While Singapore is easy enough to explore on your own, you can learn a lot more about the city by exploring with a knowledgeable guide. Here’s a rundown of various walking tours of Singapore covering everything from historical sites to nature reserves to food.
The granddaddy of Singapore walking tours is Original Singapore Walks. Their expert guides have been enlightening tourists and locals alike since 2003 and their offerings have branched into eight tours focusing on Singapore’s unique neighbourhoods and colourful history. I truly enjoyed their Chinatown tour titled “Red Clogs down the Five Foot Way”. A different tour is available every day and costs S$35 per person (with discounts for multiple tours).
Original Singapore Walks: www.journeys.com.sg, T: 6325 1631
If you’re on a tight budget, join one of the free walking tours from Singapore Footprints. Your guides are local university students who will show you around Singapore’s historic neighbourhoods and tell you the stories behind colonial buildings, places of worship and other landmarks. Tours are only offered on weekends and last about 90 minutes. If you had fun and learned something please do remember to tip your guide – they are students, after all.
Singapore Footprints: www.singaporefootprints.com
Singapore’s National Parks Board offers (mostly) free nature walks around the island’s plentiful gardens and nature reserves. Some of the guided tours give a general overview of the ecosystem – like the wetland walk at Sungei Buloh – while others have a more specific focus like the Macaque Walk at Bukit Timah forest and the Spice Trail Walk at Fort Canning Park. Most of the tours are free and take place on weekends. Visit the National Parks Board website for a full list of upcoming walks.
If you just can’t get enough hawker food, you should join the famous Betel Box Food Walk. Offered every Thursday night, this tour is six hours of walking and eating through the foodie paradise of Joo Chiat. The cost is S$40 (or less if you’re staying at the Betel Box Hostel) but you’ll sample at least 40 dishes from chilli crab to durian to the neighbourhood’s iconic Peranakan cuisine. One of Travelfish’s famished founders ate their way through this tour and highly recommend it.
Betel Box Hostel & Tours: www.betelbox.com, T: 6247 7340
By Tanya Procyshyn
Last updated on 15th November, 2014.