There’s good reason why this place is sometimes referred to as the ‘Garden City’ – Singapore parks and gardens are both beautiful and plentiful. Despite having one of the highest population densities in the world, Singapore maintains a healthy number of green spaces for locals and visitors to enjoy.
From the majestic Singapore Botanic Gardens overflowing with floral life to the humble peace and quiet of neighbourhood parks, there are countless places you can go in the city to enjoy unspoilt nature. In particular, the Gardens by the Bay in Marina Bay are a horticultural masterpiece not to be missed.
Featuring over a million plants across 101ha of land, the Gardens by the Bay are divided into three areas. Cloud Forest features the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, the Flower Dome will enchant you with its colourful ocean of flowers, and the Heritage Gardens reveal Singapore’s culture through its plants. Feeling brave? Walk the OCBC Skyway 22m above the ground to explore the magnificent Supertree Grove.
Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens and you’ll soon understand why this is the only tropical garden in the world that is World Heritage-listed. For over 150 years, this has been the green heart of the city. The well-maintained grounds, plant displays, and statues will keep you spellbound and strolling for hours. The National Orchid Garden is particularly delightful.
Meet the Merlion, Singapore’s iconic mythological creature which symbolises the city’s history as a fishing village and the cultural strength and values that its people hold. A perpetual jet of water shoots from its mouth and if you head down to where the Singapore River meets Marina Bay — to Merlion Park — this is where you’ll get to take photos with this 8.6m statue. There’s also a smaller 2m ‘Merlion Cub’ in the park.
Despite being only 12km west of Singapore’s CBD, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is so serene and pristine that you’ll think you’ve left civilisation far behind. The plants and animals here are as diverse as the people back in the city. Look for the distinctive tail feathers of the greater racket-tailed drongo. You might even get to see a Malayan flying lemur glide (not actually ‘fly’) from one tree to another.
Covering more than 15km of picturesque coastline and featuring palm trees complete with coconuts, East Coast Park is perhaps the most tropical place in Singapore. Try your hand at beach volleyball, hire a bicycle for the afternoon, or jump right into the various water sports available. When you need to replenish your energy levels, head to the neighbouring hawker centre for an appetising and affordable bite to eat.
Ride a cable car to the top of this 105m hill and prepare to enjoy panoramic views of the city. There are also walking trails if you’re looking for a tough but rewarding hike to add to your itinerary. At the top of Mount Faber is Faber Peak, which features excellent dining and bar options. Why not enjoy a cold beverage or a hearty dinner along with the view?