Singapore; nature in the city

Living Wall, Gardens by the Bay

I love getting outside and walking in nature. But Singapore is not the first place that springs to mind when you’re after greenery. Somewhat surprisingly though I found the tropical climate makes Singapore a great place to experience tropical rainforests, wildlife and see amazing flowers that can’t be found naturally in Europe.

Singapore’s top sights for nature lovers

You can read about the rest of my stay here, but in this post I’m listing my top nature picks (in no particular order):

Gardens by the Bay

One of the biggest tourist attractions in Singapore, the Gardens by the Bay are a selection of manicured themed outdoor gardens which surround two huge domes. If you can stand the heat the outdoor gardens are really pretty and the best bit…. they’re free! We visited around midday, so found the heat a bit stifling. Thankfully there are cafes and even a McDonalds within the gardens which are air-conditioned.

The Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The Flower Dome had a Wizard of Oz theme for our visit

For S$20 per adult, you can access the two conservatory domes. If it’s your first visit to the Gardens by the Bay I highly recommend doing this. The Flower Dome is pretty to walk around and if you have an interest in horticulture I’m sure its very educational too! The Cloud Forest though was spectacular, with huge living wall (see top picture), waterfall and a range of orchids and tropical plants.

Also, for S$8 per adult you can access the skyway. A suspended walk way which gives great aerial views of the gardens and intertwines the famous supertrees.

Gardens by the Bay

The Super Trees at Gardens by the Bay

 

To visit the Gardens By the Bay, take the MRT to Bayfront on the Downtown and Circle lines. Its a short 5 minute walk to the Gardens.

The Southern Ridges

The Southern Ridges is a 10km stretch of walkways, which link up various parks within Singapore. They are all elevated and at times give panoramic views of the city skyline. The parks are a mix of wild rainforsts and manicured gardens. Its difficult to pick a favourite as there were so many contrasting parts. From the elevated walkways of Kent Ridge Park to the manicured gardens in Hort Park. Also, the tropical rainforests are home to monkeys. Although we could hear them, we unfortunately didn’t see any!

Singapore’s climate means the temperature usually hovers around 30 degrees. But its also wet. During our walk on the Southern Ridges we were caught in a huge downpour! With no where to hide from the rain, we got drenched and ended up taking refuge in the ‘Hands-on house’ in Hort Park.

Southern Ridges

Southern Ridges (pre-downpour!)

To visit: There are various points to access the Southern Ridges. We took the MRT to Pasir Pajong and walked up a pretty steep hill, Pepys Road until we reached Kent Ridge Park. We then walked around Kent Ridge Park, through Hort Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park before exiting the park and walking to Telok Blangah MRT.

Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens came highly recommended by a friend, so we knew we had to visit. We weren’t disappointed. Some of the gardens are even registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The majority of the gardens are free to walk around. There’s even an open air amphitheatre which regularly plays host to orchestral concerts. In fact, the stage team were preparing for a performance when we visited.

Wildlife in the botanic gardens Singapore

Wildlife in the botanic gardens (notice all the turtles behind the black swan!)

There’s a range of cafes and restaurants in the Botanic Gardens meaning you could stay all day if you wanted. We visited Casa Verde which had a good range of European and Asian dishes that were really tasty.

The highlight in the Botanic Gardens for me was the wildlife. From black swans and turtles to lizards, we saw LOTS of wildlife. A close second was the very pretty National Orchid Garden, which you can enter for a small fee.

National Orchid Garden, Botanic Gardens, Singapore

A selection of orchids in the National Orchid Garden, Singapore

To visit: Take the MRT to the Botanic Garden station. The main entrance is immediately outside the station.

 

Overall the amount of nature in Singapore really surprised me – it meant we didn’t feel in the city the whole time and gave us space to breathe. Don’t forget to read about my other Singapore posts; The best of Singapore and my stay in Marina Bay Sands (blog post next week).

 

 

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