Did you know that there’s a rooftop garden at Orchard Central? We let you in on serene green spaces in the city that'll surprise you.
When it comes to getting closer to nature, we know about Fort Canning Park, McRitchie, and the offshore islands. And if it’s about getting fit, we’ve got nature trails in Singapore covered. In her efforts to live up to the Garden City title, Singapore is doing pretty well we say (with a cameo and a shout-out from Sir David Attenborough on Planet Earth 2). We uncovered some secret spots around the city fit for that mid-day breather you need, or a respite from the office headquarters. Grab your sandwich, and let’s go!
Pearl’s Hill City Park
Pearl’s Hill City Park is a city park in Singapore – and quite the hidden oasis of peace and tranquility – built around a reservoir on top of Pearl’s Hill Terrace. Located behind Outram Park MRT Station, it’s a short trek to the top of the hill where you can relax in the wooded ambience, and take in the lotus plants, pond, and the occasional squirrel sightings.
Pearl’s Hill City Park, Chin Swee Road, Pearl Bank, Singapore 169879
Duxton Plain Park
Flanked on both sides by the backs of shophouses, Duxton Plain Park is a narrow and curved park between New Bridge Road and Yan Kit Road in the Chinatown precinct. It is a unique luxuriant spin on the typical shophouse back alley and gets its meandering shape from the site bring an old railway line. It is a peaceful respite for residents and visitors alike. A solitary Muslim tomb also provides an incidental attraction in the park, with accompanying tales about the interred body and its powers.
Duxton Plain Park, Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089140
Ann Siang Hill Park
Linger in the Ann Siang area and take your time to explore both the old and restored shophouses. Most of them now house an eclectic mix of fashion boutiques, antique furniture shops, art galleries, trendy bars and cafes. For some respite, a short climb up to Ann Siang Hill Park, located at the end of Ann Siang Road will offer a view of conservation shophouses, contrasted with a backdrop of modern high-rise buildings.
Ann Siang Hill Park, nearest MRT station is Telok Ayer MRT (DT18)
While access to the Istana grounds and its lush gardens are limited only to public holidays, the Istana Park opposite the giant gates however are open all day, every day. Lined with rows and rows of tropical plants like Heliconia and Dwarf Coconut Palm Trees, the centrepiece of the park is a 26m long Festival Arch rising from a rectangular reflecting pool. Keep an eye out for the Changing of Guard Ceremonies (evening of the 1st Sunday of every month)!
Istana Park, 31 Orchard Road, Singapore 238888
Telok Blangah Hill Park
Unlike the pocket parks you’ll find on this list, Telok Blangah Hill Park is huge. It’s part of the Southern Ridges, which also comprises of Mount Faber Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve. You can dive into the trek for the Forest Walk for something more rugged or check out the Henderson Waves to admire the city skyline from the bridges. There’s also the Terrace Garden, a popular spot for photo-taking.
Telok Blangah Hill Park, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178
National Gallery Singapore rooftop
Surely you must have some deep thoughts after looking at all that art? Take a quick trip to the rooftop deck of the National Gallery and take a breather in the 3,000 square metre space which features a five-metre tall vertical green wall, overlooking the Civic District.
National Gallery Singapore, 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, #01–01, Singapore 178957
Telok Ayer Park
Located in Singapore’s busy Central Business District, Telok Ayer Park sits at the intersection of the Telok Ayer heritage district. Shaded by lush plants and giant ferns, it’s a great hideaway for the CBD worker who needs a change of scenery, and it’s perfect too. There are swings, nice trees, and even better cafes around to grab a sandwich and coffee – lunchtime bliss.
Telok Ayer Park, Telok Ayer Street (next to Amoy Street Food Centre), Singapore 068656
Telok Ayer Green
Telok Ayer Green, along Telok Ayer Street is flanked by two heritage buildings – Thian Hock Keng Temple and Nagore Durgha Shrine. This pocket park serves as a small retreat for office workers during lunchtime, and for tourists seeking refuge from the busy streets to rest and relax. This green space has symbolic historical significance – the design of the park takes after the contours of the original shoreline. You’ll also find a set of sculptures – a sampan (wooden boat) used to ferry goods, an Indian milk trader and a Chinese lantern procession to represent the trade and way of life in the early days of Singapore.
Telok Ayer Green, 3 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069612
Orchard Central Roof Garden
Besides fancy malls and retail therapy at the shopping precinct of Singapore, Orchard Road also houses one of the more unexpected green spaces in the city – atop Orchard Central. Nestled on the 11th and 12th floors of the mall, you can find wild orchids, reflective ponds, and full-sized garden walls at the magical Roof Garden that overlooks the rest of Orchard Road.
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238896