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Walking Tours In Singapore – 7 Fantastic Options

Standing on the waterfront in Singapore

Are you heading to Singapore? The beautiful beast of a country, it is truly a stunner. From its lush green grass fields to its cerulean blue waves, the country is an absolute beauty to explore.      

Most tourists who head to this Asian island sing praises of its gorgeous scenery, but there’s more to it. The country introduces tourists and foreigners to a diverse and mesmerizing culture and boasts a heritage worthy of envy.      

Singapore, also known as the “Lion City,” has some of the most historic and ancient landmarks, making it an excellent place for history buffs.     

But what truly brings foreigners to this fantastic part of the world is the kindness and compassion of its people, who are always willing to help.

For those visiting Singapore, exploring all it has to offer and making the best of the trip is a priority.

So, whether you have five days in Singapore, one week, or longer, a great way to explore any country is to take a tour on foot. Keep scrolling as I have created the best Singapore walking tours, which save money and allow for self-paced exploration.

Reasons To Take A Walking Tour

Local operators offer walking tours which showcase the culture and history with a tour guide. You can even take a free walking tour (with Monster Day Tours), but the expectation is to tip heavily at the end.

Alternatively, exploring independently without following a set schedule gives more freedom to browse, take a detour, or break for a meal. 

Before we begin with the list of Singaporean walking tours, let’s talk about why one should take a walking tour:

Easier to Explore in Detail – Without taking a walking tour, one might explore too quickly to truly enjoy the experience. Walking tours allow for exploration of a place up close, taking in each and every detail.

Explore at Your Own Pace – By touring Singapore on foot, you decide on the pace. Organized tours have a tight schedule, are in a group setting, and guests must follow along and not fall behind. However, walking allows for calm and slow exploration.

On self-guided walking tours, you decide the time and the destination. Going with a large group can pose challenges and make communication difficult for introverts.

However, choosing a self-guided walking tour allows for personal control over the experience.

It’s Healthy – An obvious benefit to walking tours is that it provides physical fitness. We like to use a step app that counts how many steps we’ve done each day.

The Buddha Tooth Temple and the National Gallery of Singapore, two places to see on a walking tour
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Best Time To Walk In Singapore

Singapore is a year-round destination with no real seasons. However, while the country’s weather is beautiful year-round, it might be a little drastic for those coming from colder climates.

Winters in Singapore are pretty pleasant, but summers can get quite hot. Since the rainy season brings a lot of humidity, it might not be ideal to visit in December and January.

The ideal time to visit the country is during the dry months, like February and March. During these months, the country experiences lower humidity levels.

To avoid the midday sun, plan to walk early in the morning or later in the evening. We also carried compact umbrellas not just for the occasional shower but to shield the sun on really hot days.

Self-Guided Singapore Walking Tours

Now that we are up to speed on Singaporean weather, let’s dive into the main topic: walking tours available here.

Lots of tour companies are willing to take you to Singapore’s historical and great attractions, but there’s something relatively peaceful and comfortable about exploring by yourself.

For couples or solo travelers, these walking tours are best.

Chinatown Tour

To reach the starting point of the walk, take the MRT to Chinatown and stroll down Mosque Street to South Bridge Road. From here, explore one of Singapore’s most famous places.

Boasting a beautiful heritage and culture of the Chinese, Chinatown is a colorful visit. The ideal time to visit Chinatown is late morning; since most attractions don’t open before 11 am. 

Buddha Tooth Temple
Buddha Tooth Temple

Chinatown consists of many hawker stalls, inexpensive souvenir shops, and temples. Don’t miss the Green Masjid Jamae Mosque, Buddha Tooth Temple, and Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple.

The Buddha Tooth Temple has four floors, and a rooftop garden. We enjoyed browsing the extensive religious exhibits on two floors.

Take a delightful stroll through the mesmerizing streets of Trengganu, Temple, and Pagoda. Here, haggling with the shopkeepers works up an appetite to enjoy the tantalizing local food.

Street art of a "Durian fruit seller" in Singapore's Chinatown
“Durian fruit seller” street art in Chinatown

When hungry, head to Maxwell Food Center, which offers one of the best Hawker food experiences. Consider taking one of the food tours to sample its authentic bites, if you’re a foodie.

Alternatively, you can head to Lau Pa Sat on Boon Tat St. It offers the best satay for a unique Singapore experience.

Continue onto Thian Hock Temple. This Chinese temple was built in 1840 without the use of any nails. This stunning structure showcases elaborate sculptures and carvings of dragons and phoenixes.

This walking tour concludes at Fuk Tak Chi Museum.

Colonial District Walking Tour

One of Singapore’s most famous walking tours is its Colonial District walking tour. This heritage tour explores the Colonial District, and dives into Singapore’s history and Asian culture.

This walk takes 2-3 hours, focusing on a line of galleries, museums, cultural halls, and dainty little shops. Although, exploring the museums can extend the stay in this area.

Start at Raffles Hotel, a magnificent colonial building offering luxury accommodation. Established in 1887, its white colonial architecture is iconic, and offers an amazing Raffles Hotel afternoon tea. If time allows, consider stopping here for the classic Singapore Sling.

Entrance to the Raffles Hotel in Singapore
Raffles Hotel

Continue onto St. Andrew’s Cathedral, a historic structure older than Raffles Hotel. Built in 1861, the Neo-gothic architecture was inspired by a cathedral in England.

The next stop is the National Gallery of Singapore, in the civic district. It houses the most prominent global collection of Asian and Singaporean art. The museum combines two iconic monuments, the city hall and the old supreme court.

Inside the museum, the gallery showcases, contemporary and modern art pieces throughout its massive 690,000 sq. feet of floor space.

Further down the street, stop to admire the neo-classical structure of the Victoria Theater & Victoria Concert Hall. Look up to see its iconic clock tower.

Located near the Singapore River, the Asian Civilizations Museum devotes its space to Asian antiquities, cultural objects, and decorative art.

Nearby, the Cavenagh Bridge, is a vintage suspension bridge date back to 1870. At one end of the bridge, a bronze sculpture by Chong Fah Cheong features five boys jumping into the river. It reminisces on yesteryears when life along the river was fun.

Old Hill Street Police Station
The colourful shutters of the Old Hill Street Police Station

From here, follow the waterfront to the Old Hill Street Police Station. This historic building is one of the most distinctive in Singapore. 

The six-story building has a neo-classical design with its 927 windows painted in rainbow colors. It’s an Instagram spot for many travelers.

The Colonial District walking tour ends at the Central Fire Station. The 1909 stricture has a unique red and white façade and a prominent tower. Stopping by on a Saturday morning, affords a complimentary fire hall tour.

War Trails Walking Tour

If history fascinates and a somber walk appeals, consider trying the War Trails walking tour. This walking tour specifically explores Fort Canning and its impact on Singapore’s military history. 

Start at the Fort Canning Center, once a British Military Barracks in 1926. Continue south to view two 9-pound cannons, which were never used in combat.

A Fort Canning cannon
A Fort Canning cannon

Government House, built by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822, took guard over the river. Nearby, the lighthouse, a replica of the original, guided ships into port. 

In the same area, the time ball was a device used to tell the time. This ball was raised daily and 12:55 pm and dropped precisely at 1 pm.

The remnants of a fortress are visible at Fort Gate and Fort Wall. Once thick and robust, the wall circumnavigated the hill, providing defense from intruders. A moat surrounded the wall, but it’s now gone.

Acting as a World War II bomb shelter and emergency bunker, the nearby Battle Box is a must-visit.

Today, this underground space serves as a small museum and an amazing Singapore hidden gem. It’s complimentary to visit and was a highlight of Fort Canning for us.

Inside the Battle Box
Inside the Battle Box

Continue onto the Sallyports, small doors that provided access to and from a fort. Fort Canning had at least three, and they were used to charge the enemy by using the element of surprise.

The last stop is the North Cemetery Wall. Over the decades, Singapore has removed many cemeteries to make way for the living. Some old tombstones have been built into the Fort Canning cemetery wall.

Clarke Quay Leisure Walk

Clarke Quay holds a lot of importance in Singapore; once an important trade route, Clarke Quay is now a hub to let down your hair and party.

One of the best times to take a walk-through of Clarke Quay is early evening, just before the sun sets. However, visiting during the day is also an option, though it might mean missing a few attractions that open at night.

There’s no fixed start or end point on Clarke Quay walks, so pick a spot and begin strolling.

Stroll across the promenade, grab a couple of drinks or a classic Singapore Sling along the way, and don’t forget to hit the antique shops.    

For adrenaline junkies, ride the G-Max Bundy on the promenade; a reserve bungy ride that sure to get your heart racing.

Marina Bay Walk

The Marina Bay walk offers something a bit more lowkey. Marina Bay is a popular tourist hub in Singapore, so there’s a lot of the hustle and bustle here. 

But don’t let the crowd trick you; although Marina Bay gets busy, it’s one of the most peaceful and beautiful places here.      

I suggest starting at the Suntec City Mall and head towards Bayfront Bridge by walking across Helix Bridge, Marina Square, and Raffles City Shopping Center.

At the Helix Bridge
At the Helix Bridge

This route only takes a little over three hours, but since much of it is in the sun, plan to walk early or later in the day.

This walk is perfect for families who want to shop along the way or enjoy a waterfront park. The route offers many choices to sample delicious cuisines and capture memorable photographs.

Alternatively, to see the city from a different perspective, hop aboard a water taxi to enjoy the views from the river. The Singapore Flyer and SkyPark Observation Deck also provide fantastic aerial views.

While we have ridden many observation wheels globally, including the London Eye, Singapore’s version was fantastic, and we liked the Time Capsule show before the ride.

Riding the Singapore Flyer
Riding the Singapore Flyer

The ArtScience Museum has four exhibits on its lower level, catering to all ages. If you complete this walk in the evening, you’ll enjoy a spectacular Vegas-style show called Spectra – A Light & Water Show.  

Along the waterfront, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands offers a multi-leveled air-conditioned mall. Outside, the Rain Oculus offers a swirling bowled waterfall.  

Continue on to the Red Dot Design Museum, around the bay until you reach the famous Merlion Park. Depending on how many museums or attractions you stop at, your walk may be extended by a few hours.

Little India Walking Tour

Head over for a hot bowl of curry in Little India, and explore the colorful heritage of this culture. Little India is a jubilant area showcasing Indian heritage at its best. 

Immersing in this environment transports visitors to a summer place in India, complete with sights, aromas, and tastes.

When hungry, head to the Tekka Centre, a multi-floor venue with so many choices for Indian food. Try the thosai masala, full flavour and a great gluten-free option in Singapore.

Little India is a delight to visit. The walking tour doesn’t need a definite starting point since the area isn’t vast. Just start at the Little India MRT Station and ask for directions. 

Walking around, we saw street vendors frying delicious samosas, Hindu shrines and temples welcoming tourists for a religious visit. However, avoid Little India on Sundays, as locals gather in the streets making the sidewalks impassible.

Once vendors are spotting carrying garlands of flowers for sale, you’ve reached the center of Little India. Deciding to explore the shrines for a little longer than an hour extends the walk to around 2-3 hours.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India, Singapore
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Make sure to see Siddh Peeth Shree Lakshminarayan and Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, two traditional Hindu shrines. I found Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple stunningly beautiful, even with its garish color palette.

Other places of interest include Tan Teng Niah, a colorful Chinese house, and Abdul Gafoor, a small Muslim Mosque.

Wetland Reserve Walk

For a contrasting walk, consider a trip to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Located in the northwest part of Singapore, it provides exploration through an untouched wetland.

The park is home to rare mangroves, migratory birds, crocodiles, monitor lizards, and otters. During my visit, I spotted two crocodiles, a few monitor lizards and a reticulated python.

There are many options for walking in the wetlands. Raised boardwalks through the mangroves offer tranquility through the mudded area. I especially liked the spiral pods that mimicked a swallow’s nest.

Kingfisher pod at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
The Kingfisher spiral observation pod

The tidal ponds are a favorite amongst bird watchers. Here, there are five hides to observe the birds. However, the 18-meter bird tower provides the best views above the treetops. 

After an exhausting 72 steps to the top, use a pair of compact binoculars to try to spot storks, common sandpipers, Mongolian Plover, and Common Redshanks.

Final Thoughts

Although small, there’s a lot packed into Singapore. While the urban area is dense, there are walking trails through Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Southern Ridges.

Exploring independently offers a chance meeting with locals who can recommend places to explore. Often, this leads to discovering hidden gems, creating memorable serendipity moments.

The Helix Bridge and Buddha Tooth Temple in Singapore - two great places to explore on foot

  

 

Lynda

Monday 11th of March 2024

These maps are great! I can't wait to try them out. THANK YOU!!

Karen Hosier

Monday 11th of March 2024

Great! I hope you find them helpful.

Lynda

Sunday 10th of March 2024

HI, i do not see the India Walking tour (or the Marina Bay or Clarke Quay), but I do see the others. Is it possible they dropped off your post? I would love to get the Little India tour, as I go next month, and I've aready downloaded a couple of your tours. Thank you for dong this!

Karen Hosier

Monday 11th of March 2024

Lynda, I added a map to the Marina Bay walking tour. Little India and Clarke Quay don't have defining starting and ending points (so, no map) because the areas aren't large. Enjoy your trip - we just came back from a month in Singapore.

Indu

Thursday 11th of May 2023

Hi Karen,

Hope uou are well,

We need to arrange a tour for tomorrow if possible please. We are on a whistle stop tour and only have tomorrow.

Can you accommodate us please? If so can you contact me on my e -mail or call me on 07894305568 to discuss further. We are a party of 4 females.

Thanking you

Forever Karen

Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Indu, I do not arrange tours for travelers. My writings are for informational purposes.