Amp up your exercise routine and hit these walking trails for a dose of history and physical activity at the same time. Best of all, they’re free!
Over the past two decades, Tiong Bahru has transformed from a mix of hills and swampy lowlands to one of Singapore’s most coveted residential areas. The Tiong Bahru Trail — launched by the National Heritage Board (NHB) in 2013 — explores the contrast between Tiong Bahru’s then-and-nows, and makes for an excellent and leisurely stroll.
Featuring 10 heritage markers, the trail begins at the famed Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. It goes on to explore other unusual landmarks such as Tan Tock Seng’s grave, Singapore’s first public housing air-raid shelter, the iconic Tiong Bahru pre-war and post-war flats, and Singapore’s first Monkey God Temple.
Distance: ~ 3.9kmNumber of Steps: ~ 4,300Time needed: ~ 1 hour at a leisurely pace
Download the Tiong Bahru Trail walking guide.
Good to know: Regular guided tours are offered by My Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail. Email them or go to their Facebook page for updates.
Kickstart Your Active Lifestyle with a Dose of Fitness and Heritage
The Balestier Trail begins at the Gor Chor Tua Pek Kong Temple, set up by labourers on the northern fringes of Joseph Balestier’s sugarcane estate established back in the 1830s.
Other notable landmarks include the Former Shaw Malay Film Studios that sparked the legend of P. Ramlee, Bin Chan house that now stands as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, as well as surviving traditional bakeries that display racks of fragrant and fresh loaves.
Distance: ~ 8.8kmNumber of Steps: ~ 8,700Time needed: ~ 2 hours at a leisurely pace
Download the Balestier Trail walking guide. A free mobile app is also available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Health Can Be Fun and Free
Launched in 2015 to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the trail starts at the National Museum of Singapore and includes landmarks like Fort Canning Park — once the seat of Temasek, the Malay Kingdom of the 14th century, the Peranakan Museum, the Armenian Church and the iconic Central Fire Station.
Around the river, you can explore more historic gems like the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, as well as Esplanade Park (”Satay Club” for the older folks) before heading onto much newer landmarks such as the Helix Bridge, the Esplanade theatres and Gardens by the Bay.
Number of Steps: ~11,000Distance: ~ 9.60kmTime needed: 2½ hours at a leisurely pace (without getting distracted by the attractions)
Download the Jubilee Walk guide. A free mobile app is also available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Clocking those steps has never been more fun. Remember: all you need is 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week for a healthier body!
Do consult your doctor before starting any exercise regime, and practise caution when exercising. Remember, safety first!
Preventing Diabetes: Move More
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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