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Singapore HeritageFest 2024 Shines A Light On Historical Sites And Buildings

Think you know enough about our Lion City? Well, there's a whole lot more to discover. And Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) 2024 is the perfect opportunity for you to do so.

Started in 2004, SHF is an annual event that brings into focus the Republic's rich history, culture, and heritage. Think: guided tours, immersive exhibitions, and interactive performances that highlight Singapore's lively neighbourhoods, delectable traditional dishes, and unique customs. Past editions of SHF have featured Singapore's ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) connections, lesser-known spots in Singapore, and various ethnic groups in Singapore.

This year marks the 21st edition of the event, which coincides with 35 years of Singapore's conservation programme and 40 years of Total Defence. SHF 2024 will focus on Singapore's built heritage, aka the stories behind the buildings and sites that were built during colonial Singapore as well as more contemporary ones today.

Get ready to "island hop" from kelongs to kampongs, unearth spine-chilling tales from Singapore's haunted corners, wander around old schools and heritage hotels, and uncover an unknown "undisclosed" experience.

A wide selection of 120 programmes (see our selected picks below) from 1 to 26 May will help you delve into our Little Red Dot's rich architectural heritage, which comprises 75 National Monuments, over 7,000 conserved buildings and structures as well as more obscure sites like bridges, reservoirs, and even cemeteries.

National Monuments of Singapore

What exactly is a National Monument, and what is its significance? Who decides which sites earn this title? And how many do we have in Singapore? To date, the National Heritage Board’s (NHB's) Preservation of Sites and Monuments division has recognised and gazetted 75 buildings, structures, and sites that hold significant national importance as part of Singapore’s architectural heritage.


A Sketch-walk to Remember: Rediscovering our National Monuments
4 May, 9.30am

If you enjoy art and architecture, this is just the activity for you at Singapore HeritageFest 2024. Join Urban Sketchers Singapore, a global community of sketchers, to discover the charm of sketching the façades of Singapore's two iconic institutions: National Museum of Singapore and The Peranakan Museum. Dive into their historical narratives and delve into the techniques of urban sketching - and chalk up those daily steps!

Register here.

Meanwhile, at, we're on a mission to discover all the National Monuments of Singapore. Here are some we've visited:


1. Sultan Mosque

Fun fact: Did you know Sir Stamford Raffles played a significant role in gathering funds for the construction of Sultan Mosque back in 1824?


2. Lau Pa Sat

Fun fact: Lau Pa Sat turns 130 this year 🎉 and what better way to commemorate this iconic landmark than heading down for photo-ops galore with a 10m long mural by Yip Yew Chong, and snagging merch designed by Ah Guo in captivating watercolours?


3. Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church

Fun fact: In addition to being the inaugural Straits Chinese church, Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church was also the founding location of the Singapore Boys’ Brigade, established on 12 Jan 1930.


4. Hong San See

Fun fact: “Temple on Phoenix Hill” received the Award of Excellence in the annual UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

Click here to check out our series on these historic sites.

Our top picks for SHF 2024

Part of the Homeground installation on the front lawn of National Museum of Singapore. | IMAGE: NG KAI

1. HOMEGROUND: We Built This City installation

This year’s Homeground installation, an iconic staple of the Singapore HeritageFest, is set up on the front lawn of the National Museum of Singapore (a National Monument). The installation showcases how intricate connections have shaped Singapore’s architectural identity over the years.

The installation features five displays highlighting the evolution of Singapore’s public housing and showcases a landmark from Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site: the bandstand gazebo from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

One of the collaborators for "HOMEGROUND: We Built This City" includes local paper artist, Cheryl Teo. You can spot her super cute creations - sheets of paper transformed into works of art - dotting the various displays.

2. Hop-On, Hop Off (HOHO) Bus Experience

Considering the stifling heat these days, the HOHO Bus is the perfect respite from the heat while journeying around iconic heritage areas in Singapore. Stops include multiple National Monuments such as the Former Nagore Dargah, CHIJMES, and many others.

Find out more here.

Last year's Ride & Discover featured 4 MRT Stations. | IMAGE: INSTAGRAM/@SGHERITAGEFEST

3. Ride & Discover

Ride & Discover is back this year to make your train rides more engaging. Look out for panels with stories about Singapore’s landmarks and structures at four MRT stations: Dhoby Ghaut, Bugis, Queenstown, and Tanjong Pagar. Learn interesting facts about our built heritage as you commute to work or school.

And if you're interested in art works located in dozens of our MRT stations, check out our "Adventures At Home" series on rediscovering art along different MRT lines in Singapore.

Savour bite-sized treats at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore (left) and Fullerton Hotel Singapore's The Courtyard. | IMAGES: SINGAPORE HERITAGEFEST

4. Afternoon tea

Fancy a cuppa before embarking on a tour? You can indulge in two tea-riffic afternoon tea sets at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore and Fullerton Hotel Singapore's The Courtyard, before joining a tour of the respective buildings.

Get the par-tea started here.

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