Green Paradise A Guide to Gardens by the Bay
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Green Paradise: A Guide to Gardens by the Bay

When the weather is sunny and beautiful, one of my favorite things to do is head to a park and immerse myself in nature. Luckily for me, there are many nature parks to choose from in Singapore, and one of the most well-known is the Gardens by the Bay.

To say that the Gardens by the Bay is gorgeous is an understatement: it’s home to thousands of flowers and plants, and inside, there’s a replica of a tropical mountain forest with a waterfall. Oh, and don’t forget about the massive Supertree Grove!

Indeed, Gardens by the Bay is almost like a paradise plopped on the southern end of Singapore. If you’re planning to visit soon, feel free to use this article as your guide to all the attractions and things to do in Gardens by the Bay.

The Basics of Gardens by the Bay

The Basics of Gardens by the Bay

The idea for Gardens by the Bay started when the government aimed to improve the nation’s quality of life by adding more greenery and flora to the city. The park was also intended to be the country’s national icon and premier outdoor recreation space.

And true enough, Gardens of the Bay became a popular destination in Singapore. To this day, it’s still one of the most visited places in the country and attracted about nine million visitors in 2022 alone.

As of now, the park boasts a total of 101 hectares of land with several attractions. Gardens by the Bay has also been featured in movies: it appeared in Crazy Rich Asians and served as an inspiration for the planet of Xandar in Guardians of the Galaxy.

How do I get to Gardens by the Bay?

How do I get to Gardens by the Bay

Riding the MRT is the best way to get to Gardens by the Bay. There are three routes that you can take, which are as follows:

If you take the Thomson East-Coast Line (recommended)• Stop at the Gardens by the Bay Station (TE22).

• Take Exit 1, and now you’re in the park.

If you take the Circle Line or Downtown Line• Stop at the Bayfront Station (CE1/DT16).

• Take Exit B, then walk along the underground linkway.

• Once you’re out, cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge to get to the park.

If you take the East-West Line• Stop at the Tanjong Pagar station (EW15).

• Take Exit C, and head to bus stop no. 03223, which is located at International Plaza, Anson Road.

• Ride bus 400, and stop at bus stop 03371, which is along Marina Gardens Drive. The park is only a short walk away.

Where can I park in Gardens by the Bay?

Where can I park in Gardens by the Bay

You can also get to Gardens by the Bay via car because there are many parking lots here. These carparks are the following: 

CarparkOperating HoursRatesNumber of Lots
Main Entrance (Basement Carpark)5 am to 2 am (daily)S$0.035 per minute (car), S$1.20 per entry (motorcycles)• 420 car lots (including 4 lots for handicapped visitors)

• 39 motorcycle lots

• 2 DC EV chargers (50 kW)

• 3 AC EV chargers (22 kW)

The Meadow (open-air carpark)• 284 car lots (including 3 lots for handicapped visitors)

• 10 motorcycle lots

Bayfront Plaza (open-air carpark)• 172 car lots (including 6 handicapped lots and 4 family lots)

• 9 motorcycle lots

• 2 AC EV chargers (22 kW)

Satay by the Bay (open-air carpark)• 176 car lots (including 3 lots for handicapped visitors)

• 5 motorcycle lots

Bay East Garden (open-air carpark)• 66 car lots (including 6 lots for handicapped visitors)

• 6 motorcycle lots)

What are the do’s and don’ts at Gardens by the Bay?

What are the do’s and don’ts at Gardens by the Bay

Just like any other park in Singapore, Gardens by the Bay has some do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind. Please be sure to follow them during your visit.

  • Respect the plants. Don’t ever pluck, stomp on, or damage any plant life. Climbing any tree is also prohibited.
  • Avoid littering in any part of the park. 
  • Going on a picnic is allowed in the park, except in the conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest).
  • Don’t bring food and drinks to any of the conservatories.
  • Open fire, especially BBQs and lighted candles, is not allowed in the Gardens.
  • Never smoke in the gardens.
  • Bicycles, tricycles, roller skates, skateboards, and scooters aren’t allowed in the park. If you really want to ride your bike, do so along the waterfront promenade and Scented Walk in Bay South Garden.
  • Flying kites and remote-controlled aerial devices, swimming, and fishing are also not permitted on the grounds.
  • Filming or taking photos for commercial purposes is only allowed if you seek permission and the park staff grants it. 

What attractions are available in Gardens by the Bay?

As of now, there are 16 attractions inside Gardens by the Bay, all of them having their own striking characteristics:

Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest

Cloud Forest is one of the two conservatories in the gardens, and it’s an absolute spectacle. The interior imitates the look and feel of a lush mountain forest, so exotic plant species are all you can see throughout.

This is also home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfalls, and the pictures don’t do the scenery justice. I’ve seen multiple photos of the Cloud Forest and its iconic waterfalls, but nothing could’ve prepared me for the beauty of seeing everything with my own eyes.

The best part about this attraction is that there’s just so much to see. The recommended duration is 1.5 hours, but when I came here, I actually lost track of time and just wandered around for hours on end. 

If you’re lucky, you might also get a special event during your visit. 

My recent visit to the Cloud Forest featured an Avatar-themed event, and I really felt like I stepped into the world of Pandora. The bioluminescent environments made the experience better. 

  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Admission Rates (already includes admission to the Flower Dome): S$53 (non-resident adult), S$40 (non-resident child), S$35 (adult Singaporean resident), S$27 (child resident), S$30 (local senior citizen)

Traveler Tip: Try stopping by at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, or 8 pm because these are the “Misting Hours.” In other words, the mist will partially cover Cloud Forest, making the ambiance even more atmospheric (it’s such a pretty scene!).

Flower Dome

The second conservatory in the gardens is the Flower Dome, and just like the Cloud Forest, this one is just as majestic. As the name suggests, this attraction is essentially a flower haven with species coming from all over the world.

Of the two conservatories, I have to say that the Flower Dome is my favorite, which isn’t surprising considering that I’m quite fond of flowers. This place just has flowers of all colors and kinds, and it’s also exciting to see varieties from other habitats. 

I mean, there are flowers from the South African savannahs and even arid deserts! 

There are also Baobabs, also known as Bottle Trees or the Trees of Life because they provide shelter, food, and clothing for the inhabitants in the African savannah. These trees come in unusual shapes, and I love taking pictures of them.

  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 9 pm
  • Admission Rates (already includes admission to the Cloud Forest): S$53 (non-resident adult), S$40 (non-resident child), S$35 (adult Singaporean resident), S$27 (child resident), S$30 (local senior citizen)

Traveler Tip: If you want to learn more about the flowers and other plants here, feel free to join a guided tour.

Floral Fantasy

Speaking of flower havens, another great contender for that title is Floral Fantasy. The first time I stepped into this attraction, I felt like I was whisked away to a new world full of vibrant colors. 

Floral Fantasy features creative floral arrangements and bouquets that are suspended in the air. My favorite section has to be the Dance because the sight of the floral arrangements swaying sinuously as if they’re dancing is so captivating.

Another highlight of this attraction is The Lost Fairy, which is an AR storytelling experience about a lost fairy embarking on an adventure to reunite with her family. It’s such a visually pleasing experience, and my cousins, in particular, are big fans. 

  • Operating Hours: 10 am to 7 pm (weekdays), 10 am to 8 pm (weekends, public holidays)
  • Admission Rates: S$15 (non-resident adult), S$9 (non-resident child), S$10 (adult Singaporean resident), S$5 (child and senior residents)

Traveler Tip: Floral Fantasy is located near the Bayfront MRT station, so you can start and end your day with a visit to this attraction. 

Supertree Grove

Supertree Grove

Gardens by the Bay is filled with so many gems, but if I were to pick the ultimate attraction, it would have to be Supertree Grove. 

And why shouldn’t I pick this attraction? It boasts 12 “Supertrees”—tree-like structures that are 50 meters tall—with iconic unique designs. 

And every night, these Supertrees become a lively spectacle during the Garden Rhapsody show. 

Walking on the ground makes you feel like you’re Thumbelina. Seriously, how can you not feel small with structures as tall as the supertrees? 

And when you draw closer, you’ll be in awe of the stunning plants on the supertrees. What a lovely sight, indeed.

Honestly, I’ve seen Supertree Grove multiple times—be it up close or from afar—and it still continues to delight me. I also love that it’s powered by solar energy—beautiful and environmental-friendly, the perfect combination!

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: Be sure to stick around in the evening to catch the Garden Rhapsody show (more about this later).

Supertree Observatory

While walking on the ground is a great way to view Supertree Grove, it’s not quite as good as enjoying the scenery from a higher vantage point. If you’d like to try this, be sure to head up to the Supertree Observatory. 

The best thing about the Supertree Observatory is that it doesn’t only offer unparalleled views of the Grove only, but you can also enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the entire Gardens and the Marina Bay area. So, be sure to get your camera phones ready here!

Additionally, the open-air rooftop deck is a great place to just relax. Sometimes, when I’m tired of standing and walking, I sit on the bench and maybe read my book, while my cousins play on the deck’s greenery section.

Another thing I love doing here at the observatory is catching the sunset. The golden hour makes everything even more spectacular here—truly a sight worthy of capturing in photos.

  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 9 pm (daily)
  • Admission Rates: S$14 (non-resident adult), S$10 (non-resident child), S$10 (adult Singaporean resident), S$6 (child and senior residents)

Traveler Tip: If you’re hungry, head to The Social Kitchen. The Social Kitchen is actually home to three eateries (The Vegetarian Butcher, Boufe Cakes, and Ottolina Café), and you get to dine while enjoying the view here.

OCBC Skyway

Another way to enjoy the view of the Supertrees is by walking along the OCBC Skyway. This skyway is suspended about 22 meters above the ground and is 128 meters long—the perfect place to wander and take pictures all the while.

OCBC Skyway appeals most to hikers who want to add a route with a beautiful view to their hiking trail. But even if you’re not exercising, you can still enjoy strolling along this skyway.

Personally, I come to this skyway when I just want to breathe the fresh air and get lost in my thoughts. Sometimes, I also take photos for social media because the scenery is too pretty to resist. 

  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 9 pm (daily)
  • Admission Rates: S$12 (non-resident adult), S$8 (non-resident child), S$8 (adult Singaporean resident), S$5 (child and senior residents)

Traveler Tip: If you’re visiting during the day or the afternoon, be sure to put on sunscreen on your skin because the heat can get oppressive during these times. Also, bring water bottles for hydration.

Active Garden

If starting a healthier lifestyle is one of your goals this year, then you’re in luck because Gardens by the Bay actually has an Active Garden. This section of the park features several structures that function like gym equipment.

I’m not much of a gym person, so I don’t think I can accurately name everything in the Active Garden, but I did recognize a body-curl bench, a spring-up board, and a knee-lift high bar. There are also benches if you want to sit down and rest in between sets.

Personally, I like using the Active Garden for my warm-up and cool-down (hiking is my preferred way to exercise), but I’ve seen other people using this garden as their primary workout for the day. There’s no right or wrong way to use this section.

But you know what makes Active Garden stand out? It’s the fact that there are other sections within it. Aside from the outdoor gym, the other sections are the following:

Section NameDescription
Musical Playground• Featuring a xylophone, drum set, and other percussion instruments

• Feel free to play music here.

Community GardenFeaturing 50 kinds of edible plants (such as herbs, vegetables, and fruits)
Waterfront PlazaA sheltered but open event venue, perfect for weddings and other celebrations
Ficus RoomMulti-purpose space that’s perfect for corporate events and activities
Moongate LawnA lush open lawn that’s best suited for picnics and other recreational activities
Active Garden LawnAn outdoor lawn with Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer as a backdrop
  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rate: Free

Traveler Tip: If you’re hungry, head to Mylo’s. This café serves aromatic coffee, freshly baked pastries, gelatos, and many more. Your furry friends are welcome here too!

Bay East Garden

Sometimes, you just need to be surrounded by greenery to feel calm and at ease. If this is what you want right now, Bay East Garden is the place to be.

Bay East Garden features a sprawling land with lush lawns and elegant palm trees. Because of this, the feeling of peace and serenity instantly washes over you when you hang out here. 

It’s also great that it comes with a view of the Marina Bay skyline. My friends and family like to take this opportunity to capture moments in photos, but you can come here to take a nap or read a book—my two favorite activities here. 

  • Operating Hours: 24 hours
  • Admission Rate: Free

Traveler Tip: If you’re planning to stay for a long time here, make sure to bring an umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.

Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes

Whenever I go on a meandering stroll around the Gardens, I always make sure to make a stop by the Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes. I recommend you do the same as well.

These lakes are such a scenic treat. If you’re standing in a certain position, you can enjoy a beautiful view with the lakes in the foreground and the Supertree Grove and Marina Bay Sands at the back. 

You can also find many amphibians, fish, migratory birds, and dragonflies, so be on the lookout for them.

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rate: Free

Traveler Tip: If you find a display with a QR code, be sure to scan it. It will lead you to a page with interesting facts about the unique lake system here. 

Far East Organization Children’s Garden

If you’re planning a fun family day with your little ones, then I highly suggest coming to the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. This is my family’s go-to destination when we want something fun yet free, and we have a blast every time. 

What I like the most about this garden is that there are several sections catering to different people. The water play section features an interactive centerpiece with motion sensors, so water only spouts when they sense you!

If your little one doesn’t like to get wet, they can explore the Rainforest Tree Houses instead. The tree houses come with a maze of ropes, ladders, and slippery dips, so it’s easy to pretend that you’re Tarzan in a wild jungle.

And of course, let’s not forget about toddlers. They get to have fun here too. 

The Toddler Play Zone lets your babies splash around and interact with the various sculptures in the area. 

  • Operating Hours: 9 am to 7 pm (Thursdays to Sundays, public holidays), closed every Monday to Wednesday unless it’s a public holiday
  • Admission Rate: Free

Traveler Tip: Don’t forget to bring extra clothes because you and your family will undoubtedly get soaked here.

Heritage Gardens

Who says learning history has to be boring? With the Heritage Gardens, you get to learn about Singapore’s diverse ethnic groups and cultures through themed mini-gardens and a gorgeous selection of plants. 

The Heritage Gardens feature four themed gardens: the Indian Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Malay Garden, and the Colonial Garden. They all have their own unique characteristics: for example, one has fragrant flowers while another has edible plants.

If I were to pick a favorite, I’d have to say the Chinese Garden because it features art that mimics nature, but the others are just as great. I actually end up just wandering from one garden to another whenever I’m here. 

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: If you want to take a good photo from a high vantage point, head to the very top of the Colonial Garden. The view there is magnificent.

Kingfisher Wetlands

The Kingfisher Wetlands in Gardens by the Bay is the ultimate destination for bird watchers and nature lovers. Apparently, 16 migratory bird species have been spotted here, including the collared kingfisher, Asian Koel, and white-breasted waterhen.

I’m not much of a bird watcher, so whenever I come to the wetlands, I usually just roam. There are three distinct zones here, and they’re all so picturesque with their cascades and natural rock pools. 

If the day is too hot, I go to the Wildlife Lookout to cool down and remain in the shade. Sometimes, I spend way too much time here just relaxing because it’s so quiet and peaceful. 

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: There are multiple signages around the wetlands, so be sure to read them and learn more about the birds and other animals that frequently visit this place.

Serene Garden

In my humble opinion, I think Serene Garden is the most underrated attraction of Gardens by the Bay. I actually think this must also be my most visited because every time I visit the park, I usually end up here for some time. 

It’s not surprising why I gravitate toward this garden so much. It’s inspired by the minimalist concept of a Japanese zen garden, and providing peace is its main goal.

As someone who has a busy life, experiencing peace at the end of the day is all I want. 

So, I go to the Serene Garden and just check out the various plants. My highlights have to be the Bismarckias (they’re native to Madagascar!).

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: The Bismarckias aren’t the only highlights in the garden. There are also Podocarpus, Junipers, and many more, so don’t hesitate to take beautiful nature photos.

Sun Pavilion

Singapore doesn’t have natural desert landscapes, but that didn’t stop the national government to create one for residents and tourists to enjoy. In Gardens by the Bay, the man-made desert landscape is the Sun Pavilion, and you should check it out.

The Sun Pavilion boasts over 1,000 desert plants, including the Mexican Columnar Cacti, Brain Cactus (it looks so freaky and cool in real life too), and African Euphorbias. It’s actually so easy to forget that I’m in Singapore and not in the Americas or Africa.

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: Since this is an outdoor-themed garden, you’ll be under the sun for some time. So, be sure to bring an umbrella, wear your best sunglasses, and put on sunscreen!

The Canyon

The Canyon is another place in the Gardens where I love to mindlessly roam when I’m bored. 

What I love about this attraction is that gorgeous plants aren’t the only things you see. There are also countless sculptural rocks and ancient rock forms. 

These ancient rock forms came all the way from Shandong, China. 

My favorites among the sculptures have to be Marco Drago, Dragonfly, and Huabiao. 

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rates: Free

Traveler Tip: Hikers, be sure to include The Canyon’s 400-meter trail that’s shaped like a dragon. It’s never specified if the dragon shape’s inspired by something specific or if it’s just an artistic choice — either way, it’s still a route worth checking out.

World of Plants

While The Canyon features rock formations and sculptures, the World of Plants specializes in life-sized animal topiaries. My little cousins always make a beeline for these topiaries and pretend that these fake animals are real and about to attack them.

But there’s more to discover with the World of Plants as well. Personally, I love going to Understorey (because its structure and interior are so cool) and Discovery, which educates you about the evolution of plants starting 500 million years ago. 

This attraction is as educational as it is aesthetically pleasing. I recommend bringing your little ones here because they might be fascinated to learn more about plants.

  • Operating Hours: 5 am to 2 am (daily)
  • Admission Rate: Free

Traveler Tip: This is another outdoor attraction, so let me remind you again to keep hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

What’s Garden Rhapsody?

What’s Garden Rhapsody

Garden Rhapsody is a music and light show that occurs in Supertree Grove every night. It lasts for about 15 minutes, and there’s usually a theme every few weeks or so. 

For 2023, the themes that have been shown and will be shown are the following: 

Theme NameDates (Subject to Change)Description
Journey Through Asia• Jan 2–19, 30–31

• Mar 1–31

Featuring local artists Alemay Fernandez, Dawn Ho, Leandra Lane, and Lou Peixin
Spring BlossomsJan 20–29A 5-minute light and sound show curated for the Chinese New Year
Garden WaltzFeb 1–28The Grove transforms into a mythical enchanted forest.
Enchanted Woods• April 1–21

• November 1–11, 20–30

Featuring an “enchanted” tree that will take you on an adventure with magical creatures and beasts
Songs of Singapore• April 22–30

• August 1–31

• November 12–19

Covers of well-loved Singapore songs that are performed by local musicians, such as Aisyah Aziz, Joanna Dong, Linying, and Rani Singam
Opera in the GardensMay 1–3, 8–31Takes you through the golden age of opera music
Garden Rhapsody: Star Wars EditionMay 4–7Music and light composition set against the Star Wars soundtrack
World of FantasyJune 1–30Playing music inspired by the various fantasy worlds in mainstream media (e.g., The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio)
An Evening of Musical TheatreJuly 1–31Playing numbers from popular musicals, such as The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables
Tales of the MoonSeptember 1–October 1Playing evocative soundtracks under the moon
Retro FeverOctober 2–31Playing nostalgic music from the 1970s disco scene
The Christmas SpecialDecember 1–January 1Playing Christmas classics and highlights sung by local artists

Garden Pods: Your Home in the Gardens

Did you know that you can make Gardens by the Bay your temporary home? To do this, all you need to do is book a Garden Pod. 

The Garden Pod is an eco-friendly concept that provides guests with a comfortable overnight stay within the tranquil environments of the Gardens. This accommodation is located within Serene Garden, so you’re surrounded by exotic plants and trees. 

There are four kinds of suites available, and they differ in their designs. That said, they offer all the essential amenities, namely

  • A living room with a television
  • One king-size bed and one Murphy queen-size bed
  • An ensuite bathroom
  • A kitchen with a hob and downdraft hood
  • Indoor dining seating
  • A private outdoor patio
  • An outdoor dining table and chairs
  • An outdoor electric BBQ grill
  • High-speed Wi-Fi connectivity

These pods can also accommodate up to four people, so you can bring your family or a few friends here. 

I personally have never stayed in a Garden Pod yet, but some people I know have, and they all swear that it’s worth trying. So, if you want to stay within the Gardens for a short while, be sure to consider booking a Pod.

FAQs about Gardens by the Bay