THE ART TOWN
Take a self-guided tour along Singapore's historical haven and the city's nucleus of arts and culture
4 Interesting Spots around Bras Basah
Bras Basah has come a long way from its agricultural roots. That said, this is still a thriving, energetic place - one definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in Singapore’s culture!
Today, we’ll take you on a trip through some of our favourite stops around Bras Basah. Most people can actually visit all of these interesting spots in one go!
1. Mint Museum of Toys
The Mint Museum of Toys is one of our favourite places to visit around Bras Basah. It’s located at 26 Seah Street and it’s pretty much a wonderland for the little kid in you.
Here are some mind-boggling facts: there are over 50,000 toys and items in the museum’s collection. They’re from the mid-19th century to mid-20th century… and they all come from one man!
The toys were owned by an alumnus of St Andrew’s School, Chang Yang Fa. He came up with the idea of the museum as a way to share his passion for childhood toys and memorabilia with others.
If you visit, be sure to check out special items like the only known complete Batman robot toy in existence and the first mass-manufactured robot before WWII.
Unfortunately, the museum’s temporarily closed due to the pandemic, but we expect it to reopen eventually - until then, you can visit their virtual museum.
2. Cat Museum
Despite the name, this isn’t actually a museum. It’s a lovely nonprofit shelter for felines, which is far more preferable, in our opinion!
If you love cats as much as we do, this is one of the best places to decompress after a long day or week. You can go to enquire about volunteering, donating, or even just hang out with the cats they have.
The kitties are divided into separate areas: the youngest stay in the nursery, the older cats in the resident area, and the cats for adoption in the space where visitors can meet and greet the little furballs.
The entrance fee is a mere nine dollars, which goes to the care of the cats, of course. Keep an eye out for the cats’ names, which are often taken from celebrities like actors and even royalty.
3. Raffles Hotel Arcade
The hotel has been reopened in line with government regulations, and is definitely a recommended place to stop by if you’re around the Bras Basah area.
We’re fans of the Arcade because of the quality of the shopping experience to be found there. There’s no dearth of amazing brands and products on the shelves, and the personnel are always courteous and helpful.
It’s not all major international brands either. The Arcade represents a fair number of Singapore’s brands too, particularly premium ones.
What’s more, you can actually visit the Arcade with the sole purpose of just feasting your eyes on the beauty of the place. The hotel actually underwent a three-phase restoration not too long ago, reopening in 2019 to unveil an even more opulent look than before.
We don’t just love this place because it tickles us whenever foreigners say it wrong. The fact is, this has two gazetted national monuments in Caldwell House and CHIJMES Hall, so it’s of interest to history and heritage buffs.
The complex boasts both neoclassical and early gothic revival styles in its architecture. It’s actually an architecturally self-contained city block, and has been used for many functions over the years.
In any case, it’s definitely worth a visit if you like seeing impressive structures and Singapore’s history in architectural form. You get a nice dose of Hollywood here too: this is where they shot Colin and Araminta’s wedding scene from the film Crazy Rich Asians.
Want more of Bras Basah?
If you feel like seeing more of what Bras Basah has to offer, we have just the thing for you! Our guide to Bras Basah lets you experience the area through a specially curated walking tour.
Download our guide and try following our itinerary for yourself. You may be astonished by what else you can find in this location!
Download our Bras Basah Guide now!
Click here to check out other content guides.