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Singapore Botanic Gardens guide

Opened in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has been around since the era of our grandparents – heck, even our great-grandparents – rendering it one of those attractions that seem to have been around forever. 

But if you think you’ve got the place all figured out, a visit today might change your mind as the park has been expanded several times in recent years. Explore SG’s largest garden anew with this guide which includes a fun children’s playground and lesser-known attractions like a Japan-inspired bamboo grove:

1. Tropical Montane Orchidetum – Cooling glasshouse garden

Tropical Montane Orchidetum - Tan Hoon Siang Mist House

Probably one of the most photogenic spots in Singapore, period, the Tropical Montane Orchidetum is one place visitors shouldn’t skip when visiting the Botanic Gardens. You’ll find this whimsical glasshouse nestled within the National Orchid Garden, with over 1,000 species of orchids to learn about.

Tropical Montane Orchidetum - Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection
The garden’s Sembcorp Cool House has 2-storeys with over 100 types of ferns and flowers from various regions in the world like Brazil and Mexico.

An interesting feature of the place is also that it’s built to mimic the climates you’d find in high-elevation regions, with temps dipping to 16-24 degrees here. Sweater weather, anyone?

Within the space is also the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, where you’ll find rarer orchid hybrids.

Tropical Montane Orchidetum - Secret Ravine
Take a walk along the Secret Ravine and Lowland Habital Trail if you’d like to clock in a few extra steps.

Price (National Orchid Garden): 

  • Adults: $5 (Local) | $15 (Standard)
  • Students: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)
  • Seniors: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)

Free for children under 12

Opening hours: 8.30am-7pm, Daily (Last entry at 6 pm)

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

2. COMO Adventure Grove – Playground with giant fruit sculptures

Good news for all parents out there, here’s a spot to bring your little ones. COMO Adventure Grove is one of the newer additions to the park included during the opening of the Gallop Extension in 2021.

Throw aside the stereotypical idea of a playground as this one here looks more like an art installation rather than the colourful slides and swings we’re familiar with. With artificial branches and hanging swings and slides that blend right into the au-natural aesthetic, this is a #throwback to the kampung days when children used to monkey around amongst the trees.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Como Adventure Grove Playgarden
Image credit:
@playpointasia via Instagram

Regular-sized objects may look large to kids but things are elevated with larger-than-life installations. There are huge saga seeds to bounce on and even a giant cempedak that kids can clamber up – y’know, for a fruitful day out.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

3. Forest Discovery Centre – Educational gallery in a colonial bungalow

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Forest Discovery Centre
Image credit: @lawchang68 via Instagram

Another interesting spot to visit in the park is the Forest Discovery Centre. It’s housed within the Gallop House No.5, which is actually the oldest-surviving bungalow from the colonial era in Singapore. Built in 1898, the building has been preserved and turned into a stunning educational centre.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Forest Discovery Centre
Image credit: NParks

For those who threw all their Geog knowledge out of the window the moment they graduated, this is a good place to start your day when you visit the park. Here, you’ll be able to fall in tune with the identification of forest wildlife, learn more about native trees and refresh your knowledge of mangrove and tropical forests.

Opening hours (Forest Discovery Centre): 9am-6pm, Daily
Note: Closed every last Monday of the month

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Botanical Art Gallery
Botanical Art Gallery
Image credit: @davidchein via Instagram

There’s also the Botanical Art Gallery nearby, located with the 1900’s Gallop House No.7. Other than escaping the heat with the cool A/C here, you’ll find more than 2,000 botanical paintings alongside an activity room filled with drawing materials you’re free to use.

Opening hours (Botanical Art Gallery): 9am-6pm, Daily (Last entry at 5.30pm)
Note: Closed every last Thursday of the month

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

4.  Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge – 350m trail to the top

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge
Image credit: NParks

We don’t have any mountains or many hills, so discovering a new walking trail to explore on our island is always good news. Immerse yourself in nature at Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge with rocky steps that lead you past endangered Spike Oak and Braided Chestnut trees.

A mini MacRitchie Reservoir experience without the sweat, this short 350m route will take you to a 40m-high elevation – the highest point in the whole of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

You may consider booking a Singapore Garden City Guided Tour.

Opening hours: 7AM-7PM, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

4. Ginger Garden – Bali-like waterfalls

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Ginger Garden

It’s easy to fall for waterfalls, especially when they’re as picturesque as the ones at the Ginger Garden. Find 2 waterfalls here – one with a cave you can enter to experience the waterfall from behind and snap a photo worthy of one of those IG travel accounts.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Ginger Garden
Are we in Bali?

Waterfalls aside, there are gingers plants here – lots of them. The 1-hectare garden is home to more than 250 species of the spicy medicinal root, sorted according to their region of origin. While you can’t see the ginger root itself, you’ll be able to spot the plant by its vibrant green leaves and flowers.

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

6. Bambusetum – “Japanese” bamboo forest with > 30 species 


Bamboo-zle your friends into thinking you’re in Japan’s iconic Arashiyama Forest at Bambusetum, featuring a dreamy lane of more than 30 species of bamboo. These grow up to 30m in height, creating that picture-perfect frame – no high-level photography needed.

Drag your photographer friends here during golden hour for that soft glowy effect in your shots, or bring your furry pupper here for a scenic walk – dogs are more than welcome in this park!

Opening hours: 5am-12am, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

7. SPH Walk of the Giants – Canopy nets 8m above ground

Singapore botanic gardens guide - SPH Walk of the Giants

Henderson Waves and MacRitchie’s Treetop Walk may get all the glory but little do most know that there’s an equivalent in the Singapore Botanic Gardens: the SPH Walk of the Giants. 260m-long, this elevated boardwalk brings you 8m above the ground, where you’ll be able to enjoy the view up in the canopy layer of the forest. 

True to its name, the walk takes visitors up close and personal to palms, epiphytes, climbers and giant century-old trees that can grow up to 20 storeys in height, rivalling many of our HDB blocks.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - SPH Walk of the Giants

Relax away from the hordes of insects you’d usually find on ground level on their suspended Canopy Webs that surround the giant trees while enjoying the shades provided by the top canopy. 

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

8.  Vanda Miss Joaquim display – Garden of SG’s national flower

Vanda Miss Joaquim

Any plant parent will know that it’s tough getting your own flowering plants to grow in Singapore. However, there’s really no need to go through all the hassle when you can just as easily enjoy gorgeous blooms at the Vanda Miss Joaquim display, AKA Singapore’s national flower.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Vanda Miss Joaquim

While not the largest field of flowers out there, this sure looks like it stretches on endlessly thanks to its towering 2m height that keeps the rest of the park shrouded out of sight.

And of course, the flowers blooming at eye level make for the perfect backdrop for some dreamy shots – we hear it’s a good spot for pre-wedding photography.

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

9. National Orchid Garden – World’s largest orchid display

Singapore botanic gardens guide - National Orchid Garden
Yellow orchids line the underside of each arch
Image credit: @manonlucci via Instagram

The National Orchid Garden is the only paid attraction in the park but you can consider the nominal fee money well spent. The gated attraction will take you away from the crowds, where visitors can enjoy the world’s largest orchid display of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids in some peace and quiet. 

Singapore botanic gardens guide - National Orchid Garden
Over 200 VIP orchids named after famous folk like Jackie Chan and Michael Kors
Image credit: @byyoursmile via Instagram

No worries, you won’t be getting just flowers upon flowers upon yet more flowers – between the different sections of the garden is a mist garden, ethereal plant arches and floral-decorated fountains to break up the space.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - National Orchid Garden
Image credit: @byyoursmile via Instagram


  • Adults: $5 (Local) | $15 (Standard)
  • Students: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)
  • Seniors: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)

Free for children under 12

Opening hours: 8.30am-7pm, Daily (Last entry at 6 pm)

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

From $5 (Adults), $1 (Students & Seniors above 60) for Singaporeans
1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours: Sunday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM  Show Time 

10. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden -Tree house & flying fox ride

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Image credit: @sebastienbruggerman via Instagram

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden has an expansive play area for children to run around and explore the great outdoors. Your little ones can live their Tarzan dreams in the low-lying tree house surrounded by vines, or hop on a flying fox for a quick rush of adrenaline. 

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Image credit: @cherritan via Instagram

Dotted around the area are also streams to wander along, balancing beams made of logs and gardening trails for aspiring urban gardeners to explore.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am-7pm (Closed on Mondays)

Nearest entrance: Bukit Timah Entrance

11. Swan Lake – Scenic waterfront pavilions

Swan Lake
Image credit: @cmezrbrt via Instagram

For those who used to go crazy over Barbie, the Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens may bring to mind the franchise’s classic Swan Lake movie – both featuring a whimsical pond filled with graceful swans.

Singapore botanic gardens guide - Swan Lake
Image credit: @daisybunch via Instagram

This historic lake is also known as Main Lake or First Lake, as it’s considered to be the oldest ornamental water feature in Singapore, having been around for more than 155 years. Take a leisurely 10-minute stroll along the looping path that wraps the lake or enjoy the ambience best by relaxing under one of the romantic waterfront pavilions. 

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

12. Symphony Lake – Free concerts and picnic ops

Symphony Stage
Image credit: @kebinvillar16 via Instagram

The most iconic spot within the Singapore Botanic Gardens is probably Symphony Lake, where you’ll find a majestic stage and spacious lawn surrounding it.

Palm valley
Image credit: @thehalia via Instagram

Enjoy this vast outdoor space by bringing along a picnic mat and some snacks for a chill evening out. For rinsing of fruits from your picnic basket – or a quick answer to nature’s call – there’s also a clean public washroom near the southern end of the lawn.

Nearest entrance: Nassim Entrance

13. The Halia – Lunch with Bali-like views

Singapore botanic gardens guide - The Halia
Image credit: The Halia

Among the many things that Bali is known for, one thing that draws many of us up to its town of Ubud is the immersive, lush nature. There’s no need to jet over though, as a brunch sesh at The Halia cuts pretty close.

The Halia
Image adapted from: @thehalia via Instagram

Order a Beef Rendang on Toast ($19) paired with some fresh brews (from $5) as you sit back in their rustic open-aired interior and gaze out into nature all around. Cafe by day, this also turns into a romantic setting for dinner with your boo during the evenings, with a fancier menu featuring hearty dishes like Black Pepper Glaze Beef Cheek ($38) and Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini ($26).

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-9pm
Telephone: 8444 1148

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance

Spend a day out at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

If you’re tired of staring at your screens all day and night, plan a visit to one of Singapore’s many nature spots such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens for a quick respite.

We’ve sifted out some of the best things you can do there, from short hikes to IG-worthy spots but for those who can spare a full day, there’s still much to be uncovered.

More things to do in Singapore:

Cover image adapted from: NParks
Originally published on 19th March 2021. Last updated by Ra Krishnan on 11th April 2023.

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