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13 Things To Do At Singapore Botanic Gardens – Tropical Montane Orchidetum, Gallop Extension & Trails

Singapore Botanic Gardens guide


Opened in 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has been around since the era of our grandparents – heck, even our great-grandparents – rendering it one of those attractions that seem to have been around forever

But if you think you’ve got the place all figured out, a visit today might change your mind as the park has been expanded several times in recent years. Explore SG’s largest garden anew with this guide which includes a fun children’s playground and lesser-known attractions like a Japan-inspired bamboo grove:

Table of Contents

Singapore Botanic Gardens guide– Things to do in Singapore Botanic Gardens – 1. COMO Adventure Grove – Playground with giant fruit sculptures2. Forest Discovery Centre – Educational gallery in a colonial bungalow3. National Orchid Garden – World’s largest orchid display4. Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge – 350m trail to the top5. Ginger Garden – Bali-like waterfalls6. Bambusetum – “Japanese” bamboo forest with > 30 species 7. SPH Walk of the Giants – Canopy nets 8m above ground8. Vanda Miss Joaquim display – Garden of SG’s national flower9. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden -Tree house & flying fox ride10. Swan Lake – Scenic waterfront pavilions11. Symphony Lake – Free concerts & picnic ops– Food in Singapore Botanic Gardens – 12. Bee’s Knees – Pet-friendly restaurant with take-out picnic baskets13. The Halia – Lunch with Bali-like views


– Things to do in Singapore Botanic Gardens – 


1. COMO Adventure Grove – Playground with giant fruit sculptures


Good news for all parents out there, here’s a spot to bring your little ones – COMO Adventure Grove, a part of the semi-recent Gallop Extension.

Throw aside the stereotypical idea of a playground as this one here looks more like an art installation rather than the colourful slides and swings we’re familiar with. With artificial branches and hanging swings and slides that blend right into the au-natural aesthetic, this is a #throwback to the kampung days when children used to monkey around amongst the trees.

singapore botanic gardens - COMO Adventure GroveImage credit: @playpointasia via Instagram

Regular-sized objects may look large to kids but things are elevated with larger-than-life installations. There are huge saga seeds to bounce on and even a giant cempedak that kids can clamber up – y’know, for a fruitful day out.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


2. Forest Discovery Centre – Educational gallery in a colonial bungalow


singapore botanic gardens - Forest Discovery CentreImage credit: @lawchang68 via Instagram

Another interesting spot to visit in the park is the Forest Discovery Centre. It’s housed within the Gallop House No.5, which is actually the oldest-surviving bungalow from the colonial era in Singapore. Built in 1898, the building has been preserved and turned into a stunning educational centre.

singapore botanic gardens - Forest Discovery Centre interiorImage credit: NParks

For those who threw all their Geog knowledge out of the window the moment they graduated, this is a good place to start your day when you visit the park. Here, you’ll be able to fall in tune with the identification of forest wildlife, learn more about native trees and refresh your knowledge of mangrove and tropical forests.

Opening hours (Forest Discovery Centre): 9am-6pm, DailyNote: Closed every last Monday of the month

singapore botanic gardens - Botanical Art Gallery.Botanical Art Gallery.Image credit: @davidchein via Instagram

There’s also the Botanical Art Gallery nearby, located with the 1900’s Gallop House No.7. Other than escaping the heat with the cool A/C here, you’ll find more than 2,000 botanical paintings alongside an activity room filled with drawing materials you’re free to use.

Opening hours (Botanical Art Gallery): 9am-6pm, Daily (Last entry at 5.30pm)Note: Closed every last Thursday of the month

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


3. National Orchid Garden – World’s largest orchid display


singapore botanic gardens - National Orchid GardenYellow orchids line the underside of each arch.Image credit: @manonlucci via Instagram

The National Orchid Garden is the only paid attraction in the park but you can consider the nominal fee money well spent. The gated attraction will take you away from the crowds, where visitors can enjoy the world’s largest orchid display of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 orchid hybrids in some peace and quiet. 

singapore botanic gardens - National Orchid Garden - flowerOver 200 VIP orchids named after famous folk like Jackie Chan and Michael Kors.Image credit: @byyoursmile via Instagram

No worries, you won’t be getting just flowers upon flowers upon yet more flowers – between the different sections of the garden is a mist garden, ethereal plant arches, and floral-decorated fountains to break up the space.

singapore botanic gardens - National Orchid Garden - decorImage credit: @byyoursmile via Instagram

National Orchid Garden ADMISSION FEESingapore residents: $5 for adults, $1 for students and seniors aged 60 and aboveStandard rate: $15 for adults, $3 for students and seniors aged 60 and aboveFree for children under 12 years old ADDRESS1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569 Opening Hours:Thursday 08:30-19:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Tuesday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Wednesday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Thursday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Friday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Saturday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Sunday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM

GOOGLE REVIEWS4.8 (344)CONTACT INFORMATION1800 471 7300 More InformationRECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $10.26 image$15.00imageCheapest$10.26


Tropical Montane Orchidarium – Cooling glasshouse garden


singapore botanic gardens - Tropical Montane Orchidarium

Probably one of the most photogenic spots in Singapore, period, the Tropical Montane Orchidetum is one place visitors shouldn’t skip when visiting the Botanic Gardens. You’ll find this whimsical glasshouse nestled within the National Orchid Garden, with over 1,000 species of orchids to learn about.

singapore botanic gardens - Tropical Montane Orchidarium - walkThe garden’s Sembcorp Cool House has 2 storeys with over 100 types of ferns and flowers from various regions in the world like Brazil and Mexico.

This glasshouse has been built to mimic the climates you’d find in high-elevation regions, with temps dipping to 16-24 degrees here. Sweater weather, anyone?

Within the space is also the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, where you’ll find rarer orchid hybrids.

singapore botanic gardens - Secret RavineTake a walk along the Secret Ravine and Lowland Habital Trail if you’d like to clock in a few extra steps.

Price (National Orchid Garden): 

Adults: $5 (Local) | $15 (Standard)Students: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)Seniors: $1 (Local) | $3 (Standard)

Free for children under 12.

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance

National Orchid Garden ADMISSION FEESingapore residents: $5 for adults, $1 for students and seniors aged 60 and aboveStandard rate: $15 for adults, $3 for students and seniors aged 60 and aboveFree for children under 12 years old ADDRESS1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569 Opening Hours:Thursday 08:30-19:00 Show Time Hide

Monday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Tuesday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Wednesday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Thursday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Friday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Saturday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM
Sunday 08:30 AM-07:00 PM

GOOGLE REVIEWS4.8 (344)CONTACT INFORMATION1800 471 7300 More InformationRECOMMENDED TICKETS AT $10.26 image$15.00imageCheapest$10.26


4. Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge – 350m trail to the top


singapore botanic gardens - Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s RidgeImage credit: NParks

We don’t have any mountains or many hills, so discovering a new walking trail to explore on our island is always good news. Immerse yourself in nature at Mingxin Foundation Rambler’s Ridge with rocky steps that lead you past endangered Spike Oak and Braided Chestnut trees.

A mini MacRitchie Reservoir experience without the sweat, this short 350m route will take you to a 40m-high elevation – the highest point in the whole of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

You may consider booking a Singapore Garden City Guided Tour.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


5. Ginger Garden – Bali-like waterfalls


singapore botanic gardens - Ginger Garden

It’s easy to fall for waterfalls, especially when they’re as picturesque as the ones at the Ginger Garden. Find 2 waterfalls here – one with a cave you can enter to experience the waterfall from behind and snap a photo worthy of one of those IG travel accounts.

singapore botanic gardens - Ginger Garden - photo opAre we in Bali?

Waterfalls aside, there are ginger plants here – lots of them. The 1-hectare garden is home to more than 250 species of the spicy medicinal root, sorted according to their region of origin. While you can’t see the ginger root itself, you’ll be able to spot the plant by its vibrant green leaves and flowers.

Opening hours: 5am-12am, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


6. Bambusetum – “Japanese” bamboo forest with > 30 species 


singapore botanic gardens - Bambusetum

Bamboo-zle your friends into thinking you’re in Japan’s iconic Arashiyama Forest at Bambusetum, featuring a dreamy lane of more than 30 species of bamboo. These grow up to 30m in height, creating that picture-perfect frame – no high-level photography needed.

Drag your photographer friends here during golden hour for that soft glowy effect in your shots, or bring your furry pupper here for a scenic walk – dogs are more than welcome in this park!

Opening hours: 5am-12am, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


7. SPH Walk of the Giants – Canopy nets 8m above ground


singapore botanic gardens - SPH Walk of the Giants

Henderson Waves and MacRitchie’s Treetop Walk may get all the glory but little do most know that there’s an equivalent in the Singapore Botanic Gardens: the SPH Walk of the Giants. 260m-long, this elevated boardwalk brings you 8m above the ground, where you’ll be able to enjoy the view up in the canopy layer of the forest. 

True to its name, the walk takes visitors up close and personal to palms, epiphytes, climbers, and giant century-old trees that can grow up to 20 storeys in height, rivalling many of our HDB blocks.

singapore botanic gardens - SPH Walk of the Giants - photo op

Relax away from the hordes of insects you’d usually find on ground level on their suspended Canopy Webs* that surround the giant trees while enjoying the shades provided by the top canopy. 

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, Daily

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance* The Canopy webs are partially closed from 10th August 2023 until further notice. Get updates on NParks’ website


8. Vanda Miss Joaquim display – Garden of SG’s national flower


singapore botanic gardens - Vanda Miss Joaquim display

Any plant parent will know that it’s tough getting your own flowering plants to grow in Singapore. However, there’s really no need to go through all the hassle when you can just as easily enjoy gorgeous blooms at the Vanda Miss Joaquim display, AKA Singapore’s national flower.

singapore botanic gardens - Vanda Miss Joaquim display - friends

While not the largest field of flowers out there, this sure looks like it stretches on endlessly thanks to its towering 2m height that keeps the rest of the park shrouded out of sight.

And of course, the flowers blooming at eye level make for the perfect backdrop for some dreamy shots – we hear it’s a good spot for pre-wedding photography.

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance


9. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden -Tree house & flying fox ride


singapore botanic gardens - Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden - treehouseImage credit: @sebastienbruggerman via Instagram

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden has an expansive play area for children to run around and explore the great outdoors. Your little ones can live their Tarzan dreams in the low-lying tree house surrounded by vines, or hop on a flying fox for a quick rush of adrenaline. 

singapore botanic gardens - Jacob Ballas Children’s GardenImage credit: @cherritan via Instagram

Dotted around the area are also streams to wander along, balancing beams made of logs and gardening trails for aspiring urban gardeners to explore.

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am-7pm (Closed on Mondays)

Nearest entrance: Bukit Timah Entrance


10. Swan Lake – Scenic waterfront pavilions


singapore botanic gardens - Swan LakeImage credit: @cmezrbrt via Instagram

For those who used to go crazy over Barbie, the Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens may bring to mind the franchise’s classic Swan Lake movie – both featuring a whimsical pond filled with graceful swans.

singapore botanic gardens - Swan Lake - pavillionImage credit: @daisybunch via Instagram

This historic lake is also known as Main Lake or First Lake, as it’s considered to be the oldest ornamental water feature in Singapore, having been around for more than 155 years. Take a leisurely 10-minute stroll along the looping path that wraps the lake or enjoy the ambience best by relaxing under one of the romantic waterfront pavilions. 

Nearest entrance: Tanglin Entrance


11. Symphony Lake – Free concerts & picnic ops


singapore botanic gardens - Symphony LakeImage credit: @kebinvillar16 via Instagram

The most iconic spot within the Singapore Botanic Gardens is probably Symphony Lake, where you’ll find a majestic stage and spacious lawn surrounding it.

singapore botanic gardens - Symphony Lake - fieldImage credit: @thehalia via Instagram

Enjoy this vast outdoor space by bringing along a picnic mat and some snacks for a chill evening out. For rinsing of fruits from your picnic basket – or a quick answer to nature’s call – there’s also a clean public washroom near the southern end of the lawn.

Nearest entrance: Nassim Entrance


– Food in Singapore Botanic Gardens – 


12. Bee’s Knees – Pet-friendly restaurant with take-out picnic baskets


singapore botanic gardens -Bee’s Knees - interior

Dine at Bees Knees, a cafe situated in a revamped colonial mansion from the 1920s. It hardly gets more quaint. Perfect for brunch dates and romantic dinners, this pet-friendly restaurant is known for its pizzas and pasta. 

singapore botanic gardens - pizza - Bee’s KneesTry their Fiery Shrimp Pizza ($29), doused in squid ink aioli and topped with tiger shrimp.Image credit: @eatbooksg via Instagram

It’ll be a waste to spend all that time indoors when the weather is great. Good thing there’s take-out, picnic-style. Pre-order a Picnic Buzz-kit (from $70) that comes with your choice of mains, sides, and drinks, plus everything else you’d need for a fun meal at your favourite spot in the Botanic Gardens. 

A mat, small table, and battery-operated candlelight are included in the package.

singapore botanic gardens - Bee’s Knees - picnicImage credit: Bee’s Knees

Address: Cluny Park Road, Level 1 The Garage, 50, Singapore 257488Opening hours: 8am-10pm, DailyContact: 9815 3213 | Bee’s Knees website 


13. The Halia – Lunch with Bali-like views


singapore botanic gardens - The Halia - seatsImage credit: The Halia

Among the many things that Bali is known for, one thing that draws many of us up to its town of Ubud is the immersive, lush nature. There’s no need to jet over though, as a brunch sesh at The Halia cuts pretty close. 

singapore botanic gardens - The Halia - foodImage adapted from: @mydesipardesikitchen via Instagram

Sit back and enjoy the rustic atmosphere with their signature Singapore Style Chilli Crab Spaghettini ($26). Also much like Bali, the menu is also vegetarian friendly with appetizers like Pan Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke ($25) and Mushroom & Shallot Bake Salad ($32).

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569Opening hours: 12pm-3pm & 6pm-8.30pm, DailyContact: 8444 1148

Nearest entrance: Tyersall Gallop Entrance


Spend a day out at the Singapore Botanic Gardens


If you’re tired of staring at your screens all day and night, plan a visit to one of Singapore’s many nature spots such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens for a quick respite. We’ve sifted out some of the best things you can do there, from short hikes to IG-worthy spots but for those who can spare a full day, there’s still much to be uncovered.

More things to do in Singapore:

130 things to do in SingaporeMandai Nature Reserve guideFree things to do at Jewel & Changi Airport50 walking & hiking trails in Singapore


Cover image adapted from: @manonlucci via Instagram, @cmezrbrt via Instagram, The HaliaOriginally published on 19th March 2021. Last updated by Kezia Tan on 28th August 2023.A portion of this content may contain referral links to products. Our opinions remain our own.

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