Attractions

15 Things To Do At Singapore Botanic Gardens – Tropical Montane Orchidetum, Gallop Extension & Trails

Singapore Botanic Gardens guide


Opened in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) 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.


How much is the entrance fee to Singapore Botanic Gardens?


There’s no entrance fee for the Singapore Botanic Gardens for both locals and foreign visitors, except for the National Orchid Garden. 


What’s the best time to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens?



Image credit: @bin___kong via Instagram

Early mornings are the best time to visit, as you can beat the afternoon heat and enjoy a more leisurely stroll exploring the gardens. It’s also a good time to go for runs as the path is usually clear.

It does tend to get packed in the evenings and over the weekends, but if you’re okay with braving the crowds, then the evening could be a good time for a picnic.


How long does it take to walk around Singapore Botanic Gardens?


It roughly takes 2-3 hours to walk from the north to the south end, if you intend to stop by several attractions along the way. 


Can you scoot in the Singapore Botanic Gardens?


For safety reasons, scooters as well as bicycles and skateboards are not allowed in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There is bicycle parking available at the entrance to keep your bikes.


– Things to do in Singapore Botanic Gardens –


1. SBG Heritage Museum


Free engaging exhibits & interactive displays



Image credit: Zhou Dong via Google Maps 

The Singapore Botanic Gardens Heritage Museum recently reopened in June 2023 after being closed for 3 months. They’ve since included new displays and tours that detail the garden’s history while celebrating its milestones over the years. 

Opening hours (SBG Heritage Museum): 9am-6pm, Daily (Closed on every last Monday of the month).


Image credit: cse1217 via Google Maps

After visiting the museum, you can make your way to the nearby CDL Green Gallery for their nature-themed exhibitions that change every 6-9 months. 

You can see for yourself what a net-zero building can look like, and catch some aircon.

Opening hours (CDL Gallery): 9am-6pm, Daily (Closed on every last Tuesday of the month).

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Gate 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, a part of the semi-recent Gallop Extension.

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, this is a #throwback to the kampung days when children used to monkey around amongst the trees.

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


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.

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

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. National Orchid Garden


World’s largest orchid display


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 orchid hybrids in some peace and quiet. 

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.

Image credit: @byyoursmile via Instagram

Admission Fee
Singapore residents: $5 for adults, $1 for students and seniors aged 60 and above
Show More
Google Reviews
4.8
(1,166)
Address
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours:
Saturday 08:30 AM - 07:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information
RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT S$10.13

Tropical Montane Orchidarium – Cooling glasshouse garden


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.

The garden’s Sembcorp Cool House has 2 storeys with over 100 types of ferns and flowers from various regions in the world such as Brazil and Mexico.

This glasshouse has been 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.

Take a walk along the Secret Ravine and Lowland Habitat 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.

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

Tropical Montane Orchidetum
Admission Fee
From $1
Google Reviews
3.5
(402)
Address
Opening Hours:
Saturday 08:00 AM - 09:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

5. Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge


350m trail to the top


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


6. Ginger Garden


Bali-like waterfalls


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.

Waterfalls aside, there are ginger 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.

Opening hours: 5am-12am, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


7. 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


8. SPH Walk of the Giants


Canopy nets 8m above ground


The 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 with palms, epiphytes, climbers, and giant century-old trees that can grow up to 20 storeys in height, rivalling many of our HDB blocks.

Relax away from the hordes of insects you’d usually find on ground level on the 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

* The Canopy webs are partially closed from 10th August 2023 until further notice. Get updates on NParks’ website


9. Vanda Miss Joaquim display


Check out SG’s national flower


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.

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


10. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden


Tree house & flying fox ride


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. 

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


Image credit: @cmezrbrt via Instagram

Featuring a whimsical pond filled with graceful swans, the Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens comes close to looking straight off the pages of a fairy tale book.

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 & picnic ops


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 surrounded by a spacious lawn.

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


– Food in Singapore Botanic Gardens –


13. Bee’s Knees


Pet-friendly restaurant with take-out picnic baskets


Dine at Bees Knees, a cafe situated in a revamped colonial mansion from the 1920s. It hardly gets more quaint. Perfect for brunch dates and romantic dinners, this pet-friendly restaurant is known for its pizzas and pasta. 


Try their Fiery Shrimp Pizza ($29), doused in squid ink aioli and topped with tiger shrimp.
Image credit: @eatbooksg via Instagram

It’ll be a waste to spend all that time indoors when the weather is great. Good thing there’s take-out, picnic-style. Pre-order a Picnic Buzz-kit (from $70) that comes with your choice of mains, sides, and drinks, plus everything else you’d need for a fun meal at your favourite spot in the Botanic Gardens. 

A mat, small table, and battery-operated candlelight are included in the package.


Image credit: Bee’s Knees

Address: Cluny Park Road, Level 1 The Garage, 50, Singapore 257488
Opening hours: 8am-10pm, Daily
Contact: 9815 3213 | Bee’s Knees website 


14. The Halia


Lunch with Bali-like views



Image credit: The Halia

If you’re still daydreaming about the picturesque green landscapes of your Ubud vacation, The Halia comes pretty close to capturing a similar atmosphere.

Image adapted from: @mydesipardesikitchen via Instagram

Sit back and enjoy the rustic atmosphere with their signature Singapore Style Chilli Crab Brioche Sando ($45). Also much like Bali, the menu is vegetarian-friendly with appetisers such as Pan Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke ($25) and Mushroom & Shallot Bake Salad ($32).

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm & 6pm-8.30pm, Daily
Contact: 8444 1148

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


15. Sprouts Food Place


Weekday lunch specials from $5



Image credit: @sprouts_food_place via Instagram

Gardens By the Bay has the bustling Satay by the Bay food court if you’re hungry. Now, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has Sprouts Food Place that offers a calmer atmosphere with fewer crowds. 

There are currently only 3 tenants here, but they’re ones any proud foodie would be familiar with. There’s Botak Jones, which serves Western mains such as Fish & Chips (from $13), Cajun Chicken (from $9), and Chicken Dawg (from $8).


Chicken Dawg from Botak Jones.

Image credit: @original_botak_jones via Instagram

The other is a zi char place run by Mellben Seafood. You’ll find delectable favourites such as Kungpao Chicken Rice ($9) and Moonlight Hor Fun ($10.20). If you’re dining in a group, get dishes to share, such as their signature Claypot Crab Bee Hoon Soup (from $91.20) and Garlic Scallops ($36.60).


Image credit: @sprouts_food_place via Instagram

While the prices may be what we’re familiar with at a cafe or restaurant, there are plenty of affordable options as well. Both Botak Jones and Melben Seafood have weekday lunch specials priced from $5-$5.50 only. The drinks stall also serves tea and coffee from just $0.60 a cup.

Address: 1J Cluny Road (outside Raffles Building), Singapore 259607
Opening hours:
Drinks stall:
7am-9.30pm, Daily
Botak Jones: Mon-Fri 11.30am-9pm | Fri-Sat 9.30am-9pm  
Melben Seafood: 11am-9pm, Daily
Contact: Sprouts Food Place website

Nearest entrance: Nassim 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.

 

Admission Fee
Free
Google Reviews
4.8
(1,166)
Address
1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours:
Saturday 08:30 AM - 07:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information
RECOMMENDED TICKETS AT S$50.00

 

More things to do in Singapore:

 


Cover image adapted from: @manonlucci via Instagram, @cmezrbrt via Instagram, The Halia
Originally published on 19th March 2021. Last updated by Mae-Z Fam on 16th February 2024.
A portion of this content may contain referral links to products. Our opinions remain our own.

Kezia Tan

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