The dignified white Victorian building up Parliament Lane, somewhat overshadowed by the Victoria Memorial Hall, is the Old Parliament House, built as a private dwelling for a rich merchant by Singapore’s pre-eminent colonial architect, the Irishman George Drumgould Coleman. Relieved of its legislative duties, the building is now home to a contemporary arts centre called The Arts House and includes a shop stocking literature, DVDs and other works by home-grown talent. The bronze elephant in front of Old Parliament House was a gift to Singapore from King Rama V of Thailand (whose father was the king upon whom The King and I was based) after his trip to the island in 1871 – the first foreign visit ever made by a Thai monarch. Just across Parliament Lane from its predecessor is the back of the rather soulless New Parliament House, where it is possible to watch parliamentary debates in progress.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

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
20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels

20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels

Twilight ballooning in Albuquerque, New Mexico Few sights are more magical than hundreds of tethered, glowing hot-air balloons illuminating a dusky night sky. …

12 May 2014 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month