Singapore has always prided itself on being a garden city, one where glass towered alongside grass and last year, opened another attraction that certainly helps it live up to its reputation. Gardens by the Bay is a must-visit park for any fans of flora and fauna (or royalty; Prince William and Kate Middleton made a quick stop here during their whirlwind world tour in 2012). The park consists of three unique, waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.
Bay South Garden, the largest of the three, is known for its two conservatories, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The Flower Dome simulates the dry and mild climate of the Mediterranean, and displays interesting plants and trees from the region, including olive trees and date palms.
Flowers, however, steal the show and the dome features a changing display field to display seasonal flowers. Previously highlighted flowers include tulips and roses.
The Cloud Forest is smaller than the Flower Dome, and replicates the cool, moist conditions of tropical mountain regions. Here, visitors can enjoy the cooling mist from a 35-metre waterfall, and view ferns and orchids (among others) from the world over.
Probably the most iconic feature of the Gardens, the Supertrees are home to a myriad of species, and two are linked via the OCBC skyway. The skyway allows visitors to catch a breathtaking aerial glimpse of the Gardens, especially at night. The Supertrees come alive at night with an exciting light show.
Pollen or Satay by the Bay?
Gardens by the Bay is home to more than flora and fauna; plenty of food outlets dot the gardens, including restaurants, cafés and dessert parlours.
Pollen restaurant offers Mediterranean-influenced, modern European cuisine served alongside captivating views of the Gardens. Definitely a must-try if you’re looking for fresh, well-cooked food, Pollen makes the most of its green surroundings and uses herbs and vegetables from the Gardens.
Satay by the Bay, a more wallet-friendly option, is a rare waterfront, food court dining experience. Dig into hawker favourites, including BBQ chicken wings, chicken rice, satay, laksa, among others. True to its name, the food court is famous for its satay, which is currently on promotion, with 30 sticks going for $16.
Finally treat yourself to a slice of heaven from the Gardens’ very own creamery, Seventh Heaven. With over 30 innovative ice cream flavours, including 8 floral flavours, you’ll be spoilt for choice and might find yourself with one scoop too many.
Admission to the outdoor gardens is free. However, admission to the cooled conservatories and OCBC skyway is ticketed. Tickets to both conservatories cost $20 for local resident adults, $12 for local resident children (3 – 12 years old). Standard adult tickets are $28 and standard child tickets are $15.
Fans of the Gardens can opt to get a regular membership pass for unlimited admission to the Gardens and its conservatories. These passes, valid for one year, also include free parking for the first two hours and are packaged to suit individual needs. Individual adult passes start at $68, while family passes (for 2 adults, 3 children) are $180 each.
How to Get There
Getting to the Gardens is easy; hop on a train to Bayfront MRT, which is within walking distance of the Gardens.
SBS Transit also runs a bus service (400) to the Gardens, but the service only runs every 20 minutes. Alternatively, commuters can hop on a free shuttle bus service on weekdays. The service runs along the Central Business District every 15 minutes during lunchtime, while going to Marina Bay MRT station every 20 minutes after 6pm.
There are at least four different parking locations within the Gardens itself, so finding a lot shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Lunchtime parking is free on weekdays, while charges range between $0.025 and $0.04 per minute at other times.