If I look at the totality of my travels, my love affair with flowers has dictated a surprisingly large chunk of them. From near-annual sakura pilgrimages to Japan, to the places I choose to stop and take photos in even the most concrete of jungles, I tend to go where things are in bloom.
In spite of this, it took me many years—and indeed, several visits to the larger Singapore Botanic Gardens—to pull the trigger on visiting the country’s National Orchid Garden. And not just because of the supplementary entrance fee, even though that was a factor when I was young and broke.
Now that I’ve been, I have clarity. Is the National Orchid Garden worth it? Absolutely—and then some. In fact, I’d say that for my money, it’s the best flower garden in the entire world.
How Much Does the National Orchid Garden Cost?
While the surrounding Singapore Botanic Gardens is free to visit, you’ll need to pay a separate fee to enter the Singapore National Orchid Garden. As of September 2023, this fee is S$15 (about 11 USD) for foreign adults. Local adults pay just 5 SGD; senior citizens and students pay either 1 SGD or 3 SGD, depending on whether they are local or foreign, respectively.
In the grand scheme of things, the garden isn’t “expensive.” At the same time, I would suggest giving yourself at least half a day to enjoy the garden, since entering it will cost you at least as much as a hawker center meal. (TIP: If you want to be very efficient, you can combine it with a trip to Arab Street, which is just down the MRT Downtown Line, and make a day of it!)
5 Reasons to Visit Singapore’s National Orchid Garden
The quantity of orchids
Did you know that there are over 1,000 unique species of orchids in the Singapore National Orchid Garden, and as many as 2,000 hybrids? While only about 600 of these are on public display at any given time, it’s still way more orchids than you can find in any other single location on the planet.
The quality of orchids
When you visit the Singapore orchid garden, you aren’t just going to be seeing the classic magenta variety you see at your local flower shop. Orchids here come in dozens of different shades, as well as atypical shapes and sizes. You’ll find yourself fascinated and overwhelmed by the diversity!
It’s got air-conditioning
Singapore is one of the hottest cities in the world. If you want a break from the heat, make a beeline for Tan Hoon Siang Mist House. Although the air conditioning within it is meant for the special species of orchids there, it benefits the people who explore within it as well.
It’s not crowded
Although there’s no denying the beauty of Singapore orchids, the reality is that most travelers aren’t going to pay to see them. This means that even if you visit on a weekend or holiday, you’re unlikely to encounter more than a few dozen other people as you explore the garden.
There’s a way to get a discount
Although the “asking” price of the Singapore National Botanic Garden isn’t very high, you can get a discount if you order online. Specifically, if you buy through a web travel agency like Viator. Keep in mind, however, that your advance purchase here is not refundable, if you happen to change your mind!
How to Reach the National Orchid Garden
Reaching the National Orchid Garden is easy. You’ll first want to get to the Singapore Botanic Gardens, accessible via the Botanic Gardens Station of the MRT Downtown Line. In this case, you can expect to walk 15-20 minutes to reach the entrance to the orchid garden. If you come via Grab or taxi, on the other hand, the car can take you nearly to the entrance.
Other FAQ About Visiting Singapore’s National Orchid Garden
Where can I see orchids in Singapore?
Although you can find many orchids throughout Singapore, the best place to see them is at the National Orchid Garden. This is a special section within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and requires the payment of an additional fee.
What is the famous garden in Singapore called?
The most famous in Singapore is called the Singapore Botanic Gardens. However, there are a couple of other famous gardens this might refer to. The first is the National Orchid Garden, which sits within the larger Botanic Gardens. The second is Gardens by the Bay, which sits just south of the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
How big is the National Orchid Garden Singapore?
The National Orchid Garden of Singapore covers a land area of three hectares. Within this footprint, you can find more than 1,000 unique species of orchids and 2,000 hybrids, although at any given time there are a maximum of 600 on display.
The Bottom Line
If you’re asking “is the National Orchid Garden worth it?”, please rest assured: There are few better uses of your SGD then entering this place. And not just because of the quantity (and quality) or orchid species contained with it, or their cumulative effect on your joy levels. Indeed, part of this is practical: The air-conditioned enclave is a godsend after exploring the larger Singapore Botanic Garden and is alone worth the price of admission. Need personalized help planning your trip to Singapore, or to Southeast Asia more broadly? Consider hiring me as your Travel Coach!