Raffles Historical Tours

By Viator, May 2013

4.5 36 Reviews | Add your review

All over Singapore you’ll find references to Sir Stamford Raffles in place names, businesses, institutions and – most famously of all – the city-state’s premier hotel and home of the Singapore Sling.

So who was this man? Spend the afternoon finding out on a fascinating tour which concentrates on the history of this one-time colonial outpost, now a proudly prosperous and independent nation. Because Singapore owes much of its present-day form to Raffles, a British imperial administrator who established a colony there in 1819. In just a few years he encouraged trade, built settlements and introduced a remarkably progressive constitution which outlawed slavery and declared all ethnic groups equal.

In a group or on a private tour, you’ll walk in Raffles’ footsteps and hear how Singapore grew from a backwater colony to a modern trading dynamo. Watching artisans work with pewter emphasizes the skilled use of raw materials which made the island rich, while you’ll find out how the colonials enjoyed some of that wealth as you take refreshments in elegant Raffles Hotel. Also crucial to the story is the Singapore River; you’ll head out on distinctive local “bumboats” and hear about the significance of this modest waterway in the colony’s economic development.

Another great way to learn about Singapore’s history is to take a morning or afternoon cruise up that same river on an authentic Chinese junk boat, the Admiral Cheng Ho. Sail past Singapore’s skyscrapers, restored quayside developments and on to one of the busiest harbors in the world, where the boat will be dwarfed by container ships from around the world.

Continuing on to palm-fringed islands you’re reminded that Singapore is in the Tropics, just above the Equator in fact. At one of the southern-most islands, Kusu, you’ll visit a venerable Chinese temple and hear the fable of shipwrecked sailors saved by a giant tortoise.

Tours & Tickets

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Raffles Hotel Singapore Half-Day Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 398 Reviews

Retrace the colonial history of Singapore on a jam-packed half-day tour. Highlighting the influence of Sir Stamford Raffles, the 4.5-hour afternoon tour takes ...  Read more

Location: Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $49.03

Private Tour: Singapore by Night Tour with Dinner along Singapore River

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Enjoy dinner by the riverside in Singapore and a stroll along night markets at the famous Bugis Street in Singapore. Also enjoy a famous 'Singapore Sling' at ...  Read more

Location: Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $111.43

Singapore's Colonial District Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 19 Reviews

Go back in time and discover Singapore’s colonial past on this Colonial District Walking Tour. Learn about the long-lasting effect Britain has had on ...  Read more

Location: Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $28.23

Private Tour: Raffles Hotel Singapore Half-Day Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2 Reviews

Learn how Singapore became a vital international port and trading center for the Far East on this private tour that follows in the footsteps of Sir Stanford ...  Read more

Location: Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $109.52

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