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Singapore Botanic Gardens
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best parks and beaches for picnics in Singapore

The perfect picnic spot exists in Singapore – we round up our favourite lawns, fields and sandy beaches around town

By Sofiana Ramli, Tiffany Chow, Delfina Utomo and Aiko Tun
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There's a time for trekking and conquering nature trails but there's also a time for sitting pretty and having a picnic – especially now that beaches are open once again. Forget fighting for a table in a hip cafe in the city too. When the weather's looking fine, it's time to pack some bites and look for a spot in one of the best parks in Singapore. 

If you're not in the mood to put together a take-out feast, grab a gourmet picnic basket that comes pre-packed with all the tasty finger food you need. All you have to do is to place an order, swing by to collect, and be on your way. We've rounded up some places that don't require you to travel to the middle of nowhere, have some shade, and most importantly, located near the toilets (but not too near).

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Jurong Lake Gardens
Photograph: NParks

Jurong Lake Gardens

Things to do Jurong East

Surround yourself with the flora and fauna in the west. Deemed as the largest nature wonderland in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore's latest national garden, spanning a whopping 90 hectares. The grounds are specially landscaped and designed for families and the community to come together to play, learn, and bond.

Best picnic spot The Lakeside Field and The Oval are massive fields of green where you can plop down with your picnic basket. Scenic attractions nearby include the Rasau Walk and Grassland, as well as play areas such as Clusia Cove and Forest Ramble. While there are barbecue pits too, they remain suspended until further notice.

Getting there The closest station is Lakeside MRT station. Bus services 49 and 154 from Jurong East also travels through the area.

Palawan Beach
Photograph: Shutterstock

Palawan Beach

Attractions Beaches Central

Located between Sentosa’s Siloso Beach and Tanjong Beach, this stretch of calm water and fine grain sand is considered the most family-friendly of the three. Kick back on the beach building sandcastles or having a picnic.

Best picnic spot Cross over the suspension rope bridge for the Southernmost point of continental Asia – also Asia's closest point to the equator. You can head up to the tower for a breathtaking view of Sentosa, or you can settle by the waters for an intimate picnic.

Getting there Take the Sentosa Express from Vivocity Level 3 and get down at Beach Station. Then board a tram from the blue line to Palawan Beach.

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HortPark

Things to do Kent Ridge

Pick a spot that suits your aesthetic and taste at HortPark – there are 20 themed sections here, including a stunning Silver Garden made up of light-reflective plants and Balinese themed garden. Plus there's plenty of shade around for when you need to get out of the scorching sun.

Best picnic spot HortLawn is the best spot to plop down for a picnic. It's near the entrance, toilets and facilities. There's plenty of space, plus it's extremely pretty so time to snap some pictures.

Getting there The closest station to the park is Labrador Park and there are many buses to take from there that go to the park. 

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park
Photograph: PUB

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Things to do Bishan

One of the largest parks in Singapore, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park comprises two sections, separated by Marymount Road. Intersecting the length of the park is the starting portion of the Kallang River, which flows down from Lower Pierce Reservoir. The park's many eateries include Grub, Canopy Garden Dining, and McDonald's. The park also has a spa – Aramsa Garden Spa. Other amenities include a dog run, a playground, and a water park.

Best picnic spot: Take your picnic from the sprawling open lawns near the river or choose a shady spot under a tree.

Getting there: Lucky for picnic goers, the park is located near the MRT station. Alight at Ang Mo Kio station on the North-South Line and take a short walk to the park. 

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Marina Barrage
Photograph: Supplied

Marina Barrage

Things to do Marina Bay

Marina Barrage attracts couples and families all year round thanks to its breathtaking 360-degree view of the bay area. Bring your own kite to sail in the bay’s gusty winds or pick one up from among the cavalcade of colourful creations in the kite shop on the grounds.

Best picnic spot: Settle anywhere on the turf, you'll still be able to get panoramic views of Singapore's skyline. On weekends, it will get packed very fast so if you're fine with heading there earlier for a brunch spot, your determination to picnic will pay off.

Getting there: It's not easy getting there without a car but if you're up for it, take a 25-minute walk from Bayfront MRT.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Photo: Calvin Teo

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Tanglin

Clearly the best park to picnic in, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has plenty of ground to set up a spot and soak up some nature.

Best picnic spot: Surrounded by trees on all sides, the gentle slope of Palm Valley is the ideal picnic spot. At the bottom of the slope is the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, which holds regular music events, the most popular of which is the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's Symphony in the Park series. The nearest toilets are beside the Cool House, near Palm Valley Gate. Otherwise, there are also toilets at the visitor centre.

Getting there: From the visitor's centre, head left towards Corner House and further up Heliconia Walk. Or, enter Palm Valley from Orchid Plaza. 

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Gardens by the Bay

Things to do Marina Bay

There's plenty of open spaces and green lawns for you to set up your picnic mat and snacks at Gardens By The Bay. With all-around picturesque views, amazing play areas for the children to keep themselves occupied, trails and ways for when you need to take a walk after too many sandwiches and also the convenience of clean toilets and shops (in case someone forgets to pack the drinks) nearby – dream picnic spot!

Best picnic spot: The Bay East Garden is the best spot for views of the waterfront, there's also plenty of shade from the trees and if you need the toilets, it's a short walk away from the spot. 

Getting there: If you're driving, the nearest carpark is Bay East Garden Carpark and it would take a five-minute walk to the spot. Stop at the nearest station Stadium MRT if you're coming down by train.

Pasir Ris Park
Photo: NParks

Pasir Ris Park

Attractions Beaches Pasir Ris

The family-friendly Pasir Ris Park boasts playgrounds, maze gardens, and bird-watching towers keep the kids entertained, while nearby barbecue pits and open lawns are perfect for having a picnic with the family. There are also nature trails, walks by the mangrove swamps and the coastline for more activities in between the snacks.

Best picnic spot: Take your pick from the many barbecue pit areas by the coastline but we suggest a spot from Area 1 and 2 as they have carparks nearby, play areas and facilities nearby.

Getting there: Located near Pasir Ris MRT station, there are many buses that take you to whichever spot you want at the park. We suggest taking a bus to Downtown East and then walking over to the park. 

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Changi Beach Park

Things to do Changi 

Changi Beach, one of the oldest in Singapore, is located so far away from the city centre that it has remained relatively undeveloped. And that’s a good thing. Unlike East Coast Park, Changi Beach Park has a distinct kampong vibe. You’ll feel it the moment you sink your toes into the white sand. In fact, we daresay that this park is your best bet if you want to escape the weekend throngs.

Best picnic spot: Park the car at Carpark 1 and set up a good picnic spot near by. With great sea views, a huge playground nearby for the kids to rough it out at, and toilets for convenience, we say this area is our sweet spot.

Getting there: Bus services 9, 19 and 89 are available at several bus stops near to the park's carparks along Nicoll Drive. Visitors can also take bus services 2, 29, 59 and 109 to Changi Village and walk across the pedestrian footbridge to the park. 

Fort Canning Park
Photo: Delfina Utomo

Fort Canning Park

Things to do City Hall

When it's not the grounds for some of Singapore's hottest and coolest gigs or music festivals, Fort Canning Park is can be quite lovely. A beacon of Singapore's history (it's home to Malay kings and the site where Singapore surrendered to the Japanese), boasts some sprawling lawns and located in a convenient and central area, pack your mats and snacks for a day in the sunshine. 

Best picnic spot: To soak in the sun and bask in the outdoors, head to the vast Fort Canning Green but if you like to sit in the shade under tall ancient trees, Fort Gate is a cosy spot for those who want some quiet.

Getting there: The closest MRT stations are Bras Basah, Dhoby Ghaut and City Hall. It only takes a short walk to reach the park but we warn you, there will be a lot of climbing. 

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East Coast Park

Attractions Beaches Marine Parade

Stretching over 15 kilometres, this swathe of sand and grass is teeming with coconut trees and picnic tables. 

Best picnic spot: Avoid the crowd by setting up camp at Area F, between car parks F2 and F3. You'll get a scenic view of the sea – and its spacious lawn area is the perfect place for plane-spotting and playing frisbee. After your picnic, stretch your limbs and wander through the lush bougainvillea garden nearby, or head to Sunset Bay Garden Bistro next to it for a few drinks. The closest public toilet is located at car park F2 and is even equipped with shower rooms.

Getting there: It's a 20-minute walk away from the skate park. Or take the bus and drop off at car park F3, after East Coast’s Sea Sports Club).

West Coast Park

Things to do Kent Ridge

This park sits on 50 hectares of land that's equipped with a camping site, barbecue pits, a dog run and a huge playground with eight sets of play areas – perfect for families.

Best picnic spot: Pick any spot in Area 3, preferably under the shady trees near the playgrounds if you want to keep an eye on the young 'uns. Also, for a last-minute picnic, just grab food from the nearby McDonald's. Area 3 also faces the sea – you can head up the lookout deck for a closer view of the ships that dot the horizon. The nearest toilets are either at the McDonald's or in a block to the left of Area 3.

Getting there: From the bus stop or the car park (Car Park 3) nearest to the McDonald's, walk towards the playgrounds.

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Labrador Nature Reserve

Things to do Habourfront

Labrador Nature Reserve, which is a part of the Southern Ridges, is rich in biodiversity and has many relics dating back to World War II that you can explore. For the less intrepid, the boardwalks offer spectacular views of the sea.

Best picnic spot: Spread your mat along the shady areas or in one of the sheltered pavilions near Car Park B. For those with kids, there's a playground near the lighthouse and, on weekends, a van selling old-school block ice cream at the car park. The nearest toilets are to the right, away from the lighthouse and near the open space.

Getting there: From Labrador MRT station, walk along the Berlayer Creek boardwalk, then turn right towards the Berlayer Point Lighthouse. If you're driving, head up Port Road and turn left towards Car Park B.

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