Established in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has remained one of Singapore’s most prized attractions and is also one of the largest gardens in the city, much like New York’s Central Park and London’s Botanic Gardens of Kew.
If you go there on a weekend afternoon, you’ll see why the Singapore Botanic Garden’s lush green spaces are perfect for picnics and are often frequented by both locals and foreigners. This plot of land sandwiched between Bukit Timah and Tanglin region boasts of an Orchid Garden with over 3,000 species of orchids and their hybrids, a small conserved section of the tropical rainforest that used to be where the gardens are now, three lakes, and multiple smaller gardens!
One of the smaller lakes, the Symphony Lake, features an open air amphitheater. Free concerts are frequently held here at the Symphony Stage, so if you plan to make a visit, don’t forget to check the schedule to see what performances you can catch!
If you head down south a little more, there’s an interesting statue of Frederick Chopin facing the stage.
Regardless of whether you’re a horticulture enthusiast or just taking a stroll in the park, one of the highlights of the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the National Orchid Park. This park holds special significance as Singapore’s national flower is the Vanda Miss Joaqim, a hybrid Orchid. People like Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana and singer Ricky Martin also have had orchids named after them.
Another iconic sight of the Singapore Botanic Garden is this special gazebo, nicknamed “The Bandstand”, sitting here since the early 1930s. Spend a few minutes to enjoy the tranquil surroundings, and take a few photos with this charming little artefact of the past!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to drop by the Tanglin Visitor Center on your way out. Apart from picking up some useful information brochures, there are also multiple interesting landscaping features like the Saraca Stream (above), and the green pavilion (below), Singapore’s first pavilion with a landscaped roof!
From Changi Business Park, take the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) towards City, and take exit 19 out into Whitley Road. Head down Whitley Road and turn right into Bukit Timah Road, and turn left at Cluny Road. Cluny Road goes along the entire length of the Botanic Gardens, but the main entrance is at the end of Cluny Road, at the junction with Holland Road.
Alternatively, you can take the Circle Line and alight at Botanic Gardens Station (CC19).
Opening hours of the Singapore Botanic Gardens are from 5.00am to 12.00am daily. The National Orchid Gardens are open 8.30am to 7.00pm daily, and cost $5 per entry for adults, and $1 for children or senior citizens.
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