OCBC Skywalk Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Ultimate Gardens By The Bay, Singapore Travel Guide

Gardens by the Bay is probably one of the most unique and most popular attractions in all of Singapore. Having lived in Singapore for some time, I find myself coming back to this unique tourist attraction time and time again. These gardens are as beautiful as they are unique and it’s become one of the most iconic symbols of the city.

OCBC Skywalk Gardens by the Bay Singapore

In this guide, I’ll help you familiarize yourself with all the different sights this complex has to offer, from the cloud forest to the OCBD skywalk. In addition, I’ll also help you structure your visit to the Gardens by the Bay as it can be overwhelming to plan around so many different sights.

This post is featured as a part of my one day itinerary for Singapore as well as my three day Singapore itinerary for those with more time.

History of Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a nature park located in the heart of Singapore. The project to create Gardens by the Bay was first announced by the Singapore government in 2005 as part of a larger plan to transform Singapore into a “City in a Garden.” The idea was to create a garden that would be a world-class attraction and a showcase of Singapore’s commitment to sustainability and green living.

cloud forest  Singapore Gardens by the Bay

The design for Gardens by the Bay was the result of an international competition that was launched in 2006. The winning design was created by a team led by British architecture firm Grant Associates. The design included a number of innovative features, including two massive conservatories, the Supertrees, and a variety of themed gardens.

Construction on Gardens by the Bay began in 2007, and the first phase of the project was completed in 2011. This included the opening of the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest conservatories, as well as the Supertrees and several themed gardens.

Since then, Gardens by the Bay has become one of Singapore’s most popular attractions, drawing millions of visitors each year. It has also won numerous awards for its innovative design and commitment to sustainability, including the prestigious World Building of the Year award at the 2012 World Architecture Festival.

Today, Gardens by the Bay continues to evolve and grow, with new attractions and features being added on a regular basis. It has become a symbol of Singapore’s commitment to creating a sustainable future, and a shining example of what can be achieved when nature and technology come together.

How much does it cost to visit Gardens by the Bay?

Gardens by the Bay is open to the public from 9am to 9pm. Certain exhibits have different hours but the primary highlights of Gardens by the Bay like the Cloud Forest, OCBC skywalk, and the Flower Gardens are open from 9 to 9. While you need to pay to enter these exhibits, the gardens by the bay itself is completely free and open until 2am. Many locals walk through the gardens at all times of the day as it was built to be a public park.

cloud forest  Singapore Gardens by the Bay

As far as free public parks go, I don’t think you’ll find another one quite as unique and stunning as this one.

Nevertheless, the cost of admission to the various exhibits are as follows:

  • Flower Dome OR Cloud Forest: SGD $28 for adults, SGD $15 for children (3-12 years old)
  • Double Conservatories (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest): SGD $38 for adults, SGD $25 for children
  • OCBC Skyway: SGD $10 for adults, SGD $5 for children

The cost of admission to Gardens by the Bay can vary depending on the attractions you want to visit and whether you are a resident of Singapore or a foreign visitor. Sometimes, there will be special one off events in the Cloud Forest like its most recent “Avatar Experience” in 2022/2023 which saw entrance rates jump up to SGD $53.

If you’re a local resident, you can expect to pay 20-30% less for these tickets.

What are the things to do in the Gardens By the Bay

Gardens By the Bay has no shortage of sights to see. You can visit the Gardens simply to walk around and soak in the outdoor sights (for free), ,or visit the other structured sights that cost money. Here is a list of all the things you can do in the Gardens by the bay.

Supertree Grove

The Supertree Forest in Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, is a stunning display of futuristic tree-like structures that stand tall and proud amidst a beautiful garden landscape. These Supertrees are not just aesthetically pleasing, but they also serve important ecological functions, such as providing shade, acting as air venting ducts for nearby conservatories, and collecting rainwater for irrigation.

Supertree Forest Singapore Gardens by the Bay

There are 18 Supertrees in total, ranging in height from 25 to 50 meters, and they are all covered in a myriad of tropical ferns, vines, and flowering climbers. The vertical gardens on the Supertrees contain over 162,900 plants of more than 200 species, making it a unique and biodiverse ecosystem within the heart of the city.

The Supertrees are illuminated at night by a network of photovoltaic cells, which harness solar energy during the day and transform it into a mesmerizing light show at night. The display is not just a feast for the eyes but also a testament to the Gardens by the Bay’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Supertree Forest Singapore Gardens by the Bay

As visitors walk around the Supertree Grove, they can take a stroll along the elevated walkway, which offers a bird’s eye view of the surrounding gardens, the Marina Bay skyline, and the stunning waterfront. The walkway also leads to the OCBC Skyway, a 128-meter-long aerial bridge that connects two Supertrees and offers an even more spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Supertree Forest Singapore Gardens by the Bay

The Supertree Grove is more than just a tourist attraction; it is also a symbol of Singapore’s commitment to creating a sustainable future. The Supertrees provide an oasis of greenery and a breath of fresh air in the midst of a bustling cityscape. They are a reminder that even in the concrete jungle, nature can thrive and that we all have a role to play in preserving the environment for future generations.

Gardens by the Bay Lightshow at night

The famous night time lightshow is one of the penultimate things to do in Gardnes by the Bay. Located in the Supertree Forest, the lightshow happens twice every day at 7:45 and 8:45 pm. This dazzling light show illuminates the thousands of lights fixed upon these incredible tree structures. Colors and patterns are constantly changing in unison with all 12 trees of the forest.

Supertree Forest Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Like the lightshow at Marina Bay Sands, it is accompanied and synced to dramatic music and is sure to wow anyone watching. This show gets crowded fast so i recommend coming here at least 20 minutes before the start of the show. It does get very crowded but because it is in the open square of the Supertree forest, there is usually ample space to sit, stand, and enjoy the show. I prefer to stand nearer to the outskirts of the forest so you can see all the trees light up.

It is 100% free to watch and it’s the perfect place to go after a sundowner drink at the MBS rooftop bar of Ce La Vie.

OCBC Skywalk

Within the Supertree Forest, you’ll find two of the most iconic sights in the Gardens by the Bay: The Supertree Observatory and the OCBC Skywalk. The OCBC Skywalk is the iconic and futuristic walkway 40 meters above the ground connecting the trees together.

OCBC Skywalk Gardens by the Bay Singapore

There isn’t much to see exactly on this walkway but it makes for fantastic photos among the trees. Snap a photo with the Marina Bay Sands in the background and you have yourself an iconic Singapore moment!

Supertree Observatory

Among the 12 trees within the Supertree Grove, there is one that stands taller than the rest. At 50 meters, the central Supertree observatory offers you the ability to take an elevator to the top. You’ll be greeted with stunning panoramic views of the Singapore skyline and Gardens by the Bay.

The viewpoint is pretty similar to that of the OCBC Skywalk and I’m not sure I would pay the money to visit both.

Cloud Forest

The two main attractions are the Cloud Forest and the Flower Garden. While walking outside around the Gardens is free, these two greenhouses are not. Admission for both exhibits was $35 SGD (~$25 USD). The Cloud Forest is absolutely incredible. As I walked in, I could immediately feel the A/C of the greenhouse cooling me down after walking through the unforgiving Singapore heat. You’re greeted with a giant man made waterfall 35m high.

cloud forest  Singapore Gardens by the Bay

Visitors enter into this “mountain” if you will, and take a lift to the peak of the structure, also known as the Lost World. It is completely man made which was mind blowing considering they seriously had streams, trees, and plants that dwarfed anything I’d seen before. After taking an elevator to the top of the falls, I slowly made my way down via a spiral walkway to enjoy the views.

Flower Dome

The Flower Garden was less impressive than the cloud forest in my opinion but still a unique sight. It’s a huge indoor garden home to hundreds of species of plants from all over the world. It’s organized by region so one region will be all trees/plants from Africa, another will be the Mediterranean, South America, etc. The place is so big, it houses the African baobabs indoor! It does not however, house the coolest baobab of them all, the Madagascar giant baobabs 🙂

Marina Bay Overpass Viewing Point

Without a doubt, my favorite viewpoint of Gardens by the Bay is from Marina Bay Overpass Viewing Point. This is located right after the Dragonfly bridge (which itself is beautiful) where you will see escalators that lead up to the stunning viewpoint. The viewpoint is located near to the Marina Bay Sands hotel and is elevated more than the Dragonfly bridge allowing you to see all of the individual supertrees.

Marina Bay overpass viewpoint gardens by the bay singapore
Incredible views of the Supertree forest

At night, this viewpoint is absolutely stunning as these dozen or so trees brilliantly light up giving you a show from far away. Make sure to take plenty of amazing photos here since it is a perfect place for photos. I recommend visiting this place at night time. If you don’t want to be with the huge crowds watching the lightshow in the Supertree forest, come here instead and you can see the lightshow from afar.

Dining at Gardens by the Bay

There are a slew of dining options in Gardens by the Bay. From fancy restaurants to iconic Singapore style street food, you can sample everything here.

Satays by the Bay is a popular food destination located within the Gardens by the Bay, which is one of Singapore’s most iconic attractions. This outdoor dining spot offers a unique dining experience with a stunning waterfront view of the Marina Bay skyline.

Satays are a popular Southeast Asian street food consisting of skewered and grilled meat, typically served with a peanut sauce. Satays by the Bay offers a wide variety of satay options including chicken, beef, mutton, and seafood, as well as vegetarian options like tofu and mushroom.

Apart from the delicious food, Satays by the Bay also provides a laid-back and casual atmosphere perfect for a chill evening with friends and family. The outdoor seating area is surrounded by lush greenery and a refreshing sea breeze, creating a comfortable and relaxing environment to enjoy your meal.

In addition to satays, Satays by the Bay also serves a range of other local delicacies such as chicken rice which is my favorite, prawn mee, laksa, and seafood dishes. Visitors can also quench their thirst with a refreshing drink like fresh coconut water or sugar cane juice.

Prices here are generally higher than other hawker centers like Chinatown, Tiong Bahru, or Maxwell. It is more in line with the touristy Lau Pa Sat hawker center. Nevertheless, the amounts won’t break the bank!

How To Get to Gardens by the Bay?

Gardens by the Bay is located on the southeast part of Singapore island. It’s located across a river from the famous Marina Bay Sands hotel.

To get to the Gardens, you can take the Bayfront MRT station which is serviced by the Circle line or the Downtown line. You can also take the train to Raffles Place and walk 20 minutes to the Gardens.

Have a drink at the Marina Bay Sands hotel afterwards

How to structure a trip to Gardens by the Bay?

Gardens by the Bay is a huge complex with so much to visit. It’s a bit overwhelming to figure out just what to do and when to do it. Some things are better seen at night, while others are better seen during the day. The short answer is that there is not really a bad time to see any of these attractions give how unique and stunning they are.

Nevertheless, I think there are certain places that are better during certain times of day and planning where and when you’ll visit the sights can be worthwhile. For starters, I recommend that you allocate a total of at least 4-5 hours to explore every single sight the Gardens by the Bay has to offer. This could be spread out over multiple days or just done all at once.

Supertree Grove Singapore gardens by the Bay

Generally, I find the Cloud Forest and Flower Gardens to be better during the day time. THe Cloud Forest in particular is extra stunning when it is extra sunny outside. The rays of the sun light up the forest making for fantastic photos and imagery. The Flower Garden is well, a garden so seeing this without natural light isn’t as beautiful in my opinion. When it gets dark, they do have beautiful lighting that illuminates these places well but it just deosn’t feel as natural.

For the Supertree Forest, it is great to visit at all times of the day but the night time is particularly unique given beautiful lights that are on display. In addition, the light show is only at night so it’s better time your visit to be in time for the light show.

Gardens by the Bay itinerary with Marina Bay Sands Hotel

With that all in mind, if I were to visit Gardens by the Bay with the intent of seeing it all over one visit, this is how I would structure the trip:

3pm: Arrive in Gardens by the Bay. Walk through the Supertree forest to see it during the day time.
4pm: Enter the Cloud Forest and walk through the structure. This will take roughly 1 to 1-.5 hours
5:30pm: Enter the Flower Gardens, this will take 30 minute to 1 hour depending on how into flora you are.
6:15pm: Visit the OCBC skyway and take some beautiful photos around sunset time
7:00pm: Go up to the top of MBS and enjoy a sundowner drink at the Ce La Vie lounge (not to be confused with the actual skybar).
8:00pm: Walk back towards the Gardens by the way, stopping at the iconic viewpoint to see the Gardens at night
8:45pm: Enjoy the Gardens by the Bay lightshow

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Gardens By The Bay

When was Gardens By The Bay Built?

Construction on Gardens by the Bay began in 2007, and the first phase of the project was completed in 2011. This included the opening of the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest conservatories, as well as the Supertrees and several themed gardens.

How long to spend at Gardens By The Bay?

Gardens by the Bay is a large park in the southeast city center of Singapore . There are many sights to see here including iconic places like the Cloud Forest and Supertree Grove. I recommend you spend at least 4-5 hours if you want to get a glance of all the main sights. You can spread this out over multiple days or see it all at once.

How much are tickets for Gardens by the bay?

Tickets to Gardens by the Bay vary depending on where you want to visit. It is completely free to explore the outdoor portions of the premise including the Supertree Forest. As of 2023, it is $53 for a foreigner adult to visit the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome package. This price includes the new avatar experience.

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