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Secret Garden in Singapore's CBD

Updated: May 31, 2023

It would be easy to assume that the CBD has only buildings and sculptures to offer. The only visible green patches are adorned with sculptures or statues and around every corner is a cafe or office block. But high on the 51st floor of the CapitaSpring building is a tranquil oasis, only open to the public twice a day for a limited number of guests for a limited amount of time.

This condo-office block boasts four more floors of gardens, half way up on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th floors. Beautifully planted spaces, sheltered benches (equipped with charging units for your devices) and views across the city. Each floor has a winding staircase up to the next and every extra bit of elevation gave a new perspective on the city below.

After queuing up for about 20 minutes, we were welcomed by an enormous LED screen, with beautiful floral and patterned animations on them. The elevator was full and took us up to the 17th floor. We got off, with other guests continuing up to the very top. Initially, it's not possible to tell that you are already 17 storeys high, as the garden takes over the senses when you exit the lift. We took an anticlockwise wander around the 17th floor, then ambled up to the other floors.

We took some time to sit on the comfortable pod areas and take in the incredible views. It was amazing to see some of our regular haunts: Lau Pa Sat, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Marina Bay among other places. The whole place was beautiful with photo opportunities everywhere! We were surprised to see a cocktail bar on the 17th floor and there were a good few people already enjoying its menu at 2.30pm! I guess it's 5 o'clock somewhere! Outdoor gyms and children's playgrounds were nestled into the shrubbery - a brief reminder that this exclusive garden is in fact the public space of a community.

Up on the 20th floor, we decided to take the glass elevator down to the 17th at the children's request, before getting into the only public elevator that would take us up to 51. It was a scorching hot day and the sun was boldly shining - we had to squint as we got out of the elevator. To our left was a bistro which had the most stunning view over Marina Bay and beyond. The iconic Apple Store and Art Science Museum looked like models below and the water of the Marina and the South China Sea were an idyllic green-blue.

The flora is different on the top floor, with its own branding - different to that of the lower gardens. Many of the plants are edible and harvested for the restaurant's use. Tall blind-like walls stand around the outside of the building, creating shade and clear chances to enjoy the view. We stood at one area just gazing into the distance, lost in the multitudes of tiny huge buildings, far away. I realised I could look along the full stretch of East Coast Park, all the way to Changi Airport where we would make out planes landing and taking off. The clarity of the day enabled us to just about see the far eastern side of Singapore, where Pasir Ris is and further round too.

For a visual idea of what to see, check out our video on this amazing afternoon out, along with food tips and things to do nearby.

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