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Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore (must see)

Art and architecture go hand in hand, as evident in this spiky and endearingly outrageous performing arts center. The structure itself emerged from Singapore’s realization that it needed iconic buildings to keep pace with the competitive international tourist industry – and, as such, can be seen as the Asian rival to the Sydney Opera House, with a fabulous location to support its own unique sense of grandeur. Officially opened in 2002, it has become quite the key emblem of contemporary Singapore; a shining example of its arty, creative side.

The big question is and will always be whether the Esplanade’s theatres bear more resemblance to Durian fruit, the eyes of a fly, or a microphone. Despite its fruity nickname, “The Big Durians”, which is most popular with the locals, the twin glass domes of the complex do not take their design reference from the tropical fruit, but from traditional Asian reed weavings. The spiky metal sunshades reach seven thousand in number, and with their varying angles and geometries, make the roof-line morph and mutate across the building; however, aside from the visual complexity, they have a practical aspect as well, in that they maximize the natural light while shielding the glass roof from heat radiation – an important concern given Singapore's location close to the equator.

Internally, the venue is just as extraordinary. As well as large-capacity twin auditoriums that are visually and acoustically spectacular, there are several decent eating options here to fill one's tummy as well. Also worth looking out for here are the regular free performances and major events outside, especially on weekends, which are advertised either on the theatre’s website or in the monthly what’s-on guide so, on a lark, you may get to pick and choose several performances to see. The Esplanade has many different art-related shops as well, including a vinyl record store, a wind instrument shop and more. As if that's not enough, it houses a branch of the National Library where you can read digital newspapers, scour through the huge selection of music, dance, and art materials, or watch movies in a spectacular setting. To capture a very nice picture of the famed Singapore Merlion, you can go up to the top floor. This is indeed a heavenly refuge if you're an art lover or simply need a break from Singapore's humidity and heat.

Tip:
To capture a very nice picture of the famed Singapore Merlion, you can then go up to the top floor.

Guided Tours:
Mon–Fri: 11am (excl. public holidays)

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Singapore, Singapore within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay on Map

Sight Name: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Sight Location: Singapore, Singapore
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Singapore, Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Creating your own self-guided walk in Singapore is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Singapore Introduction Walk

Singapore Introduction Walk

Malay legend has it that a long time ago the Sumatran prince, who sought shelter from a storm, ended up on the island of Temasek where he saw a strange animal believed to be a lion. He then founded a city there and named it Singapura which in Sanskrit means the “Lion City”. In the 14th century, Singapura found itself “between a rock and a hard place” when the neighboring realms of Thailand...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Singapore Landmarks Tour

Singapore Landmarks Tour

Singapore is an island and a city state with a melting pot population of Asian people comprising the Chinese, Malay and Indians. The city was initially established as a trading post in Southeast Asia by the British East India Company in 1819 and was part of British colony until 1963. Its colonial heritage is still very visible in the city today. This self-guided tour will lead you through some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Museums Tour

Museums Tour

Singapore's crazy population mix means that there are museums dedicated to the culture of each community that makes up the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural nature of this island state. This self-guided tour will take you through museums that display the Asian way of life, art and religion.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Singapore Shopping Tour

Singapore Shopping Tour

Singapore being a melting pot of Asian nations, you can pick up stuff from all across Asia here. This self-guided tour will take you through pedestrian shopping plazas, historical shop-houses in Chinatown and local ethnic markets. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Colonial District Walking Tour

Colonial District Walking Tour

Singapore was first established as a trading post in Southeast Asia by the British India Company in 1819. Its strong colonial heritage has left a number of European style buildings lining the banks of the Singapore River in the heart of the city center. This self guided tour leads you through Singapore's Colonial District, taking in some of the most famous landmarks in the city along the way.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

The Chinese make up a majority of the population in Singapore. Chinatown is, therefore, a district full of valuable historical monuments, fascinating museums, and tasty food markets. There are also many wonderful shop-houses that sell exotic items to be found nowhere else. This self-guided tour will take you through the most popular places in Singapore's Chinatown.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles

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