Living in a concrete jungle, pockets of nature – whether it’s dedicated parks and nature reserves – are a breath of fresh air that offers respite from the daily grind. You don’t have to go out of your way to enjoy the gifts of Mother Earth; beautiful green spaces have been built amidst the very buildings we work and live in.
For those working around the CBD area, here are eight hidden gardens and parks nearby to check out when you need a breather.
For more hidden gems in Singapore, check out:
Only a 3-minute walk away from Downtown MRT, the Marina One Green Heart Garden is a serene rainforest-like valley that is home to over 386 plant species such as palms, bamboo and shrubs. It also features a stunning fountain that’s reminiscent of the one in Jewel Changi, so Westies won’t have to travel all the way to the East for that.
Image credit: @marina.one.official
Apart from taking a stroll through the futuristic looking garden, those who are still working from home can bring their laptops for a change of scenery as the place is well-equipped with free wifi and ample tables and chairs for you to settle in. If you need a caffeine fix, nearby cafes like The Social Space and Milligram are available to get a cuppa.
Address: 5 Straits View, Singapore 018935
The outlandish architecture of The Mill transports you straight to Europe. Apart from its alluring facade, it has equally gorgeous pockets such as this rooftop garden terrace on the sixth floor. Besides the lush greenery and bird’s eye view, the garden has unique all-black arches that look straight out of Beth Harmon’s mind in The Queen’s Gambit.
Bring a book, or maybe a chess board there for a relaxing afternoon. You can also grab coffee downstairs at Alchemist.
Address: No. 5 Jalan Kilang, Singapore 159405
Telephone: 6383 3333
The Mill website
Workout enthusiasts might be familiar with OUE Downtown Gallery where some of the most popular fitness studios like Absolute Cycle and Haus Athletics are located. However, you may have missed out on the edible rooftop garden that’s on the fifth floor.
Image credit: Edible Garden City
Managed by Edible Garden City, this garden is home to over 50 types of local produce like thai basil, chillies and pandan that’s supplied to the restaurants in the building. For more edible gardens like this around the CBD area, you can also check out the verdant rooftop garden at Wheelock Place or the Open Farm Community for a mini countryside getaway.
OUE Downtown Gallery 2
Address: 6 Shenton Way, OUE Downtown 2, Singapore 068809
Address: 501 Orchard Road, Wheelock Place, Singapore 238880
Open Farm Community
Address: 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12PM-2.30PM, 6PM-9PM | Sat – Sun 11AM-3.30PM, 6PM-9PM Telephone: 6471 0306
Open Farm Community website
To add to the list of Bugis spots to uncover, here’s a tranquil garden sandwiched between Duo Galleria and Parkview Square. It’s directly connected to the underground walkway of Bugis MRT, which makes it easily accessible.
Image credit: @officialduosg
Apart from Atlas Bar that’s known for its high ceilings and The Great Gatsby vibes, be sure to check out the relatively new Duo Galleria, an integrated space that houses offices, residences, shops and restaurants. From your morning cup of joe, mid-day meals to after hour poison, this place has got you covered with options like Joe & Dough, Man Man and So France.
Address: 7 Fraser Street, Duo Galleria, Singapore 189356
Built around a reservoir on top of a hill, Pearl’s Hill City Park is a romantic hideout just 5 minutes away from Outram Park MRT. Surrounded by Tembusu trees, ponds and lotus plants, the woody, quiet ambience of this park makes it a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
It’s equally stunning at night – get there around 7PM to catch the sunset against the backdrop of skyscrapers lit with night lights.
Address: Pearl’s Hill Road, Singapore 169879
Opening hours: 7AM-7PM, Daily
Most of us have been to National Gallery Singapore several times for their art exhibitions like when Yayoi Kusama’s works graced our shores and the alight projections during the annual Light to Night Festival. But the Ng Teng Fong roof garden perched atop the gallery remains relatively unknown.
As part of the gallery, the rooftop garden is a living installation that features it’s very own changing exhibits by local and regional artists. It also has a plenty of aesthetic photo spots to shoot your #ootds or even your wedding photos.
Address: 1 St Andrew’s Road, National Gallery City Hall Wing, Level 5, Singapore 178957
Opening hours: 10AM-7PM, Daily
National Gallery Singapore website
Malls have been popping up in Paya Lebar one after another, dotting it with new food haunts and retail shops that makes the ‘hood worth a visit. Just two minutes away from the Paya Lebar MRT station is PLQ Parkside, where you’ll find sprawls of green with a playground sandwiched between office and residence buildings.
There’s a stretch of watering holes that includes Jimmy Monkey, an outdoor cafe with climbing nets and swings. But a must-visit is the unique 7-Eleven store with an outdoor seating area to snack at like they do in K-dramas. There’s even a self-serve Heineken beer bar to get booze for $7.90/cup.
Address: 2 Paya Lebar Road, #01-08 PLQ Parkside, Singapore 409053
Opening hours: 9AM-11PM, Daily
In recent years, several new features have been added to Botanic Gardens, such as the Gallop extension and Learning Forest – so don’t be surprised if you feel like you don’t recognise it the next time you visit. One new spot that caught our attention is the Ginger Garden, where you’ll find caves and waterfalls reminiscent of a Bali getaway.
Image credit: @singaporebotanicgardens
As its name suggests, this 1-hectare large garden has over 250 species of ginger – not just the roots, but also flowering ones with vibrant colours. To get there, enter via the Tyersall gate that’s near Tanglin Road.
Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Opening hours: 5AM-12AM, Daily
Image credit: @panpacificsingapore
If you’re looking for a fancy place to dine at for a special occassion or simply to unwind after a long day at work, check out Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore. It not only offers authentic Japanese fare like fresh sashimi and smokey teppanyaki, it also has a beautiful Japanese Garden Pavilion, complete with water installations and a view of the Singapore flyer.
Apart from providing a zen ambience, their food has received rave reviews as their ingredients are sourced fresh from Japan. If you’re feeling like giving yourself a treat, go for their signature offering, the Kaiseki Omakase Set (from $170++) for a seasonal 9-course meal.
Address: 7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific, Level 4, Singapore 039595
Opening hours: 11.30AM-2.30PM & 6PM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6826 8240
Keyaki restaurant website
Life in Singapore may include lots of concrete buildings and bustling traffic, so it always comes as a pleasant surprise to chance upon tranquil green spaces that gives our minds a break. Thankfully, we’re blessed with abundant pockets of nature around that sprinkle the beauty of nature amidst the cityscapes.
For more nature spots in Singapore, check out:
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