Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is one of the world’s busiest arts centres, officially opened on 12 October 2002.
The original Esplanade was built in 1943 and refers to a park that today occupies 2.4 hectares along Connaught Drive opposite City Hall. In 1985, the Master Plan for an arts centre to be built in Singapore was developed and Esplanade was chosen to be the site upon which it sat. The original Esplanade site was redeveloped in 1991 to enhance the civic districtand while further reclamation work for the arts centre was also began.
In 1992, a team comprising respected local firm DP Architects (Singapore) and Michael Wilford & Partners (UK) was chosen to begin work on the centre. To maintain the valuable links between the past and present, the arts centre was subsequently named Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Today, this architectural icon with its distinctive twin shells is sited within Singapores civic district, just by Marina Bay at the mouth of the Singapore River. Esplanade comprises two large halls: the 2,000-seat theatre and the 1,600-seat Concert Hall, complimented by two smaller studios, an outdoor theatre as well as a mall. The two domes housing the Theatre and Concert Hall were designed in glass, to convey a sense of openness. To keep the centre cool in the tropics, over 7,000 pieces of aluminium sunshades together with double-glazed laminated glass were installed on a steel truss frame to form the cladding that makes the centre such a striking architectural icon against Singapores city skyline. The spiky cladding has since earned the centre the popular nickname of a beloved local fruit, the Durian.
Esplanade aims to be a performing arts centre for everyone, and its programmes cater to its diverse audiences. Its programme line-up spans all genres to encompass music, dance, theatre and visual arts, with a special focus on Asian culture.
Esplanade is situated between Raffles Avenue and Esplanade Drive
How to get there
The taxi stand is located at the Esplanade Mall entrance along Raffles Avenue.
The Esplanade is easily accessible via public buses.
Bus numbers: 36, 56, 75, 70, 77, 97, 106, 111, 133, 162, 171, 174M, 195, 502, 700A, 857, 960, 961, NR1, NR2, NR5, NR6, NR7, NR8
The nearest bus stop is also located along Raffles Avenue, outside the Esplanade Mall entrance.
The Esplanade is just a 10-minute walk from the City Hall MRT Station through an underpass which also links four shopping centres – Raffles City, Marina Square, Suntec City and Millenia Walk.
There is a passenger pick-up and drop-off point at the Main Entrance (Mezzanine level) along Esplanade Drive and Esplanade Mall entrance along Raffles Avenue.
Cruise down the Singapore River to the Esplanade. Alight at the jetty along the Esplanade Waterfront.
The Esplanade iTour gives you the freedom of exploring the centre on your own with a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) linked to smart technology which helps you navigate the centre, hear fascinating anecdotes, view valuable footage and gain insight into Esplanade’s workings.
This tour will not take you to the performing venues. Please note that your Identification Card or Passport is required for the loan of the PDA.
Price: S$10 per adult, S$8 per child (7 – 12 years old)
* Prices are subject to changes.