What comes to mind when you think of Singapore? The top two things people think about are the infamous Singapore Gardens - “Gardens by the Bay” - and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, both of which are just a walk away from the Singapore Flyer!
In this Article
Before you visit, you may want to check out some movies that were filmed in Singapore such as Crazy Rich Asians, Hitman: Agent 47, and Independence Day: Resurgence. They feature some of the popular sightseeing spots like Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Gardens by the Bay, and Changi Airport. You can also learn about Singaporean culture and customs from this book.
Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands
By Public Transportation - Take the MRT to Bayfront Station on the Downtown (Blue) line, or the Circle (Orange) Line.
By Taxi - Use the GRAB app to call a car or taxi
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay Entrance Fee: Prices are for Adults / Children (3-12 yrs old) in Singapore Dollars
Outside Gardens - FREE
Two Conservatories (Cloud Forest & Flower Dome) - $28 SGD/$15 SGD
Floral Fantasy - $20 SGD/$12 SGD
OCBC Skyway (treetop trek in the Supertree Grove) - $8 SGD/$5 SGD
Shuttle Service - $3 SGD
ATTRACTION BUNDLE (Two Conservatories + Floral Fantasy + Shuttle Service) - $46 SGD/$25 SGD
You can purchase tickets online here, but the Attraction Bundle is not available online. If you’re planning to do the two conservatories plus Floral Fantasy, buy your tickets on site for some savings. The line to purchase tickets was almost non-existent at 11am on a Saturday.
The Outside Gardens are plentiful - so if you are limited on your budget, you could still spend all day looking around at Gardens by the Bay for free. These include the Golden Garden, The Canopy, the Floral Clock, the Supertree Grove (minus the Skyway), the World of Plants (Discovery, Web of Life, Fruits and Flowers, Understorey, World of Palms, and Secret Life of Trees), the Heritage Gardens (Indian, Chinese, Malay, and Colonial Gardens), Planet (the baby statue), The Meadow, Serene Garden, Sun Pavilion, the Far East Organization Children’s Garden (water park), The Canyon, and the Silver Garden. You could also stroll along Dragonfly Lake!
There are also 10 different restaurants and cafes listed around Gardens by the Bay - plus a number of small carts around the Bayfront Pavilion (as well as a free phone charging vault near the entrance to Floral Fantasy!). If you have the money, the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are both amazing conservatories.
TIPS when visiting Gardens by the Bay
If you’re on a super shoestring budget, you can visit the outside gardens for FREE. Walk around the gift shops or sit in the cafe for some a/c if you need to cool down.
The domes are air conditioned so it’s a great way to get out of the heat and humidity.
Bring swimwear for your kids so they can play in the Far East Organization Children’s Garden splash area.
We recommend doing Cloud Forest first. It’s bigger and has more walking. They turn on the mist every two hours and post the schedule by the entrance. We timed our visit so that we started the walk down from the top of the dome just as the mist was turning on. There are less crowds in the morning so go early for your best chance at getting photos without other people in them. There is an elevator that brings you to the top and you walk down. The line for the elevator had a posted wait time of 20 minutes, but when we went they opened up another line to take the service elevator. So we waited about 10 minutes to get to the top.
After exploring the Cloud Forest, make your way over to the Flower Dome. Turn to the right after entering to go through an Alice in Wonderland themed garden and up to a sculpted wooden dragon. Then make your way back down towards the flowers and plants from around the world. There are more benches and places to sit down in the Flower Dome so if your feet are tired after visiting the Cloud Forest, you can give them a bit of a rest in the Flower Dome.
Floral Fantasy has a timed entry and you’ll need to choose an hour time slot to enter. We chose to visit during the afternoon and enjoyed the natural sunlight streaming through the glass dome. If you’re looking to avoid crowds though, choose the last slot of the day from 8pm-9pm to enter.
The Gardens by the Bay tickets for the two conservatories include re-entry. Just remember to get your hand stamped before leaving, and you can re-enter on the same day. Floral Fantasy is limited to one entry for the day. There is a 4-D show at the exit of Floral Fantasy, and the staff remind you that once you see the show there is no re-entry into the flower area.
While it may only take you about 30 minutes or so to walk around the Supertree grove, it is a must-see spot for any visit to Singapore - especially if you are already at Gardens by the Bay. Did you know that the Supertrees provide habitats for over 162,900 plants that include epiphytes, ferns, orchids and other flowering climbers? Some of the Supertrees are fitted with photovoltaic cells that harness solar energy (solar panels), similar to how trees would photosynthesise. “Air Plants” are actually on the trunks of the Supertrees - and do not require soil to grow. These plants look like bundles of slivery-grey hair and are able to reflect sunlight to keep it from burning and assisting in their ability to absorb water and nutrients from the atmosphere through their leaves.
Treat yourself to views of the garden from 72 feet in the air by walking on the OCBC Skyway for an additional $8 SGD (adult) / $5 SGD (child aged 3-12). Additionally, check out the night show here called “Garden Rhapsody” (see below). If you’re hungry, the Supertree Food Hall - with 7 mini local and international restaurants - is located just aside the Grove!
Other gardens that are worth seeing around the Supertree Grove are the Floral Clock (on the end near the domes), Dragonfly Lake and the Heritage Gardens (Colonial, Malay, Chinese, and Indian), the World of Plants, the Calabash and Cannonball Rooms, and Planet (the floating naked baby).
Watch the Gardens by the Bay Supertrees light show “Garden Rhapsody” at 7:45pm or 8:45pm. Go early if you want to sit in the middle of the grove. The view from the outskirts is great too, and the music is loud enough to be heard from afar. It’s a magical display of lights and music that simply cannot be missed! Don’t forget to plan a time for this light show AND the Spectra light & water show at Marina Bay Sands just a few minutes walk away. You should be able to watch them both in the same night!
Marina Bay Sands
Simply walk across Dragonfly Bridge from the Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove. Marina Bay Sands is hard to miss as it takes up such a demanding view while hovering 290m (951 ft) tall and its unique three-towers with a boat on top appearance.
Apart from soaking in the views from the observation deck, you can get a number of amazing photos by just walking around the Gardens by the Bay (the one shot above was from the large baby statue in the Gardens named “Planet”).
THE HOTEL AND RESORT
Marina Bay Sands is arguably the best luxury hotel in the area, plus it is literally in the heart of just about everything you’d want to see in the area - Gardens by the Bay, Merlion Park, Esplanade, a Hawker Food Market, the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, and the Casino. It also has the most commanding views of the city and is a main filming location in the movie Crazy Rich Asians. It’s one location that you can’t miss when you’re in Singapore!
Soak in the world’s largest rooftop Infinity Pool with the glittering expanse of the city skyline spread before you when you book a stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. While at the Pool, relax in a luxurious poolside lounger - under the shade of a palm tree - with a glass of champagne in hand.
The Banyan Tree Fitness Club
State-of-the-art gym facilities and spectacular city views with personal training sessions and sunrise yoga
Treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical cross-trainers, a Kinesis Technogym, pulley wall, free weights as well as a hot pool, sauna and steam facilities in each of the changing rooms
The Banyan Tree Spa
Oriental-inspired water gardens and warm-toned private treatment rooms
Holistic treatments, full body massages, calming baths and facials
24-hour In-room Dining
Top-notch cuisine, served to your room in 40 minutes or less
The best of Singapore’s skyline and a bird’s eye view of Marina Bay Sands’ nightly light and water show, SPECTRA
Flight menu where wines, spirits and beer are matched with petits plats (small plates)
MARINA BAY SANDS OBSERVATION DECK
For a bird’s eye view of Singapore, you’ll want to visit the observation deck at Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The infinity pool is only for guests, but non-guests are welcome to dine at the restaurant and bar, or pay for entry to the SkyPark Observation Deck. To get to the observation deck, walk through the hotel lobby and past towers one, two, and three. Exit the end of the building and take a left. There will be escalators to your left going down. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but go down the escalators and you’ll be at the ticket counters for the observation deck. Hotel guests can enter for free, otherwise it’s $29 SGD for adults and $23 SGD for children (2-12 yrs old). Check the official website for current deals and promotions, here.
SPECTRA LIGHT & WATER SHOW
The SPECTRA light and water show at night should not be missed. The show is only 15 minutes long, but it is completely free to attend and shows begin twice each night at 8 PM and 9 PM - there is also an extra showing on Friday and Saturday nights at 10 PM.
It’s possible to view both SPECTRA and Garden Rhapsody on the same night. We watched the 8PM SPECTRA show, then walked to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, went down to the basement level and went through Bayfront Station to Gardens by the Bay. From there we followed the signs to the Supertree Grove and watched the 8:45PM Garden Rhapsody show. Have fun!
THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS
Shopping meets entertainment with the Digital Light Canvas and Sampan Rides at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Nearly anything you could desire is offered through the seemingly endless variety of stores and restaurants at The Shoppes. They even offer a 2-3 hour Shopping Concierge Service to help expedite your every need. A number of Theatre shows are also offered regularly at the Sands Theatre near the Digital Light Canvas.
Digital Light Canvas
“Watch shoals of fish gather in the ocean beneath you as crystals light up overhead, or paint calligraphic art with your feet while flowers blossom in your wake.” - Marina Bay Sands
You can even set off virtual fireworks or have personalized messages appear on the LED floor in beautiful calligraphy!
Take a leisurely ride along the Canal in the middle of The Shoppes in a Chinese wooden boat and circle the Rain Oculus before heading back.
$10 SGD per person - Purchase tickets at the B2 Retail Concierge Counter near Bayfront MRT.
A listing of the current Theatre Shows
Around 50 restaurants offering the best of local and international cuisine
THE ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM AT MARINA BAY SANDS
Reminiscent of a lotus flower, and able to sustainably harvest rainwater for the building's restrooms by channeling it down the center of the building, the world's first ArtScience museum has 21 gallery spaces with only one permanent exhibition, the ArtScience Gallery. It primarily hosts touring exhibitions curated by other museums. Check out the current exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum to see if it’ll end up being a must-see place for you on your trip to Singapore!
Looking to book a trip to Singapore and want to make it a bit easier? Consider the 4-day / 3-night Singapore City Stay tour - which includes airport pickup and drop-off, hotel stay for 3 nights, and unlimited travel on the SIA Hop-on Hop-off bus, plus access to more than 20 great deals for attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Cable Car, Singapore River Cruise and more. We even recommend trying the Original Singapore Duck Tour which tours you through the city streets, as well as through Marina Bay, to see all of Singapore’s highlights.
However, if you’d prefer to choose one of the amazing hotels or hostels listed below, we suggest adding on the Singapore Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing bus or the Singapore City Hop On Hop Off Tour 2 Day Pass (a better deal) to get around to all of the important sights. Additionally, if you like to go touring at night, check out the HiPPO Night City Tour!
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN SINGAPORE
Best Luxury Hotel, Experience & Location: Marina Bay Sands (price varies)
Best Value & Location Hotel: Fragrance Hotel - Sapphire (around $45 USD per night)
Best Experience & Location Hostel: Beary Nice Pod Hostel (around $35 USD per night!)
Cheapest Decent Hostel & Location: Nano Hostel ($10-$17 USD per night!)
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore