone, namely Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Bukit Pasoh and Tanjong Pagar. Within these areas, notable places to visit include The Majestic — originally a Cantonese opera house constructed in 1928 by philanthropist Eu Tong Sen for his wife —, Thian Hock Keng, Jinrikisha Station and the Chinatown Heritage Centre.

The Majestic
80 Eu Tong Sen Street,
Singapore 059810
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Thian Hock Keng
158 Telok Ayer Street,
Singapore 068613
Tel: +65 6423 4616
Daily: 7.30am – 5.30pm
Nearest Station: Telok Ayer

Jinrikisha Station
1 Neil Road,
Singapore 088804
Nearest Station: Chinatown / Telok Ayer

Chinatown Heritage Centre
48 Pagoda Street,
Singapore 059207
Tel: +65 6224 3928
Mon to Sun: 9am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown

Khadijah Mosque

Photo Credit: Amy Lam


Putting aside any thoughts about the popular Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar held a few months ago, most would be unaware of Geylang Serai actually encompasses a large area from Lorong 22 Geylang to Geylang Serai in the east and from Sims Avenue in the north to the south of Guillemard Road.

Bursting with plenty of historical buildings and religious places of worship, the Geylang Serai area is a quintessential example of the racial harmony that Singapore enjoys today. Some places to visit include the Khadijah Mosque and Nan Hai Fei Lai Guan Yin Monastery.

Khadijah Mosque
583 Geylang Road,
Singapore 389522
Tel: +65 6747 5607
Nearest Station: Aljunied

Nan Hai Fei Lai Guan Yin Monastery
35 Lorong 27 Geylang,
Singapore 388170
Tel: +65 6748 5625
Daily: 8am – 4pm
Nearest Station: Aljunied

Armenian Apolistic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator

Photo Credit: Roots


Instead of focussing on just the history of a particular area, it would be worthwhile to visit the masterpieces of G.D. Coleman, the first-known architect to Singapore.

For the uninitiated, G.D. Coleman was famous for designing many early churches in Singapore, most notably the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator — the oldest Christian church in Singapore. G.D. Coleman also has a street and bridge named after him in Singapore so if you’re curious as to the reason about that, be sure to check out this heritage trail!

Armenian Apolistic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator
60 Hill Street,
Singapore 179366
Tel: +65 6334 0141
Daily: 9am – 6pm
Nearest Station: City Hall

The New World Amusement Park

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


A tale of a swamp that turned into a city, Jalan Besar was once surrounded by a swampland and tidal flats which have since been reclaimed, and have had schools, shophouses, temples and churches built upon that foundation.

Bound between Jalan Besar, Kitchener Road, Serangoon Road and Petain Road, New World is a must-see. This was once a park for people from all walks of life and they were entertained by the likes of merry-go-rounds, film screenings and fashion stalls until its closure in 1987. Other places to drop by include the Central Sikh Temple and Chwee Kang Beo Temple.

New World
253 Jalan Besar,
Singapore 208926
Nearest Station: Farrer Park

Central Sikh Temple
2 Towner Road,
Singapore 327804
Tel: +65 6299 3855
Daily: Open throughout the day
Nearest Station: Boon Keng

Chwee Kang Beo Temple
801 Upper Boon Keng Road,
Singapore 387310
Tel: +65 6748 9742
Daily: 8am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Kallang

Kampong Glam


The best place to immerse yourself in the Malay heritage of Singapore is the Kampong Glam Trail which will take you through the Kampong Glam area, Arab Street, Beach Road, Jalan Sultan and Victoria Street.

Kick off your adventure at the Malay Heritage Centre — previously the residence of Malay sultans and their family — and then admire the architecture of Gedung Kuning (“Yellow Mansion”) within the Malay Heritage Centre itself, and finish off with appreciating the history of Madrasah Alsagoff Al Arabiah — the first and oldest madrasah in Singapore.

Malay Heritage Centre
85 Sultan Gate,
Singapore 198501
Tel: +65 6391 0450
Tue to Sun: 10am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Bugis

Madrasah Alsagoff Al Arabiah
111 Jalan Sultan,
Singapore 199006
Tel: +65 6294 5909
Mon to Fri: 9am – 5pm
Sat: 9am – 12pm
Nearest Station: Bugis

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Photo Credit: Flickr


With a significant number and diversity of religious institutions across major ethnic and religious groups in Singapore, Little India is another great example of Singapore’s successful racial harmony policy. There are endless things for you to do and see in this district but here is a glimpse of what you can expect. 

For those looking to dive into Indian heritage, a visit to the Indian Heritage Centre and Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is a must. Otherwise, take a trip to Foochow Methodist Church and the Masjid Angullia for a look at the other religious sites in Little India.

Indian Heritage Centre
5 Campbell Lane,
Singapore 209924
Tel: +65 6291 1601
Tue to Thu: 10am – 7pm
Fri & Sat: 10am – 8pm
Sun: 10am – 4pm
Nearest Station: Little India

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
141 Serangoon Road,
Singapore 218042
Tel: +65 6293 4634
Daily: 5.30am – 12.15pm, 4pm – 9.15pm
Nearest Station: Little India

Foochow Methodist Church
90 Race Course Road,
Singapore 218577
Tel: +65 6293 8757
Nearest Station: Little India

Masjid Angullia
265 Serangoon Road,
Singapore 218099
Tel: +65 6295 1478
Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 5.30pm
Sat: 8.30am – 2pm
Nearest Station: Little India

Ridout Tea Garden

Photo Credit: My Community


Queenstown — the first satellite estate in Singapore — was established by the British in 1953 as a solution for the overcrowding situation in Chinatown. Today, Queenstown is a highly sought after neighbourhood to stay at but little do most know that it is filled with iconic landmarks and abandoned ruins that should be given more attention.

Foodies should take off to the former Thye Hong Biscuit and Confectionery Factory which was one of the oldest biscuit manufacturers in Singapore. Thereafter, walk through time at the Ridout Tea Garden — Singapore’s first Japanese-themed community garden — and pay your respects at the Yin Foh Kuan Hakka Cemetery — the last remaining Hakka cemetery in Singapore.

Former Thye Hong Biscuit and Confectionery Factory
2 Leng Kee Road,
Singapore 159086
Nearest Station: Redhill

Yin Foh Kuan Hakka Cemetery
9 Commonwealth Lane,
Singapore 149551
Daily: 8am – 6.30pm
Nearest Station: Buona Vista / Holland Village

Bhai Maharaj Singh Ji Memorial

Photo Credit: Proud 2 B Indian


How many of us can say that we have spent time understanding the background of the Sikh community in Singapore? Well if you haven’t, you really should. The Sepoy Lines Trail brings you along areas such as Pearl’s Hill and Outram, places that played a vital role in the early migration of Sikhs and their establishment as a community in Singapore.

Some landmarks to visit as part of this learning journey include the former Outram Prison outside Exit A of Outram Park MRT Station, the Silat Road Sikh Temple and the Bhai Maharaj Singh Ji Memorial.

Silat Road Sikh Temple
8 Jalan Bukit Merah,
Singapore 169541
Tel: +65 6222 2208
Nearest Station: Outram Park

Bhai Maharaj Singh Ji Memorial
8 Jalan Bukit Merah,
Singapore 169541
Nearest Station: Outram Park

Toa Payoh Dragon Playground

Photo Credit: Straits Times


A prime example of a typical Singapore town, Toa Payoh is the first town designed and developed by the Housing & Development Board which spearheaded the development of public housing in Singapore. But under all those tall buildings lies the stories of early settlers, plantations and workers whose hard work and efforts form the foundation of the town today.

Toa Payoh is also home to several heritage sites such as the Toa Payoh Dragon Playground — one of the surviving old-school playgrounds in Singapore —, the 39-year-old Chung Hwa Medical Institution and religious sites such as the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery and Masjid Muhajirin.

Toa Payoh Dragon Playground
28 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh,
Singapore 310028
Daily: Open throughout the day
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh

Chung Hwa Medical Institution
193 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh,
Singapore 310193
Tel: +65 6251 3304
Mon to Sat: 9am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh

Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery
184 Jalan Toa Payoh,
Singapore 319944
Tel: +65 6259 6924
Daily: 8.30am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh

Masjid Muhajirin
275 Braddell Road,
Singapore 579704
Tel: +65 6256 1166
Nearest Station: Toa Payoh / Bishan

Labrador 6inchgun


It goes without saying that one of the most defining moments in Singapore’s history would be World War II. The Second World War arrived in Singapore and Malaya on 8 December 1941 and Singapore remained under Japanese occupation until 12 September 1945.

To commemorate the efforts of those who fought during the war and the blood that was shed on our island for the peace that we enjoy today, it would be meaningful to dedicate some time to visit the various war sites in Singapore. Places that you can visit include Labrador Battery or Port Pasir Panjang, Changi Museum and Reflections at Bukit Chandu.

Labrador Battery
12 Port Road,
Singapore 117630
Nearest Station: Labrador Park / Telok Blangah

Changi Museum
1000 Upper Changi Road North,
Singapore 507707
Tel: +65 6214 2451
Daily: 9.30am – 5pm
Nearest Station: Changi Airport

Reflections at Bukit Chandu
31 – K Pepys Road,
Singapore 118458
Tel: +65 6375 2510
Tue to Sun: 9am – 5.30pm
Nearest Station: Pasir Panjang

Sembawang Hot Spring Water Collection Point


You’d be surprised to know that Yishun and Sembawang share so much history. From gambier and pepper planting during the 1800s to rubber and pineapple plantations sprouting up all over both towns during the 1900s, both towns experienced development after the opening of the Singapore Naval Base in 1938 which brought migrants to establish their homes in Singapore.

One other unique fact that most might not know is that Sembawang is home to the very first and only natural hot spring in Singapore. Other landmarks that you should visit include the Teochew Memorial Park and Yishun Park.

Sembawang Hot Spring
Along Gambas Avenue
Daily: 7am – 7pm
Nearest Station: Yishun

Teochew Memorial Park
569 Yishun Ring Road,
Nearest Station: Yishun

Yishun Park
Bounded by Yishun Avenue 4, Yishun Central, Yishun Avenue 11 and Yishun Ring Road.
Tel: 1800 471 7300
Daily: Open throughout the day
Nearest Station: Yishun