Singapore Botanic Gardens

Top choice in Holland Village, Dempsey Hill & the Botanic Gardens

Singapore's 74-hectare botanic wonderland is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the city's most arresting attractions. Established in 1860, it's a tropical Valhalla peppered with glassy lakes, rolling lawns and themed gardens. The site is home to the National Orchid Garden, as well as a rare patch of dense primeval rainforest, the latter home to over 300 species of vegetation, over half of which are now (sadly) considered rare in Singapore. Look up to see trees reaching 50m high, growing here even before the modern founding of Singapore.

The National Orchid Garden itself is the legacy of an orchid-breeding program that began in 1928, and its 3 hectares house over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids. Of these, around 600 are on display – the largest showcase of tropical orchids on Earth.

Located next to the National Orchid Garden is the 1-hectare Ginger Garden, with over 250 members of the Zingiberaceae family. The garden's newest addition, the 8-hectare Gallop Extension, includes the OCBC Arboretum that showcases a living library of trees and the ridge-top trail culminating at the garden's highest point (approximately 40m above sea level). More Gallop Extension attractions are slated to open in 2020, including a 200m barrier-free canopy link to join the extension to the Learning Forest.

Children will love exploring the interactive Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, complete with water-play feature and forest adventure playground. Enjoy swan spotting at Swan Lake, where along with the large bronze swan sculpture you might also see the real mute white swans imported all the way from the Netherlands. Free, themed guided tours of the Botanic Gardens run on Saturday, while the Symphony Lake makes a romantic setting for seasonal opera performances – check the website.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Holland Village, Dempsey Hill & the Botanic Gardens attractions

1. Learning Forest

0.13 MILES

The Learning Forest is one of the newest addition to the Botanic Gardens. There are five distinct zones spread over 10 hectares, each easily accessible…

2. Swan Lake

0.13 MILES

One of three lakes in the Botanic Gardens, Swan Lake boasts a large bronze sculpture of a flock of swans taking flight and a tiny island cluttered with…

3. Ginger Garden

0.14 MILES

The 1-hectare Ginger Garden showcases over 250 members of the Zingiberaceae family, organised according to geographical origin or use.

4. National Orchid Garden

0.17 MILES

The National Orchid Garden has over 60,000 plants and a cool house showcasing pitcher plants and orchids from cooler climates. Don’t miss the Vanda Miss…

6. Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

0.79 MILES

If you're travelling with little ones, be sure to check out the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, the largest children's garden in Asia. The interactive 4…

7. ION Sky

1.09 MILES

Visiting this observation deck on level 56 of the ION Orchard complex used to be free. However a spruce up, which includes an informative multimedia show,…

8. Sri Muneeswaran Hindu Temple

1.55 MILES

This is believed to be Southeast Asia's largest shrine to Sri Muneeswaran, completed in 1998 after the original hut-and-shrine – built by Indian railway…