I love walking. I think it’s the only form of physical exercise that I do these days. And I specially love walking in Singapore. There’s comfort in knowing that you’re safe, and there’s just so much to see.
This wasn’t my first time to do this walking-slash-sightseeing tour. I did it two years ago after dinner at Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay. After dinner I just noticed how pretty the entire place was and started walking aimlessly. I just followed the signs. This time, I wanted to start the walk at Raffles Place because I never had a chance to visit this place the first time I was in Singapore. So here you go.
Note that I did not hire a travel agency for this walking tour. We just did it on our own and now I’m sharing how we did it — Do-It-Yourself style!
WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get to Raffles Place
- Take the train heading to Harbourfront.
- Alight at Dhoby Ghaut Interchange.
- Transfer to the North South (NS) Line and take the train going to Marina Bay.
- Alight at Raffles Place Station.
- Take Exit A or Exit B.
Raffles Place, Fullerton Hotel and One Fullerton
Said to be the city-state’s central financial district, many key buildings in Singapore are in Raffles Place. The moment you come out of the train station, you’ll be welcomed by this futuristic sight although the exterior of the MRT Station adds a back-to-the-past twist.
1. Find the Chevron House. You shouldn’t miss this building because there’s a big, blue signage in front of it.
2. Enter the building through Change Alley.
3. Walk through the alley and check out their shops and cafes. There are also several money changers here. (They have good rates, better than the one at the airport. Hehe.)
4. At the end of Change Alley is Collyer Quay, adjacent Raffles Place. Follow the traffic and you’ll see the beautiful and topnotch Fullerton Hotel.
5. Cross the street towards Fullerton Hotel. I just couldn’t help but take photos of the Fullerton Hotel from all angles almost endlessly. It’s just so magnificent.
6. Enter the atrium of the Fullerton Hotel, to the basement and take the underpass. At first, I was afraid to enter, intimidated by the majestic design of the hotel. Apparently, people really enter the atrium to get to the other side of the street — One Fullerton.
7. Enjoy the view at One Fullerton, a stretch of waterfront restaurants and cafe. You know you’re at the right place when you see the imposing and spectacular Marina Bay Sands.
8. To your left, the Merlion Park! Enjoy!
Merlion Park, Esplanade and Makansutra Gluttons Bay
The Merlion Park and Esplanade are two of the most easily recognizable landmarks in Singapore. They also stand across each other, on the opposite sides of the rivers. As some of my friends say: You have not been to Singapore unless you have a pic of you at the Merlion Park. And it seems true because of the volume of people at the site. There are just so many tourists doing what most tourists do — take photos. This is one of the best selfie spots with the grand Marina Bay Sands in the background.
From the Merlion Park, our next stop was the Esplanade, the Durian-shaped buildings across the river. Here’s how to get there.
1. Walk under the Esplanade Bridge (the flowery one) and go on until you see another bridge, the Anderson Bridge.
2. Cross the Anderson Bridge and walk to the Esplanade Park. It’s that pocket of greens in the area. From here you will see a number of majestic buildings including the Victoria Theatre and the Supreme Court of Singapore.
3. To your left you will find the Asian Civilisations Museum, one of the national museums of Singapore. It aims to promote the cultures and history of the many civilisations in Asia that compose Singapore’s multi-ethnic society. It’s a museum so allow at least two hours.
4. Walk back to the river, and then along it towards that durian-looking architectural beauty, the Esplanade.
5. You’ll find yourself walking under the Esplanade Bridge where we saw several skater boys.
6. Continue walking and you’ll see an outdoor theater to your right. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see a performance for free. First time I was here, there was a shadow dance. This time, there was a band preparing for a show. Enjoy.
7. Walk farther and you’ll reach Makansutra Gluttons’ Bay, where you’ll see several food stalls offering Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian (yes, there’s even one Pinoy stall here called “Mang Kiko’s Lechon”).
I had dinner at Makansutra. After dinner, we saw an ice cream vendor and bought some. I remembered the Amazing Race featuring eating ice-cream Singapore-style in one of their episodes a few seasons ago. It was big and very tasty. S$1 each.
To Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay
By now you’re already oriented with the location of Marina Bay Sands as its three buildings tower over the area.
- You’ll find a boardwalk along the river toward Marina Bay Sands. Just don’t lose sight of the river and you’re good.
- You’ll reach the Helix Bridge, that fancy looking pedestrian walkway that shoots across the river. Take that bridge.
- When you reach the end of the bridge, you’ll be greeted by the base of Marina Bay Sands.
- Decide what you want to do. You can climb to the ship-shaped viewdeck, but you will need a ticket. The Art Science Museum (that shell-looking structure that looks like it came from a futuristic sci-fi film) is also within the vicinity. Whatever you choose, just follow the signs. There are plenty of them.
- The signs will also lead you to a walking path to Gardens by the Bay on the other side of the area, or to the Super Trees surrounding it.