Located by the Marina Bay Waterfront in the heart of Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is a sanctuary for nature lovers and budding horticulturalists alike.
Comprising three distinct spaces over 101 hectares–Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden–this oasis of lush greenery has won multiple accolades since it first opened in 2012.
These include the ‘Landscape Award’ from World Architecture News in 2013, the ‘Best Attraction in Asia Pacific’ from Travel Weekly in 2015 and the ‘Best Attraction Experience’ at the 2019 Singapore Tourism Awards. You can get your Gardens by the Bay Ticket in Singapore online to avoid queue.
Here’s a rundown of what to see and do at Gardens by The Bay.
The beauty of nature beckons visitors to the Flower Dome in Bay South Gardens. Covering 1.28 hectares, this verdant space is the larger of three cooled conservatories, and broke the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Glass Greenhouse in 2015. It is home to plants and flowers from five continents, from thousand-year old olive trees to magnolias and orchids.
While certainly one of Gardens by the Bay’s most spectacular attractions, the Flower Dome is far from the only floral paradise that awaits visitors.
As you explore Gardens by the Bay at your leisure, be sure to keep an eye out for Floral Fantasy.
The second of the Gardens’ three indoor conservatories delves into realms of both history and fantasy. Each of its four distinct zones taking inspiration from fairy tales and the storied Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with cavernous spaces, dramatic driftwood sculptures and works of floral art.
Gardens by the Bay’s third conservatory—the aptly named Cloud Forest—is a mist-filled landscape of rare vegetation and dramatic vistas.
Towering above the conservatories’ ferns and pitcher plants is Cloud Mountain, a 35-metre tall structure veiled in mist and covered in lush vegetation. Your imagination is bound to soar as you scale its heights, and discover plant life from the tropical highlands.
As you exit the conservatory, you’re likely to notice a grove of soaring, surreal structures, known as the Supertrees. These vertical gardens span 25 to 50 metres in height, with two of the towering structures connected by the dramatic arch of the OCBC Skyway. When dusk falls, the grove lights up with the Garden Rhapsody, a spectacle of light and sound. For an unforgettable view of Singapore, ascend to the top of the Supertree Observatory, a 50-metre-high observation deck, which boasts an unobstructed vista of the beautiful Marina Bay district.
Round off your visit to Gardens by the Bay with an unforgettable sunset at Bay East Garden. The lush open lawns and beautiful waterfront will give you an unobscured view of Singapore’s skyline.
Beyond its domes and Supertrees, Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s top attractions that you won’t want to miss
An indoor forest housing a 35-metre-tall water, Avatar-like Supertrees that twinkle come dusk, and a Flower Dome that holds a 2015 Guinness World Record for world’s largest greenhouse: at the 101-hectare attraction that is Gardens by the Bay, you’ll be dropped into an almost surreal, futurisitc expanse of greenery. And it’s located just minutes from Marine Bay Sands by foot. Read on to discover artworks in hidden spaces and more.
The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest
Before embarking on your foray into the unknown, get a map of the Gardens from the Visitors’ Centre (located opposite the ticketing booth). From there, it won’t be hard locating the two domed conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest – the latter of which houses plants from tropical highlands as high as 2,000 metres above sea level. Besides carnivorous plants, stalactites and stalagmites that can be taken in from the cloud walk or treetop walk, the conservatory houses an impressive 35-metre-tall waterfall set against a carpeted wall of plants.
Over at the Flower Dome, you’ll find plants from Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions, spread across nine smaller Gardens. Admire the swollen trunks of Baobabs, thousand-year-old olive trees and rare succulents before making for the Flower Field that – depending on the time of year – is thematically refreshed, whether for Chinese New Year, Mid Autumn Festival, Christmas or hanami (cherry blossom) season.
Giant, futuristic Supertrees
Any mention of Gardens by the Bay brings to mind these so-called Supertrees – Avatar-like, manmade structures fashioned from concrete and steel frames. Their branches, angled to the sky as if in a cry to the gods, shelter vertical gardens comprising over 200 species of plants. For a bird’s eye view of the gardens – and a small fee – hop in a lift to the suspended walkway, OCBC Skyway. One of the trees even houses a restaurant and rooftop bar 16 storeys up.
Looking to go higher? Visit the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck for a view of Gardens by the Bay that’s not to be missed. From 57 storeys above, take in the entirety of the gardens and more – admire the sea view that stretches from Marina South Pier to the Singapore Strait, or spot Singapore’s iconic landmarks amongst the city’s skyline.
Come evening, these Supertrees come to life (as best as they can, anyway) during the Garden Rhapsody show (free nightly, 7.45pm & 8.45pm). Watch the manmade beauties twinkle in rhythm to a soundtrack, their branches illuminated against the inky night sky.
Fun for the kids
If the little ones are starting to get restless from your possibly overzealous attempts at rallying the Brady Bunch for a fun day out, make for the Far East Organization Children’s Garden (Tue-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat & Sun 9am-9pm, closed Mondays). From treehouses to obstacle courses, a toddler play zone and a water play area, there’s plenty of fun to be had for kids. Don’t forget to pack the swimwear and sunblock.
However, if the weather is less than agreeable to your outdoor plans, head indoors to the Digital Light Canvas at The Shoppes – watch as the little ones chase after vibrant fishes and butterflies while leaving behind a trail of flowers in this multi-sensory experience.
Suss out these secret spots
Lest you think you’ve covered the Gardens after having traversed the cavernous domes and Supertrees, think again. Locate the Web of Life to admire a collection of sculptured topiaries, including an orangutan-shaped one. Or try the Big Fish Aquarium to catch a glimpse of the Arapaima – only the biggest fish in the tank that’s carnivorous and native to the Amazon basin.
Keen on more? Try spotting over 40 sculptures that dot the Gardens: the seven-metre-wide Floral Clock holds within it tropical plants and flowers; Planet by Marc Quinn features a giant baby balancing on its right hand, giving the illusion of weightlessness; and the striking Ferns by Manolo Valdés is rife with symbolism.
Passing by Marina Bay Sands? Check out Wind Arbor by Ned Kahn, a structure that covers four vertical acres of glass facade, comprised of a myriad of metallic elements that sway in the wind. Hop by the Rain Oculus by Ned Kahn to observe an indoor whirlpool and waterfall from all angles – though the best seats in the house are on the Sampan Rides, where passengers enjoy a leisurely ride along the Canal while 22,000 litres of water pour from a skylight two storeys above.
How to go Gardens by the Bay
You can walk from Marina Bay Sands, or travel by car, bus or train (MRT)
- MRT: Circle or Downtown MRT lines. Alight at Bayfront station (CE1/CT16). Exit B and follow the underground linkway.
- Walking from Marina Bay Sands? Cross the connecting overhead Lions Bridge (open daily 8am-11pm) located in the Hotel.
Alternatively, if you’re closer to the ArtScience Museum, walk under the Helix Bridge and keep going until you reach the domes of Gardens by the Bay.
Gardens by the Bay opening hours
- Gardens by the Bay is open daily from 5am-2am.
- The cooled, domed conservatories and OCBC Skyway are open daily 9am-9pm.
Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colourful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore. Among the standout features are the famous Supertree structures. These offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, with oversized seashell-shaped greenhouses that recreate chilly mountain climates.
There are hundreds of trees and plants to discover within, making Gardens by the Bay a great destination for both kids and grownups, and simply for those looking for a respite with stunning views.
Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay covers 250 acres of reclaimed land on the waterfront. The best spot to get an idea of the sheer size of the Gardens is from the top of Marina Bay Sands, directly opposite the park. Getting here is easy, either via walkways from the hotel, which give you elevated views or by taking the slightly longer riverside promenade to enter the park near the 2 domes.
Walking around the park won’t cost you a cent but there is a fee if you want to step inside the climate-controlled conservatories or walk amongst the Supertrees. There is no doubting the dominance of the steel-framed ‘tree’ plantation, towering over Gardens by the Bay with 12 of the large metal structures in the central grove and half a dozen others placed in other parts of the garden.
Over 200 different species of plants and flowers cover the exterior of these tall upright gardens – twice a night, at 7.45pm and 8.45pm, they are a centrepiece of the gardens’ light and music show, casting a glow over the park, and making you feel like you are in a modern fairy tale.
For those who like a view, take the trip 25 metres up to the remarkable walkway that connects 3 of the trees together. The 50-metre tree in the centre offers 360-degree panoramas of the Gardens as well as Marina Bay.
The Greenhouses at Gardens by the Bay
If you need to cool down, head into Cloud Forest, the smaller shell-shaped structure with a 35-metre-high mountain covered in plants that usually thrive in tropical highlands. Don’t worry if climbing feels too much, there is a lift that takes you up into the mist and gives you a great view looking down over the walls of plants and orchids.
The Flower Dome is also cooler than outside, recreating the drier climes of places like California and the Mediterranean. In this gigantic conservatory, you will find yourself on a journey around the world, with Baobabs from Africa, Olive trees from Spain, Kangaroo Paw from Australia.
A visit to both greenhouses costs S$28 for adults and S$15 for kids. Inside the Flower Dome, you’ll also find Pollen, a Mediterranean restaurant that creates dishes using herbs and vegetables grown in-house.
The rest of the Garden
If you arrive via Bayfront MRT you will first have to walk past the Dragonfly and Kingfisher lakes. If you have enough time, walk along the boardwalk to discover the many birds and insects that have made this area their home.
In a nod to the different nationalities that have settled in Singapore over the years, there is a series of four interconnecting gardens with plants and trees from India, China, Malaysia and the Colonial garden.
Besides Pollen, you can also find a host of casual restaurants to try: Cafe Crema offering sandwiches and snacks, Supertree Food Hall and Satay By The Bay, which serves up satays as its name suggests alongside various other grills.
Gardens by the Bay’s location makes it an easy getaway from Singapore’s traffic and skyscrapers. It offers a fun space to explore horticulture from around the world. But even better than that, the Supertrees, Cloud Forest, and Flower Dome bring plants to life in a way you’ve probably never seen before.
Gardens by the Bay
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953, Singapore
Open: Daily from 9am to 9pm, Outdoor Gardens open daily from 5am to 2am
Phone: +65 6420 6848