Gardens By The Bay is now the number 1 place to visit in Singapore according to Tripadvisor.
It’s easy to see why.
While we love living in a shiny energetic modern city, sometimes we want to take a step back and reconnect with nature. The unique thing about Gardens By The Bay is the combination of natural beauty with space-age architecture. Plants and flowers mingle with glass and steel. And, as this is Singapore, it’s all is so well organised, every visit will be a pleasure.
Here are our top tips for a fun family day out everyone will enjoy.
Buy tickets in advance
It’s a good idea to buy your tickets online before your visit. This way you beat the queues, which can be long unless you get there early in the morning. If you’re a local resident buying ahead will also get you a 10% discount. Full price tickets for local residents are $8-12 for a single conservatory or $12-20 for both. Standard tickets are $15-28 for both conservatories.
Getting to Gardens By The Bay and getting around
There’s plenty of parking if you’re arriving by car. If you feel like walking to take in some of Singapore’s sights along the way, follow the route across the Helix Bridge towards the Art Science Museum and under the East Coast Parkway, or across the Lions Bridge at the MBS hotel.
By MRT, the easiest route is to alight at Bayfront exit B, follow the signs through the underground walkway and enjoy a short leisurely stroll across the Dragonfly or Meadow Bridge.
If you have older people with you, or just don’t feel like walking in the heat, there is a shuttle service from Bayfront to the Conservatories. This runs every 10 minutes. The cost is $3 for unlimited rides for the day or is free for wheelchair users.
But this is Gardens By The Bay! If you fancy something a bit more space-age, you could jump aboard a self-driving autorider. Tickets are allocated in time slots, and the cars leave every 20 minutes with a maximum of 6 people per car. Tickets cost $5 per rider and they are available from Bayfront Plaza.
What to see at Gardens By The Bay
My family’s favourite attraction is the misty Cloud Forest. After the heat of the Singapore sun, this beautiful conservatory is always refreshingly cool. The 35m high tropical mountain is home to a beautiful array of ferns, pitcher plants and changing displays of orchids. The highlight, though, is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, which is both impressive and an obligatory photo opportunity. The tree top walks are also really cool. My kids love the Secret Garden and spotting the sculptures peeping out from the plants.
The Flower Dome also holds a world record, this time for being the largest glass greenhouse in the world. It covers 1.2 hectares, equivalent to 75 Olympic Swimming Pools. Gardeners will love the displays of Mediterranean and semi-arid plants and flowers. The real draw for my family though, is the seasonal displays for Christmas, Autumn Harvest, Japanese Flower Blossom Season and Tulipmania. Keep an eye on the upcoming events here.
OCBC Skyway and Supertrees
The iconic Supertrees are 25-50m tall vertical gardens. They provide much-needed shade, and have sustainability functions, either by generating solar power or by acting as exhaust systems for the domes.
The OCBC Skyway is a 22m high, 128m long walk in the supertree-tops. Enjoy panoramic views of the Gardens and Marina Bay on this not-to-be-missed experience.
At 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm every day, the Supertrees come alive in a spectacular sounds and light show.
Far East Children’s Garden
Once you’ve worked up a sweat exploring the gardens, head for the children’s garden, change your kids into swim gear and let them loose to cool down in the water jets. This free garden includes a toddler play zone, and tree houses so your 6-12-year-old monkeys can enjoy climbing in a jungle-like adventure.
This (free) playground is the biggest highlight of the gardens for our kids, so avoid disappointment and bear in mind it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays following public holidays.
Where to eat at Gardens By The Bay
If you work up an appetite exploring the gardens, there are many good dining options to appeal to everyone’s taste and budget.
If you’re looking for simple family food, you can choose between
- Casual mains and delicious desserts at Bakerzin
- Great coffee, sandwiches and Japanese delights at Cafe Crema
- Singaporean food, hawker-style at Satay By The Bay
- Ice creams and drinks are available at Conservatory Cafe or Children’s Garden Cafe
- If it’s one of those days when only a Big Mac will do, you can do that too at the (Halal) McDonalds
For something a little more upmarket in a beautiful setting, enjoy
- Modern-European food at Pollen’s garden terrace in the Flower Dome
- Singaporean favourites such as Chili or Black Pepper Crab in the Majestic Bay Seafood Restaurant
- A really special date-night with spectacular views at IndoChine. You’ll find this impressive restaurant at the top of the tallest Supertree. Enjoy cocktails on the roof-top terrace, or delicious Indochinese and western cuisine in the air-conditioned lounge.
So, with beautiful views and places to play, eat, relax and reconnect with nature, Gardens By The Bay deserves its number 1 spot on the list of places to visit in Singapore.
Bring your family, bring your visitors. If you can, go by yourself and marvel at this wonderful garden of the future.
Are you looking for ideas of fun things to do with your family? Check out 10 Top Things To Do With Kids in Singapore.
Do you have any top tips for a family day out in Gardens By The Bay? If so, please share!