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You can travel cheap almost anywhere around the world.
Just get everything the cheapest. Done. But that is not what I’m going to talk about in this article. I’ll show you how to do Singapore on a budget, on a small budget, while enjoying your trip very much.
Is Singapore expensive? If you compare it to the rest of Southeast Asia, yes, Singapore is more expensive.
But there are a few important things many forget to tell you.
Singapore is a small place with very good public transportation. Getting around is cheap and super convenient. The food here is amazing, and there are a lot of cheap options wherever you go. Two of the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants are in Singapore. There are A LOT of free things to do in Singapore.
What’s left? Accommodation and paid attractions.
Both are rather expensive, but we’ll get to that as well.
So, how to do Singapore on the cheap?
Singapore on a Budget: Step by Step
I’m writing this guide for people like myself some 6 years ago.
To show you that you don’t have to have a lot of money to enjoy Singapore.
Our budget for this guide will be 50 SGD/day.
We’ll assume that it’s going to be a 4D/3N trip to Singapore.
1. How Much Is 50 SGD
At the time of writing this, 50 SGD is about 36 USD or 32 EUR.
2. Your Budget in Singapore
It’s a 4 day / 3 night trip to Singapore.
So, your total budget is going to be 200 SGD.
- hostel for 3 nights – 90 SGD;
- food – 65 SGD;
- transportation and the rest – 45 SGD.
3. Where to Stay in Singapore on a Budget
You can do it cheaper than 30 SGD / night (90 SGD for 3 nights).
But let me give you an example from my experience and why I think it’s worth paying extra for your accommodation in Singapore.
I’ll show you how to do Singapore on a budget, while enjoying your trip very much.
I have been to Singapore several times, trying out more than 10 different budget hotels and hostels around the central part of the city. Right now I’ve found the one I know I’ll want to return to – CapsulePod@Aljunied.
Value for Money – CapsulePod@Aljunied
It’s cheap. It’s very comfortable. The location is great.
The place is just a few stops away from the very city center.
Their breakfast is very good for a hostel in Singapore. Bread, peanut butter, chocolate cream, eggs, cornflakes, instant oatmeal drinks, good coffee and tea. Coffee, tea, drinking water, orange juice drink and cookies are available all day long. And it’s served from 6 am until 11 am.
That means you don’t have to look for breakfast anymore.
And you don’t have to buy drinking water either. Just have your water bottle.
The hostel is situated right next to the metro station – Aljunied. There are several restaurants and shops only a short walk away. It’s not the cheapest hostel, but it’s the best I have stayed at in Singapore. There are only a few rooms, meaning that it doesn’t get crowded. The beds are very comfy and clean. A/C is on all day long.
There are medium size lockers for your stuff, and you can also do your laundry for free.
Overall – one of the best Singapore budget hotels near MRT.
4. Getting Around in Singapore
Singapore is a small place, but still you need some mode of transportation.
There are buses and there is metro. Both are very good if you do Singapore on a budget. Around the central areas you can also walk. For taxis I can recommend you to download Grab app.
Overall metro (MRT) in my opinion is the best way to travel in Singapore.
What about cycling in Singapore? It’s possible, but it’s expensive.
5. How to Stick to Your Singapore Budget
Eat free breakfast at your hotel.
I’m recommending the CapsulePod@Aljunied.
Fill up your water bottle at hostel and later in the city.
Lunch and dinner. 4 days it’s 8 meals. You have 65 SGD to spend on them. It’s 8.12 SGD per meal. At local Chinese restaurants you can have chicken rice for around 3-4 SGD. A meal at Indian restaurants costs around 4-8 SGD. Most of dishes at most food courts, even the nice ones like the Food Republic @ VivoCity (from there you are going to Sentosa Island), costs up to 8 SGD.
So, you got it, it’s easy to find a meal for around 8 SGD.
You’ll be getting around using metro. Or walking.
It’s around 10 SGD per day + getting to and from the airport.
In total around 45 SGD.
Buy your ticket from ticket vending machine at the station.
6. Best Free and Cheap Things to Do in Singapore
What is cheap in Singapore?
The transportation in Singapore is cheap. You can travel to airport on MRT for something like 2 SGD.
The food is cheap. You can get all kind of foods in Singapore. They are of good quality. And a lot of it costs under 8 SGD, if you eat where most of locals eat (food courts).
And there are a lot of cool free things you can do in Singapore.
Visit Marina Bay Sands Area
Marina Bay Sands is the most iconic building of Singapore.
Walk around the area. You can easily spend 2-3 hours in the area.
Every evening there is a light and fountain show in from of Marina Bay Sands. It’s spectacular. I have seen it like 20 times, but I still keep coming back every time I’m in Singapore and the area.
Walk Around the Central Business District (CBD)
To get that feeling of a big and modern city you have arrived to.
Take metro to Raffles Place stop.
Go out and let yourself be amazed by your surroundings.
If you come to the area in the evening, go and lie down on one of the chairs not far from the MBS. And just chill for a while. There are a lot of different seating options in the area.
Visit Gardens by the Bay
And don’t forget about the spectacular light show.
It happens every night. At 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm. At the Super Tree Grove. The huge artificial trees you see in the photo above. The best way to watch the show is by lying on the grass right next to the trees.
Plan your visit like this – watch the 8 pm show in front of the Marina Bay Sands, and then go to the Gardens by the Bay.
You can get there via escalator and lift in Marina Bay Sands.
Both of these shows I would recommend as some of the best things to do in Singapore on a budget. If you can do only one of them, I would go for the MBS show.
It’s available for free.
Go to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
It’s in the same area.
It’s an open air theater, and there are quality free cultural events happening every night. Everything from orchestra concerts to movie screenings.
Go for a Run or Walk to Marina Barrage
10 – 15 minutes of walking from the Gardens by the Bay.
And,… here you have it, my favorite view of Singapore.
In 2014 I found this place by accident. I was out running in Gardens by the Bay. I ran through the gardens, and proceeded further. Then I run to the top of Marina Barrage, and was amazed by what I found there. An epic view of Singapore to one side, and the sea full of ships to the other side.
Swim or Walk at Sentosa Island
For a city this place is truly impressive.
You can spend a couple hours walking there. You can go for a swim there, there are a few well kept beaches. Some very cool paid attractions are available on the island as well. They are costly and will add up to your Singapore trip cost. But if that’s what you really want to do, find a way to do it and do it.
Food on the island is rather expensive. Better have a lunch/dinner on the way at VivoCity Mall. There on the third floor there is one of the Singapore’s best food courts – Food Republic.
There are several ways how to get to Sentosa Island.
The easiest – walk or take a train from the VivoCity Mall.
Walking is possible from Level 1, train station is at Level 3.
You can get by metro (MRT) to VivoCity.
Check out the Henderson Waves
Just a very cool place for a walk.
A place where you feel like in Singapore, in the city of the future.
Available for free.
Read more about the Southern Ridges and the Henderson Waves.
Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
This place is beautiful.
And, again, the entrance is free.
After 4.5 years in Asia I thought that you can’t surprise me anymore with trees and plants. Turned out that I was wrong. This place did surprise me.
Read more about my experience at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Try the TreeTop Walk and Nearby Trails
Another place for a walk? Here you have it.
It’s more out of the city, and the area is significantly bigger than of the other parks. And you also feel more like out of the city, more in the nature there. If you like to be in the nature, this is the place to go.
Read more about the Tree Top Walk Singapore.
Wander Around the Chinatown
See a different side of Singapore.
Shop for souvenirs. Or dine at one of the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants – Liao Fan Hawker Chan. The most iconic dish there is Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice. Go for hor fun, if you don’t want rice.
Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
It’s in Chinatown.
And in my opinion it’s the most beautiful temple in Singapore.
Go to Little India
To get a bit of India feeling.
And to try some Indian food or do some shopping.
Near Little India is the Sim Lim Square, Singapore’s biggest electronics mall.
See the Beautiful Street Art Near Arab Street
It’s yet another beautiful area for a walk.
Since it’s situated very close to Little India you can easily combine both in a single walk.
Take a Look at Singapore From Above for Free
You can enter many residential buildings in Singapore freely.
The photo above is taken just like that, by going into a building and going to the last floor. This is in the area of Little India. I just walked to the lift, and went to the last floor. Took a few photos and left.
Another great option is The Pinnacle Duxton.
It’s a short walk away from Chinatown, and the entrance costs only 6 SGD.
To pay for the access go to block H.
Dine at Telok Ayer Market
The location is great and the food is too.
It’s just a short walk away from the Marina Bay Sands.
But the prices are like in a cheap market.
Visit the Fountain of Wealth
And maybe next time you’ll come to Singapore on your private jet, haha.
For most of the time the water is flowing and at night it’s lit up. But there are some times when they stop it, so people can do a walk around the base of it, believed to bring good luck. Learn more here.
In 1998 when it was built it was the largest fountain in the world.
See the Waterfall at Singapore Airport
Wait, what? Waterfall at the airport?
Yes, there is. It’s in the shopping mall called Jewel. That’s next to terminal 1.
And it’s epic.
Have you been to Singapore? Did you like Singapore? Were you traveling in Singapore on a budget?
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.