No place in Singapore makes me want to return again and again like that Gardens by the Bay. Ever since the doors to this fairytale garden opened in 2012, Singapore's urban profile has taken on a new look. Just google Singapore and you'll see what I mean. Gardens by the Bay's "super tree" leaves no one indifferent.
Singapore is a green city that, despite its large population in a small area, always prioritizes greenery and natural areas when new buildings and areas are planned. Perhaps it is therefore not surprising that one of the city's hottest areas was converted into a green area - which would also become known worldwide for its unique design and beauty.
The area that put Singapore on the design map is Gardens by the Bay – a large and extremely well maintained park/garden at Marina Bay/Bayfront in central Singapore. Adjacent to the iconic hotel Marina Bay Sands three-legged giant complex and right by the sea, the park offers beautiful views of the city's skyscrapers and glass complex.
The outdoor gardens
The title may sound strange, but Gardens by the Bay has gardens both outdoors and inside two large domes/greenhouses. The gardens outside are at least as nice as those inside the domes, with everything from large statues (my favorite is Planet – a giant “floating” baby), to bushes cut like animals in Web of life, to Far East Organization Children's garden playground and water garden for children. The best of all? All gardens outside the glass domes are completely free.
The largest dome is Flower dome, filled with plants from drier and more temperate climates. Mainly there are plants from desert landscapes, the Mediterranean, Australia and Madagascar. The olive trees are full of olives, the baobab trees are so wonderfully bottle-shaped and the pomegranate trees are flourishing.
This dome Singaporeans love to visit. They stop and sit on a bench in the glass dome and just enjoy the dry 23-25 degree air. I guess the dry climate and its plants feel exotic to Singaporeans, to us Europeans this almost feels like home turf.
Flower field is the dome's exhibition area and the exhibits change frequently and are absolutely magnificent. The last time we were here, there was an exhibition about old Singapore, with colorful house facades and an abundance of orchids. There is no saving on gunpowder here! We always leave Flower Field with a WOW on our lips.
In the second greenhouse judgment – Cloud forest - you are taken into the mysterious world of the tropical highlands. In addition to entering a cold (23-25 degrees here too) and humid environment, you are met here by the world's largest indoor waterfall.
Take the elevator up to the top of the dome and then walk down the treetop walkways. At the top you will find Lost Garden with the carnivorous plants, further down the mountain is covered with epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants, such as orchids and lianas).
On the way down you pass through Crystal mountain, an exhibition about our earth and its geology. Well worth a stop and a look!
Last, but not least, we have Supertree grove – the large steel giant trees/mushrooms that stretch 50 meters into the tropical sky. This is the most popular part of the park, with long lines to hike up OCBC Skyway, between the supertrees kronor. But I understand why everyone wants to go up to the artificial treetops, because the view is amazing.
Gardens by the Bay is not just a daytime attraction, in fact the most magical happens every night after dark. In the super trees, a light and sound show is played every evening which is the best I have ever seen in that category. Twice a night Supertree Grove is packed with people. Everyone is sitting everywhere on the ground and everyone is devoutly looking up at the super trees. The last time we were here, the three tenors were played in such a well-directed show that I actually got goosebumps. Goosebumps in Singapore's heat. That says something about how good this is, doesn't it? I've included a long clip from one of the best moments of the light show in the video above, hope you can watch it that long!
How do I get to Gardens by the Bay?
We usually take the subway to either Marina Bay or to Bayfront. When we go home, it's usually via the Bayfront, so we can stop at Marina Bay Sands and have dinner after the light show.
Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Dr
How much does it cost?
Admission to the outdoor park and light show with Supertree Grove is free, but it is entry to walk in the supertrees kronor ($8 adult / $5 child) or visit the greenhouse domes ($28 adult / $15 child ) for both greenhouses.
You can pre-book the entrance to the greenhouse domes online (please do so, there is always a queue!), but if you want to walk in the Superträdens kronor you need to buy these tickets on the spot.
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