I walk wherever I can. After all, my feet don’t need any fuel. But jokes apart, I believe the only way you can really get to know a place is on foot. Walking tours allow you to explore at your own pace, discovering secret nooks and corners and revelling in the exhaustion of it all. How else would you look up at the sky whenever you wanted to, and see it invaded by the tops of lovely edifices and passing clouds? So, here are my favourite walking tours from all my travels thus far. And do look out for a contest at the end!
To be eligible to receive the download code for a free walking tour app:
Kamala Nehru Park – Banganga Tank – Walkeshwar Temple – Chowpatty: I love exploring Malabar Hill, a posh locality in South Bombay with many hidden gems and little shaded roads that lead upwards. The Kamala Nehru Park is famous for a giant shoe, Banganga Tank is set to be refurbished and Chowpatty Beach is one of the best known landmarks in the city.
CST – Churchgate – Colaba Causeway: This is a route I have been treading since my teenage years. The walk from CST station (erstwhile Victoria Terminus) to Churchgate lets you gawk at beautiful stone buildings with their signature Victorian architecture and if you go onwards to Colaba, you can make pit stops at David Sassoon Library, the Museum and Jehangir Art Gallery.
Place des Abbesses – Montmartre – Basilique du Sacré Coeur – Pigalle: I love the Parisian metro and for this long exploration, I came out of Place des Abbesses station, rested my tired toes at the lovely garden neighbouring the metro and then walked onwards into the glorious art district Montmartre where I grabbed a greasy and delicious croque monsieur for my lunch. After visiting the gorgeous Basilique de Sacré Coeur, I walked to Pigalle, Paris’ erstwhile red light area.
Jardin de Tuileries – Eiffel Tower – River Seine: This has to be the best and most iconic walk in Paris. The Jardin de Tuileries with its beautiful fountains offers the best view of the Eiffel Tower and the walk along the snaking River Seine is an absolute dream at dusk. You will chance upon groups of young Parisians sipping wine on its banks and tourists posing for pictures on the bridges.
Singapore Botanic Gardens: Don’t be the fooled by the name; this is actually a sprawling 183 acre green complex with several gardens such as Flower Garden, Healing Garden and the National Orchid Garden which is a riot of colours. I spent a lovely morning walking along the grassy lawn where Synphony Lake is located and the little waterfall within Ginger Garden.
China Town – Buddha Tooth Relic Temple: Possibly the most interesting neighbourhood in Singapore, China Town’s eateries and shops are a delight to behold and experience. Keep walking until you reach the serene Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and enter to hear some hypnotic chants and visit the museum. The Sri Mariamman Temple and Jamae Mosque add to the eclectic nature of this area.
Tate Modern Gallery – Shakespeare Globe Theatre – Southwark: London is a stately delight wherever you walk and I never stopped marvelling at its splendour and cleanliness. Being an art lover, I couldn’t possibly miss the iconic Tate Modern Gallery and Shakespeare Globe Theatre but to discover the pleasant riverside walk they offered was a surprise. Further along the Thames and across the street was the quaint neighbourhood of Southwark.
Norfolk Square – Marble Arch – Hyde Park: I stayed at Norfolk Square, a quiet lane dotted with lovely trees and even lovelier buildings. Hyde Park wasn’t too far away but I enjoyed meandering around the quiet, picturesque lanes and stopping at Marble Arch on the way. I would end each day with some reflection at this park, so well immortalised in literature.
Taipa: I didn’t do much walking in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China except for one evening when I wandered around the network of alleys in Taipa, seeking out little shrines and souvenir shops. I chanced upon interesting graffiti, smiling locals who could speak no English and a child who danced particularly well to the music his father played.
Walking tour apps
Although many people do well merely with a physical map or the ever helpful Google Maps, apps like GPSmyCity take it a step further by doing the planning and plotting for you. So if you’re in Paris for instance, you can choose between a ‘sightseeing walk of Montmartre’ and a ‘discovery walk of the Latin Quarter’. Categorised according to activity (shopping, food, museums) or locality (popular neighbourhoods, art districts), this app is all you need for a self-guided walking tour of any of the listed cities. Ordinarily, the app costs US$4.99 on Google Play Store but I can give it to you free!
CONTEST: Win the best city walk app!
With your help, I want to reach 1000 followers by 30th April, 2016. And 20 lucky readers who follow my blog between now and 30th April stand to win a full version GPSmyCity app for the city of their choice (let me know in the comments once you’ve followed my blog). Don’t worry, I get a notification whenever someone follows my blog so I’ll know exactly who you are. Winners will be chosen randomly (open to participants across the world) but for extra brownie points, consider following me on other social networks and sharing this post so I reach my goal as quickly as possible!
Steps to win the app:
- Follow my blog:
- Leave a comment stating the city of your choice (check here for the list of cities available) and platform (iOS or Android)
- Optional: Share this post and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
GPSmyCity.com publishes iOS and Android apps featuring self-guided city walks in 470+ cities worldwide. Once installed on your GPS-enabled mobile phone or tablet, the apps turn your mobile device into a personal tour guide. With over 5,000 city walks available – spanning over 470 cities worldwide – GPSmyCity.com is the largest travel portal of its kind. Each city walk offers a precise route map guiding you to the famous attractions, monuments and interesting sights as well as hidden gems; as if you had brought along a local guide. No need to hop on a tour bus or join a tour group!
So do you want to win it or not? Follow my blog right away and get cracking on those shares! Good luck to all and winners will be announced on 1st May, 2016.