Dotted with gleaming skyscrapers, exploring the ultra-modern island city-state of Singapore – be it on foot or two wheels – can feel a bit like stepping into the future.
The southeast Asian island nation’s space-age look and feel has been built on the back of its burgeoning growth into one of the world’s most important financial centres. Indeed, its economic success and concurrent job opportunities have drawn a large community of ex-pats from around the globe, creating a melting pot of cultures in which east exists in harmony with west. It all adds up to an intoxicating mix that can be discovered on a number of organised guided tours. Here are five for the walkers and bikers among you.
Katong Local Food and City Highlights Tour
Katong is one of Singapore’s most colourful and charming districts – and has a vibrant local food scene to boot. Over three hours, this walking tour will see you explore the district and its main sights while satisfying your cravings during several stop-offs at local food purveyors. After meeting your guide, you’ll set off along a walking route that takes you off the well-trodden tourist path, witnessing life in Singapore as it’s lived by locals. At various eateries, you’ll enjoy at least 9 different Malay, Indian and Chinese delicacies and dishes, while your guide explains the origins of each one. From $58 per person.
Singapore Bike & Bites Tour
If you’d prefer to work up an appetite before tasting some Singapore culinary treats, this 3-hour bike tour could be for you. In the company of an expert guide, you and your group will ride through vibrant Chinatown, Kampong Glam and Little India, gently peddling down little streets and past ancient temples as your guide regales you with tales and facts about Singapore’s history and culture. Over the course of the tour, there’ll also be a chance to savour 3 major local ethnic foods: Chinese, Malay and India. From $168 per person.
Historical Singapore Bike Tour
For a broad overview of the city that takes in all of the main highlights, this half-day guided tour may well fit the bill. Spanning 12 miles of gentle terrain, the route will take you through the heart of Singapore, along its river and highways, past Marina Bay and notable landmarks including the former colonial-era post office and City Hall. As an added thrill for motor racing fans, you’ll also cycle along the hallowed asphalt of Singapore’s Formula One circuit. During the tour, you’ll stop for some well-earned refreshments at a local coffee shop. From $59 per person.
Tales Of Four Quays – Bike Tour Along Singapore River
Singapore’s expansive waterside district offers respite from the urban density of the rest of the island state. This 3-hour cycling tour offers the chance to explore the Singapore River and its four distinct quays – Boat, Clarke, Robertson and Collyer – with a local guide. During the tour, you’ll discover the beauty of the river and its backdrop of glorious skyscrapers, as your guide tells you all about the significant role the river has played in the development and growth of Singapore into a major international trading destination over the past two centuries. From $146 per person.
Marina Bay Night Cycling Tour
Created as part of Singapore’s extensive land reclamation efforts, Marina Bay has grown to become one of Singapore’s most vibrant areas. This 2-hour tour invites you to explore the upscale waterside district at perhaps its most eye-catching – by night. Covering around 9 miles of cycling, you’ll pedal along the riverbank, through the towering neon-lit “Super Trees” by Gardens on the Bay, past the Singapore Flyer wheel and the distinctive towers of Marina Bay Sands hotel, all against a backdrop of twinkling lights that illuminate the night sky. From $44 per person.
Chinatown and Little India Guided Walking Tour
This 3-hour guided culture walk takes in the ethnic neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Gelam, during which you’ll learn about the history of these buzzing districts. You’ll get to soak up the sights, smells, and sounds of Chinatown, marvel at the street murals and brightly painted shophouses of Little India, and see a snippet of local life in Kampong Glam, Singapore’s Muslim quarter, with plenty of stops along the way for photos opportunities. From $65 per person.
Off the Beaten Track in Singapore: Private City Tour
For a more exclusive and intimate experience, this 3-hour private tour may well fit the bill. Accompanied by a knowledgeable and friendly guide, you and your select group of family or friends will be shown the unexpected side of Singapore, away from the main tourist circuit. See how ordinary Singaporeans live, hear local village stories, and visit a slice of the jungle within the city, with your guide on hand to share titbits of information and answer questions as you go. There’ll also be a stop for a refreshing drink before the tour comes to a close. From $86 per person.