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The Best Parks in Singapore for a Lazy Afternoon

As a garden city, there is no shortage of verdant green spaces in Singapore. According to the Environmental Performance Index, a sustainability study that evaluates the environmental health and ecosystem vitality of a country, Singapore ranks 14th internationally and is the top ranked country in Asia.

With over 300 parks to choose from, green urbanism is big and for good reason. These pockets of nature soften the tone of Singapore’s built landscape, providing peaceful sanctuaries away from the bustle of a thriving metropolis. Parks are great hideouts for the days you get overwhelmed by the surrounding chaos, and none more so than the ones in Singapore, as most are free and open for all 24 hours.

Here are the best parks in Singapore for a languid afternoon:

Singapore Botanic Gardens

With luxuriant gardens filled with the most beautiful of tropical flora, Singapore Botanic Gardens tops the list as an oasis for the weary traveller. Sculpted lawns and cosy alcoves can be found throughout the massive 82-hectare park, providing ample room for quiet picnics and heartfelt conversations. Full of heritage charm and natural wonder, the Botanic Gardens is favoured for being a breath of fresh air in a concrete jungle.

Address: 1 Cluny Road, 259569, Singapore

Opening hours: 5 a.m. – 12 a.m., Monday to Sunday

East Coast Park

As the largest beachside park in Singapore, East Coast Park is an urban getaway. A public park, it is a lot less polished than the Singapore Botanic Gardens or Gardens by the Bay, but in being no-frills lies its charm. Benches are scattered throughout the park for visitors to sit and relax, and an abundance of cafes and restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to hangout.

It is most common to see visitors chilling in the shade of the park’s coconut palm trees and Casuarinas, or enjoying a low-key picnic on the beach with family and friends.

Address: East Coast Park Service Road

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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Pasir Ris Park

Much like East Coast Park, Pasir Ris Park is a public beachside park popular for the respite it provides from a busy lifestyle. Located at the eastern tip of Singapore, its far flung location shelters it from the brunt of Singapore’s densely packed population. A stellar (and massive) playground differentiates it from the rest; surprisingly, it is also in the playground area where you’ll find most of the lounging going on.

The Mangrove Boardwalk adds to the tropical ambience of the park — a trail designed for the nature enthusiasts of the world. Cutting through six hectares of carefully preserved, lush green mangrove forests, you won’t be able to help unwinding and letting it all hang out, in nature’s embrace.

Address: 110 Pasir Ris Road, 519113, Singapore

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Sembawang Park

At the Northernmost tip of Singapore lies a secluded beachside park, where you’re able to unwind and destress in near solitude. Lying directly in the flight path of migratory birds, Sembawang Park is unique for the opportunities it provides to catch exotic wildlife, especially at certain times of the year.

Facing the Johor Straits of Malaysia, visitors can relax at the pier while keeping an eye out for the resident white-bellied sea eagle, which occasionally graces the sky with its soaring acrobatics.

Address: Sembawang Road

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park is a treasured haven with deep historical significance. A hill in the middle of the city, it once served as the headquarters of the British Army in World War II, until Singapore’s surrender to the Japanese.

Today, the park’s allure lies in its artful designs and elevation, interwoven within a sea of vast, expansive green. Events like outdoor movies and picnics are commonly held throughout the year, making Fort Canning one of the more ‘fashionable’ parks in the city.

Address: River Valley Road, 179037, Singapore

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

Jurong Lake Gardens

A masterpiece in creation, Jurong Lake Gardens comprises Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens, and Garden Promenade. The 90-hectare ‘people’s garden’ is far-removed from the thrum of city activity, and landscaped for idyllic get-togethers and quiet tranquility.

Lakeside Garden is best for nature photography with whimsical lalang (tall tufts of Cogon grass) fields and scenic boardwalks, while the Chinese and Japanese Gardens inspire with a unique landscape of pagodas and oriental buildings.

As of 2020, the Chinese and Japanese Gardens are being redeveloped, as Jurong Lake Gardens is set to become the newest national garden in Singapore.

Address: Yuan Ching Road

Opening hours: Open 24 hours

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