A guide to visit Gardens By The Bay
Spanning an incredible 250 acres, the Gardens by the Bay is a futuristic nature park that looks like an urban utopia. It is one of Singapore’s most popular and showcase attractions that has been universally recognized with numerous awards and accolades.
The Gardens by the Bay project was part of Singapore's plans to transform its "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden", and brings together vast ecological, educational, technical and architectural elements into one stunning site is a must see for any Traveler.
Situated right next to the Marina Reservoir, the gardens are a treat to experience firsthand and this guide will help you explore the sprawling garden complex better.
Located at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, there are several ways to reach the Gardens by the Bay.
If you’re not afraid to do some legwork you can make use of the footpath leading under the East Coast Parkway from the Helix Bridge towards the Art Science Museum. This will bring you to the Bay South Garden along the waterfront. From Marina Bay Sands, walk across the overhead Lions Bridge or take the underground linkway via Bayfront MRT Station at Exit B. The Lions Bridge is open daily from 8 AM to 11 PM.
The Fast and efficient MRT line is the best option ff you are taking public transit. You can get there via the Circle Line or Downtown Line, then get off at the Bayfront MRT Station. Choose Exit B, follow the underground linkway to exit and cross the Dragonfly Bridge or Meadow Bridge into Gardens by the Bay.
Or simply get a cab and get to the drop off point at the gardens – this is how we made our way there incidentally.
There is a shuttle service that runs in a loop service between Bayfront Plaza and the Conservatories – and can be a lifesaver if you find yourself really drained after walking all over the complex.
Best time to visit the Gardens by the Bay
With the oppressive heat in the midday it’s a good idea to visit the Gardens by the Bay in the latter half of the day, since the Supertree Grove at night is beautifully lit up. If you’re short on time, make the Supertree Grove and Enclosed conservatories your priorities.
Tickets and Admission
Outdoor gardens such as the Supertree Grove, Sun Pavilion and Heritage at The Gardens by the Bay can be accessed for free. Although if you plan to visit the two conservatories housing the indoor gardens (the cloud forest and the flower garden) or the OCBC skyway at the Supertree grove, admission fees apply.
It’s a good idea to book your ticket beforehand , which will help you to avoid the queues you are sure to find when you visit.
Flower Dome – Adults $12 / Children $8 (3-12 years)
Cloud Forest – Adults $12 / Children $8 (3-12 years)
OCBC Skyway – Adults $8 / Children $5 (3-12 years)
There is a Discount if you plan visit both Flower Dome & Cloud Forest.
Gardens By The Bay Ticket: Flower Dome + Cloud Forest Admission E-Ticket
Gardens By The Bay Combo Ticket: Flower Dome, Cloud Forest + OCBC Skyway Combo Ticket
Gardens by the bay – where to go
The entire complex of the Gardens by the Bay consists of a few individual outdoor gardens such as the Supertree Grove, Sun Pavilion and Heritage that can be accessed for free. Although if you plan to visit the two conservatories housing the indoor gardens (the cloud forest and the flower garden) or the OCBC skyway at the Supertree grove, admission fees apply.
The main attractions at the Gardens by the Bay are: The Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, OCBC Skyway, The Supertree Grove, Heritage Gardens, Sun Pavilion, and the Bay East Garden. But the Bay east garden is just a big open park, and you can skip here if you’re on a tight schedule. In addition to this there are numerous places in-between that you can explore and find great photo locations for that perfect travel snap.
The garden complex is centered by two distinct waterfront gardens: Bay South garden and Bay East garden. The Bay South is by far the largest garden overall in the complex and houses the neo modern looking Supertrees. The Bay East Garden has less interesting attractions – being a large area to cater to parkgoers in general, and is simply a large green space to stretch your legs. It is a great place to have a walk and provides glorious views of the Singapore skyline.
Main attractions – The Flower dome
Designed with glass that sits on a steel grid which acts like an eggshell, the two Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay are the world’s largest columnless greenhouses.
The Flower Dome houses different plants and trees found in a drier Mediterranean climate. You can also find different themed floral displays and seasonal festivals at the Flower dome, depending on the time of the year that you visit.
You can easily spend an hour here enjoying the various beautiful flowers but an average visit will take around 2 hours – if you stop to admire all what the conservatory has to offer.
When we were there it was the tulip festival, and the part of the dome was alive with color. You should check with the official website to see what’s on display at the time of your visit. Typically the festivals will be for the Chinese New Year (Jan/Feb), Sakura (Mar/Apr), Tulipmania (Apr/May), Mid-Autumn Festival (Sep/Oct) and Christmas (Nov/Dec).
The Cloud Forest
while the lush Cloud Forest is more tropically oriented The Cloud Forest, which is the biggest glass greenhouse in the world has the second tallest man-made waterfall in the world – only ousted recently by the new Jewel Changi Airport(conservatory). It is impossible to just rush through the Cloud Forest with all its tropical splendors, and you will need at least an hour and a half to enjoy the exhibits in its multiple levels.
Also to take care of your camera gear after exiting the domed conservatory – with it’s cooler temperature the dome will lover the temp of your camera , and once you emerge into the open you will find out that the lenses get misted over . Have some tissues or a moisture absorbing piece of cloth at the ready.
The Supertree Grove with the OCBC Skyway
The artificial modern “trees” at the Gardens by the Bay are known as Supertrees. There are 18 of these distinctive structures around Gardens by the Bay and they serve different functions.
Of the 18 Supertrees, 12 of them can be found at the Supertree Grove, with the tallest one measuring up to 16 storeys in height – the structures themselves are home to a multitude of flora species of more than 162,900 plants consisting of more than 200 species and varieties of bromeliads, orchids, ferns, and tropical flowering climbers.
While some have solar cells to harvest solar energy others act as air exhaust receptacles for the Cooled Conservatories. Additionally there was a restaurant perched on top one of the elevated restaurant and bar seated atop the 50m-high Supertree but now it has been reverted back to an observation deck.
The OCBC Skyway offers stunning views but is not for those whom don’t fancy a bout of vertigo. The 128 meters long aerial walkway lies at 22 meters above the ground and costs an extra ticket of 8 Singapore Dollars per person – you can get the tickets from the booth located near the base of the tree.
At night the entire supertree grove comes alive in the not to be missed Garden Rhapsody light show, featuring beautiful colors and sounds with two shows daily at 7:45pm and 8:45pm. These 15 minutes of magic are an absolute must on your visit to Singapore. Be mindful to Arrive 10-15 minutes earlier at least to get a good spot to soak in the total experience.