Gardens by the Bay

Top choice gardens in Colonial District, the Quays & Marina Bay

Image by phonprom Getty Images

Singapore's 21st-century botanic garden is a S$1 billion, 101-hectare fantasy land of space-age biodomes, high-tech Supertrees and whimsical sculptures. The Flower Dome replicates the dry Mediterranean climates found across the world, while the even more astounding Cloud Forest is a tropical montane affair, complete with waterfall. Connecting two of the Supertrees is the OCBC Skyway, with knockout views of the gardens, city and South China Sea. At 7.45pm and 8.45pm, the Supertrees twinkle and glow for the spectacular Garden Rhapsody show.

OCBC Skyway tickets can be purchased at the Ticketing Hub and at the Supertree Grove. Directly west of Supertree Grove are the Heritage Gardens, four themed spaces inspired by the cultures of Singapore's three main ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay and Indian – as well as its former colonial ruler. South of the Supertree Grove is British artist Marc Quinn's extraordinary sculpture, Planet, a 7-tonne infant seemingly floating above the lawn. It's one of several artworks gracing the grounds. If you have kids in tow, head to the Children's Garden, which features a water playground (with shower and changing facilities), as well as a huge tree house and adventure playground. The Visitor Centres offer stroller hire (S$2), lockers (S$2 to S$4 depending on size) and audio guides (S$4), or if you prefer, jump on the outdoor gardens tour shuttle bus (adult/child under 13 years S$8/3) for a whiz around the garden to an audio commentary. Regular shuttle buses (9am to 9pm, first Monday of the month from 12.30pm; unlimited rides S$3) run between Dragonfly Bridge at Bayfront MRT and the domed conservatories.