In 1967, Singapore’s then-Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew introduced what he termed the “garden city” vision – a long-term plan to transform Singapore into a country rife with natural and awe-inspiring greenery. It was envisioned as a place that made its citizens feel at home with nature alongside its fast-developing urbanisation.
Since then, Singapore has made a name for itself by restoring and respecting its natural surroundings while introducing futuristic developments in urban planning. But where are the must-see spots? We list down the most beautiful gardens in Singapore that ensure an exploration of nature will be nothing short of gratifying.
1. Jurong Eco-Garden
Jurong Eco-Garden is less well-known even though it was officially opened in 2014 in the western side of Singapore.
Located just shy of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Jurong Eco-Garden features greenery that’s lush and abundant, and you’ll have plenty of spots for some breathtaking views. The garden is also home to hundreds of species of plants and animals – they even have a stunning butterfly garden!
Jurong Eco-Garden is part of the CleanTech Park. For those working within its surrounding buildings, along with residents from nearby neighbourhoods, the garden has become a place where they can unwind and take a break.
The highest point for an unencumbered view of the garden would have to be the Summit Lookout, along with the Ficus Lookout, which is located right next to a gigantic ficus tree. You can spend hours there spotting wildlife and meditating in its stillness. Remember to bring a camera!
Pair your visit with a stop at the Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle, which houses a dragon kiln – a traditional wood-fired pottery kiln that was established in 1940.
How to get there: Take bus 199 from Boon Lay Interchange, which is conveniently linked to Boon Lay MRT. After six stops, alight at Nanyang Avenue bus stop before Lorong Danau. NTU students may be familiar with this route, as the garden is located just a stone’s throw away from the campus.
Address: 97L Lor Tawas, Singapore 639824
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily.
2. Jewel Changi Airport’s Canopy Park and Forest Valley
Canopy Park, located at the topmost level (Level 5) of Jewel Changi Airport, features enough attractions for all to enjoy.
The first spot to visit is its beautiful Petal Garden, where you can admire its collection of seasonal flowers from around the world. Much like a floral fantasy, we reckon. There are seating spaces scattered throughout the garden grounds, so you can take a breather from your day trip right here.
Fenced by towering gardens of green, you’ll come across some beautiful flowers on the hedges.
Unsurprisingly, because of the lush nature scenes, the bridge is usually bustling with awe-struck visitors, so plan ahead to arrive there early!
Your kids can have fun immersing themselves in the dreamy, weightless atmosphere of the Foggy Bowls.
We’d be remiss to leave out the Shiseido Forest Valley, which has been such a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike! Despite it being close to our busy airport, the garden retreat offers nothing short of peaceful sights and sounds.
The Canopy Park admission is S$5, which will permit ticket-holders visits to the Discovery Slide, foggy bowls, Petal Garden and Topiary Walk. The Walking Nets Tickets (S$18 for adults, S$13.90 for children) include the Walking Nets and complimentary access to Canopy Park. The Jewel Changi Value Bundle (S$56 for adults, S$40 for children) is the greatest value for all – it includes access to Canopy Park, Mastercard® Canopy Bridge, Mirror Maze, Hedge Maze, Walking Nets, and Changi Experience Studio.
You may also view our blog on all the various gardens at Changi Airport here.
How to get there: If you’re coming from Terminal 1, head to the Arrival Hall at Level 1 and you will easily find the entrance to Jewel. If you’re coming from Terminals 2 or 3, find the link bridge that will lead you to Jewel
Address: 78 Airport Blvd, Singapore 819666
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10:00am-10:00pm. Friday to Sun, Eve & PH: 10:00am-11:00pm.
3. Gardens by the Bay
We can never talk about Singaporean gardens without mentioning the country’s futuristic marvel: Gardens by the Bay.
Its iconic Supertree Grove is a unique vertical garden that resembles towering trees – except that it also features large canopies and luminous lights at night. Unknown to most visitors is that these Supertrees are also green-friendly – they expel non-toxic fumes from a biomass boiler (a sustainable alternative to gas or oil boilers). This is where plant waste from the park, along with other areas of Singapore, is burnt and converted into fuel. Visit the Supertree Observatory for panoramic views of the gardens!
As Singapore continues to manage its natural wonders alongside a growing concrete jungle, more solutions are being made to make sure our environment is unharmed.
Arguably, the main highlight of Gardens by the Bay would be its large glass flower domes. These house the largest greenhouse conservatories in the world, where visitors can see just how nature is being preserved through advanced practices. Its Cloud Forest is also a popular attraction, where a majestic waterfall is the cherry on top of a vivid and refreshing array of exotic plants.
Many plants that would otherwise bloom only once a year in their natural habitat can now bloom almost all year round in tropical Singapore.
Admission rates for the various Gardens by the Bay attractions are as follows:
Flower Dome: Adult(13-59 years old), S$12. Child (3-12 years old), S$8, Senior (60 years old & above), S$8
Cloud Forest: Adult (13-59 years old), S$27. Child (3-12 years old), S$23, Senior (60 years old & above), S$23
Supertree Grove: Free
Supertree Observatory: Adult (13-59 years old), S$10. Child (3-12 years old), S$6, Senior (60 years old & above), S$6
Flower Dome: Adult, S$53. Child (3-12 years old), S$40
Cloud Forest: Adult, S$53. Child (3-12 years old), S$40
Supertree Grove: Free
Supertree Observatory: Adult, S$14. Child (3-12 years old), S$10
For more stunning views of the garden landscapes in the city and the Marina Bay skyline, you can make your way to the Bay East Garden too. This one's perfect for the gram, so have your monopod ready.
How to get there: Alight at Bayfront MRT Station (CE1/DT16). From there, take Exit B and follow the underground linkway. You’ll then emerge from the linkway to the start of the Dragonfly Bridge, which will lead you into Gardens by the Bay.
Address: Upper 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Opening hours: Daily, 9:00 am-9:00pm
4. Singapore Botanic Gardens
If you travel via the Circle Line, you may hear this park’s name on your daily commute. The Singapore Botanic Gardens, iconic enough that it has an MRT station exclusive to it, counts many accomplishments for its contribution to preserving Singapore’s natural landscape.
It boasts the rare achievement of being the only tropical botanic garden listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which notes the global landmarks that are significant in one way or another.
While the park is comfortably located in the homely neighbourhood of Cluny Road, it’s a mere five-minute car ride from Orchard Road. Or, of course, you may take the Circle Line from wherever you are. It’s very accessible, and for good reason.
To list all of its attractions would be daunting – there are five different entrances to the park alone.
You can head in from the Tanglin Entrance, where you can find the tranquil Bonsai Garden that brings a little bit of Japan home. There’s also Swan Lake, which is home to a diversity of fishes and aquatic plants. Its statues and atmosphere add a dose of whimsy to the stately park, but nothing beats the occasional sight of its titular residents – two swans that will wow you with their natural beauty.
The Tyersall Entrance offers the Ginger Garden – where several hundred species of ginger await you – while the Nassim Entrance will overwhelm your senses with the Fragrant Garden, which houses the park’s most aromatic attraction.
The Bukit Timah Entrance is a world of its own with the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, which will be the perfect place for your kids to explore on their own. If you need a bit of shelter and respite, the Botanical Art Gallery – which you can find by accessing the Gallop Entrance – provides wonder through charting the history of scientific research of plants in Singapore. Let's not forget the orchid garden!
Well, this is just scratching the surface! Visit their site here to learn more about all their attractions. You can spend an entire day or two there. And since it’s one of the best photo spots in Singapore, this is the best place for wedding shoots if you’re looking for the utmost nature feel. And if you’re just into OOTD shots, perhaps get your fashion game on with some unique designs by Sift & Pick, and really see how nature can bring about your outfit’s aesthetics in the most fascinating ways.
How to get there:
While each entrance has its own unique routes, you can start your journey via the Bukit Timah Entrance by alighting at Botanic Gardens MRT station.
If you’d like to save some time and head straight for Tanglin Entrance, you can board the newly-opened Thomson-East Line and alight at Napier MRT station.
Address: 1 Cluny Road.
Opening hours: 5:00am to midnight, daily.
5. Sang Nila Utama Garden at Fort Canning
The Sang NIla Utama Garden at Fort Canning Park is not the most obvious, but by venturing into the garden, you’ll find precious relics that will teach you about Singapore’s past.
Specifically, look out for colonial-era relics amidst the sea of green at the garden.
If you’re looking to recreate the Bali Gates of Heaven while saving the air fare, you can find the beautiful Javanese Split Gates at the entrance of the Garden.
For more, drop by the Pancur Larangan (Forbidden Spring), a freshwater feature
Plant enthusiasts will be happy to know that Farquhar Garden is home to giant ‘living paintings’ of plant species native to the Malay Peninsula.
If you fear the heat, there are sheltered escalators and walkways connecting different sections of the park. The area is wheelchair-friendly and pet-friendly, making it a bonafide day out destination for the whole family.
How to get there: With just a breezy five-minute walk away from Fort Canning MRT station, the beautiful park is one of the most accessible in Singapore, being located across Funan and Clarke Quay, if you rather head to the garden via City Hall MRT or Clarke Quay MRT.
Address: 1 Canning Rise, Singapore 179868
Opening hours: 24 hours, daily.
6. Tampines Eco Green
Tampines Eco Green is a beautiful walking trail in the east that has its fair share of greenery and exotic plants. It’s the perfect escape from the urban architecture of the city, just like the rest of its surroundings in Tampines.
Once you’ve ventured into Tampines Eco Green, you will almost feel like you’re walking into an actual forest. Here, you can engage in a day of bird watching – you’ll be able to spot birds of various species, such as the Baya weaver, gliding in the skies and retreating into the trees.
The hanguana rubinea, a newly-discovered native plant species exclusive to Singapore, can also be found in this park. Tampines Eco Green plays host to a freshwater area home for dragonflies, all of which can be found flying over the surface of the trail’s large pond.
Overall, the nature retreat features three trails that anyone can take on – Diversity Trail, Forest Trail, and Marsh Trail. Within these walking trails are forests with dedicated paths that will let you see the lush beauty of nature that the ecological park provides.
How to get there: Alight at Tampines MRT station and walk 20 mins to the park via Sun Plaza Park.
Address: Between Tampines Expressway and Tampines Ave 12
Opening hours: 7am-7pm, daily.
7. Edible Garden City
Edible Garden City proudly features a myriad of things that you could do at the place.
Singapore has plans to integrate vertical farming to better incorporate locally-grown vegetables and this initiative is perfect for individuals who want to support the local economy and who want the freshest produce.
One of the best things the garden has to offer is the education about gardening that is open to Singaporean citizens; aged 50 and above.
Not only do they provide education and tours about gardening, but they’ve also established food gardens for restaurants and schools as a supply of essential and fresh produce.
While Edible Garden City is not open for regular public admission, they welcome visiting groups under tours, workshops and volunteer sessions.
How to get there: Take the train to Queenstown MRT and walk to the nearest bus stop opposite Queenstown Public Library. From there, you can take buses 32 and 122 to stop directly at Edible Garden City.
Address: 60 Jalan Penjara, Singapore 149375 Come via Margaret Drive at Queenstown.
Opening hours: Contact them here to arrange a scheduled visit.
Singapore is best known for Gardens by the Bay, but – as we’ve shown – there’s so much more in our “garden city”. Apart from the aforementioned gardens in Singapore, consider the lesser-raved options, such as the Jurong Lake Garden, Pearl's Hill City Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. There's also the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve that combines lush greenery with captivating hiking trails.
In a decade where eco-conscious efforts are propelling into urgent action, it’s also a reminder of the precarity of the natural habitat that Singaporeans can enjoy at their doorstep. Take a stroll out into our clean wilderness and find a new place to enjoy and restore your mind in!
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