It's been a while since we last travelled to Singapore. While we're safe at home and dreaming about our next getaway to the Lion City, there are many amazing sights and spots in Singapore that are waiting for your return! Besides Gardens by the Bay and Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore is also full of nature spots that are family-friendly and Instagrammable! If you're excited to explore a whole new side of this bustling destination, check out the top 8 nature spots in Singapore you should visit on your next getaway
Safe distancing & hygiene measures in Singapore
Similar to Malaysia, you need to adhere to these safety measures in Singapore, which includes wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing in crowded places. Here are some of the mandatory safety measures you should keep in mind:
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times when in public, including in nature parks and public or private hire transport. If you’re engaging in outdoor or strenuous activity you can remove the mask, but put it back on once you complete your exercise. We recommend keeping the mask on during nature walks or treks if you’re able to.
- The mask can be removed when eating or drinking but must be put back on immediately afterwards.
- From 28 Dec 2020 onwards, groups of up to 8 people are allowed in public spaces including restaurants. So, we recommend travelling in a smaller group. Do remember to check the latest regulations on the number of persons allowed for gatherings as this may change during this period.
- If you’re travelling with kids, children under 6 years of age are not required to wear a mask. Children 12 years and below are allowed to wear a face shield in place of a mask if they have difficulty keeping a face mask on for prolonged periods of time.
- Do note that during the weekends or Singapore school holidays (June and December), these nature spots will be busier than usual. We recommend planning in advance and checking before you leave.
If you’re planning to explore the parks or nature areas in Singapore, these places may have limits on the number of visitors allowed in per session or per day, so as to facilitate crowd control. Besides sightseeing in a small group, here’s what you need to do:
- Check the Safe Distance @ Parks website to see how crowded each park is before visiting, and whether any parks are closed for safe distancing. During weekends and school holidays there might be increased crowds, and at selected locations you may not be able to enter until there is sufficient space available.
- Stay in small groups while exploring the park, and space out from other groups in the same area. Practice the same social distancing measures like we do back home and keep at least 1 metre distance from other groups.
- Remember to scan and check-in the SafeEntry QR codes at the entrance of each park to enable contact tracing. Compared to the tracing app in Malaysia, an extra step you need to remember is to check-out once you’ve left the park!
- Activate the TraceTogether app while you’re out and about. If you forget easily, switch it on as soon as you leave your hotel. This will help track who you’ve crossed paths with, which will be used for contact tracing in case you come in contact with a COVID-19 case. You can download the TraceTogether app on the Google Play store and iOS App Store. P.S. This app is easy to use and similar to the tracing app in Malaysia!
1. Sungei BulohTime required:
It takes about 1.5 to 3 hours to complete the full trail.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, one way to do so is by heading to the more secluded nature spots away from the centre of Singapore. One peaceful nature spot in the north-west of Singapore is Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
. This nature park is Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park and is full of mangrove forests, mudflats, and ponds that are rich in biodiversity.
Look out for mudskippers, water monitor lizards, squirrels, and even crocodiles while you take a stroll through the lush greenery of the reserve. Kids will also enjoy the Mid-Canopy Walk
suspension bridge, and Mud Experience
where they can get up close with wildlife that lives in the muddy waters of the mangroves. The Mud Experience is dependent on the tide level so do arrive earlier in the day if you plan to enjoy it!
Make sure to walk through the Coastal Trail
where you can even see Johor Bahru across the water! The trail is dotted with 5 onion-shaped Observation Pods
that are the perfect backdrop for your outdoor #OOTD. Since it’s a popular Instagram spot, make sure to keep your face mask on and practice social distancing when you’re taking photos at the Observation Pods.
Between September to March, the Buloh Tidal Ponds
become home to dozens of migratory birds and you’ll get a chance to see kingfishers, eagles, or herons as they make a pitstop on their way to their next destination. Peek through the Observation Screens
located along the paths to observe these beautiful birds from afar. The holes in the screens are located at different heights so even kids will be able to see through them!
- The park’s trails are wheelchair and stroller accessible. While some areas have stairs, you can navigate throughout the park without needing to venture to those spots. Some parts of the Coastal Trail are slightly narrower, so we recommend visiting with caution if you require mobility assistance.
- Water coolers are present at the Wetland Centre and Visitor Centre so you can refill your water bottles before starting the trail.
- There are no halal eateries within the park, but you can head to Woodlands or Jurong afterwards for a yummy meal to recharge. Do call ahead to the eatery to pre-book your table if possible.
- If you plan to drive or take a car to the park, head to the Visitor Centre if you plan to take the Coastal Trail first. You can head to the Wetland Centre if you plan to explore the Buloh Tidal Ponds first.
- For taxis and hired vehicles, a maximum of 4 passengers is allowed per car excluding the driver. You also need to have your masks on at all times, even when you’re inside the car or public transport.
- From Mondays to Saturdays, you can take bus service 925 from Kranji MRT Station. Alight at Kranji Reservoir Carpark B, which is located next to the Visitor Centre. On Sundays and Public Holidays, bus 925 alights at the Wetland Centre entrance.
- The Kranji Express shuttle bus also operates daily from Kranji MRT Station. Do refer to the detailed schedule. It costs $3 standard or $1 concession for a single roundtrip ticket.
Open daily; 7AM - 7PM (Last entry 6.30PM)
60 Kranji Way #01-00, Singapore 739453 (Visitor Centre) or 301 Neo Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925 (Wetland Centre)
2. Coney IslandTime required:
It takes about 1.5 to 3 hours to complete the full trail on foot. If you’re cycling it may take you between 1-1.5 hours to finish the full island, but we recommend mixing cycling and walking to soak in the beauty of the area.
Located in the north-east of Singapore, Coney Island
has a rich history that dates back to the 1930s. There were once even plans to convert it into a holiday beach resort - hence it being named after the famous Coney Island attraction in New York! Today the park is an ecologically sustainable haven in Singapore, reusing nature elements such as reusing timber from uprooted Casuarina trees to make the signages, seats, and more.
Check out our Muslim-friendly guide to Coney Island
for more info on bike rentals, and where to find halal food nearby.
The rustic vibe of the park has made it a popular weekend destination for cyclists and trekkers, with a wide unpaved main road and several smaller trails. We recommend visiting earlier in the day to avoid the crowd! The cycling routes are a little uneven but still beginner-friendly. If you don’t feel like cycling however you can always take a leisurely stroll down the boardwalks and enjoy the refreshing breeze!
There are also Instagram-worthy spots located around the park, namely the park’s East and West entrance gates which have ‘Coney Island’ imprinted on them. The towering casuarina trees are another great place to snap a photo or two as they look like you’ve stepped into a fairytale land. They’ve even become a popular spot for wedding photos!
If you’re visiting Coney Island you’ve got to visit its beaches too. There are several designated beach areas, but they’re pretty small. Beyond those, you can take a stroll around Beach Area C to find the ‘secret’ beach nearby. This long stretch of untouched beach is quiet, tranquil, and beautiful during low tide.
- For a family bike ride, you can rent some bicycles at Jomando Adventure & Recreations. It’s available in different sizes and comes complete with helmets and toddler bike seats. For your own reassurance, we recommend wiping down seats, helmets, and other accessories before and after your bike ride. Prices vary across rental stores and averages SGD8/hr for an adult bike.
- There are limited amenities on the island in order to preserve its natural habitat. The one toilet on the island is found at the eastern end so do plan your route accordingly.
- Some routes in Coney Island have gravel paths which may be uncomfortable or inconvenient for those with strollers and wheelchairs.
- Pack insect repellent and wear long pants and covered shoes. Some areas on the island have sandflies, which can cause several days of itchy irritation on the skin.
- There is no electricity or piped water in the park, so bring your own water bottles, snacks and hand sanitizers. You can buy drinks or snacks at Punggol MRT station before heading to Coney Island.
- Leave no trace behind. Please pack up your rubbish and dispose of them at proper bins.
- Take bus 84 from Punggol Bus Interchange and alight at the Punggol Rd End bus stop. Here, you'll find Punggol Point Jetty and Punggol Point Park.
- Walk (or cycle) along the coast past The Punggol Settlement and along the walking/cycling trail till you see the West entrance to Coney Island (you won't miss it!).
- It takes around 10-15 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the Coney Island entrance.
- Taxis and hired vehicles can drop-off at The Punggol Settlement. There are no parking spots on the island and the nearest parking facilities are at The Punggol Settlement.
Open daily; 7AM - 7PM (Entrance gates are closed at 7PM)
3. Pulau UbinTime required:
It takes between 3-5 hours to fully explore the island by bike. By foot, it may take you between 4-6 hours as it includes conquering several slopes.
Though this island off the northeast coast of Singapore is a popular nature spot for locals, it’s a hidden gem that visitors to Singapore should visit too! Pulau Ubin has some of the last remnants of a more laidback kampong village life in Singapore
, and you’ll feel rejuvenated and recharged after spending a day amongst its tranquil greenery.
Credit: travel oriented on Flickr
Cycling and hiking are the most common activities on Pulau Ubin, and there are some landmarks every first-time visitor needs to include in their itinerary. Since cycling and hiking are both strenuous exercises, you can temporarily remove your mask while doing so and put it back on when you’re done. The Chek Jawa Wetlands
are teeming with rich marine wildlife, and animal lovers can spend a day strolling along the boardwalk admiring the biodiversity of the park.
Credit: Jnzl's Photos on Flickr
Pulau Ubin is also home to several abandoned quarries, which have become stunning water pools with amazing views. Head to the top of Puaka Hill
for a breathtaking view of Ubin Quarry
. A hike is required to get to the top of the hill, but it's totally worth it for the bird's eye view of the quarry below. A second viewpoint is located at the western end of the quarry near Jalan Endut Senin, but it's harder to get a glimpse of the quarry through its thick vegetation. We recommend bringing a bottle of water or antibacterial wet wipes to keep your hands clean.
P.S. Here are even more beautiful quarries in Singapore
to explore next!
Credit: aamanatullah on Flickr
For an experience off the beaten path, visit the Ubin Fruit Orchard
to see over 300 fruit tree species you can commonly find in a kampong. Let’s see if you can spot rambutan, lychee, chiku, starfruit, and more! Adventurous travellers can also go mangrove kayaking
amongst the mangrove forests, and learn about the area’s biodiversity while getting in a good arm workout on the water. Do note that walk-ins are not allowed for mangrove kayaking, and you need to book online via their website
, at least 2 days in advance. This activity is also family-friendly and kids above 7 years old are allowed to join!
- There are several public toilets in Pulau Ubin but they are fairly spaced out. We recommend using the toilets next to the Ubin Jetty before starting your journey throughout the island.
- There's a Muslim-owned eatery called Melah Cafe right next to the Pulau Ubin jetty which sells halal food like nasi lemak, mee rebus, mee siam and mee goreng. Apart from Melah Cafe, there are no halal eateries on the island.
- You can also head to Changi Village next to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal for more halal options. Do try and call ahead to make a reservation if possible and remember that group dining is limited due to the safe distancing measures.
- Make your way to Changi Point Ferry Terminal at Changi Village and catch a bumboat to Pulau Ubin. Taxis and private hire vehicles can drop-off at Changi Point Ferry Terminal, and there is parking available at Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
- The ride is about 15 minutes and costs $4 per person one-way ($6 if you're bringing your own bicycle). There is no specific schedule for the bumboats and they will leave for Pulau Ubin once the maximum capacity of 9 pax is reached (according to Singapore’s Circuit Breaker Phase 2 restrictions).
Bumboats to the island generally run from 6AM-7PM but it's best to head over earlier in the day.
Use the Safe Distance @ Parks website
to see how crowded each park is before visiting, especially during weekends. Before entering any park, remember to scan and check-in the SafeEntry QR codes at the entrances, as well as activate your TraceTogether app to enable contact tracing. After you leave the park don’t forget to check-out of SafeEntry too.
4. St. John’s, Lazarus, and Kusu Islands (Southern Islands)Time required:
It takes 2-5 hours to fully explore the islands.
Singapore’s Southern Islands are where you’ll find pristine beaches and gorgeous blue seas! Comprising St John's Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island
, the islands are perfect to escape the bustling city life and enjoy some fresh air away from the city crowds.
Go for a swim at the beaches of St John’s Island
, or have a picnic with your loved ones - just make use of one of the picnic tables on the island or lay down your mat ? Do remember to stick strictly to the maximum number of people allowed in a group at one time, including dining. There are also some great fishing spots around the island, and an island nature trail showcasing its diverse wildlife.
From St John's Island, you can walk to Lazarus Island
via a short causeway (about a 15-min walk). Enjoy Lazarus Island's clean, white and sandy beach at the iconic C-shaped lagoon. It's one of Singapore's best-kept secrets, as it's usually emptier than St John's Island but has lesser amenities.
At Kusu Island
dive into a slice of history at the 3 keramats (Muslim shrine) and Chinese temple. Devotees often visit the shrines and temple to pray, and between September to November many worshippers make a ‘pilgrimage’ to the temple to pray for good fortune. Once you're done visiting the shrines and temple, head over to the Tortoise Sanctuary to see some adorable animals, or enjoy the green spaces, blue lagoons, and pristine beaches before you leave!
- Bring your own food, drinks, hand sanitizer and insect repellent as there are no shops or restaurants on the island. If you're planning to have a meal near Marina South Pier after your visit, check out our Marina Bay halal food guide! Do call ahead to the eatery to pre-book your table if possible.
- Masks need to be worn on ferries and even on the islands when you are not swimming, eating or drinking. Remember to practice social distancing too!
- The ferry to the islands goes in a loop from Marina South Pier to St John’s Island then to Kusu before returning to Singapore. A direct ferry from St John’s back to Marina South Pier is available on weekdays. Ferry time slots are pre-assigned so do check out their ferry schedule here.
- Prebook your two-way ferry tickets with Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services. ($15 for Adult ticket, $12 for Child ticket aged 1-12). We strongly recommend that you buy your ferry tickets in advance online as boarding of ferries are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Lazarus Island is connected to St John’s via a causeway so you can walk over without buying a separate ticket.
5. Southern Ridges & Henderson WavesTime required:
If you’re intending to walk the entire Southern Ridges walk, it may take you between 3-6 hours. If you’re only going to the Henderson Waves, it takes just about 1-2 hours to leisurely stroll through the bridge. The Southern Ridges are one set of nature parks that have a higher potential of being closed for safe distancing, so do check the Safe Distance @ Parks website
before planning your trip.
The Southern Ridges
is one of Singapore’s longest walking routes at 10km of trails in total, and comprises Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Henderson Waves, HortPark and Kent Ridge Park. It also passes by the Berlayer Creek Boardwalk and Labrador Nature Reserve so there’s plenty to explore along the way.
Out of the entire Southern Ridges trail, the Henderson Waves
has the most scenic and panoramic views of Singapore. Apart from being the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, its distinctive wave-like structure makes it a great spot for a photo. Soak in the amazing views of lush greenery set against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline, and try to spot the iconic curved roof of the Reflections at Keppel Bay condominium. On a sunny and clear day, the view even extends out to the sea!
Credit: Sergei Gussev on Flickr
While you're on the Southern Ridges Walk, don't miss out on the Terrace Garden
at Telok Blangah Hill Park
. Here's where you can pose for a picture with the beautiful stairs and the backdrop of a scenic view. If you're lucky, you might even get to see bougainvillaeas in bloom which will add a pop of colour to your feed.
Take a prayer break at Al-Amin Mosque (50 Telok Blangah Way, Singapore 098801) near Mount Faber Park in the middle of the route, or at Masjid Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim (30 Telok Blangah Rd, Singapore 098827) near Harbourfront MRT and Mount Faber at the start of the route. You can also recharge after your journey at these top 9 halal eateries near the Southern Ridges
! If you’re dining at a cafe or restaurant, do call ahead of time to book a table or make a reservation on their website or via social media.
- The Henderson Waves is accessible only via stairs, and has no wheelchair or stroller access.
- The nearest public toilet to the Henderson Waves is located in Telok Blangah Hill Park or Mount Faber Park. Alternatively, you can use the washroom at Harbourfront MRT station before or after completing the trail.
- There are two recommended routes for the Southern Ridges Walk. Both of them start from the Marang Trail at HarbourFront MRT Station and take about 3-5 hours, depending on your speed.
- Route A: Mount Faber Park - Telok Blangah Hill Park - HortPark - Kent Ridge Park
- Route B: Mount Faber Park - Telok Blangah Hill Park - Labrador Nature Reserve
- You can also visit the individual sections including Henderson Waves separately without walking the whole trail. Check out this guide to the Southern Ridges for more information on the individual sections.
It is open 24 hours daily, with sections of the park (Alexandra Arch, Forest Walk, Henderson Waves) lit up at night. The bridges have safety LED lights on from 7PM-7AM daily. Do check on the Safe Distance @ Parks website
if sections of the park are closed due to social distancing so that you can plan your trip in advance.
6. Fort Canning ParkTime required:
It takes 1.5-3 hours to fully explore the park.
Located in the Civic District, not only is Fort Canning Park
a beautiful spot to seek respite from the busy city - it's also full of history and things to do
. Plus it’s home to 9 historical gardens, and one of the most popular Insta-worthy stairs in Singapore!
Credit: WabbitWanderer on Flickr
Explore historical sites like the Battlebox,Keramat Sultan Iskandar Shah
, and Fort Canning Cemetery
. The Battlebox is where the British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese in 1942, and you can step into its rooms and corridors to check out interesting wartime artefacts. It’s also received the SG Clean quality mark, so travellers can rest assured that this site has met the Singapore government’s standards for sanitation and hygiene.
Make sure to snap a shot at the Fort Canning Spiral Staircase
. Located near the Fort Canning Park Tunnel along Canning Rise, snap your #OOTD from below the staircase so you can highlight the picturesque trees in the backdrop. Since it’s a famous Instagram-worthy spot among the locals, be sure to practice social distancing while you’re queuing for your turn!
Another Insta-worthy spot you can’t miss is the Sang Nila Utama Garden
. Named after Sang Nila Utama, the legendary founder and first King of ancient Singapore, this garden was modelled after ancient royal gardens back in the day. This might explain why the architecture here is reminiscent of Bali's famous Empul Tirta Bali and Pura Lempuyang temples (the one with the famous gates of heaven)!
- If you require wheelchair or stroller access, there’s an accessible drop-off and pick-up at the Cox Terrace roundabout.
- For families, head over to the Jubilee Park, a kid-friendly enclave complete with slides, swings and see-saws for your little ones to play.
- There are several public toilets located within the park. Alternatively, you can use the toilets at Fort Canning MRT station or Dhoby Ghaut MRT station before heading to the park.
- There are no halal eateries in the park itself but you can recharge with a meal at one of these 30 halal eateries in Singapore’s Civic District. Do call ahead of time to make reservations to ensure you can get a seat.
- From Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, take Exit B and cross Penang Road. Turn left, and keep a lookout for the tunnel leading to Fort Canning Park.
- From Fort Canning MRT station, take Exit B and turn left. You should reach Jubilee Park.
Open 24 hours daily, lit up between 7PM-7AM
7. Bukit Timah Nature Reserve & Hindhede Nature ParkTime required:
It takes 2-5 hours to fully explore Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and its surrounding parks.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
has one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the country, and its star attraction is the 163m tall Bukit Timah Hill
which is Singapore’s highest hill!
Bukit Timah Hill
is the closest you’ll get to a ‘mountain’ in Singapore, and there are 4 routes leading up to the summit. Routes 1 and 2 are marked as 'easy' and take between 45-60 minutes, whereas routes 3 and 4 are marked as 'moderate' and 'difficult' respectively and take between 80-90 minutes. The routes may get steep at times, but they're also full of wildlife so you can enjoy the walk on the way up. While hiking, you can temporarily remove your mask and breathe in the fresh air.
Next door to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve you’ll find Hindhede Nature Park
. Once you’ve hiked to the top of Bukit Timah Hill, head back down and enter this smaller park to rejuvenate your senses with the beautiful scenic views of the Hindhede Quarry
within. There are a few hiking trails at Hindhede Nature Park and it will only take you about 5-10 minutes to get to the lookout point from the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Centre. Beyond the quarry, you can also explore other trails at Hindhede! You'll be greeted with views of streams and lush greenery like this. It should take you around 30-45 minutes to finish a whole loop around the park. With the well-defined footpaths here, trekking at Hindhede Nature Park is perfect for any age, whether you're with children or the elderly.
- As this is quite a popular nature spot amongst Singaporeans as well, do ensure you keep to safe distancing measures by travelling in small groups, and keeping a distance of 1 metre from other groups.
- The park may also be temporarily closed to manage visitorship and ensure safe distancing can take place. You can check the Safe Distance @ Parks website when planning your trip.
- There is no halal food in the park itself, but you can dine at these 12 nearby halal restaurants in Bukit Timah or Tanglin instead (accessible via the blue Downtown MRT line). Do call ahead to the eatery to pre-book your table if possible.
- By bus, take services 67, 75, 170, 171, 184, 852, or 961 and alight at ‘Opp Beauty World Ctr’ (bus stop no. 42109) or ‘Opp Bk Timah Shopping Ctr’ (bus stop no. 42091)
- Or alight at Beauty World MRT station and take exit A
Open daily; 7AM - 7PM (Entering or remaining in the park after 7PM is not allowed)
8. Singapore Botanic GardensTime required:
It takes 3-4 hours to explore the entire park, excluding a break for lunch. Do note that ball/racquet games, scoots, children’s bicycles, frisbees, drones, kite flying are currently not allowed in the park.
No visit to Singapore would be complete without a day out to the Singapore Botanic Gardens
! The Botanic Gardens are Singapore’s very own UNESCO World Heritage Site with several specialized gardens boasting a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Credit: laurent houmeau on Flickr
Families can enjoy picnicking on the grounds, or visiting the Evolution Garden
, Learning Forest
, Orchid Garden
, or Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
for a fun yet educational time with the kids. The paths running throughout the gardens are smooth and well-paved so they’re wheelchair and stroller-friendly as well. There might be some slopes though!
Make sure to pay a visit to The Halia
(9AM-8.30PM Mon-Fri & Eve of Public Holidays, 10AM-8.30PM Sat-Sun), a gorgeous Western fusion restaurant located in the heart of the gardens next to the Ginger Gardens. Their brunch sets are a great way to start your day, and the alfresco seating area lends the restaurant a romantic atmosphere too. Fusion Spoon
(7AM-10PM daily) is another halal casual dining eatery next to the garden’s Tanglin Gate that has a hotpot buffet, meat platters and more!
- There are multiple public toilets and diaper changing stations located throughout the gardens.
- Check the Singapore Botanic Gardens website for detailed opening hours on specific attractions in the gardens.
- As visitors into specific gardens are limited under safe distancing measures, you might have to wait for your turn to enter popular attractions within the gardens.
- During weekends and public holidays you might experience waiting times of 1-2 hours to enter the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden or National Orchid Garden.
- If you intend to dine at The Halia or Fusion Spoon, do call the eateries ahead of time to make a reservation. We recommend making your reservation at least 5-7 days in advance.
- Botanic Gardens MRT station is connected to the gardens
- Or take buses 7, 77, 106, 123 and 174 from Orchard MRT station to the bus stop "Opp Botanic Gardens"
Open daily; 5AM - 12AM (Specific attractions may have varying hours)
1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
View our map of nature spots in Singapore:
In preparation for your future visits to Singapore, here’s a recap of the safety measures you need to remember:
- It is best to travel in a small group.
- Remember to check how crowded the parks are or whether any parks are closed for safe distancing using the Safe Distance @ Parks website.
- Make sure you have your face mask, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, and water bottle with you to enjoy your day out without worries.
- Before entering any park, you’ll also need to scan and check-in at the SafeEntry QR codes at the entrances, as well as activate your TraceTogether app to enable contact tracing.
- Don’t forget to check-out from SafeEntry once you leave the park!
We can’t wait to see a whole new side of Singapore once it’s safe to travel again! ?
This article is brought to you by the Singapore Tourism Board.