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Macritchie Reservoir
Photograph: Flickr/Zervas

The most beautiful public parks in Singapore

If you need fresh air, a break from aircons, tall buildings and staying in, head out to one of Singapore's picturesque parks

By Delfina Utomo
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Finding a spot in the city for a breather is important for us tired souls, but it's also a nice bonus to be basking in a lush and beautiful garden. Lucky for us, there's plenty of green spots around the island if we want to take a break from the concrete jungle. From Orchard Road to Sengkang, we venture to the prettiest parks in Singapore. 

RECOMMENDED: The best secret and hidden parks in Singapore and the most Instagrammable places in Singapore

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Tanglin

We're mighty proud of our very own UNESCO World Heritage site. Established in 1852, the Gardens are a tranquil respite from the city buzz, in the city. 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 more. 

 

Bukit Batok Nature Park hiking trails
Photograph: NParks

Bukit Batok Nature Park

Things to do Bukit Batok

Locates in a residential estate, the serene Bukit Batok Nature Park was developed on an abandoned quarry in 1988. There are lookout points that afford stunning views of the quarry, along with footpaths to cycle and jog on and a moderately easy hiking trail through the foliage. For a bit of history, head to the WWII memorial, which commemorates the location of one of the fiercest battles that took place in Singapore.

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The Learning Forest
Photo: Delfina Utomo

The Learning Forest

Things to do Tanglin

Located in the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest was designed to integrate with the existing 6-hectare rainforest to form an enlarged forest habitat. Unlike the rest of the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest is a little more rustic and sprawling, segmented into different areas like the bamboo garden, an arboretum of wild fruit trees, and wetland ecosystems for curious sorts to explore, discover and like its namesake, to learn about Singapore’s rainforests.

Gardens by the Bay

Things to do Marina Bay

Surprise, surprise. Well, of course, we had to add this spot in this list. It's no wonder Gardens by the Bay features in almost every promotional image of Singapore. There's so much to gawk about the lakes, the plants and flowers, the Supertrees, the glass domes with even more plants. Just to note, while most attractions in the park are free for all, a ticket is required to enter designated areas (only the Flower Dome is open for now). Still, it's pretty worth it too, we say.  

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Macritchie Reservoir
Photograph: Flickr/Zervas

MacRitchie Reservoir

Things to do Walks and tours Central Water Catchment

Singapore’s oldest and most popular nature park is a haven for joggers, families and weekend strollers; occasional free concerts are held on Sundays. To get into the rainforest proper, the MacRitchie Trails around the reservoir offer easy boardwalk treks and ambitious hikes, ranging from three to 11 kilometres in length. Long-tailed macaque monkeys are common, but be wary: some can be quite ferocious, as they’re used to being fed by irresponsible visitors. A highlight is the TreeTop Walk, a suspension bridge positioned 25 metres above the forest floor, which connects the two highest points in the reserve and offers splendid panoramic views. 

Fort Canning Park
Photograph: Jnzl/Flickr

Fort Canning Park

Things to do City Hall

While the grown-ups will appreciate the history of this modest-sized mound in the heart of the business district, the kids… well, they don’t need any excuse to tumble around in a park as verdant as this, do they? As they explore the many nooks and crannies of Fort Canning Park and its many colonial-era relics, learn more about the paramount roles it played in the defence of the island and even before the British arrived, when it served as the residence of Malay royalty.

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East Coast Park

Attractions Beaches Marine Parade

East Coast Park stretches along the east coast of Singapore from Changi Airport (the strip is great for plane watching), past the numerous restaurants at East Coast Seafood Centre to Fort Road. There are dedicated cycle and walking paths, bicycle and rollerblade hire stalls, a skate park, and barbecue and camping areas. And of course, there's the beach and the breakwaters near the coast which is ideal for a breather.

Coney Island
Photograph: Delfina Utomo

Coney Island

Things to do Punggol

Though open to the public, making your way to this end of Singapore is quite an adventure already. Good thing you don't even need a ferry to get to the island – just a pair of good walking shoes will do. This ecologically sustainable park also uses timber from fallen trees for all the signage in the park, benches and the boardwalk over the mangrove swamp. Everything on the island is kept rustic and as it is, so you can expect to discover hidden beaches around the coast and some wildlife out and about. 

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Hindhede Nature Park

Things to do Walks and tours Bukit Panjang

Located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, everyone heads to Hindhede Nature Park for one thing: the majestic views of the quarry. While it may not be a conducive place for a picnic or frolicking in the grass, the path to the quarry is lush and an excellent spot for wildlife watching. There are also play areas where you can let the kids run around for a bit before heading to the observation deck that faces the picturesque quarry.

Sengkang Riverside Park

Things to do Sengkang

The riverine park is known for its constructed wetlands where you can walk to edges of pools and mangroves to observe the aquatic wildlife. The wetland also attracts a rich diversity of wildlife like mangrove birds and damselflies. When walking around the park, you will also discover plenty of fruit trees such as star fruit, chiku and dragon fruit. 

Parks galore!

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