You’ll not want for natural attractions in Singapore. As with many other facets of the City-State, Singapore’s Nature Parks are extremely well organised and planned. Singapore Night Safari has many fascinating draws, as does the zoo and the Underwater World. The Jurong Bird Park is justifiably world famous and another big draw is the Reptile Park.
Set in the gorgeous Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden has a collection of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrid orchids. Below, see our guide to the best natural attractions in Singapore.
All Parks in Singapore
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Bukit Timah Hill is Singapore's highest point, at a mere 163 metres. The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a 164-hectare primary rain forest reserve just a half-hour ride from the heart of the city. It is located along Upper Bukit Timah Road, at the end of Hindhede Drive. Admission is free, and the visitor centre opens daily from 8.30 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening. The reserve is a popular spot during the weekend, with visitors ranging from teenagers on mountain bikes to groups of serious joggers.
The park is clearly marked with trails, and you can breathe in the sights, smells and sounds of an authentic primary forest as you walk. This essentially, was Singapore hundreds of years ago, before development. Tall timber trees, liana vines and huge ferns abound in the forest. The place also boasts of an abundant wildlife - watch out for the noisy long-tailed macaque, who may just decide to follow you on part of your walk, swinging from tree to tree.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 06:00 – 19:00 (night walking within the reserve is not encouraged)
- Location: Bukit Timah Hill, about 12 kilometres from downtown Singapore
- Price Range: Free entry to the Reserve
Fans of butterflies and insects will enjoy the Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, located on Sentosa Island. It features about 3,000 species of butterflies and insects with an exhibition hall explaining their life cycle as well as an informative frame collection. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:30 (Last admission at 18:00)
- Address: 51 Imbiah Road, Singapore 099702
- Tel: +65 6275 0013
Central Catchment Nature Reserve
If your idea of a true nature adventure is to trek for hours on end, always running the risk of getting lost, then Central Catchment Nature Reserve would probably come closest to satisfying you. This 2,000 hectare reserve is made up of the forests around the Upper Peirce, Peirce, MacRitchie and Seletar Reservoirs. You can enter the Upper Peirce forest via the Old Upper Thomson Road. There's no admission fee, which also means there's no visitor centre and you are left to your own devices. Unlike the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, though, the forests of the Central Catchment are secondary forests.
You can hike for quite a long distance here, as the park leads right on to Bukit Timah Reserve and beyond. Bring a hat for protection from the blazing equatorial sun and lots of water.
Chinese and Japanese Gardens
The Chinese and Japanese Gardens are off Yuan Ching Road, and adjoin Jurong Bird Park. Each garden covers 13.5 hectares. The Chinese Garden, which occupies the island on Jurong Lake, is done in the classical Northern Chinese Imperial style. Stroll around the Chinese Garden and take in the majestic stone lions at the entrance, the stoneboat, the towering pagodas and the statue of Confucius. Marvel at the rockeries in the Garden of Romance and breathe in the smell of the culinary and medicinal herbs in the Herb Garden. The most interesting section of the Chinese Gardens is the Suzhou-styled penjing, or bonsai, garden. This section houses some 2,000 pots of penjing and is a must for bonsai buffs.
Across the Double Beauty Bridge are the Japanese Gardens, which are more minimalist in style. You'll find serene gardens, zig-zag bridges, pebbled pathways, stone lanterns and traditional summer houses here.
- Opening Hours: Main Garden: Daily from 06:00 – 23:00
Bonsai Garden & Garden of Abundance: Daily from09:00 – 18:00
Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum: Daily from 10:00 – 19:00
- Location: Less than 10 minutes walk from the Chinese Garden MRT Station on the East–West Line.
- Price Range: SG$ 4.50 for adults and SG$ 2 for children - includes both gardens
East Coast Park
East Coast Park is not only the most popular, but also the largest (1.85sqkm) park in Singapore. It was built on reclaimed land and offers various activities from water sports to cycling, rollerblading, bowling as well as an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course. Other facilities include a manmade sandy beach, shops/kiosks, rest-rooms, barbecue stations and holiday chalets.
Singaporeans love food, so there are plenty of dining venues to choose from here. The East Coast Seafood Centre consists of eight seafood restaurants. Some must-try dishes include the spicy sambal stingray and satay (grilled meat skewed on sticks served with sweet peanut sauce).
- Opening Hours: 24 hours. The park is lit from 19:00 – 07:00
- Location: Situated at the southeastern part of the island
One of Singapore’s historical locations, this small park faces Orchard Road and is next to the National Museum of Singapore. It is home to a few colonial buildings (one of them was Sir Stamford Raffles' home) and is a popular venue for art exhibitions as well as art performances. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 24 hours
- MRT: City Hall
- Address: 70 River Valley Road, Singapore 179037
Gardens by the Bay is a huge, colourful, futuristic park in the bay area of Singapore. The famous Supertree structures offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens, over-sized seashell-shaped greenhouses recreate chilly mountain climates and there are hundreds of trees and plants to discover, making this destination great fun for both kids and adults. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Outdoor Gardens: Daily 05:00 - 02:00
OCBC Skyway: Daily 09:00 - 21:00 (Last ticket sale at 20:00)
Garden Cruiser: Mon - Fri 09:30 - 17:00 (Last ride),
Sat - Sun & Public Holiday 09:30 - 16:00
- Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
- Tel: +65 6420 6848
HortPark is a gardening and leisure/recreational concept. There are 20 themed gardens, for example the Fantasy Garden features characters from the Wizard of Oz . Then there is the Recycling Garden, Herb & Spice Garden, the Water Garden and a tree-climbing corner. HortPark serves as a link that connects Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 06:00 – 22:00
- Address: 33 Hyderabad Road, Singapore 119578, Off Alexandra Road
- Price Range: No admission fee
This 202,000sqm bird park is located on the western slope of Jurong Hill and houses about 8,000 birds from 600 different species. On the opening day in 1971 a total of 12 countries, seven zoos and 40 private donors had contributed birds to the park. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30 – 18:00
- Location: On the western slope of Jurong Hill, Western Singapore
- Address: +65 6265 0022
Mandai Orchid Gardens
If you're an orchid enthusiast, the Mandai Orchid Gardens are a must. These gardens are the centre of Singapore's thriving orchid industry, and boasts four hectares of the fragile and beautiful plants. Let the Orchid Gift Box Service deliver the flowers to your loved ones to any address in the world.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30 - 17:30
- Location: next to the Zoological Gardens at Mandai Lake Road
- Tel: +65 269 1036
- Price Range: SG$ 2 for adults and SG$ 0.50 for children
Officially opened in late 2008, Marina Barrage Dam is built across the Marina Channel with a catchment area of 10,000 hectares. It won top prize from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) in May 2009. Locals use it as a recreational area for activities like kite flying and picnicking. Marina Barrage is open to the public 24-hours a day but the information counter is open from 10:00 – 18:00 only.
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 - 21:00
- Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
- Tel: +65 6514 5959
Mount Faber offers superb panoramic views of Sentosa, the harbour, islands to the south as well as the busy central district. It is also home of the Merlion, Singapore’s mythical symbol which sits on top of the hill. Many people go up there to enjoy the scenery then take a cable car to Sentosa for more amazing views along the way.
For those who love good food, Mount Faber features some well-recognised dining venues including Jewel Box, Altivo Bar, Faber Hill Bistro and the Glass Bar. Over the weekends, there are quite a number of hikers using different trials to go up to the top which can also be accessed by road. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 19:00
- Location: Junction of Kampong Bahru Road and Telok Blangah Road
- Price Range: Free admission to Mount Faber
- Tour Available: City in Transformation Tour
Centrally located within the lush settings of Singapore Botanic Gardens is the National Orchid Garden, with some of the most exotic orchid collections on the planet. Even though the National Orchid Garden was opened in 1995, beautiful and rare orchids have been a part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens since its founding in 1859. As a result of an orchid collection programme instigated by Henry Ridley – the first director of the gardens – an orchid house was opened in 1899 whose further expansion was initiated by successive directors such as I H Burkill and R E Holttum. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:30 - 19:00
- Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
- Tel: +65 6471 7361
The Singapore Botanic Gardens was established by Sir Stamford Raffles but was closed down after his death in 1826. The current garden was founded in 1859 and has developed into something quite unique, featuring a small tropical rainforest, a ginger garden and an orchid garden.The National Orchid Garden has a collection of more than 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrid orchids. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 05:00 – 24:00
- Address: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
- Tel: +65 6471 7361
Singapore Night Safari is a world-class attraction that not only provide entertainment and wonder for visitors, but are dedicated to conservation, rescue and research to help improve the lives of animals both in captivity and in the wild. Thousands of animals from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas can be seen in the spacious natural environments of Night Safari. These attraction alone help Singapore earn its well-deserved reputation as one of the most family-friendly destinations in Asia. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 19:30 – 24:00 (Last admission at 23:00)
Restaurants and Retail Shops: Open daily from 18:00
- Address: Night Safari, Singapore 729826
- Tel: +65 6269 3411
Kids and adults alike will find plenty to get excited about at the Singapore Zoo, which houses more than 2,500 animals from 315 species in a large rainforest environment. Many displays offer a 'token' feeding experience or other interactive features, letting visitors get an up-close view of the exotic creatures in action. See animals big and small from all parts of the world, from butterflies to Asian elephants, from colourful tropical birds to polar bears. Monkeys and large primates are a major attraction here, with full exhibits devoted to orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and baboons. The Zoo is also a centre for wildlife rescue, health care and research, and is part of Singapore's Wildlife Reserves area. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 – 18:00 (Last admission at 17:30)
- Address: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
- Tel: +65 6269 3411
- Tour Available: Singapore Zoo Tour
Sungei Buloh Nature Park
The Sungei Buloh Nature Park is a great place for bird-watching, being a regional stopover for birds on their North-South migrations. An 87-hectare wetland reserve, the park is a little less than an hour's ride by car from the centre of town. The park gives you an idea of the mangrove swamps that once surrounded Singapore. There's a visitor centre, boardwalks and bird-watching hides, from which you can spot night herons, or the white-breasted water hen. Also keep a lookout for various species of butterflies, mud-skippers and monitor lizards. If you're interested in aquaculture, prawn and fish farming is carried out in the park.
- Opening Hours: Mon - Fri 07:30 - 19:00, Sat - Sun & Public holidays 07:00 - 19:00
- Address: 301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925
- Tel: +65 6794 1401
The Southern Ridges
The Southern Ridges is a nine-km long trail across the south of Singapore, linking Mount Faber, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park. It’s a great place for outdoor activities, especially for runners, nature lovers and hikers. There are about eight trails at Southern Ridges; all are well connected with good facilities along the way (i.e. toilets, drink-vending machines, restaurants and cafes.) Such trails are for example Marang Trail (800 metres), Henderson Waves (a 274-metre-long undulating bridge), Forest Walk (a steps-free elevated walkway) and Faber Trail (a kilometre-long trail).
The best thing about the Southern Ridges is that visitors can take as much time as they like, knowing that there are many places along the route where they can get public transport.
- Opening Hours: 24 hours (Night time walking is not encouraged)
- Location: Henderson Road
Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir
The Treetop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir is a big project and a pioneer of its genre in Singapore. Some 25 metres high and 250 metres long, the wooden walkway bridge gives you the opportunity to see Singapore in a different way: without one tall building in sight – just a fantastic panoramic view of the forest.
This free-standing suspension bridge is a one-direction traffic system and allows only 30 people at a time on it. The starting point is at the Ranger Station via Peirce track (about 4.5km from the bridge) and it will lead you through mature secondary forest. Another option is to get to the Treetop walk from Venus Drive off Upper Thomson Road which will help shorten the distance by about two kilometres.
The walk along the bridge offers an unusual view of the forest canopy. Good walking shoes are necessary, as are drinking water and mosquito repellent. The round trip hike takes from three to five hours depending on your choice of routes. It’s a wonderful day out but not for those afraid of open spaces.
- Opening Hours: Tue - Fri 09:00 - 17:00. Sat - Sun & Public holidays 08:30 - 17:00 (closed on Mondays)
- Location: At the MacRitchie Reservoir Park
This famous oceanarium offers a collection of about 2,500 marine creatures from 250 species as well as a popular dolphin show. One of its highlights is the walk-through tunnel which makes one really feel like being underwater. Among the interesting marine life are colourful tropical fishes, sharks, dugongs, rays and giant crabs. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10:00 - 19:00 (last entry 18:30)
Fish Reflexology 10:00 - 19:00 (last appointment at 18:15)
- Address: 80 Siloso Road, Sentosa, Singapore 098969
- Tel: +65 6275 0030