The Bicentennial Experience
From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience has ended
As the centrepiece event of the Singapore Bicentennial, this multimedia sensory experience brings you back in time to witness key moments in Singapore’s transformation from as far back as 1299.
The show ended its run on 31 December 2019. Thank you for all your support.
Go beyond The Bicentennial Experience to discover Singapore’s 700-year history. Explore multiple content formats, from animated films and short videos to e-books, an interactive book and a lecture series. Find out more at our Beyond the Experience page.
From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience brings to life Singapore’s momentous evolution from 1299, shaped by wider regional and global shifts. It comprises an immersive, ticketed experience within the Fort Canning Centre, and a free and easy exploration through pavilions within the greenery of Fort Gate.
Enjoy a front-row view of Singapore’s 700-year history. Experience first-hand the sights, sounds and drama of formative events throughout our evolution. This segment requires a ticket for entry. It is a timed experience that will last 60 minutes. (Show Advisory: Recommended for children aged 5 and above. Please note that there are strobe lights, loud sounds and rotations during the show. Guests prone to motion sickness or dizziness should avoid the experience. )
Act 1: Beginnings
In her early days, Singapura was a thriving maritime emporium under the rule of Sang Nila Utama and his successors. Being connected to the region brought Singapore waves of fortune and prosperity, but it also put her at the centre of regional disruptions.
Through it all, Singapore evolves – from being the seat of the Kingdom of Singapura in the 14th century, to how her fall gave rise to the Melaka Sultanate in the 15th century, and eventually, as naval base and gateway to the Johor Sultanate in the 17th century.
Act 2: Arrival
The arrival of the British in 1819 marked a new trajectory for Singapore as it evolves once again, this time into a colonial port linking Singapore’s trade not only with the region, but also with Europe. The absence of port duties and new economic opportunities attracted waves of migrants who flocked to the newly-opened port, turning Singapore into a more cosmopolitan town.
Act 3: Connectivity
The long 19th century saw to Singapore evolving further into a bustling metropolis. It witnessed the emergence of new technological inventions, expansion of physical infrastructure and industries, as well as the proliferation of new ideas of identity and belonging.
However, beneath these glitzy developments were grim realities, especially for those of the labouring masses who had to contend with a whole range of social ills. These prompted prominent members of the various communities to step forward in attempts to address these issues.
Act 4: Occupation
Life in the city of Singapore came to a standstill with the outbreak of World War II in 1942. The British surrender of Singapore and the ensuing occupation between the years 1942 to 1945 made the people of Singapore not only realize the dangers of dependency, but also prompted them to seek ways to chart their own destiny, and renegotiate their relationship to the island they have called home.
(Show Advisory: Part of this Act will be an audio segment in a dark room.)
Act 5: Destiny
With a recap of scenes from previous Acts, journey through the story of how our nation emerged through the contribution of ordinary people.
The Pathfinder is a series of pavilions where we experience our 700-year old history through space. It takes the visitor through Singapore’s place in the world across the centuries by using artefacts, maps, flora and the written word. This is a free and easy exploration which will take approximately 30 minutes or more.
Emporium of the East
This space simulates Singapore as an Emporium of the East between the 14th to 16th century, featuring replicas of trading goods that were found in Singapore and the surrounding region in this period.
Visitors can access information on our historical connection to the region’s culture and trade.
House of Maps
The House of Maps is a showcase of maps that show the evolution of the marking of Singapore’s place in the world across time, as well as its different names throughout history.
The kinetic façade of smaller cartographic volumes responds to the wind, which symbolises the power of the element that has influenced much of maritime history in this region for the past 700 years.
The Seed Conservatory features the historical flora of Singapore over the last 700 years. This pavilion features native plants, alongside those which were brought to the island either by forces of nature, or to be cultivated for aesthetic as well as economic reasons.
The Lookout consists of three telescopes that showcase how the sea has been a key constant in Singapore’s history as it changes over the centuries.
Reflections of Our Past
Reflections of Our Past is a space for visitors to pause and ponder on their experiences and stories of the Bicentennial.
In the day, the Lightbeam is a sculptural feature of mirrors. When night falls, a beam will shine from the centre of the Pathfinder in three colours - each representing one of the Bicentennial DNA traits: Openness, Self-Determination, and Multiculturalism.
Pavilion of Words
The Pavilion of Words is an open-air library housing quotes, books, and excerpts taken from histories and stories related to Singapore for the past 700 years, ranging from key historical figures to our contemporary writers.
Visitors are also encouraged to pen their thoughts on the past and their hopes for the future.
The Old Married Soldier’s Quarters is transformed into the Observatory, where visitors can see how historical events around the world coincide with our 700-year history.
Created by Brian Gothong Tan, Echoes is a series of four site-specific short films projected at Fort Canning Green nightly. The fictional stories explore the themes of love, compassion and multi-culturalism, in scenes inspired by life in early Singapore.
DT Line: Fort Canning station (8 mins)
From Exit B, turn right to Fort Canning Park, take the escalator up Fort Canning Hill.
From Exit B, turn left at ground level to exit the station, cross Penang Road, turn left and follow the walkway that will lead to the Fort Canning Tunnel.
From Exit E, turn back towards Bras Basah Road and take the road crossing. Walk straight and lookout for the escalator leading up to Fort Canning Park.
From Exit E, turn left and walk along Coleman Bridge. Continue along Hill Street and enter Fort Canning Park via the flight of stairs on your left.
Parking at Fort Canning is very limited. Visitors are encouraged to park at Liang Court Shopping Centre, National Museum Singapore or SMU, then take a Grab with our discount codes.
Please set aside sufficient time from these alternative parking venues to Fort Canning Centre.
18 Nov – 31 Dec 2019
There are free shuttle bus services available 7 days a week.
First bus from all locations departs at 8.20am. Last bus from all locations departs at 4.00pm on Mondays and 8.50pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Last bus from Fort Canning Centre departs at 6.20pm on Mondays and 10.40pm from Tuesday to Sunday to all locations.
Pick Up Locations
A. Plaza Singapura pick-up/drop-off point (near HSBC, #01-60); at Dhoby Ghaut station
B. Raffles City Mall taxi stand along North Bridge Road (near Nespresso); at City Hall station
Journey time: Approximately 15 minutes from all locations to Fort Canning Centre.
Frequency: Shuttle buses at all locations arrive at intervals of 10 – 20 minutes.
Please cater sufficient time for travelling and waiting as these are 19-seater buses and you may need to wait for the next one if the first bus is full.
Wheelchair-friendly shuttle bus
Wheelchair-friendly shuttle bus services will be available at Plaza Singapura pick-up/drop-off point from 9.00am to 11.40pm and 2.00pm to 4.40pm on weekends and public holidays.
- Access within Fort Canning Centre is wheelchair friendly. There are wheelchair-accessible toilets on all levels.
- Due to space and loading restrictions indoor, there is a limit of up to four wheelchair users for each show.
- If the maximum wheelchair capacity for a show is reached, we seek your understanding that subsequent wheelchair users will be rescheduled to the next available slot.
- The Time Traveller is housed within the Fort Canning Centre and is sheltered.
- The Pathfinder is a free-and-easy experience within the greenery of Fort Gate. While the individual pavilions are covered, the entire area is open air. There are partially sheltered areas and tentage nearby.
- Strollers/prams are not allowed into the Fort Canning Centre. There is a designated parking area outside. However, as the area is not monitored, please ensure that all valuables and personal items are removed from your strollers/prams.
- Motorised or Wheeled Mobility equipment are not allowed into the Fort Canning Centre. These include, but are not limited to, skate-scooters, in-line skates, roller-blades, unicycles, Segway, bicycles, tricycles and pull-trolleys.
The Bicentennial Experience
Late Entry Advisory
- If you arrive after your ticket time, you will miss your allocated show for the Time Traveller, and there is no guarantee that the next show can accommodate you or your accompanying visitors.
Admission Terms and Conditions
- The maximum capacity for each show is 60 pax for the Time Traveller.
- Entry to the Time Traveller is strictly based on the ticket time.
- Tickets are only valid for the stipulated date and time.
- Please note that all tickets must be presented at the point of entry; each ticket admits one visitor.
- Visitors who are unable to present their tickets will be denied entry. Visitors may book new tickets at the on-site ticket counter, subject to availability.
- Ticket duplicates that are unauthorised will be denied entry. Visitors will need to obtain a new ticket if an existing ticket or a copy of it has already been used by another person.
- Visitors are advised to retain their tickets throughout the show.
- Tickets are not for sale or exchange.
- Tickets are void if altered.
- Event Organisers may postpone, cancel, interrupt or stop the show due to unforeseen situations, or any other causes beyond their reasonable control.
- Visitors must comply with all relevant safety announcements and regulations whilst attending the Time Traveller.
- Visitors must agree to submit to any search of prohibited items including, but not limited to, weapons and dangerous or illegal substances.
- Event Organisers retain full discretion to grant or deny visitors entry into the Time Traveller.
- As a courtesy to other visitors, Event Organisers reserve the right to ask any person(s) to leave the premises due to unruly or objectionable conduct and behaviour.
- Visitors voluntarily assume all risk and danger incidental to the event whether occurring prior to, during or subsequent to the actual event.
- Event Organisers are not responsible for any loss, damage or personal injury sustained by visitors.
Photography / Video Recording Rules
- Please do not touch any object on display, or rest on display panel showcases and gallery walls.
- Please set your mobile phones to silent or vibrate mode, and keep your voice down during the show.