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Things to do in Gardens by the Bay: Attractions and 1-day Itinerary

Gardens by the Bay is easily the best attraction in Singapore. The urban park is located in the heart of the city and has many things to do and see including a diverse range of botanical gardens, a giant indoor waterfall, and different wildlife.

Besides all the beautiful highlights around the park, the Gardens also incorporate many sustainable features and functions like harvest solar energy from the Supertrees, using the lakes to filter water before it flows into the adjacent reservoir, and many more.

Even though the Gardens was opened back in 2012, it continues to add new areas and host different events around the year. So even if you have been to the Gardens before, it is worth going back.

And because there is so much to see at the Gardens by the Bay, I wrote a detail posts about all the paid and free attractions around the urban park. Plus, I included a 1-day itinerary so you can make the most of your time at the Gardens by the Bay.

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What you need to know before visiting Gardens by the Bay

Before you visit all the attractions in the Gardens, take a look at my Singapore solo travel guide and learn about the city first. I included recommendations for must-see attractions and ideas on where to stay and eat in Singapore.

As for visiting the Gardens, here are some useful tips:

  • Get an EZ-link card, a rechargeable subway card. When you use the EZ-link card, you pay the discounted rate instead of the full fare. Purchase one at the MRT station or any 7-Eleven.
  • If you only plan to see part of the Gardens, go either early in the morning or late afternoon when the weather is not too hot.
  • But if you want to see all the paid and free attractions, you will need at least 6 hours. I include a 1-day itinerary at the bottom of this post.
  • There are many food options around the Gardens. There is a foodcourt and restaurants at Marina Bay Sands, restaurant inside the Flower Dome, and hawker centre called Satay by the Bay on the east end of the Gardens.

How to go to Gardens by the Bay

The easiest and cheapest way to get to the Gardens by the Bay is by taking Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). And the closest MRT Station is Bayfront Station (CE1/DT16). Take Exit B, and walk across the bridge and towards the Gardens by the Bay.

Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore | Hours: 5am-2am

Gardens by the Bay attractions – paid activities

There are five attractions in the Gardens by the Bay that require an admission fee. Each ticket can be purchased near the entrance and some can even be purchased online. Here is a summary:

  1. Flower Dome
  2. Cloud Forest
  3. Supertree Observatory
  4. OCBC Skywalk
  5. Floral Fantasy

1. Flower Dome

If you have never been to the Gardens by the Bay, you’ll first have to check out the Flower Dome, the world’s largest glass greenhouse.

And under this giant roof, there are many displays of plant species from the Mediterranean, South African, Australia, South America and California.

Look for the African Baobabs (aka Bottle Trees) and also the succulent and cactus garden. And in the center of the dome, there is an area called the Flower Field which changes each season. Last time I was there, I saw flower displays for cherry blossom season.

It takes about an hour to see everything inside the Flower Dome or longer if you decide to have lunch of coffee at Hortus, the restaurant inside the dome.

Or if you like, you can join free guided tours of specific locations inside the Flower Dome between 1-5pm. Gather at the “ASK Me” poster and the tour will begin when a group of 5 or more people are gathered.

Hours: 9am-9pm | Admission: $53SGD (get an advanced ticket or both Cloud Forest and Flower Dome)

2. Cloud Forest

Another fantastic paid attraction at the Gardens by the Bay is the Cloud Forest. In this dome, there is a 35m tall indoor waterfall and a luscious green mountain with tropical plants from around the world.

You can see many of these exotic plants up close by walking on the guided path and the unique aerial walkways, Tree Top Walk which is the long aerial walkway and the higher Cloud Walk.

Also check out the Secret Garden where you can see over 7,000 plants of more than 135 species and the all the plants found at some 2,000 meters above see level at Lost World at the very top.

Most people spend about 1.5 hour inside the Cloud Forest. The dome itself is as big as a 1.5 regular football field!

Hours: 9am-9pm | Admission: $53SGD (get an advanced ticket or both Cloud Forest and Flower Dome)

3. Supertree Observatory

The Supertree Observatory is located on the canopy level (about 16 storey high) of the tallest “tree” in Supertree Grove.

There is an observation deck where you can enjoy an immersive digital learning experience comfortably in an air-conditioned room. And you can go one level above to the open-air rooftop deck to see views of the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay area. And there’s even a restaurant at the top!

Allocate about 45 minutes to enjoy everything the Supertree Observatory has to offer.

Hours: 9am-9pm | Admission: $14SGD

4. OCBC Skywalk

OCBC Skyway is a 128m aerial walkway suspended from two Supertrees in the Supertree Grove. It takes about 15 minutes to walk the entire skywalk.

This is a pretty fun way to see the Supertree Grove and the surrounding area in Marina Bay.

And depending on when you go, the view from the skywalk will be different.

When you walk the aerial walkway during the day, you can take some epic photos for your Instagram. But if you go at night, you can see the area lit up with lights and maybe even enjoy the free light and music show at 22 meters above ground.

Hours: 9am-9pm | Admission: $10SGD

5. Floral Fantasy

One of the newer paid attraction at the Gardens is Floral Fantasy, an indoor exhibit of creative floral arrangements.

Once you are inside the 1,500 sqm glass room, follow the trail and see a diverse garden landscape. There are over 15,000 fresh cut and preserved flowers hanging from the ceiling and mixed with other creative displays.

Floral Fantasy is for anyone who loves flowers and taking pictures. It has the most colourful backdrop for your Instagram photos!

Hours: 10am-7pm Monday to Friday; 10am-8pm Weekends and Public Holidays | Admission: $15SGD (get online ticket fo the Floral Dome along with Flower Dome and Cloud Forest)

Gardens by the Bay free attractions

Besides all the paid attractions in the Gardens, there are plenty of free things to do in Gardens by the Bay. Here is a summary:

  1. Supertree Grove
  2. Garden Rhapsody at Supertree Grove
  3. Dragonfly Lake
  4. Kingfisher Wetlands
  5. Kingfisher Lake
  6. Sun Pavilion
  7. Heritage Gardens
  8. Serene Garden
  9. Discover art sculptures around the Gardens
  10. Spot an otter around Kingfisher Wetlands
  11. Special events at the Gardens

1. Supertree Grove

The Supertree Grove has 12 giant trees ranging from 25 and 50 meters tall. Each Supertree is actually a vertical green garden. Over 162,900 plants of over 200 speices grow on the trunks of these futuristic-looking trees!

Moreover, seven of the Supertrees are designed to harvest solar energy. The tallest one is the Supertree Observatory and the OCBC Skyway is suspended from two trees.

These iconic giants provide shade during the day and come alive at night. And that’s the next free attraction.

2. Garden Rhapsody at the Supertree Grove

During the evening, watch an amazing light and music show at the Supertree Grove called Garden Rhapsody. The lights around each super tree light up and changes to the beat of the music.

There are two shows each night at 7:45 and 8:45. Go early and watch the show under the giant trees for free or watch the show from the OCBC Skywalk but it will require an entrance fee.

The theme of the light show changes frequently. Check the online schedule and go back often.

3. Dragonfly Lake

Not only is the Dragonfly Lake one of the prettiest attraction in the Gardens by the Bay, but it also functions as a natural filtration system for water from the Gardens catchment. The aquatic plants “clean” the water before discharging into the reservoir.

Besides all the sustainable benefits, Dragonfly Lake is an excellent area for seeing all the attractions in the area. When you take a leisurely stroll on the 440m of boardwalk, you can see sculptures in the lake, Supergrove Trees and all the modern structures around the Gardens including Marina Bay Sands Singapore and the Singapore Flyer.

Moreover, Dragonfly Lake looks completely different at night. When you follow my one-day itinerary in the Gardens, you can see the Dragonfly Lake both during the day and night. More on that later.

4 & 5. Kingfisher Wetlands and Kingfisher Lake

Discover the freshwater sanctuary with a diversity of exotic flora and fauna at the Kingfisher Wetlands. The area is over 15,000sqm and has over 200 mangrove trees which are able to remove greenhouse gases from the environment.

Meanwhile, the Kingfisher Lake functions similarly like the Dragonfly Lake. It naturally filters water from the catchment and provide an aquatic habitat for wildlife. And there’s a natural rock pool, cascading waterfall, and a wildlife lookout.

And there’s a Kingfisher Wetlands Trail around all of these bodies of water where you admire aquatic life around the lake. You may even see one of nine Singapore’s Kingfisher species like the White-collared Kingfisher and Common Kingfisher.

But if you can’t find a real kingfisher, there are always giant kingfisher outdoor sculptures around the the lake.

6. Sun Pavilion

Take a short stroll through the Sun Pavilion and see over 1,000 desert plants including the Mexican Columnar Cacti, African Euphorbias, and other succulents and cactus that make up this amazing landscape.

This free attraction in the Gardens is easily missed because the pavilion is pretty small compared to the giant domes. But make sure you go because the cactus display is quite extraordinary.

7. Heritage Gardens

Singapore is made up of various ethnicities and nationalities. So it is appropriate to have an area in the Gardens honouring each culture. And this area is called the Heritage Gardens.

Look for the Malay Garden which features traditional kampong settlements. Wander around the Indian Garden which highlights the religious role played by plants within the community and walk through the paths in the Chinese Garden. Plus, you can learn about different spices including cloves, pepper, nutmeg, coffee and cocoa in The Colonial Gardens.

8. Serene Garden

At the south end of the Gardens, there is a newish 2-hectare horticultural garden called Serene Garden. The design of the garden was inspired by the minimalist concept of Japanese Zen gardens. The area is rather quiet and peaceful compared to the bustle and hustle of the busy city.

Moreover, there is a new hotel located in the Serene Garden called the Garden Pod. You can experience sustainable living at the unique eco-friendly accommodation made with repurposed 40 foot containers. It’s a bit on the expensive to stay at the hotel but it’s free just to check it out.

9. Discover art sculptures around the Gardens

Not only is the Gardens a botanical dream, but it is also an excellent “art gallery”.

The Gardens has over 200 sculptures from around the world and each one is placed in the park where it compliments the space. You can find sculptures in the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and many outdoor spaces throughout the park.

Some of my favourites include the 3.8m tall Moongate sculpture by Chong Fah Cheong, a Singaporean sculptor and the Planet, 7 ton white painted bronze cast sculpture of a sleeping boy who appears to be floating in air.

Walk around the Gardens and see how many sculptures you can find.

10. Spot an otter around Kingfisher Wetlands

When you walk around the trails in Kingfisher Wetlands, you will see signs indicating that there may be otters in the vicinity. And there are other signs showing you what you should do when you encounter an otter.

I’ve been to the Gardens many times and I look for these little guys every time I’m there! But I have yet to see one myself. I was starting to think that they don’t actually exist – but they do. My friend saw some and I’ve watched several Youtube videos to confirm.

So hopefully you will see at least one otter when you are there.

11. Special events at the Gardens

Gardens by the Bay hosts many events throughout the year. And many of them are based on a specific theme, activity or holiday.

Back in March 2020, I saw teamLab’s futuretogether installation. It was a free event at night where you see different light installations throughout the Gardens.

One of my favourite installations was the large ovoids on Dragonfly Lake that changes colour to the beat of the music. I also really liked the flowers “blooming” on the giant latticed wall at Floral Fantasy.

There is always something new and exicting at the Gardens. Check the events calendar and see what is happening so you can plan your trip accordingly.

Gardens by the Bay itinerary and best time to go

I’ve been to the Gardens many times and seen the urban park at different times of the day. But if I have limited time in Singapore and wanted to see everything in the Gardens in one day, here is what I would do (see itinerary below).

I also included a fantastic sunset spot (not part of the Gardens) in the itinerary. It will be worth your time, I promise.

Start this Gardens by the Bay itinerary after lunch; maybe around 1pm or so. There isn’t a time limit to any of the attractions except for the free light show at 7:45 and 8:45pm.

  1. Visit Floral Fantasy first as it is the closest attraction to Bayfront MRT Station
  2. Walk south and cross one of several bridges to Serene Garden and see sculptures around the park
  3. Walk north towards Supertree Grove
  4. Go up to the Supertree Observatory and get a bird’s eye view of the Gardens
  5. Visit all the different gardens in Heritage Garden
  6. See sculptures at Dragonfly Lake
  7. Admire tropical plants at the Flower Dome
  8. See the waterfall and exotic plants in Cloud Forest
  9. Take a quick peek at the cactus at the Sun Pavilion
  10. Meander the trails near Kingfisher Lake
  11. Look for otters near Kingfisher Wetlands Wildlife Outlook
  12. Grab a quick dinner at Satay by the Bay
  13. Watch the sunset between 7-7:20pm at Marina Barrage
  14. Watch Garden Rhapsody at Supertree Grove at 7:45pm or 8:45pm

A part of my Gardens itinerary is very similar to the afternoon portion of my Singapore 2-day itinerary. If you want other ideas for spending a day or two in Singapore, check out my solo itinerary in that post.

Where to stay in Singapore as a solo traveller

Here are a few recommended boutique hotels in Singapore so you can get a good night’s sleep when visiting Singapore.

  • Lloyd’s Inn Singapore ($$) – a small minimalist boutique hotel near Orchard Road. I wrote a full review of Lloyd’s Inn Singapore on why I love this hotel.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Wanderlust ($$) – a boutique hotel in a 1920s Art Deco building in Little India.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • The Warehouse Hotel ($$$) – the most luxurious boutique hotel in Clarke Quay.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

Are you ready to see all the attractions at the Gardens by the Bay?

I certainly hope so! The first time I visited the attractions at the Gardens by the Bay, I was immediately blown away by the scale and the grandeur of all the structures.

And I keep going back to explore other areas in the Gardens and discover hidden gardens and gems. Plus, the Gardens always have new events and activities. So even if you have been to the Gardens before, it is worth going back.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will follow my itinerary. It took me a few visits to the Gardens to see everything. In this itinerary, I included all the best highlights to see all in one day.

Let me know in the comments if you find this post useful or have any suggestions to make the itinerary better.

Thank you for reading my post on Gardens by the Bay

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Singapore:

Singapore posts:

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • Sarvesh
    November 1, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Its very nice & useful. Please if you can suggest a timewise itinerary of 14 items from 1 pm onwards?

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      November 3, 2023 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Sarvesh,
      I think you can do all 14 items on the itinerary if you start from 1pm. I mentioned to start after lunch. As long as you get to the Supertree Grove by 7:45pm to watch the Garden Rhapsody (that’s the only time sensitive event). Enjoy your afternoon at the Gardens!

      Reply

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