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During our Singapore trip, one of the most popular (and dare we say most beautiful) tourist attractions in Singapore is ‘Gardens by the Bay’. With 50 million visitors and counting, it is home to several lush parks and over half a million species of plants, plus some iconic architectural structures like the looming Supertrees and Cloud Forest.
We visited Singapore for a long weekend and because of the changeable weather during this trip, we visited Gardens by The Bay a couple of times during our stay. Once at sunset to watch the nightly free ‘Garden Rhapsody’ show, and on another day to visit the other attractions there.
If you are travelling in Singapore on a tight budget, then there is lots to see and do here at Gardens by the Bay without having to pay an admission fee, but for the full experience, it is worth paying the entrance price to explore the other attractions. Here is our Singapore Gardens by the Bay guide:
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
We opted to visit the Cloud Forest first as our arrival time coincided with one of the ‘mist sessions’ (10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm, 4.00pm, 6.00pm, 8.00pm daily).
The admission price for visitors to see this conservatory (plus the Flower dome) is $28 per person.
Almost like a grandiose and cavernous conservatory – as you enter into the glass structure, you are initially greeted by the world’s tallest indoor waterfall which descends from the top of the ceiling 30 metres above. This waterfall is one of the most instagrammable spots in Singapore.
You then go on a journey through the Cloud Forest by taking a lift to the top floor and then walking down a circular path encountering orchids, pitcher plants and ferns, as well as getting up close to the waterfall.
The largest glass greenhouse in the world, the Flower Dome is a showcase of plants and blooms from all over the world, including an Australian garden (alas no kangaroos), a Japanese torii gate plus olive trees of the Mediterranean garden. Unlike the Cloud Forest, there isn’t a fixed route to follow so it felt less crowded and you can explore in the way you see best fit.
Supertree Grove & OCBC Skywalk
This is the area you’ll most likely have seen many times on Instagram (it also recently featured as a key location for the movie Crazy Rich Asians in 2018). Several huge man-made trees are the first things you’ll notice as you approach the site, which provide shelter during the day and become the stars of the evening ‘Garden Rhapsody’ show.
If you’ve made it this far, it really is worth paying the $8 to get an up-close view of the super-trees, and walk along the 128 metre long OCBC Skyway. Note that on busy days, you may have to queue a sufficient amount of time to get tickets and then you are allocated a 20 minute time-slot which you have to enter by.
The walk was the highlight of the whole ‘Gardens by the Bay’ experience for us. It is a unique and fun way to see the Singapore skies from another vantage point. The only downside is that you do get a few wannabe models hogging the gantry making all manner of photographic poses (but staff are usually quick to intervene if visitors cause a blockage for too long).
It is also worth noting that the gantry does have a minor swing to it and is quite thin in the middle section so if you aren’t a fan of heights, this may not be for you.
Garden Rhapsody Nightly Show
Two free dazzling audio visual shows take place every evening (7.45pm and 8.45pm) and it is one of the best things to do in Singapore at night. We would recommend you get there a little early if you want to secure yourself a spot to sit on either the lawns or concrete walls directly below the ‘supertrees’.
Unlike the disappointing Marina Bay light-show, this truly lives up to the hype, with a synchronised spectacular of lights and sounds, set to the backdrop of Singapore’s stunning skyline (the guests at the nearby Marina Bay Sands hotel must have an incredible view). This is one of the best things to do in Singapore at night.
The shows last for about ten minutes and change on a regular basis. During our visit, we saw the ‘Tales of the Moon’, which featured songs and covers of related moon songs such as ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison.
Satay on The Bay
After all that exploring, you will most likely be quite hungry and want to get some food. There are numerous places to eat on site to suit all budgets – from a McDonalds outlet to the more upmarket Pollen restaurant situated within the luscious leafy surrounds of the Flower Dome. We opted to visit the Satay on The Bay Asian food court as we were both intrigued by the name, plus wanted to enjoy the waterfront views it offers from its outdoor dining area.
There are lots of stalls to choose from (around 20 or 30) with various types of cuisine. We noticed that the prices were a little more expensive than some of the other food courts and hawker centres we had visited in the city, but the location right on the bay is fantastic (similar to Makasutra Glutton’s Bay but with more choice). The food stalls are open from 11am to 10pm daily.
We really enjoyed exploring Gardens by the Bay and if you don’t want to visit the indoor attractions, it is still worth making a visit to walk around the gorgeous gardens and see the nightly Garden Rhapsody show. And if this blog hasn’t convinced you yet and you need further swaying, it is also currently ranked as the no.1 attraction for Singapore on Tripadvisor – tree-mendous stuff!
For further information about the above attractions, plus other features in Gardens by the Bay, visit their website here.
Other Asia blog posts
- Exploring Kuala Lumpur from above – KL Tower and Eco Forest Park
- Eating like a local on a Penang food tour
- Exploring Langkawi’s Mangrove flora and fauna
- Island hopping in Langkawi
Singapore accommodation for visiting Gardens by the Bay
Here are some highly rated Singapore accommodation suggestions for all types of budget:
Hostel accommodations that come highly rated include:
River City Inn / Bohemian Chic Hostel / Quarters Capsule Hostel
If you are looking for something mid range then these hotels are in excellent locations with great reviews:
Hotel Nostalgia / Hotel Clover 33 Jalan Sultan/ Keong Saik Hotel
Alternatively if you are looking for something more special then treat yourself to a stay at one of these beautiful hotels in Singapore:
The Fullerton Bay Hotel / The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia / Marina Bay Sands
Disclosure: We were provided with media passes for Gardens by the Bay, but as always, opinions are all our own.
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