The Empress Place Building, very close to the mouth of the Singapore River, is a robust Neoclassical structure named for Queen Victoria and completed in 1865. Having long housed government offices, it is now home to the fine Asian Civilisations Museum, tracing the origins and growth of Asia’s many and varied cultures, from Islamic West Asia through South and Southeast Asia to China. A bit of a misfit here, though most apt given the museum’s location, is the excellent Singapore River gallery. It has displays of sampans and other river craft, and a diorama of a timber dwelling for coolies that recalls the grim lodging houses that once featured in London’s docklands, but best of all are fascinating oral history clips featuring people who once worked on and lived by the river. In keeping with the river’s renaissance as a major area for wining and dining, Empress Place also houses several slick restaurants, notably those run by the Indochine chain.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Singapore features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to stay in Singapore: an area by area guide

Where to stay in Singapore: an area by area guide

An easy entry-point for first-time visitors to Southeast Asia, the absorbing city-state of Singapore has evolved from a colonial port into a slick shrine to wea…

22 Oct 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: 17 things not to miss in Singapore

Video: 17 things not to miss in Singapore

Singapore has many sides. You can take in Little India, Arab Street and Chinatown before heading for a cosmopolitan night out hosted by some of the world's top …

04 Feb 2015 • Site Editor videocam Video
The best of the world's smallest countries

The best of the world's smallest countries

Qatar Jutting northwards into the Persian Gulf, Qatar is one of the world’s smaller nations (about the size of Yorkshire, England), but it is also the world…

29 Oct 2014 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook