Lush, green trees and wide spaces; colourful flowers and the first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Singapore. The Singapore Botanic Gardens boasts of its 60,000 species of flora and fauna, including Singapore’s most famous tree, the Tembusu tree, which spreads out up to 40m in height and thrives for more than 100 years.
Botanic Gardens is a park spanning 82 hectares from the outskirts of Orchard all the way to Bukit Timah. The Gardens is a popular place for large groups of people to have outings and play games on its vast, wide fields. It is a great place to exercise, have a picnic, do photoshoots and to enjoy soothing classical music played live by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO).
I went to the Gardens several times last year to conduct garden-themed photoshoots and filming for an event. It was a beautiful place to be alone with your thoughts as it was peaceful and relaxing. I enjoyed listening to the rustle of the trees and the occasional light chatter while walking around. However, it was sweltering hot with no shade out in the fields, so laying out a picnic mat and sitting in the middle of the wide fields was out of the question.
Admission to the Gardens is free of charge, with the exception of the National Orchid Garden, which charges an entry fee of SGD $5 for adults, $1 for students and senior citizens above 60 years old, and is free of charge for children below 12 years of age. Orchids are Singapore’s national flower and thus the National Orchid Garden is not to be missed, housing more than 1000 species and 2000 hybrids of flowers and plants.
However, if you prefer open spaces like I do, you may choose to skip the Orchid Garden as it is a rather cramped garden with narrow paths snaking through the layers of flowers and greenery. There is still a wide variety of species of flora outside the Orchid Garden which will still provide you with the fresh air and the tropical landscape not found in highly-urbanised Singapore.
The Botanic Gardens becomes a tranquil hotspot for Singaporeans to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Bring lots of water there to keep yourself hydrated. There are no water coolers along the way.
- Carry sunglasses, hats and/or umbrellas with you. The sun is scorching due to numerous open spaces.
- Travel light. As much as possible, avoid bringing heavy items as there is a lot of walking to do.
- You may grab a bite at several cafés in the Gardens, such as Food For Thought.
- Do not litter. Throw your rubbish in the bins provided as the Gardens is meant to be a clean and green space. Littering also carries a fine in Singapore.
Opening Hours: 5am to midnight daily
National Orchid Garden Opening Hours: 8.30am to 7pm daily (last entry at 6pm)
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Note that the Botanic Gardens has three gates: Bukit Timah Gate, Tanglin Gate and Nassim Gate.