Best Artsy Spots
Image by JASON ANFINSEN under Creative Commons License.

Singapore, Singapore Guide (D): Best Artsy Spots

Taking a visit to Singapore, the rapidly developing global city state? Don’t miss out on its equally rapidly flourishing arts scene! Including art-themed sites from popular museums to obscure but lovable bookshops and cafes, this guide is equipped with 15 of Singapore's finest artistic attractions, aiming to provide a fun and gratifying experience for lovers of the visual and literary arts, or who simply crave a taste of Singaporean art culture.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Attractions Map

Guide Name: Best Artsy Spots
Guide Location: Singapore » Singapore
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 15
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Singapore Arts Museum   ArtScience Museum   BooksActually   The Substation   The Picturehouse   Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay   Polymath & Crust   The Arts House   Casual Poet   Cups N Canvas   Red Dot Design Museum   Woods in the Books   Littered with Books   Artistry Cafe   Youth Olympic Park  
Author: Valerie Chee
Author Bio: Valerie resides in the extremely happening, occasionally overwhelming island-city of Singapore. Her days are spent pursuing her interests in art and dance, as well as her ambition to one day become the proud author of a published novel. She enjoys exploring the city with her friends to seek out those little quiet and charming spaces tucked away from the public eye- those spaces of which you might sometimes even dare to claim as your own.
Singapore Arts Museum

1) Singapore Arts Museum

At the first mention of 'art', the Singapore Art Museum immediately comes to mind. As one of Singapore's most popular and treasured national monuments, it is prided for holding the world's largest public collection of contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. Once housing the Catholic school St. Joseph's Institution (SJI), the SAM building has since been restored to display paintings, sculptures and installations from both iconic artists and emerging practitioners in 18...
Image by User:Sengkang under Creative Commons License.
ArtScience Museum

2) ArtScience Museum

Come one, come all to the world's very first ArtScience museum! Frequently described as the shape of a lotus flower, the bold architecture of the building is meant to symbolize Singapore's movement towards constructing highly modernized, high-tech attractions. The ArtScience museum has been renowned for exhibiting the works of iconic artists including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, as well as historical artifacts and the sets of famous movies such as Harry Potter and Titanic....
Image by William Cho under Creative Commons License.

3) BooksActually

Step into this quaint little bookshop and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the incongruence of its charmingly designed interior with the plainness of the surrounding area. BooksActually rose to popularity due to its excellent selection of literary classics as well as quality fictional pieces, including works ranging from obscure to iconic, and centered around Singaporean and Southeast Asian literature. Many of the books curated are difficult to find elsewhere, so take your time picking out a...
The Substation

4) The Substation

The Substation is Singapore’s very first contemporary arts centre- with a dedicated mission to advocate all genres and forms of artistic practice. Founded in 1990, the centre was a radical site that played a significant role in shaping the local arts community, and has ever since been immersed in the serious business of researching, supporting and promoting the arts. You can expect to find high quality exhibitions ranging across a rich variety of artistic mediums, such as musical performances,...
Image by Jacklee under Creative Commons License.
The Picturehouse

5) The Picturehouse

With the respectable title of Singapore's very first arts house cinema as well as the leading distributor of independent films in Singapore and Malaysia, the Picturehouse provides a hugely satisfying reprieve from those highly commercialized Hollywood blockbuster movies which so many patronize. Films screened here may not have as much hype surrounding them as those screened in typical cinemas, but they definitely measure up in quality. If you're up for something new and unique, take a...
Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay

6) Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay

Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay is undoubtedly one of the top must-see tourist attractions in Singapore. Locals and tourists alike flock to visit this massive high-end centre of performing arts, where shopping, dining and performance venues come together as one to create a happening and classy environment. Astound your senses with the musical and visual finesse you will find here at Esplanade, and later take a stroll at the conveniently proximate Esplanade Park, where you can observe several...
Image by Formulax under Creative Commons License.
Polymath & Crust

7) Polymath & Crust

Kenny and Karen, the owners of indie bookstore BooksActually, followed up its success with a second bookstore, Polymath & Crust. Though polar opposites, the two bookshops have both been filled with quality reads, obscure and iconic alike. While Booksactually specializes in fiction and literature, Polymath & Crust complements it with the exact opposite selection of books- non-fiction reads covering a staggeringly large variety of theoretical subjects, as well as a massive collection of...
Image by Pat Law under Creative Commons License.
The Arts House

8) The Arts House

Singapore's first court house converted into a heritage and arts centre- that is the history of Singapore's top of the notch multi-disciplinary arts centre, the Arts House. With a tangible resilience to remain relevant to Singaporean society, this literary arts centre takes on an incredible list of events, with new exciting programmes arranged on virtually every day of their website’s event calendar. These events cover almost everything under the arts, from dance festivals, film...
Image by JASON ANFINSEN under Creative Commons License.
Casual Poet

9) Casual Poet

The Casual Poet cafe gets its magnetic appeal partially from its carefree, relaxing atmosphere. But more importantly, this unassuming cafe on the second storey of an old shophouse just happens to be a cosy little bookstore as well! Besides its collection of Mandarin and English books and magazines, the store has a treasure trove of little trinkets, stationery and albums. Over the years, this simply yet beautifully furnished cafe-cum-bookstore has gathered itself a warm community of art-lovers...
Image by Kareen Lee under Creative Commons License.
Cups N Canvas

10) Cups N Canvas

Love art? Crave coffee? At Cups N Canvas, you can have as much of either as you want! This humble cafe has a key selling point besides its great food and homely atmosphere- its art studio! Anyone with a passion for the visual arts can drop by for a little tuition on painting, drawing and even print making. Or simply sit by with your coffee and watch the artists at work, young and old alike. Either way, Cups N Canvas is a great rustic, cozy recluse which will bring out the creative side of you,...
Image by Amasou Umasou under Creative Commons License.
Red Dot Design Museum

11) Red Dot Design Museum

The Red Dot Design Museum portrays our era of contemporary design in the form of more than two hundred award winning futuristic design concept art pieces. In a mind boggling display of both 2D and 3D artworks, this museum is just brimming with amazing ideas and whimsical designs. Take a look into the minds of the creative talents who developed the exhibited designs, and even get a chance to interact with the fascinating 3D models which lend new perspective into the everyday role of contemporary...
Image by saanjaybhatia under Creative Commons License.
Woods in the Books

12) Woods in the Books

Woods in the Books is an indie bookstore filled with none other than picture books! Return to the realms of childhood with well-loved classics such as the Tin Tin comic book series, Shel Silverstein books, and many more delights from the past. Or, browse through an equally fine selection of adult picture books, because Woods in the Books has it all! They also stock pop-up books for their excellent aesthetic value, and exquisite drawings, paintings and toys you can buy home to call your own. With...
Littered with Books

13) Littered with Books

This quaint two storey bookstore is a great place famous for its artistic vibe and reasonable pricing, not to mention a staggeringly large range of books. Crime fiction, chick-lit, fantasy, cookbooks, children's books, travel guides, and many more, Littered with Books has it all! Whether you have a taste for fiction or nonfiction, the staff at Littered with Books will cordially welcome and assist you in finding your book of choice. A place with peaceful atmosphere as well as simple yet...
Image by lleb- under Creative Commons License.
Artistry Cafe

14) Artistry Cafe

If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon sipping coffee and snacking on cakes- with the added bonus of an artistic ambience, visit the Artistry Cafe, where you will have the luxury of an art gallery cum cafe experience. Centered in the creative arts, Artistry Cafe exhibits paintings by emerging 2D artists and has a stock of locally published books, both fiction and nonfiction selections, which give a cafe a unique touch and make for an interesting browsing experience. Locals and tourists...
Youth Olympic Park

15) Youth Olympic Park

Standing out from the National parks around Singapore, the Youth Olympic Park is the island’s very first art park, built in commemoration of the Youth Olympic Games hosted by Singapore in August 2010. By conveying the theme of aspirations through various art mediums, including giant sculptures and picture carvings on a rock wall, the park represents a sense of community, as well as promotes the local arts scene. The installations built within the park were specially selected from a local arts...
Image by William Cho under Creative Commons License.

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