Singapore Botanic Gardens

Weather :

Label : Must Visit

Tags : Garden & Park

Timings : 5:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Garden Grounds: Free
National Orchid Garden: Adults: SGD 5, Student/senior citizen aged 60 and older: SGD 1, Children below 12 years: Free

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Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Overview

The Singapore Botanic Gardens, located at Orchard Road, is the only tropical garden to feature as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 82-hectare green space boasts of more than 10,000 species of flowering plants and trees. The prime attractions are the National Orchid Garden, and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden – the world’s first garden dedicated exclusively to children.

Singapore Botanic Gardens also features the Learning Forest interactive rainforest exhibit, many museums, herbariums, attractive statues, gurgling fountains, a Botany Centre, and many more family-friendly locations. A stunning lake attracts tropical birds and turtles, while butterflies and other insects frequent the sweet-smelling blooms. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is also the venue of performances, recitals, and educational programs at Palm Valley.

Singapore Botanic Gardens Highlights

1. Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is Asia's first garden dedicated solely to children. Themed on 'Life on Earth Depends on Plants', this kid-centric garden has varied interactive zones along with a p (Read More)lay area with a farm, an orchard, and a forest with streams and ponds. The other attractions for the young ones are the suspension bridge and the treehouses. At Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, the kids are encouraged to observe how the plants grow and learn simple gardening techniques.

2. National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden
Located on the highest hill of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden is home to the world's largest display of tropical orchids. It currently houses over 60,000 orchid plants, out (Read More)of which 1000 are pure species and 2000 are hybrids. The Garden consists of seven different sections, all of which are built around unique themes. Four color zones representing the four seasons are the major theme around which the National Orchid Garden has been designed.

Read More on Singapore Botanic Gardens

Tanglin Entrance

Bandstand: Surrounded by the breathtaking yellow Rain Trees, the Bandstand is a ninety-year-old octagonal gazebo that was once the highest point of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A much-loved wedding photo venue today, the Bandstand is one of the most picturesque and iconic landmarks of the Botanic Gardens.

Bandstand at Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Bandstand (Source)
Bonsai Garden: The ancient Japanese art of Bonsai, or dwarf trees, is on beautiful display at the Bonsai Garden, where 49 specimens of 21 plant types are shaped and pruned to intricate, aesthetic forms. Charmingly placed on stone columns, these miniature trees are a delight to behold!

Botany Centre: The Botany Centre was built specifically around historic trees and Victorian buildings to commemorate the establishment of the Gardens. Now home to the Singapore Herbarium, the Library of Botany and Horticulture, and the Orchid Breeding and Micropropagation Laboratory, the Botany Centre is an important education and information centre for students and amateur botanists alike. This building also houses the Heritage Museum and CDL Gallery in addition to classrooms and a Green Pavilion.

Heritage Museum and CDL Gallery: Located in Holttum Hall, the Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum houses important artefacts from Singapore’s history, including artillery shell casings from the 21-Gun Salute for the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew - the country’s founding Prime Minister, photographs, plant specimens, botanical paintings, rare books, and oral records of the founders of the Gardens. The CDL Green Gallery is a unique open space featuring temporary green exhibits. The eco-friendly zero-energy gallery is a unique innovation in the Gardens’ conservation efforts, with hemp plaster, green roofs, and other energy-efficient features.  

Sun Garden: This gorgeous succulent garden is home to hundreds of cacti, euphorbia, palm, yucca, and agave species. The desert-like arid conditions of Sun Garden are meticulously maintained so that these drought-resistant species can thrive. This is a great place to learn about the unique adaptations of plants and trees in dry regions, and admire some nearby sculptures too. Lucky visitors can witness the bright, vivid flowers of these cacti blooming!   

Swan Lake: Formerly known as Main Lake, this iconic attraction is more than 150 years old, and the oldest ornamental water feature in the country. Home to numerous colourful fish, turtles, and bright aquatic birds, this lake gets its name from the gorgeous bronze sculpture of elegant swans poised to take flight across the calm waters. An island in the middle of the lake is home to Nibong palm trees, adding to the ethereal look.

Swan Lake at Botanical Gardens in Singapore
The Swan Lake (Source)
Vanda Miss Joaquim: This brightly coloured, resilient orchid was named Singapore’s National Flower in 1981, as a symbol of the country’s indomitable spirit. Named after Agnes Joaquim, a prominent Singaporean horticulturist, this beautiful orchid is on display near Tanglin Entrance and at the National Orchid Garden.

Tyersall Gallop Entrance

Ginger Garden: Learn all about this popular Asian spice at the Ginger Garden which boasts of more than 250 species of ginger, a stunning man-made waterfall that gurgles merrily amidst rainbows, a romantic walkway, a pool with Amazon water lilies, and bright flowers. 

The Learning Forest: This tropical wonderland is an interactive, integrated ecosystem that features carefully created exhibits designed to teach visitors about the wonders of tropical habitats. A network of elevated walkways and boardwalks take patrons on a journey through freshwater forest wetlands and lowland rainforests – the Keppel Discovery Wetlands and SPH Walk of Giants are home to freshwater wetlands and some of the world’s tallest trees! The Wild Fruit Trees Arboretum houses jackfruit, mango, durian, lychee, and other tropical fruiting trees, while the Bambusetum boasts of more than 30 bamboo species. The Bark of Trees exhibit allows visitors to touch and feel the diversity of textures found in nature, and the Products of the Forest exhibit is a great way for the entire family to learn about how these natural treasure troves help humans in many ways.

Nassim Entrance

E J H Corner House: Formerly the house of E H J Corner, the Assistant Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, this quaint two-storeyed house is now a casual fining dining restaurant. This colonial house is full of rare artefacts and twentieth-century furnishings that add to the ambience and décor.

Evolution Garden: Take a walk down memory lane and witness evolution in action at Evolution Garden, a walkway designed as a timeline chronicling the magical wonders of evolution. From petrified tree trunks, huge prehistoric ferns, cycads of the Jurassic Age to the advent of the first flowering plants, this Garden tracks the rise of life forms from sea to land – don’t miss the dinosaur footprint and volcanic fossils here!

Evolution Garden at Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Evolution Garden (Source)
Fragrant Garden: Treat the senses at the Fragrant Garden, full of blissfully pleasant floral aromas from native Singaporean flora, laid out in the shape of the Tembusu tree flower. Roses, lilies, and other fragrant flowers vie for attention here every evening, pervading the air with their heady scents and attracting butterflies. Take a walk here at dawn or dusk to fully appreciate the glory of these flowers!  

Healing Garden: With more than 400 varieties of native medicinal plants, the Healing Garden is a natural apothecary that grows herbs, roots, and shrubs that have curative properties. Laid out according to the parts of the body that the plants are used to treat, the serene and tranquil atmosphere is meditative and calm. Embrace the healing powers of nature here!

Palm Valley and Symphony Lake: Reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, this expansive meadow is lined with over 220 species of palm trees, arranged in a herringbone pattern. With all six sub-families of the palm available, this valley is every botanist’s dream. A stage in the middle hosts concerts and performances regularly, making this location an ideal picnic spot to relax and take in the fresh surroundings. 

Symphony Lake at Botanical Gardens in Singapore
The picturesque Symphony Lake (Source)
Rain Forest: Spanning an impressive six hectares, the Rain Forest is a microhabitat that represents more than half the rare species of Singapore. The multi-layer ecosystem right from ferns, herbs, creepers, shrubs, bushes, and tall evergreen trees. Some of the older trees are more than two hundred years old! The rich rainforest is also home to tropical animals, insects, and birds endemic to the region.

Bukit Timah Entrance

Eco-Garden and Eco-Lake: Lining a serene mirror-like lake is the Eco-Garden, a collection of economically significant plants, herbs, and trees. With fruit trees, spice shrubs, medicinal herbs, bamboo shoots, and bougainvillaea flowers, this Garden shows off the produce and ecological diversity of the region, and how it sustains the agro-industry of Singapore.  

Ethnobotany Garden: The newest feature at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Ethnobotany Garden offers a fascinating insight into the traditional Malay culture and its relationship with plants. Divided into four zones – Living, Craft and Construction, Symbolism, and Medicinal Uses, the Garden is home to endemic plants and trees that are used by indigenous communities. A bee emporium featuring stingless bees offers a great understanding of pollination the importance of these buzzers in the ecosystem.

Foliage Garden: This breathtaking attraction’s claim to fame is the stunning array of foliage and leaf variations, spread over a huge area. With a separate terrestrial and aquatic zone, the Foliage Garden is home to a number of ornamental plants, each with vibrant leaves, different textures, and sizes. Visitors are bound to admire the foliage of these exquisite plants so much that they forget about flowers! This garden is the perfect place to learn about the wonderful diversity and adaptations of plants, from insect-eating varieties to multi-hued leaves.

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden: This kid-friendly wonderland is the first garden in Asia to be exclusively dedicated to children. With ‘Life on Earth Depends on Plants’ as the theme, the Garden boasts of novel ways to educate tiny tots about the importance of nature conservation. Play areas, habitat zones, tree houses, tiny streams, gardening areas, and mini-trails allow children to explore, play, and delve into the amazing world of biology! Note that the water play and photosynthesis are temporarily closed, and scheduled to reopen in December 2020.  

Seed Bank: This biological treasure trove is a conservation facility that holds the seeds and germplasm of almost all the plant species of Southeast Asia. An interactive exhibit details the preservation efforts of the expert botanists at work here, while an elegantly laid out Seed Dispersal Garden has sculptures depicting the different mechanisms of seed dispersal – lucky visitors may even get to witness this in action!

Trellis Garden: This delightful garden is full of climbers, creepers, and shrubs. A lush canopy of vines twisting around and climbing the trellises welcomes visitors into this cosy space, full of vividly coloured butterflies, dragonflies, and bees. With vines from all around the world – including the peculiar Pipe Vine from South America – Trellis Garden is a romantic location for an idyllic walk.

Guided Tours

Note that all guided tours are free, and conducted by volunteers. A maximum of 20 people per group is allowed. Prior registration 15 minutes before the tour starts is necessary.

Healing Garden Tour
Step into this medicinal garden and learn about more than 400 plant species used in ancient Southeast Asian herbal remedies. Laid out according to the usage of herbs, this tour is bound to be tranquil, meditative, and healing.
Time: 9:00 AM (English), 10:00 (English and Mandarin)
Date: First Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Nassim Entrance 
Rain Forest Tour
Trek into the dense jungles and discover more than 300 species of plants that once covered the entire island of Singapore. Step into a tropical wonderland and gaze at giant trees in the Rain Forest tour, and get transported into an untouched world!
Time: 9:00 AM (English only), 10:00 AM (English, Mandarin, Japanese)
Date: First Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Nassim Entrance
Learning Forest Tour 
This tour guides visitors through freshwater wetlands, tropical rainforests, and swamps. Spanning two hours, this tour is ideal for patrons wanting to understand the intricacies of different ecosystems – strolls through the elevated boardwalks are an added bonus!
Time: 9:00 AM (English)
Date: Second and fourth Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Learning Forest, Tyersall Entrance
National Orchid Garden Tour
Stroll into a valley of orchids and bromeliads, and learn about their unique colours and adaptations with this tour. Patrons also have exclusive access to the Cool House and the alien-like montane plants grown there! Note that admission charges apply for this tour.
Time: 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM (English), 4:00 PM (Mandarin)
Date: Third Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Nassim Entrance
Nature Sketching in the Gardens 
Let artists come to life at this special tour where visitors are taken around the Singapore Botanic Gardens to sketch some of the most breathtaking flowers and plants on display. Join an experienced artist-guide and indulge in this therapeutic activity. This is a great date idea too! Note that patrons are expected to bring their own sketching materials.
Time: 9:00 AM (English)
Date: Third Saturday of odd months – January, March, May, July, September, November
Registration: Service Desk, Bukit Timah Entrance
Heritage Tour
This tour takes visitors on a journey from the inception of Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1859 to the time it was named Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tracing the history and contributions of the Botanic Gardens to the culture and heritage of the Lion City, the Heritage tour gives visitors a great insight into the goals and importance of the Gardens.
Time: 9:00 AM (English)
Date: Fourth Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Tanglin Entrance
Race Against Time Tour
This short 45-minute tour takes visitors to the research facilities at the Gardens, from the Library of Botany and Horticulture, the Herbarium, and the Orchid Laboratory. Learn about the conservation, hybridization, and archival efforts of the botanists at Singapore Botanic Gardens with this tour.
Time: 10:00 AM (English)
Date: Fourth Saturday of the month
Registration: Service Desk, Tanglin Entrance

How to Reach Singapore Botanic Gardens

Bus: To reach Singapore Botanic Gardens, the nearest bus stop is 11 minutes away (B41119), Buses 961#, 855, 961, 5N, 48, 93, 153, 165, 174, 186 and 564 halts here.

MRT: To reach via MRT, Botanic Gardens MRT is at a walking distance of 11 minutes from Exit B.

Need to Know

  • Visit the Services Desk to avail wheelchair services. The Services Desk also provides information booklets, maps, lockers (at Tanglin Entrance, Nassim Entrance, and Melati Gate), and first aid.
  • Visitors are not allowed to set up tents, camping gear, or furniture anywhere in the premises. 
  • Smoking is not allowed within the Gardens.
  • Open fires and barbecues are prohibited.
  • Fishing and releasing animals within the Gardens are prohibited.
  • Motorized vehicles, cycles, skateboards, roller skates, and scooters are not allowed.
  • Flying kites, drones, and model aircraft within the Gardens is prohibited.
  • Playing loud music and using Frisbees, balls, and gaming equipment are not allowed.

National Orchid Garden

One of the most visited attractions at Singapore Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden features some of the most aesthetically appealing, ridiculously beautiful orchids in all of Southeast Asia. With stunning sculptures, gurgling fountains, and rock arrangements accompanying the orchids, this hand-crafted masterpiece is home to more than 3000 varieties of these exquisite orchids, with more than two-thirds of them being exclusive hybrids. Don’t miss Singapore’s National Flower here!

National Orchid Garden Singapore
The Fountain at National Orchid Garden (Source)

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