Anyone planning a trip to Singapore is sure to put the Gardens by the Bay at the top of their ‘to see’ list.
It’s no surprise why it’s such a popular tourist attraction: the Gardens by the Bay contain supersized, futuristic-looking trees that light up at night and put on a spectacular show! Of course, that’s not all: the gardens span more than 250 acres and contain thousands of flowers and flora from dozens of countries around the world.
Although the Gardens By the Bay is one of the best tourist attractions in Singapore, many budget travelers may hesitate to visit because they might think that it’s too expensive. However, fear not! Even though Singapore might feel like an expensive destination, there are plenty of free things to see and do, including some parts of the Gardens by the Bay!
Once you’ve applied for the SG arrival card, be sure to save this list of the best free things to do at Gardens by the Bay:
Stroll around the Supertree Grove
For many travelers (and locals!), the mere mention of the Gardens By The Bay will conjure images of fantastic trees that can be seen from all over Singapore.
The main feature of these aptly-named ‘Supertrees’ is their enormous size — the highest is about 50 meters, or about the size of a 16-story building! There are 18 Supertrees in total scattered around the Gardens by the Bay, and travelers can come face-to-face with 12 of them in the Supertree Grove.
Another interesting fact is that, although they look very high-tech, these Supertrees are actually living, breathing organisms! The shells of the Supertrees house over 200 different species of plants, ranging from common flowers to rare breeds.
That’s not all: 11 of the Supertrees are embedded with environmentally-sustainable functions, such as photovoltaic cells, to produce eco-friendly solar energy that lights up the entire territory of the grove.
Speaking of which… if your itinerary allows it, the best time to see the Supertree Grove is at night when the entire grove comes alive with a stunning light show! Visitors are immersed in a wave of colors, lights, and sounds that is sure to be an unforgettable memory from your trip.
The Garden Rhapsody show runs almost every evening between 7 and 8 pm, although it’s best to check schedules in advance. During holidays and festivals, such as the Chinese New Year, there are even special light shows on various thematics.
Despite the fact that the Supertree Grove is one of the most recognizable parts of the Gardens by the Bay, the entrance to the territory of the grove is absolutely free!
If you want to get up close and personal with the Supertrees, there is also the option to purchase a ticket to the Supertree Observatory. For $14 SGD (adult) or $10 SGD (child), you’ll take an elevator to the top and be able to walk between the trees.
Fans of botany and gardening will love the four themed gardens that make up the Heritage Gardens. This area was originally inspired by Singapore’s multi-ethnic demographic, which is made up of Chinese, Malay, Indians, and dozens of smaller groups.
Based on this, the four gardens include the Indian Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Malay Garden, and the Colonial Garden.
In the Indian Garden, be sure to look out for the sacred banyan tree (the national tree of India!), and the Divi kaduru, which is also known as the “forbidden fruit” of India and prized for its beautiful flowers and fruits.
Walk through the Chinese Garden and discover pine and cycad trees, as well as water features reminiscent of rivers and waterfalls. Just a few meters away is the Malay Garden, full of exotic and interesting fruit trees like rambutan, carambola, coconut, and durian, as well as medicinal plants like tongkat ali.
Finally, the Colonial Garden is all about aromatic plants that were traded along the Spice Route, such as clove, nutmeg, palm oil, coffee, and cocoa trees.
Bay East Garden
Craving a quiet escape away from Singapore’s constantly buzzing metropolis? The Bay East Garden is exactly what you need!
This 32-hectare garden is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet stroll, read your favorite book, have a picnic, play some sports, or practice your photography. The gardens are surrounded by picturesque pavilions and spacious lawns, and offer breathtaking views of Singapore’s skyline, the Singapore Flyer, and the famous Marina Bay Sands, among other attractions.
Best of all, the Bay East Garden is open 24 hours a day and has free admission.
Last but certainly not least, no trip to the Gardens by the Bay is complete without a visit to the Sun Pavilion. After you step foot into the garden, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to an African desert. In this dynamic dryland, you can get up close and personal with desert plants from countries such as Argentina, Madagascar, Mexico, and many others.