At the intersection of history, culture and modernity, the neighbourhood of Bras Basah is the beating heart of heritage Singapore. Here, a wander in almost any direction will unearth treasures from historically significant monuments to fascinating art museums and shopping centres poised to steal hours of your time as you happily trawl for your next favourite fashion piece. These are a few reasons this bustling inner-city district is the ideal home base on a trip to Singapore.
It’s a hotspot for history buffs
Home to Singapore’s most revered museums, Bras Basah is a great starting point for uncovering the city-state’s hidden past. The National Museum of Singapore, for example, dates back to 1887, making it the city’s oldest museum. Its grand, stately Colonial exterior alone is something to behold. Venture inside to delve into the fascinating timeline of this young nation, including a permanent exhibit on societal changes amid the tumultuous 1950s and 60s. The captivating Peranakan Museum is also centrally located in the area. Focusing on the diverse Peranakan culture – a mix of ethnic traditions spanning Chinese, Indian, Malay and Indonesia influences – with collections displaying everything from handicrafts to photography, created within the vibrant Peranakan community.
There’s a thriving art scene
The Singapore Art Museum has its home in Bras Basah. Housed in a beautiful chalk-white national monument – the former 19th-century mission school of St Joseph’s Institute – the museum displays a fascinating range of contemporary art from around South-East Asia. Although the museum is a notable hub, wider Bras Basah also boasts a burgeoning street art scene – take a trip using this mapped trail to explore the area’s local talents.
It’s a great base for further exploration
Staying where Singapore’s most important sites are easily reached on foot is a huge drawcard for any traveller, especially if you’re short on time. Searching for the ideal base for easy exploring? Carlton Hotel Singapore not only boasts a rooftop pool for cooling off from the notorious Singapore heat, it’s also centrally located in the area – perfect for tackling the city on foot. It’s also within walking distance of five major MRT stations including City Hall, Bugis and Bras Basah, making sightseeing further afield just as easy.