Go Green: Seven of the Best Parks and Gardens in Singapore

Go Green: Seven of the Best Parks and Gardens in Singapore

Explore the “garden city” as it was meant to be seen, via one of Singapore’s many green spaces. From sandy seafronts to magical superparks, these are our favourite spots for a perfect picnic

might be best known for its tech-smart infrastructure
and dazzling skyscrapers, but look beyond the concrete and you’ll
find the city is filled with as many green spaces as it is with gadgets. Anointing
itself a “garden city” upon its founding in 1959, with a view to
becoming the world’s sustainability capital, the Southeast Asian
metropolis is now home to a staggering 350 parks and four nature
reserves, which carpet more than 56 per cent of the small

Touch down at Changi, the city’s international airport, and
you’ll immediately experience Singapore’s verdant splendour at
Jewel, a lush forest centred around the world’s largest indoor
waterfall. Look up as you head into town and you’ll see buildings
dressed with cascading vertical gardens in a bid to increase plant
life, which is now mandatory across all new developments.

Ready to hit the hiking trails? Load up a picnic, step away from the crowds and into
nature in one of these magnificent urban parks.

Seven of the best green spaces in Singapore

Photo credit: Singapore Cyingfinite / Shutterstock.com

Rail Corridor

Although officially neither a park nor garden, this pioneering
green passage couldn’t be missed off our list. Built along a
disused railway line, the 24km-long corridor slices right through
the city, connecting many of Singapore’s biggest green spaces while
allowing wildlife movement between its major parks. Much of the
area has been rewilded with native plants, and there are no lights
along the corridor in order to encourage animals to pass through at
night. Our advice? Hire a bike and cycle along its network of
tracks and underpasses to experience a new dimension of this
pea-green garden city.


Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

Set on the slopes of Bukit Timah Hill, Singapore’s highest
natural peak, this sprawling forest was one of the first nature
reserves to be created in the city. Once the home of tigers, the
area is now one of the last primary forests left in the country,
with some 40 per cent of Singapore’s native flora and fauna living
among its network of hiking, biking and rock-climbing trails.
Recently connected to the nerve centre of the city via the Bukit
Timah-Rochor Green Corridor, the newest addition to the Rail
Corridor, the nature reserve is a welcome patch of untamed
wilderness away from the crowds (just keep your eyes peeled for
marauding long-tailed macaques).

Photo credit: Robert Ang / Shutterstock.com

Jurong Lake Gardens

Skirted by a long boardwalk trail that curves around a lake and
large swamp forest, this vast network of wetlands is one of the
newest additions to Singapore’s line-up of green oases in the city.
As the largest park in the heartlands, it’s a favourite among dog
walkers (and one of only a small handful of places where canine
friends are allowed off-lead), as well as runners, watersports
enthusiasts and wildlife watchers. Chiming with the country’s
commitment to conservation, the park is home to a bird and
butterfly park, as well as themed gardens including the Chinese
Gardens (currently undergoing redevelopment), which nod to the
area’s natural heritage.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Plant lovers of all stripes will weaken at the knees upon
entering this Eden-like garden. The only tropical garden to be
listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, its 74 hectares are home to
a staggering 10,000 different plant species. Now a world-leading
centre for research and plant conservation, the botanical
wonderland is furnished with emerald lawns, glassy lakes and a rare
patch of primeval rainforest, as well as the world’s largest orchid
collection. Monitor lizards, roosters and otters are just some of
the animals to be found roaming freely around the grounds – guard
your food carefully if you pitch up with a picnic.

Mac Richie Reservoir, Singapore

MacRitchie Reservoir

We wouldn’t blame you for forgetting you’re in a city at this
lush, jungle-like park anchored around the oldest reservoir in
Singapore. The main drawcard here is a waterside walking trail that
hugs the reservoir’s edge for 11km. You’ll need a good couple of
hours to complete the full loop, but plan on leaving at least half
a day if you want to make time for the many worthwhile (and
Insta-worthy) pit stops you’ll come across along the way. First up,
aim for the TreeTop Walk – a 250m-long suspension bridge perched
high in the forest canopy – where you’ll come nose to nose with the
resident flying lemurs. Then, either continue along the main hiking
route or explore one of a number of side roads that fork off from
the main trail, before ending the day at Paddle Lodge for a
late-afternoon kayaking session.


East Coast Park

We’ve always gone a little giddy over urban beaches and, being an island state,
Singapore is one of those special cities surrounded by the sea on
all sides. East Coast Park, with its slender coconut palms and
gentle surf, is one of the most accessible of its many beaches –
offering a 15km stretch of blonde-beer sands just a couple of
underground stops from the busy central business district. Escape
the urban throng and head to this waterfront idyll to experience a
slower slice of Singapore life, joining the locals who gather daily
for swimming, windsurfing, wakeboarding and skating sessions.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

Made famous by its cluster of “supertrees” – sky-scratching,
50m-tall vertical gardens that house all manner of vines, ferns and
other plants – this 100-hectare superpark is leading the charge for
the future of man-made urban gardens. Sustainable by design, the
park is solar-powered and recycles all rainwater to tend to its
abundant flora and fauna, while a series of climate-controlled
biodomes offer a window into tropical plant life from around the
world by replicating various microclimates. Our favourite part?
Entry is free (although certain exhibitions have admission fees),
meaning you can spend the best part of a day meandering between its
green walls without spending a penny. Don’t miss the park’s iconic
views across the bay to Marina Bay Sands.

Hari Budha Magar

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