Anybody who has ever settled in with a good book knows that the joys of reading are deeply personal. Some people read to live vicariously through a novel’s characters, others read because they enjoy learning new things about the world around them. 

No matter one’s motivations for reading, all book lovers have a soft spot for the library. With loads of libraries scattered across Singapore, from Jurong Regional Library in Jurong East to Punggol Regional Library and from Woodlands Regional Library to Yishun Public Library, there Is no shortage of options. However, when it comes to comfortable seating, perfect spots with a nice view, and productive study sessions, a few libraries stand out as top choices.

Here are six libraries in Singapore that not only offer bookworms the perfect atmosphere but also boast some of the best views you can find in a public space, creating a conducive environment for indulging in your favourite books.

1. Lee Kong Chian Reference Library

Standing at 13 storeys, the National Library is a symbol of academic excellence among the most resourceful libraries Singapore made available to the public. It’s also the tallest library building in the country. 

Many levels boast floor-to-ceiling windows, providing patrons with some of the best views of Bugis – one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, according to a 2020 TimeOut survey.  

Levels 7 to 13 are occupied by the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library. Its collection includes rare books, like titles published in Singapore before World War Two, and reference titles for almost any topic imaginable. 

Some of these texts can only be accessed at the Reference Library. To ensure that researchers who require these texts for their work do not have to jostle for seats, it is advised that patrons who plan on reading their own books there do so during off-peak hours.

Luckily, The National Library Board (NLB) has a handy tool on its website so visitors can check how crowded each venue is before turning up. Located just a stone’s throw from Bugis MRT, this might be one of the easiest public libraries to get to. 


Address: 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday - 10:00am - 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays.

2. library@orchard

Among the beautiful libraries in Singapore, this is the most Instagrammed one, without a question. 

It’s easy to see why. library@orchard’s distinctive wavy bookshelves look beautiful from the second storey and provide a photo opportunity that few would pass up. 

The library also has rolling ladders – they are meant to facilitate the selection of books on the upper shelves, but it definitely helps that they also resemble the iconic ladder that Belle sings from in Beauty and the Beast. library@orchard had won Design of the Year under the President’s Design Award Singapore in 2015, not just because of its visual appeal but also for the attention paid to how readers actually use the library. 

For example, solo readers can curl up in a pod-like Cocoon, the library’s series of hideaway seats that offer a private space for one person and their stack of books. Even the striking curved bookshelves have a purpose. The contours of the shelves create lots of cosy nooks, which help to enhance a sense of discovery and escape for library users seeking comfy seating and ideal environments for uninterrupted reading. 

Unsurprisingly, library@orchard’s collection pays special attention to its range of resources on design. Head to the Magazine Wall for an extensive collection of local and international titles, the largest among the public libraries. 

The library is located within the Somerset complex and is best reached from Somerset MRT.


Address: 277 Orchard Road, orchardgateway #03-12 / #04-11, Singapore 238858
Opening Hours: Monday to  Sunday - 11:00am to 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays.

3. Bedok Public Library

Who said the heartlands are not aesthetic? Bedok Public Library’s distinctive nature theme and unique wooden features definitely prove otherwise.

Since it’s located in a heartland estate, the library has special family-friendly features to cater to readers of all ages. Seniors can opt for the large print books on level 2 or use the library’s electronic magnifier to enlarge texts.

Young readers and their caregivers can gather around the Story Circle to read or camp out in one of the library’s adorable huts. The library’s Early Literacy area also features animal-shaped bookshelves filled with picture books

Adult readers who want more lumbar support need not worry. There are plenty of comfortable and roomy and plush armchairs to relax in. 


Address: 11 Bedok North Street 1, Heartbeat@Bedok #02-03 & #03-04, Singapore 469662
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 10:00am to 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays. 

4. Bishan Public Library

Also a recipient of a Design of the Year award, in 2007, from the President’s Design Award Singapore, Bishan Public Library’s designers invoked the metaphor of a treehouse when they were conceptualising the building.

Thanks to its skylights, trellises, and coloured glass, the library enjoys soft natural light throughout the day that is reminiscent of sunlight filtering through a canopy of leaves.

Reading pods are cantilevered off the building’s main facade. Visible from street level, they are one of the most recognisable features of the library. Each pod can fit one person comfortably and small groups if you do not mind bumping knees. These private alcoves block out the rest of the world and are great for really immersing yourself in a book, sans interruption. They are popular so turn up early if you want to secure a spot. 

If you get peckish, head to Kings Cart Coffee on the first floor. In addition to classic cups of coffee, they also serve up specials like Thai Milk Tea Yuen Yang (S$8) and a Coconut Latte made with gula melaka, coconut cream, and toasted coconut flakes (S$9). 


Address: 5 Bishan Place, Singapore 579841
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 10:00am to 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays. 

5. Tampines Library

Could this be the most surprising view from a library? The Tampines Regional Library was relocated to Our Tampines Hub in 2017 and now commands a view of the Town Square. 

In case you’re unfamiliar with the facilities in Singapore’s largest integrated community and lifestyle hub, Our Tampines Hub’s Town Square is a 5,000-seat stadium for both football and rugby matches. Sam North, a British football YouTuber, called it “the world’s weirdest stadium” when he watched a Singapore Premier League match here.  

Nominated for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and Systematics Public Library of the Year Award in 2018, Tampines’s library has plenty of comfortable reading spaces spread out over its five storeys. 

The cuter ones, like the Reading Mushroom and Reading Bird Cages at level 3, might be aimed at kids but there is no reason adults cannot enjoy them too. Plus, the stepped terrace on level 4 echoes the stands in the football stadium below. 

There are over 400,000 books in Singapore’s four official languages on the shelves. Tampines Regional Library also offers community programmes in its culinary studio, exhibition gallery, and indoor playground so there is something available for every kind of learner. 

Our Tampines Hub is a 7-minute-walk from Tampines MRT station.


Address: 1 Tampines Walk, Our Tampines Hub #02-01, Singapore 528523
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 10:00am to 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays.

6. library@harbourfront

If you love a sea view, look no further than library@harbourfront. We saved the best (view) for last. 

The bright yellow deck chairs in the library’s reading lounges face Sentosa and overlook the water. Doctors recommend looking into the distance after 20 minutes of close activity, like reading. What better way to maintain good eyesight than watching the sunset behind the cable cars?

The library also has facilities for independent learning, like six Learning Pods, where patrons can access digital content and upgrade their skills. There is also plenty for kids like Tinker Truck, the first children’s maker space in a library, and the Stories Come Alive room, which harnesses technology to make storytelling truly immersive. 

The library is also piloting a new convenient self-checkout service called Grab-n-Go, which will make it much easier to pick up a book en route to a lazy afternoon on one of Sentosa’s many beaches. 

library@harbourfront is located in VivoCity, right above Harbourfront MRT.


Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, VIvoCity #03-05, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday - 11:00am to 9:00pm. Closed at 5:00pm on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. Closed on public holidays. 


There is no better way to get through your to-be-read list than visiting one of our beautiful libraries. Whether you’re looking for a creative date idea or continuing on your lifelong learning journey, there is always a good reason to visit your local library.


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