There aren’t many major cities where you can get lost in a garden oasis or feel the spray from a 35 meter waterfall. But then nothing about Singapore is usual.
With its mix of tradition and modernism, fusion of vibrant cultures and its love of creating green spaces they always seem to get the balance just right.
Although there are so many sites to explore in this vibrant city, one you really can’t miss is the glorious Gardens By The Bay.
Located in the heart of the city near Marina Bay, the gardens sprawl across 250 acres of reclaimed land. With gardens, attractions and exhibitions for every taste and age it really is worth a visit for anyone who travels to Singapore.
Entry to the gardens itself is free and you could easily explore the themed gardens, walk along lakes looking for dragonflies and admire giant artworks for the day without spending a cent.
One of our favorites were the Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lakes where you can wander along the boardwalk and find sculpture of frogs and dragonflies. The World of Plants was a close second with lots of learning experiences for both the adults and the kids. But there are plenty of other themed Garden spaces to explore too from The Sun Pavilion to The Canyon.
There is also a special Children’s garden with a fun water play area that is a firm favorite with families visiting Singapore and locals alike. Click to find out more about Gardens By The Bay with kids.
As the area is so big it may be worth downloading the mobile app or getting a map from the information center at the start of your visit so you can plan which parts of the Gardens you want to see.
Although a lot of the Gardens are free admission there are a few attractions that you have to pay entry, but you should definitely put them on your itinerary.
- Singapore Pass – Depending on which pass you pick, you can get into either 3 or 5 attractions. This includes Gardens By The Bay Conservatories
- Singapore Flexi Pass – Gets you into choices like: Night Safari, River Safari, Singapore Zoo, Sky Bridge and Marina Bay Sands Skypark.
The two conservatories are amongst the largest greenhouses in the world with over 3000 glass panels in the Flower Dome alone.
Each dome has its own climate which means you can experience two completely different ecosystems all within a short walk.
We would suggest allowing at least an hour in each dome, but you could easily spend longer depending on your interests and what exhibitions are on during your visit.
The Flower Dome has a Mediterranean climate and here you can see flora from 5 different contentions around the world. Not only will you see plants from as far flung as Australia and Africa, but there are lots of fun details to discover too. From giant sculptures to hidden statues, there is plenty to see.
Each season they also transform this dome with a special theme and display. We were lucky enough to see it during Harvest time, but imagine that it will look spectacular in all seasons.
Cloud Forest has a tropical climate and is also home to a 35 meter indoor waterfall which is fun to feel the cooling spray from after the humid Singapore weather. There are also lots of different areas to explore like Crystal Mountain and the Secret Garden.
What makes a cloud forest different from a rainforest is mist, and you really feel that environment in this conservatory, especially when you talk a walk on the Cloudwalk. Here you can walk high amongst the mist and explore the conservatory from a different viewpoint.
If you prefer to be closer to the ground there are also walks at differing heights where you can really explore the different plants growing in the dome.
This dome seems to be more popular than the flower dome so you may want to visit here first if arriving early to avoid the crowds.
The Supertree Grove is probably the most famous landmark of the Gardens. At 16 stories high and looking like they have been created straight out of a children’s book it is easy to see why.
Each tree is a unique blend of nature and technology. Made from concrete and steel then covered with over 150,000 plants between the 18 Supertrees. Some of the trees also are used to collect solar power!
As a whole, these trees are impressive, but they seem even more so when you take the time to explore the small parts that make the whole.
You can admire these trees up close for free at various spots around the Gardens but paying for the OCBC Skyway is definitely worth it.
Here you can take the 128-meter walkway between the trees and see the whole gardens set out in front of you below. At 22 meters in the air, if you are not too good with heights, you may want to admire the Supertrees from the ground as I have seen a few comments that people did not enjoy the walk when they were afraid of heights.
Gardens By The Bay At Night
Although it’s easy to send an entire day at the Gardens, it is worth sticking around till after dark or even going to visit the Gardens just at night.
With the free gardens open till 2am and the domes staying open till 9pm there is plenty to explore in the evening. There are less crowds than during the busy daytime so you can really soak in the atmosphere of the domes and take your time to explore.
There is also a fun night food market that offers cheap food with flavors from all across the globe.
The real show stopper though, is the Garden Rhapsody light and sound show. This show is on every evening at 7:45 pm until 8:45 pm at the SuperTree Grove. Each show lasts around 15 minutes.
You may think the Supertrees are pretty special during the day, but at night they really are magical. The show leaves everyone in awe from young to old.
Be sure to make a trip to see them at least for one night during your stay in Singapore ( we have found it’s often something people love to go watch more than once during their stay ).
Entry to see the light show free, but it is worth arriving early as it can draw big crowds for the best viewing spots.
Gardens By The Bay Information
Entry into the Gardens is free and opening times are from 5 am to 2 am daily.
Entry to both Domes and the Skywalk requires paid admission. Adults are $28 and children at $15. The domes and the Skywalk are open from 9am -9pm with last tickets and admission at 8pm.
The Gardens are easy to get to from anywhere in the city. The nearest MRT station is Bayfront and it is well signposted to the Gardens.
Alternatively, we found the taxis to be excellent in Singapore and had our driver drop us at the Marina Bay Sands so we could take a look around at the luxury hotel and stores.
Temperatures can be uncomfortable during the midday so we think the best time to visit the Gardens is early morning or later in the afternoon. If you can visit during the week rather than the weekend you will also find less crowds as the Gardens are a popular hangout for the locals.
There are food outlets, cafes and restaurants in the Gardens but you are also free to bring along your own food and have a picnic in the outdoor gardens.
To enjoy the Gardens allow yourself at least three hours here, although we would recommend staying longer if you have the time or making a couple of trips during your stay in Singapore.
I recommend staying at Fairmont Singapore.
Guest Author: Kirsty and her family and write about their adventures at Travel With Meraki. Meraki is a Greek word that means to do something with heart and soul. To put a little bit of yourself into something. They believe that everyone should travel with Meraki. Visit them on their blog here.