A trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens makes for a fun day out with the fam! Whether it’s free playgrounds, nature trails or great restaurants, UNESCO World Heritage Site Singapore Botanic Gardens has it all!
Singapore Botanic Gardens is the only tropical botanic garden in the world that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site so it’s clear to see why it’s one of the best parks on the island. Not only do the Singapore Botanic Gardens have a wide array of lush flora and fauna, there are also nature activities, sensorial experiences and fun playgrounds. Plus the Singapore Botanic Gardens has plenty of options for kid-friendly dining. Planning a trip here with the kids? Consult our kid-friendly guide to Singapore Botanic Gardens for all the best places to take the family.
NB: Before you head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens it’s worth noting that you aren’t allowed to cycle, scooter, skate or skateboard in the park, play ball/racquet games, or use frisbees, fly model drones/ kites.
Things to Do at Singapore Botanic Gardens:
Let the kids play at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Designed for children aged 14 and below, the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden within the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an experiential learning environment that lets kids delve into plant ecology and the environment with plenty of room for exploration, adventure and play. It’s the first garden in Asia that’s dedicated to children (you may only enter if you have a child with you), and there is plenty that will excite kids who love the outdoors.
In addition to growing vegetables and a forest with its own stream and ponds, the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden has a suspension bridge for adventurous little ones, nature play areas, a mini maze, a treehouse with swirling slides and sand play.
There’s also a Flying Fox (in the newer part of the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden to the left of Singapore Botanic Gardens) plus more climbing structures and mini trampolines too.Download a detailed map of the Boatanic’s Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden to see all the different highlights.
Do note this part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens is closed on Mondays.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Little Spot
Opening hours: 8am to 7pm, closed on Mondays (except if it’s a public holiday)
Visit the Gallop Extension in Singapore Botanic Gardens
An 8-hectare addition to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Gallop Extension is the largest expansion in the Botanic Gardens’ history! Currently, the Gallop Extension comprises two conserved black and white colonial buildings that have been refurbished into the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Center, the COMO Adventure Grove playground, Mingxin Rambler’s Ridge and the OCBC Arboretum.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Bees Knees Petite
Learning Forest: newer part of Singapore Botanic Gardens
Tucked inside a six-hectare rainforest, you can explore the Keppel Discovery Wetlands to learn about freshwater forest wetland habitats, then hit up the SPH Walk of Giants elevated boardwalk that takes you eight metres above ground so you can get up close to some of the forest’s biggest giants. Check out the Canopy Web while you’re at it to get a feel of what it’s like to peer into the surrounding trees and see them flowering up close. Click here to download a map of the Learning Forest within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, or click here for a virtual tour!
Check out COMO Adventure Grove Playground: Botanical Gardens Singapore
COMO Adventure Grove Playground at Singapore Botanic Gardens is the newest free outdoor park playground where kids can connect with nature. This biophilic playground is inspired by forest canopies, jungle trails and Singapore’s diverse flora, and there’s plenty of climbing, sliding and swinging to be enjoyed!
Kids will love hopping around the pod and seeds of a Saga tree, climb over the jagged surface of a giant Cempedak structure or even climb up structures that resemble the roots of the Weeping Fig – all of which are designed to introduce children to nature through play.
Click here to read about the COMO Adventure Grove playground!
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Bees Knees Petite
Admire the flowers at National Orchid Gardens in the Botanic Gardens
The orchid is Singapore’s national flower, and the best place to get your orchid fix is at the National Orchid Garden on the highest hill of Singapore Botanic Gardens. The garden hosts some of the most exotic orchid collections in the world, and the space recently underwent a $35 million makeover, complete with breathtaking new exhibits. You can enjoy a tranquil walk under the tall and majestic Silver arches clad with a variety of orchids and silver foliage at The Mist Garden and Silver Arches or take in sweet smells of jasmine or chocolate at The Enchanted Garden. If you’re looking for an Insta-worthy shot, head over to The Burkill Hall and the VIP Orchid Garden, which are full of beautiful statues and orchid hybrids. While you stroll through The Golden Shower Arches, keep an eye out for a striking display of the beautiful Golden Shower or Dancing Lady orchids.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a journey up a mountain forest at The Tropical Montane Orchidetum and enjoy panoramic vantage points. Look out for a quaint pineapple grove at Yuen Pend McNiece Bromeliad or pop by the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House that features a wide selection of award-winning hybrids. Finally, the last showstopper is The Sembcorp Cool House, a glasshouse designed to mimic a high-montane forest with over 1,000 orchids and hybrids to enjoy. There are loads of spots for Insta-worthy pics, and it’s a multisensory experience you won’t forget!
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Botanico or Bees Knees at The Garage
Visit Swan Lake in the Singapore Botanic Gardens
One of the major attractions at Singapore Botanic Gardens, Swan Lake was constructed in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest ornamental water feature on the island. There are many species of aquatic plants and fishes in the lake, and plenty of visitors come here to turtle-watch. Swan Lake is also known for its Nibong palms, which were planted in 1891.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Fusion Spoon or Bees Knees
Other highlights at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Planning another day trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens? Here are some other sights, gardens and attractions you should consider:
This octagonal gazebo was first built in 1930 and was first a designated spot for regimental performing bands. These days, you’re more likely to find engaged couples, newlyweds and families using the spot to snap gorgeous photos. It’s one of the most iconic landmarks at Singapore Botanic Gardens, and it’s often identified also the ring of Yellow Rain trees that surround it.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Halia
Enter this relaxing garden via the Singapore Botanic Gardens car park and check out several hundred species of ginger and plants from related families. There are different zones here, and you’ll find various gingers organised by their regions of origin. There’s a fun little waterfall to explore and a pond that’s filled with giant Amazon water lilies, too!
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: The Halia
Healing Garden, Fragrant Garden & Ethnobotany Gardens
There are three gardens that should be on your list when you make a trip to the Singapore Botanic Gardens. At the Healing Garden, you’ll find more than 400 varieties of medicinal plants from Southeast Asia, all laid out thematically in correlation to the parts of the body each plant is meant to heal. As some plants may have toxic properties, you should always keep a close eye on the kiddos and keep your furbabies away from this garden. The Fragrant Garden is filled with sweet and aromatic smells – plus butterflies and insects – from the many plants within. It’s best to visit this garden at night, as that’s when many plants exude their scents. At the Ethnobotany Garden, look out for colourful murals on large boulders (pictured) at each of its four zones – Living, Craft and Construction, Symbolism and Medicinal – which showcase how Singapore indigenous communities used various herbs and plants for rituals, cooking, healing purposes and more.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Bees Knees or Botanico
Eco-Lake within the Botanic Gardens
The Eco-Lake is the perfect place to wind down after a long day of walking! Spot families of otters and turtles as well as a pair of black swans from Western Australia. The lake’s shores border the Eco-Garden, which houses plants that have held economic importance in human history– think spices, dyes, resins and fibres to fruits, timbers and more. Located close to the Bukit Timah entrance, which is easily accessible from Botanic Gardens MRT station.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Little Spot
Heritage Museum & CDL Green Gallery
Expect interactive and multimedia exhibits, historical items in the form of old photographs, artefacts, plant specimens, rare botanical books, oral recordings, botanical paintings and more – many dating back to the early 19th century.
Where to eat nearby with Singapore Botanic Gardens: Fusion Spoon
Where to Eat in the Singapore Botanic Gardens: Cafes & Restaurants
Want a quick pick-me-up? Head to brunch or lunch at one of these restaurants or cafes in the Singapore Botanic Gardens:
The Garage: Botanico and Bees Knees Botanic Gardens
Located in a stunning 1920s black and white conservation building, there are two dining concepts here. Botanico, is on the second level, offering contemporary European cuisine with Asian influences (their botanical cocktails are hit!). Then there’s Bee’s Knees on the ground level with a casual all-day dining menu. This alfresco cafe is popular with morning dog-walkers and early risers.
The Garage, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore 257488
Cluny Food Court at Botanic Gardens
Cluny Food Court is the first-ever food court by Les Amis Group offering all-day casual dining within the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Expect hawkerpreneurs from 5 concepts – Piccante Pronto, Mui Kee Express, S’mao Barbecue, Laifaba Express & Project Penyek by Ansar.
Cluny Food Court, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Raffles Building, Nassim Gate
Privé Botanic Gardens
Privé Botanic Gardens offers all-day dining and drinks for casual meals or brunch. They’ve got an indoor playground and kids’ corner (with a rock climbing wall, story books and kids’ colouring activities!) to entertain little ones.
Privé Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
Bee’s Knees Petite at Botanic Gardens
Located at the heart of the Gallop Extension, Bee’s Knees Petite is a small cafe offering pastries and brekkies, as well as a diverse all-day dining menu or grab-and-go food to explore the surrounding grounds.
Bee’s Knees Petite, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 9 Gallop Road, Singapore 259014
Fusion Spoon at Singapore Botanic Gardens (Halal)
Located at Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Tanglin Gate, Fusion Spoon (right next to the closed outdoor toddler playground) offers casual Western, Japanese and hotpot dishes (all halal) for families.
Fusion Spoon, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, Singapore 259569
Little Spot in Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
This kid-friendly cafe set just inside the Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens makes an easy pit-stop when your kids are hot and hungry after playing at the playground. Little Spot is alfresco (but covered with fans blowing) and they serve kids meals, coffees and casual dishes.
Little Spot, #01-K1, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, 1H Cluny Road, Singapore 259604
Corner House in the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Tuck into upmarket fine dining French-Asian cuisine served omakase-style at Corner House. The menus change frequently, and wine pairings are available.
Corner House, EJH Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
The Halia (Halal): ‘Ginger’ Restaurant at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Situated in the Ginger Garden, The Halia dishes out contemporary European with a distinctly Asian twist (all dishes are halal). There’s also a delish kids menu for littlies and a communal feast option if you’re sharing with a group of five.
The Halia, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Getting to Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens is open from 5am to midnight daily and admission is free for all. Want to navigate the Gardens easily? Click here for a series of Singapore Botanic Gardens maps, which include downloadable activity sheets plus maps for the Rainforest Trail, Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, the Gallop Extension, Learning Forest and more. Click here if you’re looking for the Botanic Gardens map.
Singapore Botanic Gardens Carpark
There’s ample car parking available at Gallop Gate, Jacob Ballas and Tyersall Gate, and you can enter the Botanic Gardens via Holland Road and Tyersall Avenue. The taxi drop-off is located at the pick-up and drop-off point at Gallop Gate.
Botanic Garden MRT
Botanic Gardens MRT station is right outside the Singapore Botanic Gardens. You’ll be close to the Eco-Lake and a 10 minute walk to Jacob Ballas Gardens. Alternatively, get off at Farrer Road MRT station and walk through Woollerton Gate, which is connected to the other attractions at Gallop Extension via Gallop Valley.
Botanic Gardens Bus stop
Hop on buses 7, 77, 77, 105, 106, 123, 174, 174E or NR8 if you’re entering via the Tanglin Entrance. Alternatively, take buses 48, 66, 67, 151, 153, 154, 156 and 170 if you’d like to use the Bukit Timah entrance.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569, www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg