10 Free walking tours in Singapore

10 Free walking tours in Singapore
May 12 23:01 2016 Print This Article




The best way to explore every nook and cranny of this tiny island-state is by foot, and the easiest way to understand a country is to meet locals who can share personal stories. Experience this with a free walking tour in Singapore!

Singapore Footprints

Rain or shine, an energetic group of yellow-shirted young guides from the NTU Tourism & Hospitality Club will present Singapore as they know it best. Join them along the banks of the Singapore River and onward through the Bras Basah and Bugis precincts to see how this former fishing village developed into a modern city-state, and marvel at how different religious and racial communities have come to coexist harmoniously. (Weekends, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm) Or join their “Footsteps of our Forefathers” tour for local food tasting and learn about the heritage of Chinatown through the stories of Singapore’s pioneers. (Saturdays, from 9:30am to 11:30am)

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Sri Mariamman – by Jorge Cancela

Indie Singapore

If you’re visiting Singapore on a weekday, sign up for Indie Singapore’s 3-hour walking tours, which have received raving 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor. They have 3 options to cover Singapore’s most historic districts on each day of your visit:
1. Chinatown Tuesdays: Get a snapshot of Singapore’s 200-year history
2. Kampong Wednesdays: Explore old palace grounds and former Arab quarters in Bugis & Kampong Glam
3. Riverfront Thursdays: Learn about Singapore’s beginnings as a fishing village and colonial past

You can also request for personalised tours based on your interest, but these will come at a negotiable fee.
Drop an email to 
info@indiesingapore.com to customize your route!

Sneakpeek Singapore

Join passionate local university students as they take you on a journey from the 1300’s to present-day Singapore. The tour starts at the Asian Civilisations Museum and ends at Outram Park. Hear tales of the country’s beginnings as a trading port along the Singapore River, visit Singapore’s oldest temple and look at skyscrapers in the Central Business District. End your journey with an amazing view atop the Pinnacle@Duxton’s 50th storey viewing deck!

At 4 hours long this is a lengthy walking tour, but you’ll get a good tea break in between to relax and sample local drinks and snacks at a local bakery and hawker enter. (Saturdays, from 1:30pm to 5:30pm)

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Bukit Brown Cemetery – by SG Yung

Bukit Brown Cemetery

It may seem a bit odd to have a tour of a cemetery, but not here at Bukit Brown. The largest public Chinese cemetery outside of China in the early 20th century has 100,000 graves. All Things Bukit Brown, a volunteer community of history buffs and nature lovers, promotes the cemetery as a living archive of Singapore’s past and are keen to unravel the stories of the people buried here, many of whom are notable pioneers, This includes Cheang Hong Lim and Chew Boon Lay. (Weekends, from 9am to 12pm)

National Parks Board

Leave the city and soak in the beauty of nature with guided themed tours around Singapore’s various parks- all led by experts and available in several languages. Catch cheeky long-tailed macaques in action at MacRitchie, learn about the rainforest at Botanic Gardens or go birdwatching at Sungei Buloh.

Some of the more exclusive tours have a nominal $3-$5 fee, such as the one at Pulau Ubin and Chek Jawa showcasing six ecosystems. Pulau Ubin is also one of the 5 places to camp in Singapore! (Dates, languages, walk durations and maximum guest numbers vary per route)

Crowd Trails

Crowdsourcing is all the rage these days, and it’s even hit the walking tour arena. Crowd Trails is a free app created by the National University of Singapore that taps on the creative minds and experiences of users to create, explore, and share unique walking trails. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, nature lover, or just looking to see how others enjoy your favourite places in Singapore, you’ll be spoilt for choice in re-discovering this country through other people’s’ eyes.

The app also has a special Heritage Trails edition that documents how Singaporeans live, work and play at historical sites. This is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.


Jane’s Walk

An annual affair since 2011, Jane’s Walk offers over 20 guided tours every May and covers everything from jogs along the Kallang River to leisurely strolls around Tiong Bahru- which we have covered in our neighbourhood guide here!

The concept behind Jane’s Walk is to start conversations about places and people, so every tour is planned and led by enthusiastic resident volunteers who share their personal experiences of working, living or playing in their area. (Dates, walk durations, and maximum guest numbers vary per route)

Changi Airport City Tours

Got a few hours to spare before your next flight? Make full use of your layover with Changi Airport’s 2.5 hour twice-daily City Sights Tour and catch modern Singapore’s skyline, including stopovers at The Merlion, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. Discover Singapore’s melting pot of cultures by visiting colonial and cultural districts, including Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam on the Heritage Tour, running 4 times a day. (For Changi transit passengers only)

Heritage Trails with NHB

 If you like your walks free and easy, then check out the 14 self-guided pace-yourself trails created by the National Heritage Board. Their free downloadable guides (around 30 pages each) includes maps, past versus present-day pictures, detailed descriptions and interesting facts on Singapore’s landmarks, and directions to hit every heritage marker (standing stone plaques with further descriptions about where you’re standing).

If you don’t have access to a printer during your visit, then download NHB’s 3 free walking tour apps (WWII, Kampong Glam, Balestier), which feature games and interactive maps to deepen your knowledge of Singapore’s rich history.

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Discover art installations in Singapore’s very own MRT Stations through the Art in Transit tour

Art in Transit

Okay, so this tour isn’t 100% free, but the price is nominal and the route is so unique we just had to include it on our list. Taking an art museum experience one step further, Art in Transit brings you on a 2-hour walking tour to explore site-specific art installations at 12 MRT train stations along the Northeast Line and Circle Line.

Professional guides will not only explain in detail the inspiration and meaning behind every artwork, which are overlooked by everyday passengers, but they will also share the cultural and historical heritage of the area found at each station.

Fees from $5
Weekdays from 10:30am to 12:30pm & 2:30pm to 4:30pm
To book, call 6873 9505 or email
enquiries@artoutreachprogram.org

share your experience by using #singaporenbeyond on social media!

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Wai Yan Yip
Wai Yan Yip

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