Oct 12, 2022
Now that pandemic restrictions are easing around the world, it’s time to satiate your wanderlust with a well-deserved holiday. One of the best ways to explore a new city – or to rediscover a familiar one – is by embarking on a walking tour, which enables you to get under the skin of your destination. Here are a few excellent guided and self-guided walking tours that’ll fill your holiday itinerary with historical sights, delicious bites and plenty more.
The Grampians Peaks Trail in Grampians National Park in southeastern Australia connects two of the region’s most spectacular peaks – Mount Zero and Mount Abrupt – via a 160km walk. The 13-day trek promises magnificent views of dramatic mountains, picturesque gullies and ancient caves. More than just a physical hike, there’s Aboriginal history and culture to be discovered too; the area has been home to the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people for as long as 40,000 years. Don’t have two weeks to spare? There are easier day hikes and walks available, which take you to key lookout points.
To savour some of the finest flavours in Paris, embark on a self-guided walking tour of the up-and-coming 10th arrondissement. Running along the right bank of the River Seine, the area is home to several excellent restaurants, including Chez Michel. Here, you can enjoy a mix of old and new Paris – from artisanal cafes and farm-to-fork eateries to traditional butchers, spice stores and even a 17th-century cheese cellar.
Those who prefer expert guidance can sign up for one of Secret Food Tours’ exciting itineraries. In-demand picks include a chocolate and pastry tour featuring pit stops at artisanal chocolatiers, macaron shops and ice cream parlours; and the Montmartre food tour, which takes you to top local shops for the best cheeses, wines, cured meats and more.
Want to see the French capital through the eyes of a true blue Parisian? Tours by Locals connects you with friendly residents, who will happily introduce you to their favourite sights and restaurants.
Tip: Before you explore the French capital on foot, check into Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées, Paris. Housed in a beautifully restored 1900s heritage building along the famed Avenue des Champs-Élysées, it offers easy access to top sights including the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde and The Louvre. Business travellers will appreciate the convenience of the five-star Fraser Suites Harmonie Paris La Defense, which is located in the city’s commercial hub, close to the Porte Maillot Congress Centre and major corporate offices.
There’s plenty to see and do in Singapore, and a walking tour is the ideal way to tick a few sights off your list. Embark on the road less travelled with The Original Singapore Walks, where expert guides will regale you with tales of Singapore’s bloody wartime history on Fort Canning, show you how spices shaped the Kampong Glam district and more.
To learn about Singapore’s multicultural landscape, visit one of its colourful ethnic enclaves. Explore Chinatown with Monster Day Tours and discover the challenges that early Chinese immigrants faced. Alternatively, swing by the Indian Heritage Centre to pick up a Little India Heritage Trail booklet for a self-guided walking tour around the district.
Tip: There are five Frasers Hospitality properties in Singapore, many of which are excellent starting points for a self-guided walking tour. Fraser Suites Singapore, Fraser Place Robertson Walk, Singapore and Capri by Fraser, China Square / Singapore are situated in the Civic District, which is dotted with historic buildings, memorials and parks. Fraser Residence Orchard, Singapore offers easy access to the Orchard Road shopping belt, as well as the central business district. And Capri by Fraser, Changi City / Singapore is located in Changi Business Park, which is a short eight-minute drive from the airport.
Barcelona Architecture Walks’ urban walking tours are conducted by qualified architects, which means you can be assured your guide is a bona fide expert. Routes include the 3.5km Barcelona Modernisme tour: along the way, you’ll glimpse some of the finest examples of Catalan Modernism, including Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batlló – a mansion dedicated to the legend of St George and the Dragon – and Casa Milà, an apartment block resembling a whimsical stone quarry. Tip: Another of Gaudi’s most well-known buildings, La Sagrada Família, is a 20-minute walk from Capri by Fraser, Barcelona / Spain. The latter is situated in the hip district of Poblenou, which is dotted with tech start-ups, art galleries and hip cafes. Its central location also means you’re within easy reach of attractions such as Parc de la Ciutadella, the Barcelona Zoo and the trendy El Born neighbourhood.
Just like how Spain is known for its Camino Way, Japan also has its own spiritual trail – the Kumano Kodo in Wakayama prefecture. The UNESCO-listed series of ancient pilgrimage routes takes walkers through the Kii Mountains and past important Shinto and Buddhist shrines. For more than a thousand years, Japanese from every strata of society – from emperors and aristocrats to ordinary citizens – have embarked on this spiritual journey, purifying themselves in the waters of the region’s hot springs. Alternatively, travelling to Saiho-ji Temple (or Koke-dera) in Kyoto – which requires several train transfers – could well be a pilgrimage in itself. Plus, to secure an entry pass into its unforgettable garden, it’s a must to send a request via snail mail two months ahead of your trip. Inside, guests start their journey with a calming Buddhist practice of chanting and copying scripture before exploring the rest of the moss-covered grounds.
London has charms aplenty beyond famous sights like Big Ben and the London Eye. Sign up for London Food Tour’s Drunken History London Pub Tour, during which you’ll savour freshly pulled pints at some of London’s best watering holes while learning more about the capital’s quirks. For those interested in the macabre, London Walks conducts a creepy Jack the Ripper walking tour. Dedicated to the Ripper’s victims, the nighttime tour explores the back streets and dark alleyways of Whitechapel and Spitalfields, where the serial killer once prowled. Want to explore the capital’s best street art? Free Tours by Foot has an excellent London Graffiti and Street Art walking tour that spotlights the East End’s best artworks – from enormous murals to tiny pieces you’d probably miss at first glance. Don’t forget to tip your guide at the end of the tour. Tip: Make your base at Fraser Residence Bishopsgate, London, which is a short stroll from Spitalfields. The gated property offers 26 spacious serviced apartments with integrated living and dining areas. Adapted from Fraser Cachet Issue #34 © Frasers Hospitality and SPH Magazines. Updated in November 2022.
Adapted from Fraser Cachet Issue #34 © Frasers Hospitality and SPH Magazines. Updated in November 2022.