Singapore, often celebrated for its modernity and urban marvels, hides a world of natural beauty within its city limits. For tourists seeking a different side of the Lion City, a journey through its top nature attractions promises to be a rewarding experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a tour of Singapore’s most captivating natural wonders, offering a glimpse of the city’s green heart.
1. Singapore Botanic Gardens: A UNESCO Gem
Our journey begins with the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an oasis of greenery nestled within the bustling city. This 160-year-old garden is home to breathtaking landscapes, including the enchanting National Orchid Garden, where over 1,000 orchid species bloom in a riot of colours. Stroll by the swan-filled lake, lose yourself in the Rainforest Walk, or simply relax amidst beautifully landscaped gardens. With free entry to most areas, this botanical wonder offers a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle.
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
2. Gardens by the Bay: Where Nature Meets the Future
Next, step into the future at Gardens by the Bay, an architectural marvel in the Marina Bay area. The highlight here is the awe-inspiring Supertree Grove, where towering vertical gardens come to life with vibrant plant life. Explore the two colossal conservatories—the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome—each showcasing a unique collection of exotic plants. Take a walk along the OCBC Skyway to witness the Supertrees up close and enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline. Don’t miss the mesmerizing light and sound show that transforms these futuristic structures into a dazzling spectacle at night.
Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
3. Singapore Zoo: A Rainforest Adventure
For a wildlife encounter like no other, head to the Singapore Zoo. Renowned for its open, rainforest-like enclosures, this zoo immerses visitors in lush habitats where animals roam freely. From majestic white tigers to playful orangutans, you’ll encounter a wide range of species in environments that mimic their natural homes. Extend your animal adventure with a visit to the Night Safari, where nocturnal creatures come to life, or explore the River Safari, dedicated to aquatic wonders.
Location: 80 Mandai Lake Rd, 729826
4. MacRitchie Reservoir: A Hiker’s Paradise
Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts will find their haven at MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore’s oldest reservoir. Here, picturesque walking trails wind through pristine landscapes. The crown jewel is the TreeTop Walk, a suspension bridge that takes you through the heart of the rainforest canopy. Along the way, be on the lookout for native wildlife like long-tailed macaques and monitor lizards. It’s a peaceful retreat that allows you to immerse yourself in nature just minutes from the city.
Website: Nparks Tree Top Walk
5. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: A Birder’s Paradise
For birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is a must-visit. This nature reserve, located in the far north of Singapore, serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Its mudflats, mangrove forests, and coastal pools are home to a diverse range of fauna and flora. Take your binoculars and explore the tranquil boardwalks, where you might spot waders, kingfishers, and even crocodiles. Sungei Buloh offers a serene escape from the urban landscape, inviting you to reconnect with nature.
Location: 301 Neo Tiew Cres, Singapore 718925
6. Pulau Ubin: A Glimpse of Singapore’s Past
A short ferry ride from the mainland transports you to Pulau Ubin, a rustic island that feels like a journey back in time. Here, traditional village life thrives, and the best way to explore is by renting a bicycle. Pedal through unspoiled landscapes, including dense forests, secluded beaches, and charming villages. Don’t forget to visit Chek Jawa, a wetlands area on the island known for its rich marine life, which is revealed during low tide.
To get to Pulau Ubin, a rustic island in Singapore, you’ll need to take a short ferry ride from the mainland. Here are the steps to get to Pulau Ubin:
- Travel to Changi Village: First, make your way to Changi Village, which is located in the eastern part of Singapore. You can use various transportation methods, including taxis, buses, or the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system followed by a bus.
- Changi Point Ferry Terminal: Once you reach Changi Village, head to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. It’s a short walk from the main road and is well-signposted. You can also ask locals for directions.
- Purchase a Ferry Ticket: At the terminal, you’ll find ticket counters where you can purchase your ferry ticket to Pulau Ubin. The fare is usually affordable and paid in cash. The ferry ride itself is a short journey, taking about 10-15 minutes.
- Enjoy the Ferry Ride: Hop on the ferry, and enjoy the scenic ride across the water. You’ll likely see other islands and boats along the way.
- Arrive at Pulau Ubin: The ferry will drop you off at the Pulau Ubin Jetty on the island. Once you disembark, you’re free to explore Pulau Ubin’s natural beauty, hiking trails, and traditional villages.
7. Chek Jawa: A Biodiversity Haven on Pulau Ubin
Nestled on the rustic island of Pulau Ubin, Chek Jawa is a wetlands area that stands as a testament to Singapore’s rich biodiversity. During low tide, the intertidal flats are unveiled, revealing a vibrant tapestry of marine life. Wander through the surreal landscape of mangroves, mudflats, and seagrass lagoons as you spot unique creatures like colourful sea anemones, graceful seahorses, and elusive fiddler crabs. The picturesque boardwalks provide safe passage through this fragile ecosystem, allowing you to explore without harming the delicate balance of nature. Chek Jawa is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering a glimpse into the diverse marine wonders of Singapore.
Website: Chek Jawa
8. Coney Island Park: A Hidden Gem
Coney Island Park offers a serene escape on an undeveloped island on the northeastern coast of Singapore. With its lush greenery, serene beaches, and mangrove forests, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers and nature photographers. The island’s rustic charm and untouched beauty provide a tranquil retreat for those seeking solace in nature.
Location: Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, 829325
Website: Coney Island More Information
9. Bird Paradise: An Avian Wonderland
Bird Paradise, eagerly anticipated by many, is set to open its doors on May 8th, 2023, marking a significant moment for avian enthusiasts. This state-of-the-art bird park boasts an array of unique features, including eight immersive walkthrough aviaries, each meticulously designed to replicate distinct ecological settings. Visitors will not only be treated to an unforgettable experience but will also witness birds in environments that closely resemble their natural habitats.
These expansive walkthrough aviaries draw inspiration from various global habitats, ranging from the African savannah to the lush landscapes of South America. The park also offers a new attraction in the form of a penguin cove, along with a restaurant offering scenic views of a cascading waterfall. It’s an opportunity not to be missed, so secure your tickets and embark on a captivating journey through this remarkable addition to Singapore’s attractions. Bird Paradise, home to more than 3,500 birds representing over 400 avian species, is situated within the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, adjacent to the Night Safari, River Wonders, and Singapore Zoo, promising an immersive and colourful adventure for all ages.
Location: 20 Mandai Lake Rd, Singapore 729825
10. Haw Par Villa: Where Art Meets Mythology
While not a conventional nature spot, Haw Par Villa offers a unique blend of art, culture, and mythology. Wander through a surreal landscape adorned with colorful and often bizarre statues depicting scenes from Chinese mythology. It’s a cultural and artistic gem that adds a different dimension to your exploration of Singapore.
Location: 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118628
11. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve: A Hiker’s Delight
Nature enthusiasts seeking hiking adventures should head to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, home to diverse plant and animal species. The reserve features various trails, including a challenging ascent to Bukit Timah Hill, the highest point in Singapore. Along the way, you’ll traverse lush forests and encounter native wildlife, making it a rewarding outdoor experience for all ages.
Location: Entrance Map
Website: Bukit Timah NParks Information
12. Labrador Nature Reserve: Coastal Cliffs and Avian Delights
Along Singapore’s southern coast lies the tranquil Labrador Nature Reserve, a haven of coastal cliffs, lush greenery, and abundant wildlife. This hidden gem provides a serene escape from the city’s hustle, with walking trails that wind through dense forests and open up to breathtaking sea views. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the variety of resident and migratory birds that call this reserve home. Keep your eyes peeled for vibrant kingfishers and majestic eagles soaring overhead. The park’s rich history, including World War II relics, adds an intriguing layer to your nature exploration. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or simply to unwind amidst nature’s beauty.
Location: 91 Labrador Villa Rd Singapore 119190
Website: Labrador Park Nparks Information
13. Southern Ridges: A Nature Lover’s Paradise
Singapore’s Southern Ridges is a tapestry of interconnected parks and trails that promises an immersive experience in lush forests and panoramic vistas. The highlight of this network is the Henderson Waves, an iconic pedestrian bridge known for its stunning architectural design. As you traverse the elevated walkways, you’ll be greeted by a symphony of bird songs and the rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze. The ridges connect several parks, including Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Kent Ridge Park. Each offers unique experiences, from the tranquil reflective spaces of Mount Faber Park to the elevated views at Telok Blangah Hill Park. The Southern Ridges is a nature lover’s paradise, providing a serene retreat within the heart of the city.
14. Singapore Quarry: A Glimpse into History and Nature
Once a thriving mining site, the Singapore Quarry has transformed into a picturesque attraction within the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Surrounded by lush greenery, this hidden oasis offers a serene escape from urban life. The quarry’s emerald waters reflect the vibrant foliage, creating a tranquil setting perfect for a leisurely stroll or a contemplative moment by the water’s edge. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the trails that lead around the quarry and offer scenic views of the surroundings. It’s a serene reminder of the harmonious coexistence of nature and history in Singapore.
Location: Google Maps Link
15. East Coast Park
East Coast Park, stretching along Singapore’s eastern coastline, is a coastal gem offering a diverse range of recreational activities and natural beauty. Its pristine beaches invite sunbathing and swimming, while water sports enthusiasts can enjoy activities like windsurfing and kayaking. Families can explore the Marine Cove playground, and cycling enthusiasts can ride along scenic paths connecting various parks. The park’s vibrant food scene, with hawker centers and seafood restaurants, adds to its charm. As the sun sets, East Coast Park becomes a tranquil spot for evening strolls, making it a versatile destination for relaxation and outdoor fun.
Location: Coastal PlayGrove Map
As you embark on your journey to discover these hidden natural treasures, remember to respect the environment, adhere to park regulations, and leave no trace of your visit. These attractions offer an opportunity to connect with Singapore’s rich biodiversity and its lush natural landscapes, providing a refreshing and enriching experience for tourists seeking to explore beyond the city’s concrete jungle.