The 160-year-old Singapore Botanic Gardens is a star visitor attraction for the sophisticated traveller and the local resident. The Gardens possess an array of botanical and horticultural features with a rich history and a wonderful plant collection of worldwide significance. Complementing these unique resources are sensitive developments and entertainment events providing visitors educational and recreational facilities amidst the wonders of nature. It is the most visited botanic gardens in the world and is a unique example of the informal English Landscape Movement’s style in an equatorial climate.
The first botanical garden was set up by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore and a keen naturalist, in 1822 on Government Hill at Fort Canning, mainly to introduce into cultivation economic crops. It closed in 1829 and, in 1859, at the present Tanglin site a new garden was developed by an Agri-Horticultural Society, and later handed over to the government in 1874. From an ornamental garden with roads, terraces, a band parade area and even a small zoo at one point, it has come a long way in evolving into an 82-hectare leading botanic garden of plant research and conservation in the tropics.
In June 2012, Singapore ratified the World Heritage Convention and in December 2012, submitted its World Heritage Tentative List to UNESCO to indicate interest in inscribing the Singapore Botanic Gardens as a World Heritage Site.
In January 2014, the official Nomination Dossier for the Gardens was submitted to UNESCO. In September 2014, a technical assessor from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) visited the Gardens as part of the bid evaluation process.
On 4 July 2015, the Gardens received inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC). Click here to find out more.
The Gardens was originally developed along a three-core Concept. The three cores comprised Tanglin which is the heritage core retaining the old favourites and charms of the historic Gardens; Central, the visitor belt of the Gardens; and Bukit Timah, the educational and discovery zone. A fourth core, Tyersall-Gallop, was created with the opening in 2017 of the Learning Forest which is designed to integrate into the Gardens' existing rainforest to form an enlarged forest habitat.
Each Core presents an exciting array of attractions. Take your time to stroll around the Gardens and enjoy the wonderful sights, sounds and wonders the luscious greenery offers.
Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens website to find out more about the Gardens and its various features including the newly opened Mingxin Foundation Rambler's Ridge and the OCBC Arboretum at the Gallop Extension, the Ethnobotany Garden, Keppel Discovery Wetlands and SPH Walk of Giants at the Learning Forest, the National Orchid Garden and Jacob Ballas Children's Garden.
The Jacob Ballas Children's Garden has doubled in size with a two-hectare extension that includes new features geared towards youngsters up to 14 years old. The new extension allows children to experience and learn about different eco-systems in four new zones: Farm, Forest, Stream, and Orchard.
The new one-hectare Ethnobotany Garden is the first in Singapore where visitors can learn about plants used by indigenous cultures of Southeast Asia. The garden includes a Centre for Ethnobotany which complements the outdoor landscape with an interpretive exhibition of artefacts and interactive elements.
The first in Singapore, the Seed Bank expands the Gardens’ conservation capacity in safeguarding the germplasm of threatened plant species in Southeast Asia. At the same time, visitors can learn about the importance of seed storage for species conservation and plant biodiversity, seed dispersal and germination through curated programmes at an interpretative gallery and outdoor garden.
Framed by landscapes composed of native plants and forests, the Gallop Extension contributes to the Gardens’ rich heritage and its role in research, conservation, education and recreation. As a natural extension of the Gardens’ nature area, which covers the Rain Forest and the Learning Forest, the Gallop Extension enables visitors to learn about forest ecology and the significance of conservation.