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The most beautiful gardens in Singapore

The Garden City is peppered with colourful blooms and lush foliage. Here are the prettiest gardens in the city

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Written by
Cam Khalid
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Ever since the idea to turn Singapore into a 'Garden City' was introduced in 1967, the city-state has worked towards creating an abundance of lush greenery to make life pleasant for all its inhibitors including people and animals. While the sprawling urban patchwork of skyscrapers, HDB flats, and the daily hustle and bustle contribute to life in Singapore, there is still a plethora of tranquil gardens for a flowery respite. From nature reserves to botanical heavyweights, we’ve uncovered some of the most scenic lush spaces for a quick escape from the city buzz.

RECOMMENDED: The best rooftop gardens in Singapore and the best parks in Singapore

  • Property
  • Raffles Place

A stunning piece of architecture surrounded by foliage, the award-winning Marina One features two 34-storey residential towers, two 30-storey office towers, a retail podium, and an open, heart-shaped core known as Marina One Green Heart Garden. The futuristic green stunner has multiple stepped gardens, winding walkways, waterfalls and over 386 plant species. Beyond the lush greenery, the Heart also houses a myriad of shopping, lifestyle and gastronomic outlets.

  • Things to do
  • City Hall

Bring your curious minds to the corners of Fort canning Park. There's everything from old graves and colonial-era relics to the tranquil Sang Nila Utama Garden. Named after the Palembang prince Sang Nila Utama, the garden welcomes visitors with Javanese split gates, recalling the famous Bali Gates of Heaven and other classical gateway entrances in Indonesia. To immerse yourself further, swing by Pancur Larangan (Forbidden Spring), a freshwater feature that brings to mind Bali's holy springs. If you’re a plant enthusiast, Farquhar Garden will impress you with giant ‘living paintings’ of plant species native to the Malay Peninsula.

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  • Attractions
  • Beaches
  • Marine Parade

If you're at East Coast Park, take a break from the high-energy activities at Raintree Cove, a tranquil oasis complete with a log garden made from tree logs that have been salvaged. The massive open lawn is framed by pockets of lush green gardens with open-sided pavilions parked at the heart of it all to shelter outdoor events and exercise sessions. Not only for kids to tumble around, but grown-ups can also unleash their inner kid on the multi-swing set.

  • Things to do
  • Marina Bay

A Singapore icon, this majestic, gargantuan gardens is a sight to behold. Surrounded by exotic foliage, it's home to various outdoor and indoor gardens. The outdoor Heritage Gardens spotlights the country's rich history through plants, while the indoor Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, and Floral Fantasy feature themed displays of colourful blooms from all around the world. The main stars, however, are the colossal Supertrees. For panoramic vistas of the gardens, head up to the new Supertree Observatory.

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  • Property
  • Changi 

Besides housing a myriad of retail and dining options, the city’s ultimate stopover destination is also the sweet digs of various creative gardens. There's a hedge maze to burn some energy, a glass bridge to admire the stunning views of the HSBC Rain Vortex and Shiseido Forest Valley from above, a misty garden to relax in, and a floral fantasia with many animal topiaries for a cheeky selfie. Prepare to be greeted with the heady riot of fragrance and colour as you enter the Petal Garden. The seasonal floral displays here feature creative ensembles of a wide variety of flowers from all over the world. You don’t even have to be an anthophile to appreciate the gorgeous displays.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Tanglin

We're mighty proud of our very own UNESCO World Heritage site. Established in 1852, the gardens make a tranquil respite from the city buzz. It's also home to over 10,000 species of plants. Highlights include the National Orchid Garden with the world’s largest collection of orchids including the national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim, a beautiful swan lake where you can have a picnic, the rustic and sprawling Learning Forest and the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden where kids can have some play time.

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  • Things to do
  • Jurong East

Deemed as the largest nature wonderland in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore's latest national garden, spanning a whopping 90-hectares. The gardens include Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Garden Promenade – previously known as Jurong Lake Gardens West, Jurong Lake Gardens Central and Garden Promenade respectively. The grounds are specially landscaped and designed for families and the community to come together to play, learn and bond. Admire its dipterocarp, pink tree, orchid, unusual bark and fruit collections among others while you're at it.

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • City Hall

Operated by Edible Garden City – who has long championed the grow-your-own-food movement in Singapore – Edible Garden City houses over 50 types of fruits and vegetables including mushrooms, edible flowers, okra, basil, mint, watermelon, lemongrass, and passionfruit. The urban farm is also open to the public (one of the few!) and is a space where visitors can learn how vegetables are produced and harvested. Check out its website and social media pages for more tips and tricks on growing your own food at home.

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HortPark
  • Things to do
  • Kent Ridge

Brush up on your gardening skills at NParks’ 23-hectare HortPark. Besides 20 themed sections including a stunning Silver Garden made up of light-reflective plants and a Balinese garden under one big canopy in a park setting, HortPark boasts research greenhouses, sells gardening gear and showcases vertical gardening systems ideal for apartment dwellers. There's the Pitter Patter Potter Garden decked with vibrant hues and a playground for families, and the Butterfly Garden will delight nature photography enthusiasts with its gorgeous blooms, and well, colourful butterflies.

 

  • Things to do
  • Bukit Panjang

This nature reserve is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. Besides hundreds of animal and insect species, it also contains more tree species than the whole of North America. Weekends are busy with walkers, nature lovers, and mountain bikers, so come on a weekday if you prefer a quiet trek. There are four walking trails. A steep paved path takes you directly to the peak, but more interesting are the unpaved trails; route three (green) follows a winding forest path, past caves used by Japanese soldiers in World War II. After the hike, head to the adjacent Hindhede Nature Park to look at the quarry lake.

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  • Things to do
  • Ang Mo Kio

There are two gardens in Ang Mo Kio that are worth a visit – Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East and Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. The former sits behind the MRT station, while the latter is opposite the public library. Built on what was previously a rubber estate, the tranquil Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East is home to rubber trees, as well as nutmeg and cinnamon. Take a relaxing stroll among the groves of trees and admire the sculptures of rubber seeds and nutmegs peppered around the Garden. Ang Mo Kio Garden West, on the other hand, boasts an abundance of vibrant-hued flowers such as Dillenia and Vitex. For a bird's eye view of the Garden, climb up the 120-step staircase to the plaza area. Alternatively, take a breather at the landscaped pond situated near the park’s entrance.

  • Things to do

Considered one of the oldest gardens in the city, Mount Faber Park offers impressive panoramic views of Southern Singapore. There are footpaths and stairs that lead up to a hill, as well as lookout points for one of the four Merlion statues in Singapore. Climb up to Faber Point, the highest point in the park, where you'll find a mural wall depicting the scenes of local historical events. It's also the spot where the tree that was planted during the first Tree Planting Day stands. Ring a ship's bell – known as the Bell of Happiness – at the Garden of Happy Promises. This spot is also popular among newlyweds wishing for everlasting love, joy, and prosperity.

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  • Art
  • City Hall

The largest art gallery in Singapore also features one of the prettiest rooftop gardens in the city. The concrete space is decked with green walls all around, benches for pensive thinking, a water feature and plenty of ferns lending to the lush vibes of the garden. Over the years, many art installations by local and international artists have given the garden a colourful boost, which makes it the perfect backdrop for the ‘gram and wedding photos. Plus, it’s one of the best spots in the area to admire downtown Singapore.

  • Shopping
  • Shopping centres
  • Orchard

Nestled on the top of Orchard Central lies an unsuspecting garden overlooking the city. The rooftop garden provides a panoramic view of Singapore, coupled with the soothing sound of waterfalls in the background to drown the noisy crowd below. It is a great place to seek respite from shop-hopping or a humdrum day of work. It's also an optimal place for some alone time. Plus, the garden is decked with Yayoi Kusama sculptures if you're a fan.

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  • Shopping
  • Lifestyle
  • Orchard

The two-and-a-half storey concrete building in the heart of Orchard Road is home to a fresh selection of Singaporean designers and makers like Kydra, Onlewo, The Animal Project, Pinksalt Swim and more. But climb to the second storey and you'll find a sprawling open space with seats and an open-air amphitheatre. The café-hopping crowd can enjoy a cuppa at the minimalist café Alchemist which is pretty hidden atop the amphitheatre stairs.

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