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Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring Fort Canning Park

Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park is not your usual Singapore green space. Apart from its lush gardens, the iconic hilltop site witnessed some of the country’s historical and cultural milestones—some dating back to the medieval era!

Visiting the park means you can enjoy a walk in nature and learn something about the nation’s rich history. Those who are coming here for the ‘gram will not regret it, too, as there are tons of spots worth a snap or two.

If you need help planning your exploration of the park, check out this guide!

Best Time to Go

It’s best to visit Fort Canning Park in March and April when the flowers are in full bloom and the days are driest. 

If the said months aren’t possible, anytime between January and May is also viable. 

Know that Singapore’s climate is constantly hot and humid. Pick mornings and early evenings to explore Fort Canning Park so you won’t have to deal with uncomfortable temperatures.

Occasional showers might also occur, so bring an umbrella with you. 

If you want to avoid the crowd, come during the latter part of the year, between September and November. The temperature and humidity during these months will drop a bit.

Look out for thunderstorms during this period, though.

Things to Know

Location: Central Area, Singapore (bounded by Hill Street, Canning Rise, Clemenceau Avenue, and River Valley Road)

Contact Details: +65 1800 471 7300

Park Opening Hours: 24 hours daily

Park Lighting Hours: 7:00 PM – 7:00 AM

Park Size: 18 hectares

Elevation: 48 meters

Number of Entrances: 11 (5 main)

Number of Gardens: 9

Facilities: Carpark, toilets, a vending machine for drinks, F&B outlets, taxi drop-off points, escalators

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible

Nearby MRT Stations: Fort Canning Station, Dhoby Gaut Station, Clarke Quay Station

What is unique about Fort Canning Park?

Fort Canning Park is unique, as it’s not only your usual Singapore garden but also a site where some of the country’s important historical events took place.

Way back the medieval times, the grounds have seen Malay rule. It then later became a British headquarters in World War II. 

Fast forward 2000s, it was the performance venue for famous musical acts such as David Guetta and Scorpions.  

Is Fort Canning Park free?

Entry to Fort Canning Park is absolutely free!

How to Get to Fort Canning Park

Trains: Fort Canning Park is close to three MRT stations. 

  • If you’re taking the Downtown Line (DTL – Blue), alight at Fort Canning Station, then Take Exit B and turn left to Jubilee Park.
  • Commuters coming from the North East Line (NEL – Purple) should alight at Clarke Quay Station. Come out through Exit E and walk along Coleman Bridge to the left, then take the overhead bridge along River Valley Road. 
  • Those taking the subway through the Circle Line (CCL – Yellow) and North-South Line (NSL – Red) can get off at Dhoby Gaut Station. Come out from Exit B then cross Penang Road and turn left. You should see a tunnel leading to the park.   

Buses: Buses 105, 143, 14E, 162, 61, and 640 all take routes that pass near Fort Canning Park.

Taxis: Passengers can get off at Fort Canning MRT drop-off point via Exit B or at Dhobby Gaut MRT drop-off point via Exit G.


  • Private cars coming from Clarke Quay can take Stamford Road and enter the park’s Farquhar Garden.
  • If you’re coming from Orchard Road, drive southeast until you reach Bras Basah Road, then turn right at Bencoolen Street.
  • Visitors coming from the airport can drive along the ECP, then exit at Rochor Road and turn to Bencoolen Street.

What to Do in Fort Canning Park

Hunt for all the historical landmarks in the park 

One way to ensure you would explore most of Fort Canning Park is to search for historical landmarks dotting the site. 

Like us, you can do things in order and start by taking pictures near the Fort Wall (which is the first historical landmark if you enter from Jubilee Park), then hunt for succeeding landmarks indicated in this handy map.

We loved all of the spots, but we think people shouldn’t miss the Napier Monument for its picture-perfect potential.

Explore Fort Canning Park’s nine gardens

The good thing about Fort Canning Park is that each of the gardens here is unique, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get bored (at least our team didn’t).

The Artisan’s Garden, for instance, displays archeological bits. 

The Spice Garden, meanwhile, has a broad selection of herbs. The smells and textures were a treat to our senses!

Apart from the nine historical gardens, the ASEAN Sculpture Garden is also worth checking out. We loved the peace and tranquility that came with seeing works of art surrounded by nature.

Check out this table to get a glimpse of what to expect in each area:

GardenLocationWhat to See
Pancur LaranganNear Fort Canning Station entrance– Mural wall by Eng Siak Loy- Ancient bath
Artisan’s GardenNear Fort Canning Green– Retained archaeological dig sites- Archaeology-related workshops
Sang Nila Utama GardenNear Lewin Terrace and Raffles Garden– Javanese split gates- Reflective pool- Ornamental plants and fruit trees
Jubilee ParkNear Fort Canning Station entrance– Playground- Outdoor art space
Raffles GardenNear Hill Street entranceDiverse plant species discovered by Sir Stamford Raffles
First Botanic GardenCanning Rise Road, Bras Basah Road, Hill Street– Nutmeg and clove – Latex and resin- Timber- Ornamental trees- Forest fruits- Coastal riverine
Farquhar GardenNear Stamford Road entranceLiving plant paintings
Spice GardenNear Fort Canning Green and Artisan’s Garden– Spice trees and herbs- Interactive stations- Spice of the Month display
Armenian Street ParkArmenian Street– Peranakan plant collection- Peranakan planter boxes

Catch a show at Fort Canning Green

Location: Fort Canning Green (near Farquhar Garden entrance and Fort Canning Centre)

Fees: Varies

We believe you’d find it cool to witness your favorite musical act perform your favorite songs live while you’re surrounded by nature. Well, we certainly felt that way at Fort Canning Green.

We were stoked to experience the feeling again when the in-person shows for Rockestra resumed in 2022. Not to mention the event was free!

The said show and other notable plays such as Shakespeare in the Park and Ballet Under the Stars are regularly held here!

Do check the National Parks page for schedules of shows near your date of visit to the park. Who knows, your favorite artist might be performing! 

Location: Fort Canning Centre

Opening hours: Daily: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM (closed every last Monday of the month)

Fees: Free

Singapore galleries are always a joy to visit, and this one in Fort Canning Park is no exception.

We enjoyed most the two-level gallery’s interactive displays, as they were an interesting way to feed visitors information without overloading them.

We also found it cool how well the gallery preserved artifacts recovered from the site. The porcelain compass, for instance, was an awe-inspiring archaeological find! 

Visitors who want to appreciate Fort Canning’s spaces and landmarks should check out this gallery first before exploring the rest of the park.

Test your photography skills at Fort Canning Tree Tunnel

Photo by @noon_poranee 

Location: Near Dhoby Ghaut MRT entrance

Fees: Free

The Fort Canning Tree Tunnel’s best spot is, inarguably, at the bottom of the spiral staircase where one can see a part of the massive rain tree hovering at the tunnel’s opening. 

The above greenery and the surrounding cold stone walls created a striking contrast that we, amateur photographers, seriously loved.

Visitors who want to capture a different image may also find the tall walls at the side of the tunnel a promising subject. The hanging leaves and the view overhead were certainly a thrill to capture! 

Many come here in droves during weekend mornings and late afternoons, though. We recommend picking non-holiday weekdays so you can avoid the crowd (and the long queue). 

Conquer Fort Canning Park’s nature trails

The best part of any Singapore park visit, at least for us, is the trail walking. Nothing beats burning some calories while being surrounded by nature, right?

That said, walking around the park can go two ways. You can be an outlier and explore Fort Canning Park on your own terms, or you can check out these convenient trail maps that The National Parks Board provided for visitors:

Trail NameWhat to SeeDistanceDuration
Ancient History Trail– Parit Singapura- Possible site of the Royal Palace- Archaeological dig and exhibition area- Spice Garden2 kilometers45 minutes
Colonial History Trail– Raffles House- Fort Gate- Sally Port2 kilometers45 minutes
Spice Garden Trail– Gothic Gate- Herbs and spices1 kilometer30 minutes
Trees of the Fort TrailFort Canning Park’s 25 featured trees2 kilometers45 minutes

Know that most of the park is without shade (if you don’t count the trees), so it’s best to conquer these trails early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the outdoor heat is tolerable.

Where to Eat in Fort Canning Park

Tiong Bahru Bakery Foothills

Address: 70 River Valley Rd, #01-05, Singapore

Phone: +65 6877-4865

Pricing: $$


We’ve always loved Tiong Bahru Bakery’s croissants, so imagine our joy when they put up an outlet at Fort Canning Park! The branch here, to our delight, was at par with the other branches in food quality.

It’s best to pair the bakery’s buttery, flaky artisan bread with this its smooth, aromatic cappuccino, then pick an al fresco seat to enjoy the nature views.

We also recommend the sensational kouign amann or the ultra-filling pulled pork bun.

Fun fact: the bakery’s pool-inspired design elements are a homage to the site being a swimming complex before. We don’t want you confusing the food spot for a seafood restaurant! 

Le Jardin

Address: 5 Cox Terrace, Level 2, Fort Canning Arts Centre, Singapore 179620

Phone: +65 8870-9977

Pricing: $$


We’ve been to Fort Canning Park several times before, and Le Jardin was a constant when we wanted to eat a hearty meal while inside the site. 

Many people can enjoy dining here thanks to the restaurant’s extensive European fare. As for me, my go-to brunch is their delightful Le Jardin salad with chicken add-ons and the brulee French toast. 

For dinner, we recommend the Chilean seabass or the Wanderer Ms4 Wagyu striploin. They might be a bit pricey but are definitely worth it.  

App to Download For Your Visit

BalikSG AR

Android | iOS

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