8 must see parks in Singapore

Published by: BouncePosted Updated

As soon as you arrive at Singapore’s world-class, nature-themed airport with a massive indoor waterfall, you know you’ll be in for a treat. From a grand vision of a ‘Garden City,’ Singapore has successfully transformed into one of the world’s greenest cities, boasting a thriving network of green spaces where you’ll find nature closer to your daily life.

Finding a spot to take a breather on this sunny, tropical island in Southeast Asia isn’t hard because among the soaring skyscrapers are pockets of nature that provide a pleasant respite from the chaotic city. Lush reserves, gardens, and parks in Singapore are found in numerous neighborhoods and off-the-beaten paths, with unspoiled natural attractions waiting to be discovered.

Whether you’re a frequent visitor, a first-time traveler, or even a local, this guide to the best Singapore parks is for you. We also cover some activities you can do, so be sure to leave your belongings in a backpack storage facility in Singapore to enjoy the experience fully.

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Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Begin your nature adventure in one of the largest urban parks in Singapore, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. It is located in the heart of the city and is a popular place for outdoor activities for families. It has different landscapes, expansive lawns, and a 3.2-kilometer river meandering through the park. It opened in 1988 as Bishan Park, and in 2012, it was redeveloped and renamed to what is now known as Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

This beloved park in Singapore has two sections, River Plains and Pond Gardens, separated by Marymount Road. With unique waterways, lush greenery, and sloping grassy banks with wildflowers, locals and visitors can come here to relax and gather while enjoying its tranquility and beauty.

Those who want to get some exercise can jog or cycle along the tracks, and plant and animal lovers can discover interesting fauna and flora. The River Plains features an inclusive playground with a wheelchair-accessible swing and merry-go-round, so children can play.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Established in 1859, Singapore Botanic Gardens is the oldest garden in Singapore and its first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s regarded as the ‘green lung’ in the middle of bustling Singapore and one of the country’s must-visit destinations. From a deserted plantation, it became a well-defined cultural landscape, a tropical botanic garden, and a recreational area for jogging, learning, or just lazing around.

One of the park’s highlights is the National Orchid Garden, boasting over 1,000 orchid species and 2,000 hybrids on display. The orchids here result from the botanical garden’s orchid breeding program, which started in 1928. Inside the National Orchid Garden are different display houses, including the Sembcorp Cool House, which is designed to mimic a high-elevation montane forest, the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House, which emulates a paleotropical garden at 600-meter to 1,000-meter altitude, and the tropical Montane Orchidetum that showcases different orchids and other plants, including tropical rhododendrons, bromeliads, etc.

Kids will also have a blast playing and discovering plant life at the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. It’s Asia’s first garden dedicated to children, offering a space for adventure, play, and exploration. Singapore Botanic Gardens is also home to numerous monuments, a museum, art galleries, and educational facilities. If you don’t know where to start, you can always join the guided tour with knowledgeable volunteers.

Merlion Park

No visit to Singapore is complete without taking a photo with the mythical Merlion as your backdrop. To do that, you must head to Merlion Park, a picturesque spot at One Fullerton near the CBD. The Merlion is the country’s symbol known to the world and has been the park’s prime attraction, overlooking Marina Bay.

The park has two Merlion statues: the first official one is the larger statue that spits water, and the second is a smaller Merlion cub situated behind. The 8.7-meter national icon portrays the country’s humble beginnings as a fishing village and represents its original name, ‘lion city’ in Sanskrit.

When not admiring the waterfront views and the city skyline or taking a photo with the half-lion and half-fish statue, visitors enjoy shopping or dining in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area. You can also hop on a bumboat for a 40-minute tour and catch the sunset or marvel at the city’s urban nightscape. Stay at Merlion Park after sunset and watch the light and water show between 8 PM to 10 PM at Marina Bay.

East Coast Park

East Coast Park is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination, with tons of recreational facilities for everyone. If you’re looking for thrills and action, why not participate in sporting activities like beach volleyball, kayaking, swimming, cable skiing, windsurfing, and skateboarding? If you just want to chill and spend a relaxing afternoon with family and friends, East Coast Park has lawns, barbecue areas, and camping sites to set up your tent temporarily or overnight.

At 185 hectares and a lovely coastline spanning over fifteen kilometers, you’ll find plenty of places to play, run, and relax. You can try the ramp at the Xtreme SkatePark, cycle, run with your furry friend, or let your children enjoy a unique adventure at the Cyclist Park Nature Playgarden. Park users also love to fish here, especially at the 250-meter-long Bedok Jetty, offering shallow and deep-water fishing.

If you’re not lucky enough to catch a fish for dinner, don’t worry. This lovely park offers numerous dining options, including cafes, restaurants, and food centers, like the East Coast Seafood Centre, featuring local seafood restaurants. Alternatively, bring your food and set it up on one of the picnic tables facing the sea.

Fort Canning Park

History buffs, nature lovers, and eventgoers will find a paradise in Fort Canning Park, a historical landmark perched on a hill. It’s more than just a green space to escape the madness of the bustling city; Fort Canning Park is also an emblematic park with intriguing historic sites. It has witnessed the country’s significant milestones, including its golden age when the Malay Kings rose to power in medieval times. The hill also played a key role during World War II.

Today, Fort Canning Park is still brimming with ancient artifacts, such as a nine-pound cannon dating back to the 19th century, gothic gates, and the Fort Gate, a remnant of the fortress built to protect Singapore from sea-based attacks. You’ll also find the Maritime Corner @ Fort Canning, which chronicles the city’s evolution to an international maritime center from an entrepot trading post. Other historic highlights include an old underground military complex used in the Second World War and Keramat Iskandar Shah, a shrine dedicated to the last king of Singapura. A Fort Canning Park photo doesn't justify its beauty and the incredible experiences you'll have, so take a walk back in time to the country's colonial days.

Besides its ancient objects, the vast outdoor lawns draw groups and individuals for picnics and meetings, as well as event organizers who hold festivals, concerts, and open-air theater productions at this hilltop park. It also serves as a venue for gatherings and celebrations, including weddings and parties.

Southern Ridges

Bring a pair of good walking shoes as you explore The Southern Ridges, one of the best parks in Singapore for walking and outdoor adventure. It covers ten kilometers of green, open spaces connecting the trails and pathways of some of the city’s most visited botanic gardens and nature parks. These include Mount Faber Park, Kent Ridge Park, Labrador Nature Reserve, HortPark, and Telok Blangah Hill Park. You don’t have to be an expert hiker because you can easily get off the trail and continue another day or take a different route leading you to another area.

The recreational trail is well-constructed and manicured. It’s an excellent place for a relaxing walk with lovely views of the harbor, the city, and the Southern Islands. It’s perfect for walking enthusiasts, shutterbugs, history buffs, bird watchers, or anyone who loves nature, as it allows them to discover an array of Singapore’s flora and fauna and walk among towering trees.

The Henderson Waves is not to be missed. This timber deck is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge, which stands 36 meters tall above Henderson Road. It’s every photographer’s favorite spot, especially after sunset, to catch night views of the city and witness the bridge lit up with LED lights. The Forest Walk is another place for a cool breeze and views. As you stroll along the Elevated Walkway, you’ll find yourself at eye level with the forest canopy.

MacRitchie Reservoir Park

Another Singapore park for those looking for exciting outdoor recreation is MacRitchie Reservoir Park. Constructed in 1867, MacRitchie Reservoir is the country’s oldest reservoir and one of the reservoirs in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The park is situated at the Nature Reserve’s south-eastern end and is famous among nature enthusiasts and anyone who loves the great outdoors.

Tackle one of the nature trails or invite your friends and loved ones to the scenic TreeTop Walk walking trail. The 250-meter freestanding suspension bridge will give you a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy, allow you to enjoy panoramic views of the nature reserve’s verdant greenery, and spot native birds and other creatures living in the forest.

Not into walking or hiking? Don’t worry, as tons of activities await you at the park. You can sit by the reservoir to reconnect with nature and soak in the beauty that surrounds you, take photos of wildlife in their natural habitat, or paddle into the tranquil waters of the reservoir. Dedicate a few hours or an entire day to make the most of your trip.

The Gardens by the Bay

 A visit to the Gardens by the Bay is a feast for the senses, with colorful flowers in every season, fragrant florals, and birds singing in the background. It’s one of Asia’s premier garden destinations, home to more than 1.5 million plants from all over the world. It’s located in the heart of Singapore, a short walk from the city center near the Marina Bay Waterfront. It’s easily accessible by car and public transportation and close to all the city’s thrills, so you don’t have to travel far to bask in the great outdoors.

With soaring, out-of-this-world structures, impressive architecture, pristine groves, and diverse gardens, Gardens by the Bay is a paradise like no other. Set your expectations high because this place doesn’t disappoint. The Flower Dome is a must-see in Bay South Gardens, spanning 1.28 hectares of green space. It’s the world’s largest greenhouse, according to Guinness World Records 2015. The Cloud Forest is another megastructure where you’ll discover one of the tallest indoor waterfalls in the world.

One of the indoor conservatories you should check out is Floral Fantasy, which will take you on a magical journey with storied hanging gardens and features you think you’ll also see in fairy tales. Before leaving the conservatory, you can’t miss the Supertree Grove, with vertical gardens about twenty-five to fifty meters high. Regardless of which area you go to, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a magical world of nature at Gardens by the Bay.

Enjoy nature in the city in a garden

Singapore is packed with postcard-worthy natural sights and vast green spaces where outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can relax and enjoy peace and tranquility. No matter where you are in this city-state, you’ll find gardens, parks, and forest areas to get your dose of fresh air and stretch out your muscles for hiking, walking, trekking, and paddling. With tons of expansive parks and other natural attractions adorning Singapore's skyscrapers, it's no surprise that it's called the City in a Garden.

Be sure to add a visit to some of the parks in Singapore to your itinerary, whether you’re here for a short trip or an extended holiday. For more things to do around nature, head to one of the beautiful beaches near Singapore and relax or take a hike in Singapore to challenge your legs.

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