PUBLISHED July 21st, 2020 06:00 am | UPDATED August 17th, 2021 10:43 am
We might groan about Singapore’s heat, but look on the bright side: we get to enjoy perfect picnic weather all day, everyday. If you’re ready to take your alfresco dining game up a notch, we’ve got the deets on the best underrated picnic spots in Singapore, along with where to scrounge up picnic fuel. Forget Botanic Gardens or Gardens by the Bay – these spots might require a bit of hiking off the beaten track, but the peace and scenery are certainly worth it.
The forgotten little sister of St John’s Island, Lazarus Island is practically a private beach getaway. Take the ferry out early, and cross over from St John’s jetty into a pristine paradise – miles of white sand, swaying coconut trees, and scarcely a soul to be seen. Roll out your mat on the beach and feast to the lulling music of the waves. A lazy dip in the turquoise waters offshore, of course, is mandatory.
Lazarus Island is located in the Southern Islands of Singapore. Accessible by ferry from Marina South Pier.
Esplanade Roof Terrace
Nestled among the spiky domes of the Esplanade is a pocket of green with glorious bayfront views. Skip the mall routine and head up to the Esplanade Roof Terrace, where you’ll find plenty of comfy benches lining manicured lawns. The best time to picnic here is by night, when Marina Bay Sands and the surrounding cityscape glitter fit to rival the stars above.
Esplanade Roof Terrace is located at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802, p. +65 6828 8377.
Woodlands Waterfront Park
Beaches are all well and good, but Woodlands Waterfront Park is our go-to for a heady dose of sea and sky. While this coastal park is full of lush fields and pavilions, the best seats are undoubtedly along its 400-metre stretch of jetty – one of Singapore’s longest. As dusk falls, stake out a bench along the jetty and soak up panoramic views of the Straits of Johor all round. With a 1.5km-long waterfront promenade and scenic trails weaving through the park, you’ll can look forward to a romantic post-meal stroll as well.
Woodlands Waterfront Park is located at Admiralty Road West, Singapore 759956. Accessible by bus from Woodlands Interchange.
With ten themed gardens to pick from, HortPark has greenery to suit all tastes. Take your afternoon tea in the gleaming fairyland of Silver Garden, immerse in the rustic charm of the Balinese Garden, or feast with winged friends in the Butterfly Garden. If the lush verdure is inspiring you to work your green thumbs, you can check out their gardening workshops or learn about the uses of various veggies and herbs at the Edible Garden.
HortPark is located at 33 Hyderabad Rd, Singapore 119578. Open 6am–11pm.
Telok Blangah Hill Park
It usually serves as a gateway to HortPark, but Telok Blangah Hill Park is a beauty in its own right. At its heart lies a series of stone terraces ‘stacked’ one above the other, dramatically leading up to a lone, peaceful gazebo. Here, you can munch on your sandwiches while commanding lofty views over the surrounding nature reserves. If you’re lucky enough to visit in late August – aka bougainvillea season – you can catch these blooms covering the park in an explosion of pink.
Telok Blangah Hill Park is located at 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178.
Punggol Waterway Park
Lace up for a long stroll through Punggol Waterway Park, a green oasis perched along its eponymous 4.2km waterway. As if the waterfront scenery weren’t enough, the park’s many picturesque bridges serve up a serious feast for the eye – from the whimsical horseshoe-shaped Sunrise Bridge to the swaying Adventure Bridge. Relive the hood’s kampung days in the Heritage Zone, then find a cosy spot in the Nature Cove gardens to picnic and chill.
Punggol Waterway Park is located at Sentul Crescent, Singapore 821313. Accessible on foot from Punggol MRT.
Hindhede Nature Park
This scenic gem is largely outshone by its big brother Bukit Timah Nature Reserve next door, but that just means more peace and fresh air for you. The trails here are home to curious fauna like banded woodpeckers and Malayan flying lemurs, with gentle slopes suitable for all hikers. Unpack your picnic basket at one of three resting huts – Gaharu Hut, Pulai Hut, and Waringin Hut – for a feast in shaded comfort.
Hindhede Nature Park is located at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve Centre, Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333. Open daily 7am–7pm. Accessible on foot from Beauty World MRT.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
With two sections sprawling over 62 hectares, you could easily get lost in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for a day. There’s no shortage of spots to spread out your mat, from grassy banks along the winding river to pavilions overlooking a sea of green. If you’re still hungry, in-park bistro Grub dishes up hearty Asian-inspired burgers, while Canopy Garden Dining offers comfort Western fare in a light-flooded setting.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is located at 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 569931. Accessible by bus from Ang Mo Kio MRT or Bishan MRT.
Changi Beach Park
If East Coast Park is too thronged with sun-worshipers for you, slip away to this lesser-known gem in the east. One of Singapore’s oldest beaches, Changi Beach Park holds on to an idyllic kampung vibe even today. You won’t find much competition for a spot on its postcard-perfect white sands, and coconut palms offer plenty of shade under which to laze back.
Changi Beach Park is located at Nicoll Drive, Singapore 498991. Accessible by bus from Simei MRT.
Getting Picnic Supplies
Fancy picnic packages are aplenty in Singapore, but half the fun is putting together your own basket, isn’t it? To get you started, here’s our pocket guide to rounding up your picnic staples: bread, cheese, and wine.
Good bread can make or break a picnic, so for high-quality loaves, we’ve got some tried-and-tested spots. Mother Dough is a Halal bakery beloved for its breads handcrafted with organic flour, and their sourdough baguettes are usually snapped up by midday. Bread & Hearth has a solid range of European breads like country loaves and ciabatta, along with savouries like bacon focaccia. And for crusty, buttery croissants, check out our shortlist of favourites here.
Not to be cheesy, but cheese truly makes the world go round. Whether it’s funky gorgonzola or nutty aged cheddar you’re after, these specialty stores in Singapore have got your fromage fix. A special shoutout to recently launched store Cheeselads, whose thoughtful platter boxes of cheeses, cold cuts, and fresh fruits have our whole heart.
What’s a feast without booze? Cheese and wine are a match made in heaven, so order a bottle or three of vino at these wine delivery stores. If you’d rather have a cold one to beat the heat outdoors, here’s where to shop canned and bottled craft brews.
Complete your picnic hamper with these artisanal products from local brands – all of these deliver to your doorstep for maximum convenience. Think spreads like nut butter and chocolate hummus that’ll jazz up any sandwich, gula melaka granola and yuzu cookies to cure your munchies, and all sorts of treats for the sweet tooths.