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10 Fun Ways to Explore Singapore Botanic Gardens

10 Fun Ways to Explore Singapore Botanic Gardens 

True to its reputation as the Garden City, Singapore is teeming with landscaped flora that you ought not to miss. 

One such sustainable green development is the Singapore Botanic Gardens. We believe this lush patch of land is a must-visit, lest you render your Singapore trip incomplete! 

But exploring this famous green lung requires a plan. Don’t worry, though, as we’re here to help you make the most of your day out in the gardens with this guide!

What is so special about Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Singapore Botanic Gardens is special for its long history as a recreational garden and botanical research center since its establishment in 1859. 

Its preserved architecture, landscape features, and function also earned it a spot as a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the first one from Singapore to receive the title.

Singapore Botanic Gardens also serves as a green lung in the middle of the bustling city, living up to the country’s sustainable development goals. 

Today, the purpose of the site is not merely for breeding and preserving plants but also for providing citizens with a green, accessible, and free-for-all recreational space.

But while you can enter it freely, it’s best to visit the gardens with a plan. Here are ways to explore the sprawling landscape and some tips to ensure you make the most out of your trip! 

1. Revel in the beauty of Swan Lake

Location: Tanglin Entrance

Fees: Free


  • White mute swans
  • Swan Lake gazebo
  • Flight of Swans sculpture

Swan Lake is home to a pair of gorgeous white Mute Swans that came all the way from Amsterdam. You can catch them gliding as you sit in the vintage gazebo overlooking the water feature.

We loved the serenity of the place, as it made for quiet contemplations and conversations. 

If you’re going for a nerdy tone, though, feel free to share with your companion that the lake is man-made and had been on the site since 1866 (or over 150 years ago)!

Pro tips:
Swan Lake is a perfect resting spot after a morning jog. Most joggers will start at the Gelam Gate, then past the Healing Garden, Evolution Garden, Symphony Lake, and Orchid Plaza, before taking Dell Lane where the lake is waiting on the right side of the path.
We suggest taking an early morning jog so you’d have a higher chance of securing a spot in the gazebo!

2. Catch a free concert at the Symphony Lake

Location: Nassim Entrance

Fees: Free


  • Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage
  • Palm Valley (open green area for sitting and picnicking)

Symphony Lake’s stage built on an islet on the water will never stop being iconic, not to mention that the stage design mimics the sloping land facing it. 

The stage also pretty much resembles a mushroom or a lily surrounded by water plants, while the distant lush tropical trees serve as a breathtaking backdrop. 

The best thing is that you can catch free-to-watch performances here as you lie on the green or munch on your snacks. We did it a few months ago, and it was a total blast!

The garden releases a month’s worth of show schedules, so you’ll have enough time to mark your calendars early. 

Pro tip: Most of Symphony Lake’s concerts start in the evening, usually around 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Arrive early so you can secure a nice spot. Facing the center of the stage is ideal!

3. Connect with nature through play at the COMO Adventure Grove

Location: Gallop Extension

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily


  • Banyan tree tower
  • Tube slides

Both kids and kids-at-heart are bound to enjoy the natural aesthetic of COMO Adventure Grove.

The point of the space is to connect people to nature through play, and we think the design was successful. Climbing or sliding on the “branches” here felt like the old times, back when children play among the trees.

We also recommend trying out the gigantic jackfruit replica. All ages can scale this installation!

The presence of sand beds everywhere is a welcome addition for us, as it reinforced safety in case of missteps.

Pro tips:
Unfortunately, pets are not allowed inside the playground, so you’ll have to leave your furry friend at home if you’re visiting.
Since you’re already in the Gallop Extension, don’t miss checking out the Forest Discovery Centre and Botanical Art Gallery, housed in gorgeous colonial-era buildings!

4. Ogle at flowers at the National Orchid Garden

Post by: @moveyourmadzik 

Location: Tyersall Entrance


  • Adults: Local – $5, Standard – $15 
  • Seniors and students: Local – $1, Standard – $3
  • Child below 12 years old: Free

Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM daily


  • Sembcorp Cool House
  • Hoon Siang Mist House
  • VIP Orchid Garden
  • Vanda Miss Joaquim

National Orchid Garden is, in one word, enchanting. 

Beautiful landscaping, easy-to-understand zoning, and the presence of flora in every corner are akin to Singapore’s qualities as a city, only that this garden is much smaller at 3 hectares.

And don’t worry, as you won’t be seeing an endless row of orchids as you explore the site. You’ll also see fountains, arches, and houses that you’d love to check out for much-needed rest.

We recommend staying a while at the Sembcorp Cool House if you want to learn more about orchids from different regions. Their curation was impressive and truly educational.

Plus, the play of shadows and lights under the shaded space made for Instagram-worthy snaps!

Pro tips:
You can play a little game with your companions at the VIP Orchid Garden: count how many famous people you can recognize and discuss whether the orchid named after them fits them or not!
If you’re bringing a car, park near the Tyersall Entrance for convenience. Otherwise, parking space is available at Nassim Entrance and Tanglin Entrance.

5. Walk among the forest canopy at the SPH Walk of Giants

Post by: @sgbabywalks

Location: Tyersall Entrance

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily


  • 8-meter elevated boardwalk
  • Canopy webs

It’s not every day that little humans can walk over towering trees. Well, unless you visit the SPH Walk of Giants daily.

The area allowed us to get up close and personal with lowland rainforest giants, palms, and even epiphytes (or air plants) thanks to its 8-meter elevation.

Meanwhile, the canopy webs breaking the boardwalk made for fine seats and an excellent vantage point.

Pro tips:
You can experience the SPH Walk of Giants with a guided tour! The attraction belongs to the Learning Forest area, with tours being held every second Saturday of the month at 9:00 AM.
The Gardens by the Bay offers a similar experience of walking along the canopy layer of trees, albeit a lot higher!

6. Conquer the 10-hectare Learning Forest

Post by: @chekmee

Location: Tyersall-Gallop Core

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 5:00 AM – 12 AM daily


  • Keppel Discovery Wetlands
  • SPH Walk of Giants
  • Bambusetum

Thanks to the existence of the Learning Forest, you don’t need to camp at a faraway place to experience forest bathing. 

Save for a network of boardwalks and signboards, the 10-hectare site is more a forest habitat than a tourist attraction. 

It’s home to birds, amphibians, reptiles, and a few mammals, whose distinct chirps and whoops we heard as we went deeper into the forest. (Want to see more animals? Check out our Singapore Zoo guide!)

The site is also home to a breathtaking mass of wetlands. Nothing’s quite as exciting as walking above freshwater habitats and being surprised by the abundant flora and fauna around!

For a more picturesque trip, don’t miss the Bambusetum and its over 30 species of tropical bamboo. The neat row of the plants and the delicate hovering of their leaves over the path walk was a sight to behold! 

Pro tip: If you’re coming from the Gallop Extension, take the HPL Canopy Link that connects the area to the Learning Forest for a more immersive experience.

7. Indulge your children in the kids-only Jacob Ballas Garden

Post by: @magical_travel_journal

Location: Bukit Timah Entrance

Fees: Free

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM


  • Water Play
  • Sensory Garden
  • Tree House
  • Flying Fox

A playdate in a nature-themed park for free is the stuff of dreams, and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is that one place that readily grants it to your kids. 

Entry to the garden is limited—only children 14 years and below have legitimate access. We adults only made it in because we have an eligible kid in tow each.

And thank goodness for the children, as the garden was a fun place! 

The Mystree sculpture at the entrance alone elicited awe-inspired noises in us and wide-eyed wonder in the children. 

We also had fun exploring interactive touchscreens (for education and way-finding), letting the kids burn their energy at the Treehouse playground, and doing a mini photoshoot at the man-made waterfall.

Pro tips:
The garden is a big place with plenty of things to do, so don’t forget to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Also, bring your water bottles. 
Be ready to allocate about 3 to 4 hours here, especially if your kids are adventure-seekers.
Pack a change of clothes in case you and your kids get drenched while playing in the Water Park.

8. Educate yourself on humanity’s relationship with plants at the Ethnobotany Garden

Post by: @wen.x.y

Location: Bukit Timah Entrance

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM daily


  • Four zones: Living Zone, Medicinal Zone, Craft Zone, and Symbolism Zone
  • Centre for Ethnobotany

Exploring the Ethnobotany Garden is a sensory-rich way to learn more about how plants have shaped the lives of past civilizations. 

The garden, which was divided into four zones, allowed us to make sense of the information in chunks. 

We particularly enjoyed the Medicinal Zone and wondered if we can plant our own White Bat Lily to treat our skin rashes.

Complementing the outdoor attraction is the Centre for Ethnobotany with its interactive displays and in-depth descriptions of plants found in the garden.

Pro tip: The Centre for Ethnobotany is closed every last Wednesday of the month. Plan your trip to the gardens accordingly if you wish to see both the outdoor and indoor ethnobotany sites!

9. Ascend the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge

Post by: @singaporebotanicgardens

Location: Gallop Entrance

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily


  • Short hike
  • Rare trees

A 350-meter walk up the Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge was a refreshing change of phase, not to mention that we had reached the highest point of Singapore Botanic Gardens at the end of the hike.

Before reaching the 40-meter elevation point, we observed the astounding way trees survived in the not-so-ideal soil conditions. A nerdy member of the group also pointed at critically endangered trees (as we gawked in awe).

Pro tips:
While the path is mostly shaded, we still recommend going for the hike before noon or close to the evening to avoid the high heat and humidity.
Pets are not allowed here!

10. Immerse yourself in the Rainforest Trail

Location: Nassim Entrance

Fees: Free

Opening hours: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily


  • 600-meter trail
  • Over 50-year-old trees

If you want to experience a fraction of Singapore Botanic Gardens’ enduring heritage, a walk down the Rainforest Trail is a must-do. 

This section of the gardens has been around since 1859, meaning we were walking among greenery that is over 160 years old! Knowing that fact, we couldn’t help but walk in utter silence bordering reverence.

Of course, we had a field day photographing the old-age trees, spotting rattans, forest giants, and white gutta trees along the way. A few common tree frogs showed up and posed for us, too!

Pro tip: Park near the Visitor Centre at the Nassim Gate for easy access to the Rainforest. You will need to walk to the Palm Court to get information about the trail.

Is entry to Singapore Botanic Gardens free?

Entry to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is free of charge to locals and tourists.

Most of the attractions such as Swan Lake, Symphony Lake, COMO Adventure Grove, and SPH Walk of Giants are free to enter, too. 

The exception is the National Orchid Garden. The gated area has an entrance fee ranging from $1 to $15. Your ticket cost will depend on your age and whether you’re a local or a tourist.

Kids under 12 years old are exempt from the entrance fee. 

What is the best time to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens?

The best time to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens is in March and April when flowers are in full bloom. These months are also the driest.

That said, the mid-day heat and humidity can be overwhelming, so we recommend visiting the gardens in the morning or close to the evening.

How to get to Singapore Botanic Gardens

Visitors going to the Singapore Botanic Gardens can reach it by bus, train, taxi, and car. 

Note that you can choose among four entrances to access the 84-hectare site.

Taxis have pick-up and drop-off points near each entrance, while private car owners can choose from various car slots near each entry point and select attractions.

See this page for a complete list of parking locations. Note that parking charges apply.

  • To Tanglin Entrance

You have three bus transits to choose from for access to the Tanglin Entrance. Any of these buses will take you there:

  • SBS Transit buses: 7, 105, 123, 174, 174E
  • SMRT: 75, 77, NR8
  • Tower Transit: 106

As for visitors riding the train, choose one of the two options:

  • Take the North-South Line and alight at Orchard Road. The gardens are reachable by bus in five minutes from there.
  • Take the Thomson East Coast Line and alight at Napier Station. This station is opposite the Tanglin Entrance.
  • To Tyersall-Gallop Entrance

This entrance is not directly accessible via public transport. The nearest stop is at Holland Road, then a 10-minute walk to reach the entry point.

Meanwhile, taxis can drop you off near the Learning Forest and the Gallop Extension.

Private cars can park at open-air car parks at Tyersall Gate and Gallop Gate.

  • To Nassim Entrance

You can’t find bus stops and nearby MRT stations at this entrance, but a drop-off point is available at the Visitor Centre.

If you’re bringing a car, basement and open-air car parks are available at the Nassim Gate.

  • To Bukit Timah Entrance

Bus riders can take any of the following transits:

  • SBS Transit: 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170
  • SMRT: 67

For visitors using the MRT, take either the Circle Line or the Downtown Line, then alight at the Botanic Gardens MRT station.

Meanwhile, taxi pick-up and drop-off points are available at Downtown Line and Cluny Road. 

Private car owners can park at Cluny Park Road and Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden.

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