No attraction in Singapore is as mesmerizing as Gardens by the Bay. Located in Marina Bay, the park is one of Singapore’s most recognizable landmarks. Since opening in 2012, it’s become one of the most coveted attractions in the world for travellers.
Gardens by the Bay is most famous for its dramatic supertree grove. During the grove’s nightly light show, vibrant colours dance in the evening sky to the sound of music.
By day or night, the scenes at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore are breathtaking. But when you visit for yourself, you’ll realize there’s more to it than its space-age good looks.
Ready for an unforgettable experience in Singapore? Discover all you need to know about Gardens by the Bay with this complete guide for what to see & do…
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What to expect at Gardens by the Bay
Thanks to popular media (and, especially, the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians), almost everyone on the planet has caught a glimpse of the Gardens by the Bay. Even if you know little about Singapore, you’ll sense how incredible these gardens are.
Like any tourist attraction that gets this much attention, you’re bound to ask: Is it worth the hype?
Well, in my own opinion, it’s simple: Yes, it sure is.
There’s no doubt that Gardens by the Bay is insanely popular. At times (such as during the evening light & sound show) maybe a little too popular for some tastes.
Whatever you do, don’t let that stop you from experiencing the Gardens.
In the travel industry, you’ll often hear the cliché: “There’s no place on earth quite like it.” This is one of the rare instances where it’s actually true. On its own, Gardens by the Bay is one of the top reasons to visit Singapore!
What’ll amaze you about Gardens by the Bay is that it truly IS unique.
From the supertree grove to its conservatories, this top Marina Bay attraction is an innovative place. It has no parallel anywhere else in the world.
That alone should be enough to get you to slide on over. Whether you have only 24 hours in Singapore or a more extended stay, it’s a must-see.
Gardens by the Bay stretches out over about 250 acres of reclaimed land in Marina Bay. It’s not a typical urban park wedged into the corner of a city.
There’s plenty of space here. Even in a busy city like Singapore, there’s enough room to get off-the-beaten-path. On the park’s trails, you can indulge in some of the city’s quieter moments. All with little interference from the usual tourist crowds.
For all its goodness, admission to Gardens by the Bay is free. And considering it’s one of the best things to see & do in Singapore, it’s a little surprising!
You’ll only pay if you wish to take on extra activities. There’s a fee for visiting the two conservatories and strolling the OCBC Walkway in the supertree grove.
What to see & do
We’ve all met over-hyped tourist attractions that are little more than a one-trick pony. That’s not the case here.
Whether you visit during the day or at night, there are plenty of things to do in Gardens by the Bay. In fact, exploring the Gardens leisurely could take the better part of a day!
Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway
The most famous section of Gardens by the Bay is the space-age Supertree Grove. It’s located in the Bay South Garden near the Marina Bay Sands.
You can the Supertree Grove via walkway from the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Approaching the Gardens, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped onto another planet. The effect is even more pronounced when you visit after sundown.
The main grove contains twelve supertrees. The supertrees vary in height and size. Spread out elsewhere in the park, you’ll also find six others. Planted upon the trees are over 200 species of different flowers, adding colour to the scene.
To get the most out of your visit the Supertree Grove, I’d recommend climbing up to the OCBC Skyway (S$8).
This aerial walkway twists through the supertrees. It’s suspended 22 metres from the ground. From here, you’ll catch incredible bird’s-eye views of the park and grove.
As beautiful as the supertrees are by day, the best time to wander through the Supertree Grove is after the sun goes down.
Every evening at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, the Supertree Grove hosts the Garden Rhapsody. This spectacular nightly light & sound show springs the gardens to life. It’s a popular affair. Be sure to arrive early to secure the perfect viewing spot.
Built up an appetite while visiting? Pop into the Supertree Food Hall. This small food court in the grove serves up international favourites. You’ll tame all your ethnic food cravings with Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Cantonese, and more.
Located in in the Bay South Garden, The Heritage Gardens are wedged between the Supertree Grove and conservatories.
The Heritage Gardens are a relaxing walk through Singapore’s history & culture. The gardens represent Singapore’s three main ethnic groups: Chinese, Indian, and Malay. There’s also a section dedicated to Singapore’s colonial past.
Each garden showcases an aesthetic typical of the groups’ horticulture and landscaping design.
You also find exhibits about the area’s plants & herbs. They detail how they’re intertwined with spiritual, culinary, and medicinal traditions.
- Indian Garden: This section tells the story of the influence of Hinduism on Singapore’s Indian culture. It covers how the Vedas tie into everyday life and the horticulture. The Indian Garden exhibitions speak to the importance of plant life in Ayurveda. You’ll also learn about the body art practice of Henna and floor design principles of Kolam. Featured tree species & plants include the Asian Palmyra Palm and the Banyan Tree.
- Chinese Garden: The exhibits at the Chinese Garden walk through the use of plants in Chinese arts & culture. The garden is set up with the aesthetic of typical Chinese gardens, balancing natural landscapes and artistry. The species include pine, Chinese pistache, and King Sago Cycad.
- Malay Garden: Exhibits in the Malay Garden focus on the use of fruits and vegetables for medicinal & culinary purposes. Popular foods include coconut, durian, and pandan. You’ll spot several plants, too, like the Bread Fruit Tree, and Star Fruit. Also, look out for Tongkat Ali, a traditional aphrodisiac native to the Malay Peninsula.
- Colonial Garden: Tropical Singapore was once an important centre for the world spice trade. In the Colonial Garden, you’ll encounter some of the most sought-after spices & plants for traders. Species include nutmeg, rubber, cloves, coffee, and cocoa.
Need a break from Singapore’s heat? Step into the misty Cloud Forest. This domed conservatory mimics the vegetation and geology of tropical highlands.
As you walk throughout the Cloud Forest, you’ll spot a barrage of colourful flora and lush plants. You’ll fill up your Instagram feed in no time!
The Cloud Forest spreads out over several levels. Each level lets you catch its sights at different altitudes.
Catch the most spectacular views to the outside by strolling along the two walkways—the Cloud Walk and the Treetop Walk.
The highlight of the Cloud Forest is, undoubtedly, the central waterfall. At 30 metres high, it’s the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
(As beautiful as it is, the new indoor waterfall at the Jewel in Changi Airport gives it a run for its money!)
Like the neighbouring Cloud Forest, the Flower Dome is the perfect place to escape the infamous humidity of Singapore. Located in the Bay South Garden, it’s a great place to brighten up your day with lovely flowers & plants.
This conservatory is one of the world’s largest greenhouses. It emulates a Mediterranean climate. The Flower Dome spreads out over nine different flower & plant exhibits. Their flora spans five different continents.
Highlights in the Flower Dome include the wacky baobab trees and the quirky sculptures & cacti of the Succulent Garden. Also surprising is the Dutch-inspired field of tulip flowers.
Far East Organization Children’s Garden
If you’re travelling to Singapore with little ones, make sure to stop by the Far East Organization Children’s Garden as you romp on through.
This large recreation area in the heart of the gardens is perfect for family-friendly fun. It features everything from play equipment for toddlers to canopy tree houses and a water park for older children.
The areas you should check out at the Far East Organization Children’s Garden include:
- Toddler Play Zone (1 to 5 years): This playground offers an array of fun-filled activities for toddlers. Highlights include the sway bridge and the Fish Fountain. The kids will also love the interactive water tunnels filled with fish sculptures.
- Rainforest Tree Houses (6 to 12 years): Older children will love a chance to play in these two 4- and 7-metre-high tree houses. They’re set along a 130-metre-long trail through the rainforest landscape of the gardens.
- Water Play (6 to 12 years): Looking for a family-friendly cool down from the dead heat of Singapore? Take the kids to this fun-filled water park. The park features a motion-sensored water play area for an unforgettable interactive experience.
- Amphitheatre: This performing venue holds up to 300 people. It’s used for the park’s various educational events.
Bay East Garden
Lesser-known than the main gardens, Bay East Garden is worthy of a stroll. It delivers spectacular Singapore skyline views over Marina Bay. The vistas extend to the Bay South Garden, the conservatories, and the Singapore Flyer.
In a busy city like Singapore, a chance to chill out in a relaxing 32-hectare green space shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Open 24 hours a day, the Bay East Garden is a Singapore favourite among joggers and cyclists. To breathe in some fresh air before starting the weekday grind, there’s no better place. On weekends, it’s a popular relaxation spot for families looking to escape the bustle of the city centre.
Traditionally, it’s been tougher for travellers to get over to Bay East Garden. This will change soon enough though. Founder’s Memorial Station on the the new Thomson-East Coast MRT line will open here in 2025. It’ll provide direct access to the Bay East Garden from every corner in Singapore.
Satay by the Bay
As you’d expect in Singapore, any major tourist attraction need a place to chow down. And while Satay by the Bay might not hold a candle to Singapore’s top hawker centres, the views alone should put it onto the radar. It’s a good detour if you get a little peckish while exploring the gardens.
Despite the name, Satay by the Bay isn’t just about those oh-so-delicious juicy meat skewers. (Although, as you’d imagine by the name, that IS the signature dish here.)
Whether you’re craving BBQ stingray, chili crab, roasted duck—or any of Singapore’s top dishes,—you shouldn’t have a problem finding it here.
The food stalls here start opening at about 11am. Visit in the evening to see the food court at its most atmospheric.
- Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore
- Opening Times: 5am to 2am (daily)
- Admission: Free
By MRT: As usual, the MRT is the best way to get here by Singapore public transportation. The park is connected to Bayfront MRT Station on the Circle and Downtown Lines via an underground passageway.
By foot: Already at Bayfront Plaza in Marina Bay? Walk through The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and the hotel. Cross over the Dragonfly Bridge to get into the gardens.
To get to the Gardens’ further-flung attractions like the conservatories, you can catch a shuttle bus. It departs from the Bayfront park entrance. It’s a good option if you’re not keen on walking the whole way. (Or when the hot & humid Singapore weather is particularly oppressive.)
The best hotels near Gardens by the Bay
Want to stay close to this incredible attraction? I’d be remise not to throw the iconic Marina Bay Sands into the ring. Without a doubt, this 5-star luxury hotel is one of the absolute best hotels in Singapore—if not in Asia!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the top hotels in Marina Bay to start your search…
- Pan Pacific Hotel: This 5-star hotel offers the best value for a luxury hotel in Marina Bay, if not the entire city! Rooms here are spacious and modern with a dash of colour to brighten up your stay. With six on-site restaurants and a massive outdoor pool with city views, the chill factor here is high.
- The Fullerton Hotel Singapore: This legendary 5-star hotel is located on the CBD side of Marina Bay. It features elegant rooms and a breadth of eating & drinking options. All in one of Singapore’s most coveted central locations.
- Marina Bay Sands: Since opening in 2010, this hotel has defined the Singapore skyline. Undoubtedly, it’s become one of world’s most famous places to stay. Besides the rooms, the hotel offers a staggering selection of food & drink options. Marina Bay Sands is also home to the world’s largest infinity pool. Even if you choose not to stay here, zip up to 57th-floor observation deck for swoon-worthy views.