Costing over SG$1billion to build, this impressive nature park spans across 101ha of reclaimed land in Central Singapore. The idea behind Gardens by the Bay originated by Dr Kiat W. Tan, a botanist and former CEO of GBTB. He envisioned transforming unused, barren wasteland into a world-class garden in the tropics. And in 5 years, alongside a specialised team of experts, he made it possible.
Consisting of three waterfront gardens, Gardens by the Bay is home to over 1 million plants, from every continent – except Antartica.
From the iconic Supertrees, plant conservatories, well-maintained gardens and numerous eateries, this is the perfect day out in Singapore.
How to get to Gardens by the Bay
The closest MRT station to the Gardens is Bayfront (circle line and downtown line). If you’re coming by foot, walk through the Shoppes at Marine Bay Sands, following signs for Gardens by the Bay. This will take you up a series of escalators, across a bridge through Marina Bay Sands itself and out the other side to the gardens.
If you’re coming by bus, you’ll be dropped at the back of Marina Bay Sands hotel. You’ll be able to use an elevator, from street level, that will take you up to the walk way. As with the Shoppes route, you’ll have to walk through Marina Bay Sands hotel and come out the other side.
Things to do at Gardens by the Bay
Likely one of the most iconic sights in Singapore, the Supertree grove comprises of 18 steel-clad concrete structures, covered with 162,900 plants. Standing up to 16 storeys tall, these man-made structures are not only captivating to look at, but they play a crucial role in the Gardens. 11 of the Supertrees have capabilities to harvest solar energy, whilst others behave like a chimney stack or act as an air exhaust for the two conservatories. Very energy efficient.
The OCBC Skyway is one of the best ways to enjoy the Supertrees, and gardens in general. Connecting 6 supertrees, this 22m high walkway provides incredible panoramic views of the trees and the surrounding area.
Not for the faint hearted (i’m terrified of heights and just about survived), the walk is short but you can spend as much time as you like.
Entrance for the OCBC Skyway costs SG$8 for adults and SG$5 for children.
Cloud Forest Dome
The Cloud Forest Dome and Flower Dome collectively home 217,000 plants from over 800 species.
The Cloud Forest Dome replicates the cool climate found in regions between 1000m and 3000m. With it’s iconic 42m cloud mountain and 35m waterfall, it’s certainly not something to miss whilst in Singapore.
Once in the Dome, you’ll take an elevator/lift to the top and slowly make your way down the mountain via a circular path. Crossing underneath the powerful waterfall, you’ll pass through stunning greenery and plants typically found in East Asia and Central & South America.
Note – bring a jumper/jacket for this as it’s a harsh contrast to the warmth outside. Very cold!!
The Flower Dome was given Guinness Book of World Record status in 2015, for being the largest greenhouse in the world at 1.2ha. Replicating a Mediterranean climate, this impressive dome is home to a large number of exotic flowers and plants.
Throughout the year, there are different themes within the Flower Dome. In October 2022, the Flower Dome hosted a ‘Spanish Serenade with Sunflowers’, with the most glorious sunflower display.
Tickets for the conservatories will cost SG$28/15 adult/child – allowing you into both domes.
Other Things to See in Bay South Garden
There is also a Children’s Garden which consists of trampolines, treehouses, adventure trails, hanging bridges and more. It’s open between 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday and 9am-9pm on weekends. It’s closed on Mondays.
There are also two different themed horticultural themed gardens which focus on different cultural groups within Singapore. They’re primarily there as part of an educational programme to bring more understanding of plant knowledge to the public.
Gardens by the Bay Light Show
During the evening, the supertrees come to life with a light and sound show – Garden Rhapsody. Twice every evening, 12 of the 18 supertrees come alive in a fun 15-minute light and sound show. There is no entry fee and it takes place daily at 7:45pm and 8:45pm. The music and lights change periodically throughout the year, so check out watch is currently on here.
Get here early for a prime location…it get busy quickly!
Where to eat at Gardens by the Bay
There are several food options to choose from at the Gardens. My go-to whenever i’m here is the hawker center Satay by the Bay. With a number of different food stalls, from Thai to Satay, there’s something for everyone here. It’s also reasonably priced. But expect to pay more than typically hawkers given the location.
Outside of this, there are a few other establishments on the site. From fast food chain giants, Shake Shack and McDonalds, to the Mediterranean inspired Hortus.
On a Budget
It’s very possible to visit Gardens by the Bay on a budget. For one, the gardens themselves are free for you to walk around and explore. Only the conservatories (flower and cloud domes) and the OCBC skywalk require tickets.
For cheap food options, check out Satay by the Bay. Many stalls do lunch time offers and discounts. Alternatively, there are a number of benches dotted around the park, where you could sit with packed food.
You can also skip the OCBC skywalk and opt to take photos at the Marina Bay Overpass Viewing Point and at the Dragonfly Bridge.
For good, free photo opportunities, go to the Marina Bay Overpass Viewing Point and the Dragonfly Bridge.
The best way to see everything Gardens by the Bay has to offer, visit the supertrees early afternoon, followed by the conservatories and dinner, before joining for one of the light shows.
I hope this helps if you’re planning to visit the Gardens by the Bay during your time in Singapore.
Happy Travels x