Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour, Singapore (Self Guided)

The Colonial District was founded by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles on the east bank of the Singapore River. There are monuments that are recognized all over the world as symbols of Singapore and they evoke the city-state's rich historical past. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most famous national monuments of the Colonial District:
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Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Singapore: Colonial District National Monuments Walking Tour
Guide Location: Singapore » Singapore (See other walking tours in Singapore)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Author: vickyc
1
Merlion Statue

1) Merlion Statue (must see)

The Merlion (Malay: Singa-Laut) is a marketing icon with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, used as a mascot and national personification of Singapore. Its name combines "mer" meaning the sea and "lion". The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, which means "sea town" in Javanese. The lion head represents Singapore's original name—Singapura—meaning "lion city" or "kota singa". The symbol was designed by Alec Fraser-Brunner, a member of the Souvenir Committee and curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium, for the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in use from 26 March 1964 to 1997 and has been its trademarked symbol since 20 July 1966. Although the STB changed their logo in 1997, the STB Act continues to protect the Merlion symbol. Approval must be received from STB before it can be used. The Merlion appears frequently on STB-approved souvenirs. The merlion—a statue with the body of a fish and the head of a lion—occurs in a number of different artistic traditions. Lions with fishtails can be found on Indian murals at Ajanta and Mathura, and on Etruscan coins of the Hellenistic period. Merlions, or ‘heraldic sea-lions’, are an established element of Western heraldry, and have been used on the coat of arms of the cities of Portsmouth and Great Yarmouth in the United Kingdom; the City of Manila; and the East India Company.

Why You Should Visit:
One good look at the Merlion and you'll be elevated to a transcendent plane of tourist bliss, having walked miles to see a statue of a fish+lion spouting water.

Tip:
Stand on the left of the Merlion for a commanding view of Marina Bay Sands.
Stand on the right of the Merlion for a most glorious view of the city skyscrapers and the Singapore Flyer.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Raffles' Landing Site

2) Raffles' Landing Site (must see)

The Raffles' Landing Site is marked by Sir Stamford Raffles' statue. Raffles was the person who founded Singapore. It is set on the north bank of the Singapore River, the place where the city first appeared. Now it is a modern business center of Singapore with skyscrapers all over the place. The Plaque at the landing site reads "On this historic site, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles first landed in Singapore on 29th January 1819, and with genius and perception changed the destiny of Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a great seaport and modern metropolis."

Why You Should Visit:
This side of the river is the Civic Precinct, with government buildings, concert hall, galleries and museums – very different from Boat Quay and an enjoyable walk.
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
City Hall

3) City Hall

The City Hall of Singapore is a national monument where the government of the city sits. It is situated opposite the Padang which is a field reserved by Stamford Raffles - founder of the city - for public events. Nearby is the Supreme Court of Singapore. Visitors are allowed inside. They can see the Corinthian colonnade and the main building.
4
Saint Andrew's Cathedral

4) Saint Andrew's Cathedral

Saint Andrew's Cathedral is the largest cathedral in Singapore. It is a very beautiful and impressive Anglican Church built in the Neo-Gothic style. It was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original building. There were rumors that the place was haunted by unhappy spirits and the church was closed. During the Japanese invasion the church served as an emergency hospital. Since 1973 it has been a monument of national importance in Singapore.
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Cathedral Of The Good Shepherd Singapore

5) Cathedral Of The Good Shepherd Singapore

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Singapore. It is located in the Museum Planning Area within the Civic District and affords a welcome respite from the city. Bounded by the parallel Queen and Victoria Streets, and Bras Basah Road, the Cathedral sits within well-shaded grounds. Much of its architecture is reminiscent of two famous London churches namely St Paul's, Covent Garden and St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore and the seat of its archbishop. It is the final resting place of Bishop Edouard Gasnier, the first bishop of the revived Diocese of Malacca and aptly houses the relics of Saint Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert, to whom the Cathedral owes its name. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is built in a restrained Renaissance style. Its porticos are in the Palladian manner, which was established here by George Drumgoole Coleman. Its plan is in the form of a Latin cross and like all traditional churches, it is orientated east. Its high timber ceiling and its sensitive and harmonious use of round arches lend the building much grace and charm. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd houses two pipe organs – the Gallery Organ in the second floor gallery and the Choir Organ in an elevated box in the north transept. It is notable that the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is the only church in Singapore to have two organs that can sound within the same space.
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Early Founders Memorial Stone

6) Early Founders Memorial Stone

The Foundation Stone of the Monument to the Early Founders of Singapore, also called the Early Founders Memorial Stone, is a national memorial dedicated to the early founders, also known as "Unknown Immigrants", of Singapore. There are no famous names on it. It transcends all ethnic groups in Singapore and commemorates those who contributed to the creation of a modern multiracial, multilingual Singapore.

Walking Tours in Singapore, Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Create Your Own Walk in Singapore

Creating your own self-guided walk in Singapore is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Singapore without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Singapore, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Romantic Singapore Walking Tour

Singapore is both romantic and exotic. With its multicultural population it offers great cuisine. Due to its location, its seascape and cityscape are unique and make Singapore an absolutely romantic place. Enjoy romantic and intimate moments by visiting the places mentioned in this self-guided tour:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Singapore: Colonial District Cultural Walking Tour

Singapore: Colonial District Cultural Walking Tour

Singapore's culture is a combination of Chinese, Hindu, Arab and other cultures. People living in Singapore are immigrants from different parts of the world. This self-guided tour will lead you through the Colonial District also known as the Civic District, where you can see how these different cultures were integrated to make up this city-state's culture.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Singapore Landmarks Walking Tour

Singapore Landmarks Walking Tour

Singapore is an island, a city and a state. Its population is a melting pot of all Asian people. The Chinese, the Hindu, the Arab, each has his own historical monuments and landmarks that represent his culture. Visiting this city you will be left with the impression of having visited China, India and Arabia. This self-guided tour will lead you through the following cultural monuments as well as...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Shopping Areas Walking Tour of Singapore

Singapore being a melting pot of Asian nations, you can pick up stuff from all across Asia here. This self-guided tour will take you through pedestrian shopping plazas, historical shop-houses in Chinatown and local ethnic markets. Enjoy!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Art Galleries of Singapore Walking Tour

Art Galleries of Singapore Walking Tour

Singapore Art is a mixture of the art of the Asian nations that compose its population. There are a lot of marine landscapes and island idylls. Just take the self-guided tour that follows in order to explore and discover Southeast Asian art.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Traveler's Guide to Singapore: 15 Souvenirs to Bring Home

Traveler's Guide to Singapore: 15 Souvenirs to Bring Home

Known as one of the Four Asian Tigers (or Dragons), Singapore is a thriving metropolis and one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in Asia. Home to multi-ethnic community, the city carefully preserves and proudly exhibits its colorful identity, manifested - among other forms - in the...
12 Singapore Foods You Should Not Miss

12 Singapore Foods You Should Not Miss

Food is a national passion for Singaporeans. Locals think and talk about food incessantly, often thinking nothing of travelling for miles across the island and queuing for hours just to taste one of their favourite dishes. Singaporeans abroad will bemoan being parted from their favourite foods,...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Singapore for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Singapore has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Singapore's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the iVenture Card, Singapore City Pass, or Singapore (Attractions) Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Singapore's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Singapore hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore, Grand Park City Hall, Swissotel The Stamford.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Singapore, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Singapore typically costs somewhere between US$15 and US$80 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Singapore from the open top of a bus listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs).

- No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to the local Chinatown renowned for its rich culinary secrets craving to be unwrapped. Embark on a 3.5-hour walk through Singapore’s Chinatown for a generous dollop of delectable authentic Singaporean treats and insight into this melting pot of culinary and cultural traditions.

- Come to appreciate Singapore in its nighttime ambiance complete with a sumptuous Asian-inspired dinner on a 4-hour experience including a visit to the bustling night market at Bugis Street, iconic Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, and many other interesting places along the way.

- Dive into the past of Singapore on a historical tour to find out how the city came to be evolving from a small fishing village to a great seaport, find out what prompted the Brits to colonize it, marvel at the city's magnificent colonial architecture, enjoy a delightful three-tier Afternoon Tea, and more.

- Get yourself up close with Kampong Glam, one of Singapore's charming neighborhoods, once the seat of the Malay royalty; see how it was before the British took over and what's become of it since.

- Pedal your way around Singapore on a 4-hour bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights stopping at some of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning interesting facts about the attractions along the way from a knowledgeable group leader.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Singapore, why not use it to get some out-of-town experiences like a round-island tour, or perhaps visit the Sentosa Island, Kuala Lumpur, or Batam. For as little as circa US$70 to US$190 per person you will get a chance to discover Singapore’s history, visit a fun-filled island to observe nature at its best, get an interesting insight into life and history outside Singapore’s city center, admire spectacular pieces of architecture and gardens, venture north into Malaysia’s high-octane capital, take a sightseeing-cum-shopping day trip (ideal for those traveling on a budget), and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Singapore, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, private vehicle, or a high-speed boat (whenever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.