Dating back to 1859, the Singapore Botanic Gardens displays a collection of some 10,000 types of plants—mostly tropical flora—across 183 landscaped acres (84 hectares). The expansive grounds are home to the National Orchid Garden, with its impressive collection of 60,000 colorful orchids representing 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids.
The botanic gardens rank among the most popular Singapore attractions and, in 2016, they became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some city sightseeing tours include a stop at the garden, but it’s also possible to tour the gardens independently or with a private guide who can offer insight into the economic and cultural importance of the plants on display.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Singapore botanical garden offers a romantic experience for couples and a fun, education experience for families with kids.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and bug spray to protect your skin from the elements.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Most of the garden paths are wheelchair friendly but assistance may be required on hilly terrain.
How to Get There
The easiest way to get to the gardens is by taking the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Circle Line to Botanic Gardens station.
When to Get There
With a steady climate throughout the year, there isn’t really a bad time to visit the gardens, though rainfall tends to be more frequent in November, December, and January. Check the garden calendar, as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra often holds free concerts in the gardens. Expect big crowds on public holidays, especially Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year).
Singapore and the Southeast Asia Rubber Boom
In 1877, the Singapore Botanic Gardens began cultivating rubber seedlings brought to Singapore from Kew Gardens in London. Researchers at the gardens began developing sustainable rubber tapping techniques and by 1917, the gardens were fueling a need rubber throughout the Malay Peninsula by supplying more than 7 million rubber seeds—an economic boom that would bring prosperity to this region of Southeast Asia.