Listed below are the best and most famous gardens, parks and nature reserves in Singapore. Singapore has 4 Nature Reserve, 59 Regional Parks, 271 Neighbourhood Parks and 63 Park Connectors.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of Singapore’s most popular gardens. Spread over 74 hectare, Singapore Botanic Gardens has many themed gardens, an amazing Orchid garden, Children’s play area, three lakes, performance stage, a museum (SBG Heritage Museum) and a café. A key attraction of the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the colourful National Orchid Garden, which is home to 1000 Orchid species and 2000 Orchid hybrids. This is the only part of the garden which has an entry fee; rest of the park is free for visitors. Mini gardens within Singapore Botanic Gardens include Evolution Garden, Ginger Garden, Rain Forest Garden, Tan Hoon Siang Misthouse, Bonsai Garden, Sun Garden, Healing Garden, Fragrant Garden, Foliage Garden and Trellis Garden. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is the first Children’s garden in Asia. The Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage on Symphony Lake grabs attention. The Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra and others hold musical concerts on the stage with the audience sitting on the gentle slopes of Palm Valley. The three lakes in Singapore Botanic Gardens are Swan Lake, Eco-Lake, and Symphony Lake. The Learning Forest and Marshland are the two new attractions at Singapore Botanical Gardens.
NOTE: Except for the National Orchid Garden, entry to all other attractions at Singapore Botanic Gardens is FREE.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Located in Downtown Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is an important tourist destination. Spread over 101 hectares, key attractions at Gardens by the Bay include Supertrees (vertical tree shaped gardens 25 to 50 meters in height), OCBC Skyway (an elevated walkway connecting 2 Supertrees), Flower Dome (conservatory which consisting of 7 different gardens, and is the world’s largest column-less glasshouse), Cloud Forest (conservatory with a 42 meter Cloud Mountain with a 35 meter waterfall), 380,000 plants, Children’s Garden (Far East Organization), Heritage Garden, Flower Market, Sun Pavilion (housing plants found in deserts and dry lands), Tree house, Adventure Trail, long waterfront promenades, OCBC Garden Rhapsody (Light and Music show), 2 lakes (Dragonfly Lake and Kingfisher Lakes) with lovely boardwalk and much more. Children love to get wet in the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, so do remember to get swimwear and a change of clothes.
NOTE: The Children’s Garden is CLOSED on Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday).
NOTE: Except for the 2 Conservatories (Cloud Forest and Flower Dome) and the OCBC Skyway, entry to all other attractions at the Gardens by the Bay is FREE.
Southern Ridges And Its Five Parks and Nature Reserves
Singapore’s Southern Ridges is not a park, but a 10 Km connecting trail that links the following 5 parks – Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. Singapore’s Southern Ridges has 8 walking trails which are on the hills. Key attractions of The Southern Ridges are the beautiful views of Singapore city, greenery, birds and amazing bridges along the trail. The 8 trails of The Southern Ridges are Henderson Waves (shaped like 7 waves, it is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge), Faber Trail (1 Km long trail through the Mount Faber Park, it has spectacular views of Southern Singapore), Forest Walk (offers lovely views of the forest in Telok Blangah Hill Park), Alexandra Arch (it has a nice curved deck), Floral Walk (it is lined with flowering plants), Marang Trail (800 meter trail passes through secondary forest), Hilltop Walk (1 Km trail through Telok Blangah Hill Park) and Canopy Walk (this trail passes through a secondary forest). Birds attracting native trees have been planted in the “Singing Forest” along the Southern Ridges.
NOTE: Each of the five parks/reserves of the Southern Ridges (Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Par, Labrador Nature Reserve) has its own special character and is worthy of being listed in the Top 10 Best Gardens of Singapore. Since they are located close to one another, this author has clubbed them in one listing.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park And MacRitchie Nature Trail
MacRitchie Reservoir Park is the oldest park in Singapore. MacRitchie Reservoir Park is located along Singapore’s largest water reservoir, “MacRitchie Reservoir”, which is almost geographically in the center of Singapore. A key attraction is the “TreeTop Walk”, which is a 250 meter long suspension bridge over the tall forest trees that connect the two highest points (Bukit Pierce and Bukit Kalang) in MacRitchie. The MacRitchie Nature Trail is an 11 Km pathway in the tropical rainforest of Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve. There is also a shorter 3 Km Nature Trail through the rainforest, which connects MacRitchie Reservoir Park with the Singapore Island Country Club. There are signposts along the Nature trails. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, canoeing and fishing at the reservoir. Visitors may get opportunity to see long-tailed macaque monkeys, owls, flying lemurs (colugos), monitor lizards and other forest animals. Water sports orientation courses are conducted at MacRitchie Reservoir Park and kayaks and canoes are available on rent.
NOTE: MacRitchie Nature Trail is CLOSED on MONDAY.
NOTE: Entrance to “TreeTop Walk” is only from the Ranger Station.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Spread over 400 acres, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to 40% of Singapore’s flora and fauna. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is among the oldest forest reserve in Singapore. In the first half of the 20th century much of Singapore’s rainforest had been cut down for timber; but Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was protected. Today it is the largest primary rainforest in Singapore. The Nature Reserve gets its name from “Bukit Timah”, the tallest hill (163.63 meters) in Singapore. Bukit Timah Reserve is a great place for nature lovers and hikers. It has multiple hiking trails, which are rated Easy, Moderate and Difficult. All these trails lead to the top of Bukit Timah hill which has lovely views of Upper Peirce Reservoir and surrounding areas. Visitors can also enjoy rock climbing and mountain biking at the reserve. From 2014 to mid 2016, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is undergoing renovation and enhancement. Until mid 2016, the reserve will be open to the public only on Saturdays and Sundays.
East Coast Park, Singapore
The beautiful East Coast Park is a Beach Park along 15 Kms of sandy beach. Spread over 185 hectare, East Coast Park is Singapore’s largest park. East Coast Park is a great place for family picnics with barbeque pits at various places along the beach. Visitors to the East Coast Park can enjoy a range of sport activities, leisurely walks, food options and entertainment. It is a common site to see people camping, barbequing, cycling, rollerblading, flying kites, swimming in the sea, jogging, walking, cable skiing, sailing, kayaking, wind surfing, fishing, playing beach volleyball, mini-golf and visiting restaurants. Xtreme Skatepark @ East Coast is an international quality skate park. Showers and toilets are available throughout the park. The “West Coast Park” is a similar sea facing park in the West of Singapore.
Chinese and Japanese Gardens, Singapore
As the name suggests, Chinese and Japanese Gardens are two charming gardens which are designed as per Chinese and Japanese architecture. The two gardens are joined by the 13 arch “Bai Hong Qiao” (White Rainbow) bridge. The lovely “Bai Hong Qiao” bridge is based on the Bridge at the Summer Palace in Beijing. The 13.5-hectare Chinese Garden is designed on the North China Sung Dynasty style of architecture. Key features of the Chinese Garden are the twin Pagodas, the 7-storey Pagoda based on the Ling Ku Temple Pagoda at Nanjing, Peking style Stone Boat and Tea House, four Chinese Pavilions, Suzhou-style Bonsai Garden with over 2,000 miniature trees, statues of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac and 100 year old pomegranate trees from Shantung in China. Kids will love the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum with over 200 turtles and tortoises. The design of the adjoining Japanese Garden is based on the ancient “Muromachi” and “Azuchi–Momoyama” style. The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are built on two pieces of land on the small Jurong Lake.
NOTE: There is a small entry fee to these Gardens.
Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park (Bishan Park)
Spread over 62 hectares, Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park (“Bishan Park“) is one of the largest urban parks in Central Singapore. Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park has Kallang River flowing through it, 3 children’s playgrounds including a water playground in Pond Gardens, flower garden (“Frangipani Garden”), vegetable garden (“Green Vibes Garden”), galleries, spa, river promenade, bridges, cycling and jogging tracks, food stalls and five lawns that can be booked for events. Previously a concrete canal used to flow through the park. As part of Singapore’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters (ABC Waters) Programme, the earlier canal was converted into a naturally meandering 3.2 Km long river (“Kallang River”). Kallang River eventually flows into the sea via the Marina Channel. The redeveloped park was opened on 17 March, 2012.
Haw Par Villa, Singapore
Haw Par Villa is unlike a conventional garden. It is a theme park with over 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas from Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist and Chinese mythology. The Guardian newspaper has called Haw Par Villa “The theme park made in hell”. Visitors can expect to see graphic pictures of blood and gore. Small kids and even adults may be overwhelmed by the images depicted at the Haw Par Villa Park. The main highlight of Haw Par Villa is the “Ten Courts of Hell”, which has horrific portrayals of hell as per Chinese and Buddhist mythology. The reason Haw Par Villa has been added to this list is because it is a unique experience. Entry to the park is free.
Pasir Ris Park, Singapore
Spread over 71 hectares of land, Pasir Ris Park is one of Singapore’s largest park. Located along the North-East coast of Singapore, Pasir Ris Park has a 6 hectare mangrove forest within the park. Visitors to Pasir Ris Park can enjoy bird watching at a specially built 3 storey tower, swimming in the sea, jogging, playing in the large playground, cycling, skating, basketball, camping, barbequing at one of the 65 BBQ pits, pony rides and water sports. Pasir Ris Park is a nice neighborhood garden, where the entire family can have a nice time.
PLEASE NOTE: This listing of famous gardens, parks and nature reserves in Singapore is based on the personal views of the author.
Parks, Gardens And Nature Reserves in Singapore
“National Parks Board” is the primary government agency whose task it is to keep Singapore Green. They manage 59 Regional Parks, 271 Neighbourhood Parks and 4 Nature Reserves.
Singapore has 4 Park Connector Networks with 63 Park connectors that connects parks, nature reserves and residential areas. Singapore’s Park Connector Network cover 228 Km.
Nature Reserves in Singapore
Following are the 4 Nature Reserves in Singapore:
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Labrador Nature Reserve
- Central Catchment Nature Reserve
- Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Singapore’s Regional Parks Managed by “National Parks Board”
Following is a list of Regional Park in Singapore that are managed by “National Parks Board” (NParks).
- Admiralty Park
- Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East
- Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West
- Bedok Reservoir Park
- Bedok Town Park
- Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
- Bukit Batok Nature Park
- Bukit Batok Town Park – Little Guilin
- Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
- Central Catchment Nature Reserve
- Changi Beach Park
- Choa Chu Kang Park
- Clementi Woods Park
- Coney Island
- Dairy Farm Nature Park
- East Coast Park
- Esplanade Park
- Fort Canning Park
- Hindhede Nature Park
- Hong Lim Park
- Istana Park
- Jurong Central Park
- Kallang Riverside Park
- Kent Ridge Park
- Kranji Nature Trail
- Kranji Reservoir Park
- Labrador Nature Reserve
- (Labrador Park and
- Nature Reserve)
- Lower Peirce Reservoir Park
- Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
- MacRitchie Reservoir Park
- Marina Promenade
- Mount Faber Park
- One-north Park
- Pasir Ris Park
- Pasir Ris Town Park
- Pearl’s Hill City Park
- Pulau Ubin Recreation Area
- (Offshore Island)
- Punggol Park
- Punggol Waterway Park
- Rifle Range
- Sembawang Park
- Sengkang Riverside Park
- Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
- Sun Plaza Park
- Tampines Eco Green
- Telok Blangah Hill Park
- Tiong Bahru Park
- Toa Payoh Town Park
- Upper Peirce Reservoir Park
- Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
- War Memorial Park
- West Coast Park
- Windsor Interim Green
- Woodlands Town Garden
- Woodlands Waterfront Park
- Yishun Park
- Zhenghua Park
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