Singapore Botanic Gardens: Natural Gem in the Heart of Lion City

 In Holidays, Singapore, Travel

The Singapore Botanic Gardens are Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site for all the right reasons. An essential part of the Singapore Packages, the Singapore Botanic Gardens provides a perfect natural retreat amidst the urban beat of this bustling Lion City in southeast Asia. 

Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are the first and only tropical botanic garden on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This beautiful garden is for both recreational and research purposes. 

Whether you are visiting these beautiful gardens to take a stroll, jog, picnic, dine, gather knowledge, or just laze around, the Singapore Botanic Gardens promises you a memorable time in the lap of nature. Thus, making them one of the most visited nature-based tourist places in Singapore.

History of Singapore Botanic Gardens


Singapore Botanic Gardens has a fascinating history. It all began in 1822 with the idea of the first ‘Botanical and Experimental Garden’, founded by the naturalist and founder of modern-day Singapore, Mr. Stamford Raffles. 

Mr. Raffles’ vision became a reality with the establishment of Fort Canning’s first ‘Botanic and Experimental Garden’ in 1822. However, it wasn’t until 1859 that the Gardens found their current home, designed in the elegant style of England’s Landscape Movement, by a committee of agri-horticultural experts.

The British colonial government took over in 1874, and the Gardens grew into a major botanical institute with a bunch of people who had been trained at Kew. In the early days, it was seen as a great place for farming, and they experimented with lots of different plants that would eventually have a big impact on the economy of the region. One of the biggest successes was Para Rubber, which was a type of plant that brought a lot of wealth to Southeast Asia at the start of the 20th century.

In 1928, the Singapore Botanic Gardens led the way when it came to breeding orchids, using the latest in vitro techniques to create hybridized plants. They kept up with the times and were a key part of the Garden City project, introducing plants of all kinds to the city.

The National Parks Board now manages the Singapore Botanical Gardens, which covers an area of 82 hectares and serves as a living monument to the history of Singapore. Despite its long-standing history, the Gardens remain a symbol of tropical botanic excellence, deeply embedded in the identity of the nation.

As the Singapore Botanic Gardens continues to flourish through its botanical and garden-related activities, it has earned a place in the collective consciousness of Singaporeans as a timeless oasis where nature and culture come together.

Attractions in Singapore Botanic Garden

Located just a minute’s walk from the vibrant shopping street in Singapore – Orchard Road, the Singapore Botanic Gardens are just a perfect place to be in nature right in the city’s heart. The Gardens have been designed along a 4 Core Concept. 

Tanglin is the heritage core which is dedicated to the historical charms and old favourites of these gardens. Central region and Bukit Timah are the educational and discovery hubs. Tyersall-Gallop, the fourth core, was opened in 2017 with the addition of the Learning Forest, which is designed to connect with the Gardens’ existing rainforest to create an extended forest habitat. 

Each of the four cores offers an exciting range of attractions without any charges for Singapore Botanic Gardens tickets. Take your time to walk around the Gardens and soak up all the sights and sounds the lush greenery has to offer. Let’s find out more about what these 4 Cores offer:

1. Tanglin Entrance


The Tanglin Core at Singapore Botanic Gardens beckons visitors with a tapestry of enchanting attractions. The iconic Bandstand, a historic structure dating back to 1930, stands as a testament to the Gardens’ cultural significance. 

Adjacent to it, the Botany Centre showcases the Gardens’ commitment to botanical research and conservation, housing an extensive library and laboratories. For history enthusiasts, the Heritage Museum and CDL Green Gallery provide a captivating journey through the Gardens’ storied past. The Swan Lake, with its serene waters and graceful inhabitants, offers a picturesque setting for strolls. 

The Tanglin Core is also home to the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, Singapore’s national flower, adding a burst of color to the landscape. With its diverse attractions, the Tanglin Core invites visitors to explore a harmonious blend of nature, history, and cultural richness within the vibrant embrace of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

  • Opening Hours For SBG Heritage Museum: Mon to Sun – 9 AM – 6 PM (Closed on every last Monday of the Month)
  • Opening Hours For CDL Green Gallery: Mon to Sun – 9 AM – 6 PM (Closed on every last Tuesday of the Month)

2. Tyersall Entrance


The Tyersall Core in Singapore Botanic Gardens is a place where you can experience nature in all its forms. The Ginger Garden is a delight to behold, with its colorful collection of ginger species creating a kaleidoscope of colors and aromas. Nearby, you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city center and explore the serene wetland ecosystems of Keppel Discovery Wetlands.

The crown jewel, the National Orchid Garden, showcases the world’s most extensive orchid display, a breathtaking spectacle of colors and forms. The SPH Walk of Giants introduces visitors to majestic trees, standing as silent witnesses to time. Finally, The Learning Forest provides an immersive educational experience, allowing visitors to discover the intricacies of a tropical rainforest.

In essence, the Tyersall Core invites exploration and discovery, weaving together the beauty of flora, the serenity of wetlands, and the educational richness of orchids, creating a harmonious sanctuary within the heart of Singapore.

  • Opening Hours For National Orchid Garden: 8:30 AM – 7 PM daily (last ticket sales and entry at 6 PM)

While the Botanic Garden Singapore ticket is free of cost, the National Orchid Garden in the Tyersall core offers minimal entrance fees as follows.

  • Seniors Citizens above 60 years: $1 (Locals), $3 (Standard)
  • Adults: $5 (Locals), $15 (Standard)
  • Students: $1 (Locals), $3 (Standard)
  • The charges for Botanic Garden Singapore ticket is free for children below 12 years of age

3. Gallop Entrance

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The Gallop Core at Singapore Botanic Gardens unfolds a rich tapestry of attractions, inviting visitors to explore and connect with nature. The Botanical Art Gallery captivates art enthusiasts with a showcase of botanical illustrations, blending science and art seamlessly. For those seeking adventure, the Como Adventure Grove provides a playground for families to enjoy outdoor activities amidst the lush greenery.

The Forest Discovery Centre at OCBC Arboretum offers an immersive journey into the intricate ecosystems of forests, fostering an appreciation for biodiversity. Mingxin Foundation Ramblers’ Ridge, with its scenic trails, beckons nature enthusiasts to traverse through captivating landscapes. Together, these features create a harmonious blend of artistic beauty, outdoor recreation, and educational exploration, making the Gallop Core a versatile and engaging hub within the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

  • Opening Hours For Botanical Art Gallery: Daily 9 AM – 6 PM (Last entry at 5.30 PM). Closed every last Thursday of the Month
  • Opening Hours For Botanical Art Gallery: Daily 7 AM – 7 PM

4. Nassim Entrance


The Nassim Core at Singapore Botanic Gardens unfolds a diverse tapestry of attractions, providing a delightful experience for visitors. E.J.H. Corner House, a historic landmark, stands as a tribute to the Gardens’ former director, offering a glimpse into its rich heritage. The Evolution Garden serves as an educational oasis, showcasing the fascinating journey of plant life through time.

For olfactory delights, the Fragrant Garden captivates with its aromatic blooms, engaging the senses in a fragrant symphony. The Healing Garden, a tranquil retreat, features plants known for their medicinal properties, inviting visitors to explore nature’s healing wonders. Palm Valley and Symphony Lake offer serene landscapes for relaxation, while the Rain Forest beckons adventurers to immerse themselves in the lush greenery of a tropical paradise.

From history and education to sensory delights and natural beauty, the Nassim Core encapsulates the essence of these Botanic Gardens of Singapore, inviting visitors to embark on a journey of discovery and rejuvenation.

  • Opening Hours For Healing Garden: Daily 7 AM – 7 PM. Closed every Tuesday unless it falls on a Public Holiday
  • Opening Hours For Rain Forest: Daily 7 AM – 7 PM. 

5. Bukit Timah Entrance

Source : National Parks Board

The Bukit Timah Core in Singapore Botanic Gardens unfolds a diverse array of attractions, catering to various interests of its visitors. The Eco Garden and Eco Lake offer a serene retreat, providing a tranquil environment for nature lovers to unwind amidst lush greenery. For those intrigued by the intersection of plants and human culture, the Ethnobotany Garden showcases the rich relationship between people and plants, weaving a narrative of cultural significance.

The Foliage Garden, a haven for plant enthusiasts, showcases an extensive collection of unique and diverse foliage, appealing to those with a keen eye for botanical beauty. Families with children can explore the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, a vibrant space designed for young explorers to learn about nature through interactive exhibits and play.

Lastly, the Seed Bank plays a vital role in conserving and preserving plant diversity, contributing to global efforts in biodiversity conservation. The Bukit Timah Core, with its varied offerings, stands as a testament to the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ commitment to education, conservation, and providing an immersive natural experience for all.

  • Opening Hours For Ethnobotany Garden: Daily 9 AM – 6 PM (Closed on every last Wednesday of the Month)
  • Opening Hours For Foliage Garden: Daily 7 AM – 7 PM
  • Opening Hours For Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden: Daily 8 AM – 7 PM. (Last entry at 6.30 PM). Closed every Tuesday unless it falls on a Public Holiday.
  • Opening Hours For Seed Bank: Daily 9 AM – 6 PM. (Last entry at 6.30 PM). Closed every last Friday of the month unless it falls on a Public Holiday, the Seed Bank will be closed the following Monday.

6. Heritage Trees and Sculptures


Stroll through the Singapore Heritage Garden, where trees and sculptures share incredible stories. The big Heritage Trees have been around for a long time, telling tales of the past with their towering branches. It’s like a natural symphony in the garden. 

Then, there are the Sculptures, like hidden treasures. Some are modern, some are old, but they all bring an artistic touch to the garden. Together, these special trees and crafted artworks make the garden a place where you don’t just see Singapore’s history, but you feel it too. It’s like taking a walk through living stories and creative wonders. And the best part is that the Singapore Botanic Gardens tickets are free of cost.

Check The Given To Know More About the Basic Guidelines and Guided Tour.

Frequently Asked Questions For Singapore Botanic Gardens

What is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and where is it located?

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a 164-year-old tropical garden located on Cluny Road. It is just 4 km from the bustling Orchard Road in the heart of Singapore These gardens are also a renowned botanical institution that spans various cores, each offering unique attractions and experiences for visitors to explore.

Are guided tours available at the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Yes, guided tours are available at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. These tours are free of cost and are conducted by the volunteers every Saturday (except on the 5th Saturday of the month). These guided tours are fun and a great educational experience.

Is photography allowed in the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

Yes, photography is allowed in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Visitors are encouraged to capture the beauty of the gardens, including its diverse flora, iconic landmarks, and picturesque landscapes.

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