GBTB’s New Tulip Display Is Türkiye-Themed With Hot Air Balloons To Feel Like You’re In Cappadocia

Tulipmania 2023 at Gardens by the Bay

We’ve all seen pretty pictures of Istanbul and Cappadocia. The lucky among us have even savoured an authentic serving of Turkish Delight, or lokum. Türkiye, or Turkey, is a country that would leave many of us spellbound, even as we sit and admire its media and delicacies from 8,000-odd kilometres away. 

So, get a little closer at Tulipmania: Origins of the Tulip, a Türkiye-inspired exhibition happening at Gardens by the Bay’s Flower Dome from now till 21st May 2023. There’ll be recreations of ancient ruins alongside a display of tulips of all colours of the rainbow.

Needless to say, you can also expect installations with Türkiye’s iconic hot air balloons and fairy chimney-like caves. 

Turkish landmarks surrounded by blooming tulips

We’ve seen Gardens by the Bay play host to a wide variety of themes, but 2023’s edition of Tulipmania is the first time the venue is rocking a Turkish one. Surrounded by 30 varieties of tulips are landmarks and art pieces for visitors to marvel at – all within a cooled dome, with temperatures regulated between 23°C to 25°C. Just FYI, for those who wish to escape the heat.

Crown Tulips, with a distinct “folded” tip.

Keep your eyes peeled for unique species of tulips here, including crown tulips and lily-flowered ones that are both appearing at Tulipmania for the first time. These are displayed amongst pink and purple hyacinths and fritillaria, native flowers of Türkiye – we recommend taking a whiff, these flowers smell great too!

You’ll first come across a 6m-tall hot air balloon display at the entrance. No doubt, this is going to be a hotspot, but we’ve noticed visitors forming a line to snap their shots, so you should have less trouble getting the perfect IG photo without a gazillion photobombers.

Don’t rush off to the Flower Fields right after – on the other side of the hot air balloon display lies a dining mockup with glistening copperware and gorgeous woven pillows. 

Tea set made of copper.

Find most of the themed decor at the Flower Field.

For those who’ve been to past events such as the annual Sakura events or Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers exhibition, you’ll know the star of the show often lies in the dome’s Flower Field. This April and May, frolic among tulips both classic and rare as you convince your senses you’re in the faraway land of the Turks. 

Looking at a miniature recreation of Safranbolu’s houses aids the illusion. Behind rows of flowers lies a showcase of Ottoman-style stone houses, whose origin dates back thousands of years. The whole display comes topped with floating hot air balloons a la the ones in Cappadocia. Need we say it? This is where to get your money shot. 

The setup is semi-realistic as well – peer through the windows to take a peek into an 18th-century-style room with beautiful kilim rugs and mosaic lamps. Talk about some legit BTO home inspo.

The tunnel’s entrances are to both the right and left sides of the Safranbolu’s houses.

Visitors can also enter the living room mockup via a short cavern-like tunnel that brings to mind the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. 

Room mockup inside the tunnel.

Keep wandering around and exploring the exhibition cubes dotted about – you’ll find more kilim-filled home displays that’ll be perfect for your wanderlust-style OOTD, such as this mockup of a Turkish home you can enter. 

Look out the tinted windows to spot tulips right outside.

In another cube, find displays of ebru art, a unique style that involves painting on water. Also look out at beautiful hand-woven textiles, called kilims, on display.

One of the most iconic libraries from the Roman empire, the Library of Celsus was built to house 12,000 scrolls and was also the tomb of Roman Senator, Celsus. A fun fact: it also used to be within Greek territory. 

Good news for all of us who don’t have enough ALs to fly over to touch the real deal, there’s a model of it here. It ain’t real per se, but it may be real enough to bluff your IG friends that you’re on vacation. 

The same goes for the Galata Tower, a watchtower-turned-landmark in Istanbul with more Google Reviews than GBTB itself. That’s when you know it’s a must-visit when you reach the country. In the meantime, some selfies with a replica should suffice. 

Don’t leave without visiting the Mediterranean Garden with Iznik art pieces that have been shipped from halfway across the world. These precious products are on loan from the Turkish Embassy, no less, so be sure to pop over to admire the ceramics, copperware, kilim rugs, and jewellery.

Craft workshops & free cultural performances

Apart from swiping up on your phone camera and clicking away, there are also several hands-on activities to sign up for. Tulip-themed craft workshops will be available in both April and May where you can learn to craft tulip earrings ($15) and create domed tulip light ornaments ($15)

You also don’t need to be the artsy-fartsy sort to appreciate the immersive Dance of Tulips on Water concert by Kanun musician Ahmet Baran, who plays a traditional Turkish string instrument, and ebru artist Garip Ay. Their performances are only happening on 21st and 22nd April 2023, and don’t come with an additional fee.

And, if this whole experience has ignited your desire to travel, we have better news. Those who post their best creative shots on Instagram with tulips in frame also stand a chance to win a pair of return tickets to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines.

All you need to do is tag @gardensbythebay and insert these hashtags into your post before the event ends on 21st May 2023: #gardensbythebay #TulipmaniaGBB #TurkishAirlines.

Surround yourself with blooms at Tulipmania: Origins of the Tulip

While it’s a summer-year-round stitch on our little red dot, we can celebrate the season of spring nonetheless at Gardens by the Bay’s flower dome that’s now filled with plenty of tulips.

Take a break from the digital screens and treat your eyes to some of nature’s colourful creations, infused with a dose of Türkiye. We all know you need that break and the upcoming public holidays are prime time for a visit!

Find out more about Tulipmania: Origins of the Tulip

Admission (Singaporeans and PR): $12 for adults, $8 for children and seniors
Admission (Standard): $20 for adults, $12 for children and seniors

Date: Until 21st May 2023
Time: 9am-9pm, Daily
Venue: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953

For more events and new things to do in Singapore:

Photography by Emilyn Cheng.
This article was originally published on 8th October 2021. Last updated on 21st April 2023.

Event Information
Tulipmania: Origins of the Tulip
Flower Dome,
Gardens by the Bay,
18 Marina Gardens Drive,
Singapore 018953
21 Apr - 21 May 2023
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Kezia Tan

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