If you think Gardens by the Bay is all about Supertree Grove, OCBC Skyway, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, think again. Beyond the tourist hotspots, Gardens by the Bay offers a beautiful blend of horticulture and architecture that everyone can enjoy without having to pay a pretty penny — yes, you read that right! Entry to all of these spots are free; no attraction tickets needed! 

On top of all the usual attractions, there are little peaceful and picturesque corners that are just as mesmerising. Here are the six free spots we believe everyone should not miss when they drop by!

1. Bay East Garden

things to do this weekend in singapore bay east garden things to do this weekend in singapore bay east garden

The riverside path at Bay East Garden connects Marina Bay Sands to East Coast Park.

Though relatively less known, Bay East Garden is the second largest garden in Garden by the Bay, coming after its counterpart in the south. This secluded green expanse sits across the Bay South Garden, home to the two prominent glass-domed conservatories. 

Being hidden does not make this lush park any less attractive compared to other popular tourist attractions. The aquatic ponds filled with brightly-coloured lotus and water lilies form the foreground of a panoramic view of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, the F1 Building, and the Central Business District. This outdoor garden, of sorts, is a great place to take photos on your smartphones or digital cameras, admire our iconic city skyline, and, if you are lucky, spot the local otter families. 

Bay East Garden is relatively quiet, ideal for those who wish to have a peaceful stroll, and could possibly be one of the best cycling routes in Singapore too. There is also a concrete pathway which connects the park to Marina Barrage, where one can fly kites and have a picnic with the family over the weekend.

Come 2027, Bay East Garden will also become the home to the new Founders’ Memorial, a brand new gallery honouring the nation’s founding leaders. This will add a new historical and cultural significance to this green space. 

Address: 11 Rhu Cross, Singapore 437440
Opening Hour: Daily—Open 24 hours

2. Sun Pavilion

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The Singapore Botanic Gardens or the Flower Dome are not the only places you’ll find cacti!

Plant lovers would know that Gardens by the Bay hosts one of the largest collections of cacti and succulents in Southeast Asia. 

Part of the collection, including plants commonly found in deserts and dry shrublands in East Africa and South America, is grown in the Sun Pavilion. Sun Pavilion is an outdoor, desert-like landscape with glass shelters that prevent succulents and cacti from coming into direct contact with our tropical rain. 

Currently, over 100 species and varieties of succulents can be found in the Sun Pavilion. This is a great place to learn about these exotic plants that are not native to Singapore. The more unique ones include the Brain Cactus, which grows around itself and sideways instead of upwards, making the plant look like a human brain. Meanwhile, the Turk’s Cap is a cactus that’s covered with a red, woolly, sphere-shaped top which resembles a Turkish Fez. 

It can get quite warm at certain times of the day at the Sun Pavilion as the glass panels also trap heat to mimic the warm and dry climate required for the succulents’ growth. Otherwise, the Sun Pavilion is a great gateway to experience what it is like to be in a barren and arid environment—a major contrast to all the humidity across the rest of Gardens By the Bay! 

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: Daily—5:00am to 2:00am

3. The Canyon

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Despite its name, The Canyon, at Gardens by the Bay, is not an actual canyon.

The Canyon is a 400m-long trail lined up with the most extensive collection of sculptural rocks in Singapore. Many of these rocks, in odd shapes and sizes, were naturally formed over time. Others are rock sculptures made from hundreds- and even 1,000-year-old granite. 

A place where masterpieces of Nature and Art co-exist, this floral artistry of a trail was designed by Japanese landscape architect Junichi Inada, who is inspired by the beauty of asymmetry. He believes pairing irregularly formed stones with plants like palms, succulents, and cycads, creates a characteristically-intriguing landscape. This is an excellent venue for visitors who wish to take unique photos near exotic sculptures, not to mention a lovely place for arts lovers to admire interesting sculptural works. 

Right now, the Canyon is home to three iconic structures. There is Huabiao, a Chinese stone column coiled around by a finely-carved dragon. Then there is Marco Drago, a metallic dragon, and Dragonfly, another metallic sculpture designed by Italian artist Simone Belotti. 

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Skip the trip to the ArtScience Museum and revel in offbeat experiences at The Canyon. This sculpture tells the tale of how a dragon named Marco Drago journeyed to the East and found its way to Gardens by the Bay.

Call it a floral fantasy if you want, but the plants here are equally bizarre. Some of the notable ones include Cockspur Coral Tree, with red colour flowers that resemble the sharp comb of a cockerel. Be sure to check out The Grass Tree, which plays a significant role in Australian Aboriginal history. The blackened stem of a Grass Tree also signifies its capability to withstand wildfire. 

If you like something out of the ordinary, or if you just want to admire a different landscape in Gardens by the Bay, The Canyon’s oddities and spectacular views await.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: Daily—5:00am to 2:00am

4. Kingfisher Wetlands

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Savour all that nature has to offer at Gardens by the Bay. Pictured above is the Kingfisher Cascades Zone, which links the other two zones together.

Kingfisher Wetlands is one of the latest attractions in Gardens by the Bay, which opened in November 2021. This man-made wetland, located right in the heart of urban Singapore, was built using more than 200 mangrove trees, water cascades, and streams. Its purpose is to create a freshwater sanctuary to support the flourishing aquatic life in the gardens, including amphibians, fish, and migratory birds in the city. 

The Wetlands is a unique spot to take photos, birdwatch, and learn about the water systems in Gardens by the Bay. Over here, the water bodies are natural eco-filters built to maintain the quality of water captured from the nearby water catchment areas, including Marina Reservoir. 

Filter beds made using aquatic reeds were strategically placed in parts of the lake so sediments would be filtered out. Together with the aquatic plants along the waterbeds, they absorb nitrogen and phosphorus from the water to prevent algae bloom.

The Wetlands was built on a site that has long been a hotspot for local nature lovers and photographers. It hopes to continue advocating people’s love for nature with its flourishing abundance of flora and fauna and educating them on the importance of conservation. 

Address: 12 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018952
Opening Hours: Daily—5:00am to 2:00am

5. Serene Garden

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Instead of rising up 50m above the ground at the Supertree Grove observatory, encounter nature up close at the Serene Garden. Convince your friends you’re in Japan with a well-angled Instagram story.

Serene Garden is a two-hectare space where nature meets culture. The tranquillity and minimalism of Japanese Zen gardens inspired its overall design. This new outdoor garden is a perfect spot to take a breather from all the other tourist-filled spots within Gardens by the Bay. 

The main horticultural attractions here: Plants that set a Japanese vibe and atmosphere. Bamboos grow on the perimeter of the garden, while Juniper Bonsai and Bismarckia (a silvery-leafed palm tree originating from Madagascar) fan out across the garden. Some of them also offer shade for visitors, keeping them calm and relaxed as they enjoy the serenity.

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It is hard to believe that an iconic landmark in Singapore, this beautiful, is free to enter.

Apart from the trees, the garden also displays a vast variety of naturally-coloured rocks. Some were brought in from Niyodo, Japan, while others were sourced from Bukit Timah granite quarry. Serene Garden is ideal for visitors looking for an undisturbed space to enjoy the simple things in nature. Do take note that the lights go off here at around 11:00pm in an effort to conserve energy. 

Address: Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
Opening Hours: Daily—5:00am to 2:00am

6. Art sculptures from around the world

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The colours of this floral clock, surrounded by a lush garden, is regularly refreshed with different coloured flowers, depending on the season.

Gardens by the Bay is not just about nature; it’s also about the arts. There are over 200 sculptures produced by artists from around the world, displayed together with the flora and fauna. Some of these sculptures are live, made by pruning plants into specific forms. Many of the living sculptures are in the shape of animals, representing the rich biodiversity of Singapore. 

Even though they are created from plants, not all the live sculptures are green in colour. Some of them come in assorted shades of brown, yellow, and red as they are made from different parts and even different species of plants. In general, these living sculptures signify the symbiotic relationship between plants. This is also where visitors can appreciate how creativity is manifest into actual creations. 

Gardens by the Bay also poses as the ultimate outdoor art trail in Singapore, with many art sculptures made from other materials like metal and stone. Some notable ones include Planet, a bronze sculpture in the shape of a baby that looks like he is floating in the air from afar. There is also the Floral Clock, a giant clock resting on a palette of vibrantly coloured flowers and foliage.

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The Magnificent Bull sculpture, situated amongst the lush park, actually wears Santa hats on Christmas!

The Magnificent Bull greets incoming visitors the moment they enter Gardens by the Bay. This dark bronze sculpture was specially made by American artist Walter Matia as a homage to Singapore’s bullish economy. 

On top of these permanent sculptures, prominent landmarks, and entertaining attractions, Gardens by the Bay also hosts occasional art exhibitions and an abundance of events. There is no doubt that the garden is also a museum by itself. It offers visitors a place to immerse themselves in both nature and arts and to learn about plants and human creations that are not often seen in this part of the world. 

Address: Various corners in Gardens by the Bay
Opening Hours: Daily—5:00am to 2:00am

Sure, there are loads of things to do in Singapore over the weekend. From the new Bird Paradise to simply exploring the vast Singapore city filled with attractions like the National Orchid Garden in Singapore Botanic Gardens, there are many activities to partake in. However, if you are looking for a unique activity in Singapore to jazz up your weekend, truly, Gardens by the Bay is a garden of wonder. Whether you are looking for activities to do in Singapore or things to do on the weekend, the garden has something for everyone, no matter your budget. 

Get a 360-degree view of the Gardens by the Bay’s lush surrounds and the Marina Bay area from the observation deck of the Supertree Observatory. Experience music and lights amidst the Supertrees during the daily Garden Rhapsody shows when night time comes around. Or, go on a magical escape among suspended bouquets and creative floral arrangements at the Floral Fantasy attraction — either way, magnificent sights await at this entertaining attraction in Singapore.


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