Singapore’s multicultural heritage is reflected by the rich diversity of temples, mosques, and churches which can be found across the city. If you’re keen on discovering the major religious places to visit in Singapore, follow this itinerary for a wonderfully unique experience.
With its shimmering golden domes rising above Kampong Glam district, iconic landmark Sultan Mosque is one of the must-see places to visit in Singapore. The magnificent exterior immediately catches your eye with its elegant combination of Islamic and European architecture. You’ll be awe-struck by the intricate arabesques adorning its façade. Upon closer inspection, you notice a layer of vibrant glass bottles encircling the base of the dome. These bottles serve as a touching tribute, donated by the less affluent members of Singapore’s Muslim community who wanted to contribute to the construction of the mosque.
As you step inside, you can sense the rich history of Sultan Mosque, which dates all the way back to 1824. Just beyond the entrance lies an imposing two-tiered room, which is the main prayer hall and can hold up to 5,000 worshippers. Decorated in arresting green and golden hues, this airy space invites you to pause for a moment of quiet reflection. Your eyes are drawn to the centrepiece of the prayer hall, a beautifully painted alcove indicating the direction of Mecca. For a brief moment, you feel transported back to the time of the Sultans—a welcome respite from the bustling atmosphere of Kampong Glam.
Thian Hock Keng Temple
Nestled between the trendy bars and eateries of Telok Ayer Street you can find Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the most fascinating places to visit in Singapore. Standing at the entrance, you take in every exquisite detail, from the sloping viridescent roofs with ornate dragon sculptures to the intricately engraved stone pillars. As you venture into the peaceful main courtyard flanked by colourful shrines, the air is rich with the fragrance of incense sticks. The temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, and your thoughts turn to the early Chinese immigrants who used to worship here to give thanks for their safe voyage across rough seas. Since Thian Hock Keng contains a multitude of rich décor, take your time to appreciate the vibrant mosaic sculptures, painted wooden panels, and intricate carvings. After all, what better way to spend your day than by exploring Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple?
Sri Mariamman Temple
It’s impossible for you to miss Sri Mariamman Temple, a Hindu landmark standing proudly in the heart of Chinatown. Named after the Goddess of Rain, this majestic temple boasts a tower entrance, truly a wonder to behold. As you gaze at the elaborately designed tower, you notice its six tiers are covered with dynamic painted sculptures of Hindu deities and mythological creatures. Upon entering the main prayer hall, you’re captivated by the vibrant frescoes emblazoned on the ceiling, depicting religious scenes and ornate mandalas. Next, you make your way to the central shrine, where you can see the original statue of Mariamman, installed in 1827. It’s a powerful reminder that Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple is not just a place of worship, but also has a long history of sheltering Indian immigrants who were new to the country. This palpable sense of community and culture impresses you, and you leave Sri Mariamman feeling a bit wiser.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral
With its neo-Gothic architecture and gleaming white spires, St. Andrew’s Cathedral forms a fascinating counterpoint to Singapore’s modern skyline. As you wander through the peaceful nave, your eyes rest on the three gorgeous stained-glass windows framing the altar. One of these windows is dedicated to Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, and even bears his coat of arms. You decide to sit in the pews for a moment, basking in a rare feeling of serenity. Named after a Scottish saint, inspired by an English abbey, and built by Indian labourers, St. Andrew’s is truly one of the most multicultural places to visit in Singapore.