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The Esplanade in Singapore is a really interesting building if you're into architecture. Therefore, when I'm eventually in Singapore, I would like to visit the building. Is there any guided tour available that tells me more about the architecture?

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Picture by Wikipedia

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Ooh this one's all mine. Free tour or guided tour? –  Ankur Banerjee Apr 3 '12 at 8:41
    
Both are okay. I just want to get valuable information about the architecture. If it's not for free it's okay. –  RoflcoptrException Apr 3 '12 at 8:43
    
dont forget to listen to the orchestra... –  Rudy Gunawan Apr 3 '12 at 10:21
    
I'm not interested in the music ;) –  RoflcoptrException Apr 3 '12 at 14:04
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Esplanade itself conducts guided tours. If you have at least 20 people, then you can get a group tour (they say you've to book it two weeks in advance, but there should be some leeway in that):

The tour is for a minimum pax of 20. Each Tour is about 45 minutes. Tour would begin from the Concert Hall Information Counter and end at the Esplanade Shop. Access into the performing venues, such as Concert Hall and Theatre is subject to availability. During the tour, participants will be briefed on the making of Esplanade and the special features of the arts centre. Participants will be provided with an information pack as a souvenir. The Esplanade Tour is priced as follows: Adult: $8.00 inclusive of GST Children (aged 12 years old & below): $5.00 inclusive of GST

(GST is Singapore's equivalent of VAT.)

If you have a smaller group or are travelling solo, then the self-guided tour is a better option:

Sign up for Esplanade iTour** if you prefer the freedom of exploring the centre on your own. With the help of our Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) linked to smart technology, you may navigate the centre, hear fascinating anecdotes, view valuable footage and gain insight into Esplanade’s workings. Booking the Tour : Tickets can be purchased at the Concert Hall Information Counter. Available daily from 10am to 6pm (including weekends and public holidays) Price : $10 per adult, $8 per child (7 – 12 years old)

** Including a sneak peek at the Concert Hall and Theatre, subject to venue availability. Please note that your Identification Card or Passport is required for the loan of the PDA.

You'll find loads of other tours on sites like Viator or through travel agents. IMO though the best options would be either to take the self-guided tour or grab hold of a knowledgeable Singaporean! Go around sunset, that's when the Esplanade looks the most beautiful.

Personal recommendation: if you are in Singapore for a short while and are in the Esplanade area, go the Makansutra hawker stalls in the area. Sure, 'true connoisseurs' will turn up their nose but if you're pressed for time it's an excellent place to try out a variety of Singaporean cuisine.

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From a local's perspective, the Esplanade needs no tours. The whole Esplanade may be covered in less than a day - in fact, two or three hours. The best way to experience the Esplanade is to be there during the Mosaic Music Festival - a 10-day showcase of local and international music talents. If you're on a tight budget (some tickets are about SG$80-100) you may catch a free performance at the outdoor theatre on friday and weekends in the evening. As recommended by Ankur, you may wish to grab a bite at the Makansutra food stalls next to the Esplanade shopping mall.

Currently, the Victoria Concert Hall up the river is undergoing renovation. Once completed, I highly recommend checking that out to see the contrast between colonial and modern architecture.

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