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Budget Travel Guide For Singapore

SINGAPORE CITY, SINGAPORE: Singapore Skyline. Singapore`s business district, marina bay sand and the garden by the bay on sunrise

Singapore is not a country that comes to mind immediately when one thinks of travelling on a budget. In fact, if most globetrotters were asked to describe this post-colonial state, they would describe it with words such as clean, efficient and expensive.

However, Singapore on a budget is no longer a dream. This super-modern country state has been trying to change that perception in the minds of travellers, and present itself as more than just a ‘stop-over’ destination. There is definitely more to Singapore than just tall buildings and huge shopping malls. Due to its proximity to such popular tourist destinations as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore has developed a multicultural vibe that promotes people from all walks of life.

Travelling to Singapore has never been easier, and Changi Airport has been ranked as the best airport in the world. Boasting a swimming pool, a cinema and many other attractions, Changi Airport is definitely a sight to behold. Additionally, all the big airlines and travel routes go through here so that you’re always likely to book cheap tickets if you plan in advance.

SINGAPORE-: Passagers in the waiting area before boarding in Changi Airport Singapore.Changi Airport is the primary civilian airport for Singapore and one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia

Plan your trip to Singapore

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The Best Time to Visit Singapore

The weather in Singapore stays practically the same throughout the year. The absolute must-haves in your backpack should include an umbrella, a warm layer for indoors, headphones, something to drink and sunscreen. Shorts and t-shirt are the preferred dress for moving around in Singapore. For casual walking, flip flops are comfortable and airy but if you’re more of a hardcore traveller then a pair of jogging shoes will do the trick.

It’s best to plan according to the many festivals and activities that are taking place here all the time. Planning in advance will help save costs, as well as give you time to research the best places to visit in Singapore. The peak seasons in Singapore are as follows: January to March, June to July and September to October.

SINGAPORE - Participant in the Chingay parade in Singapore. The Chingay is an annual street parade and it is part of the Chinese New Year festivities

Budget Things to Do in Singapore

If planned properly, a trip of 3 days in Singapore is enough to see the best of what the city has to offer. On average, USD 100 per day should be able to cover all of your expenses. That is the upper limit though and if done smartly, you can stretch the budget even more. The best budget activities in Singapore are just exploring the various neighborhoods, street markets and food vendors, none of which will cost very much money.

Food figures prominently on any budget travel guide for Singapore. If you’re looking for fine dining, Singapore has some of the best rated restaurants in the world. However, if you are travelling on a tight budget, there’s no need to starve yourself. You don’t need a Singapore travel guide to let you in on the country’s best budget dining spots. The hawker stalls, which are basically food vendors under a roof, are situated all over the city. You simply cannot miss them. They have a wide variety of cuisines including Western, Thai, Chinese, North Indian and Malay. Whatever it is you’re craving, they’ve got you covered. You can get a decent meal for less than SGD 6.

SINGAPORE- People buy foods in the night market in Singapore. Singapore's night markets have much to offer the discerning traveler

Chinatown is one of the most colourful and popular areas of the city. It’s a multicultural hodgepodge with a mosque, a Chinese temple and an Indian shrine all in the same street. It’s a microcosm of Singapore, where so many diverse values and societies have found a way to live together in peace. You can of course travel Chinatown on your own, but it’s more educating if done with a proper tour guide.  Some of the must-see locations which you shouldn’t miss out on are the Sri Mariamman Temple, hawker food stalls, Thian Hock Keng Temple and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.

SINGAPORE - People crossing the road in Chinatown of Singapore. Modern skyscrapers of Singapore Downtown on a background.

There are plenty of beach options in Singapore if you’re looking for some beachside fun. The East Coast park provides a nice quiet place for you and your family to spend some time on the beach. There are bikes available for rent and there is a wonderful jogging and cycling track all along the beach. You can enjoy other water sport opportunities there as well. The park also boasts a large food court there where you can get different cuisines for very reasonable rates.

View of the sea from East Coast Park in Singapore under the beautiful blue sky cloudy with Sun flare

However, if you want to really get the best beach options then head on over to Sentosa Island resort for activities for the whole family. Here, you’ll find the best beaches Singapore has to offer.

Singapore Singapore - Couple taking photos at the sea on Siloso Beach at Sentosa island resort in Singapore. It is artificial beach with a sand taken from Malaysia and Indonesia.

There are a million things that can go wrong when you’re travelling. In a new city, it’s always good to have a back-up option for when you need something urgently. In Singapore, for all your problems, Mustafa Centre is your one-stop solution. It’s a huge shopping mall in Little India. It has shops selling every imaginable product for locals and tourists. The icing on the cake is that you can get options in every price range; from expensive to cheap. From foreign currency exchange to travel agents to shoes, everything that a traveller could possibly need is available there. Mustafa Centre is open 24 hours a day.

SINGAPORE - Mustafa Centre at Little India in Singapore it is one of Singapore's 24-hour shopping mall. It sells more than 300K items plus services such as foreign exchange travel

Places to Visit in Singapore on a Budget

Majority of the attractions are located alongside the river which snakes through the city. Which is why when deciding what to visit in Singapore it’s always a good idea to start off your trip from the head of the Singapore river. The area covers most of the buildings from the colonial era of the country. Some of the must-see attractions are the Mint Museum of Toys, Cavenagh Bridge, Asian Civilizations Museum, Robertson Quay, Pernakan House, Clarke Quay, Raffles Statue and Boat Quay.

Cityscape of Singapore city as viewed from Clarke Quay.

Among the many things to do in Singapore on a budget, Merlion Park is the pride and joy of Singapore. Having your picture taken with the beloved fountain statue in the background needs to be on the list for every visitor. It’s a great place to just sit and relax. You can grab a bite or have some coffee from any of the multitude of bars and coffee shops there. You’ll also find other attractions in walking distance from the Merlion Park, such as Esplanade, Singapore skyline, Marina Sands Bay, Singapore Flyer and Theatres by the Bay. If you’re really lucky, you might catch a free concert.

SINGAPORE CITY, SINGAPORE - Marina Bay Sands at night the largest hotel in Asia. It opened on 27 April 2010.

Gardens by the Bay is a marvel of horticulture and a unique way of arousing interest in plants in the mind of onlookers. It’s a breath-taking visual that needs to be experienced at least once. 

Singapore - bottom view of Supertree Grove with skybridge at Gardens by the Bay Light Show at blue hour in central Singapore, Marina Bay area. Popular tourist attraction in Singapore.

Another must-see Singapore tourist attraction is Universal Studios. Loosen the drawstrings on your purse because this is one attraction that is worth every penny. Experience exciting movie franchise rides such as ‘The Mummy,’ ‘Transformer’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ among many others. Let the child inside you come out and play. There’s something for everyone in the family there. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water, though, as the sun can be quite scorching during the day time.

Sentosa Island, Singapore Unidentified people walking at the enter of Universal Studio on Sentosa Island, Singapore.

If you’re in the mood for something more relaxing and close to nature, then head over to the Botanical Gardens. You will feel transported to a different world as you step into the lush green foliage of this UNESCO Heritage Site that’s teeming with exotic birds, animals and plants. It’s a soothing and calming experience to walk through a natural habitat in the middle of a cosmopolitan city. During the weekend, there are free concerts and musical performances at the Garden.

Singapore - Tourists are walking around in Singapore Botanical garden

You can also travel Singapore by boat and experience the city from the river. A typical boat cruise covers some of the following landmarks: Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Fullerton, Read bridge, Esplanade, Merlion park and Bayfront south. You can disembark at any spot that appeals to you, but you have to pay again if you want to continue the ride.

SINGAPORE-: Merlion statue fountain in Merlion Park and Singapore city skyline at sunrise. Merlion fountain is one of the most famous tourist attraction in Singapore.

If you’re up for it, walking along the river is the most scenic method. A riverside stroll allows you to be a part of the surroundings as you travel from one end of Raffles place, all the way to Marina Bay Sands. Some of the landmarks to check out along the way include One Fullerton, Asian Civilizations Museum, Makansutra Gluttons Bay, Raffles Place, Merlion Park, Helix bridge, Esplanade, Fullerton Hotel, Art Science Museum, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.

Singapore, Singapore - View of the Marina Bay in Singapore at night with the iconic landmarks of The Helix Bridge.

Where to Stay in Singapore on a Budget

Compared to neighbouring countries, Singapore accommodation can seem quite expensive. However, there are ways to save money on Singapore hotels with a bit of work. First of all, you should plan in advance and make accommodation reservations at least a couple of months before your trip. We have also written an extensive guide on Where to Stay in Singapore.

Second, as an alternative to hotels, consider a room in a guesthouse, or through Airbnb. Pay special attention to the areas. Some areas like Orchard Road, Raffles Place, and Bukit Timah are high-end places where you would not be able to get a cheap rate. On the other hand, if you look for a place in Bugis, Clarke Quay, Little India or Lavender Street, you’re sure to find more affordable places to stay in Singapore.

Singapore - : beautiful view of Fullerton Bay Hotel at five-star luxury, Singapore skyscrapers Business District and tourist boats along Marina Bay Promenade in a sunny day, blue sky.

How to Get Around Singapore on a Budget

Singapore has one of the most developed transportation infrastructures in the world. Everyone speaks English, so there’s no danger of getting lost or not being able to ask for directions. Using the Singapore public transportation system is very convenient and practical. You can buy an EZ-Link or Nets Flashplay card from any 7-eleven, Cheers franchise or from the MRT station. You can top it up as you go along, according to your need.

Travelling via the MRT is not only cheap but also very convenient and fast. If you’re not in a hurry and want to see more of the city, you can use the same EZLink card to travel by bus. It’s much cheaper and the buses pretty much take you to all the places where you would want to go on a Singapore city tour. Just be sure to know the bus numbers and their routes before you board, in order to save yourself precious time.

Renting a bicycle is a very popular way to see the city. There are quite a few bicycle rental companies operating in Singapore, with docking stations where you can rent a bike. All you have to do is to download the app, rent a bike, turn on Google Maps and set out on a Singapore city tour!

Singapore City SINGAPORE - Cyclists riding bicycles on helix bridge with Marina Bay Sands in background. Tourism in Singapore is major industry and contributor to Singapore economy.

Cheap Tours to Do in Singapore

The cheapest Singapore tour to take is the Singapore Sightseeing Bus, as it covers the main attractions such as Chinatown, Buddha Relic Temple, Marina Bay Sands, Collyer Quay etc. It is the preferred mode of travel for a Singapore city tour. However, bear in mind that you will still have to pay for the entrance fees to these attractions.

On the other hand, there is the option of buying a ‘Singapore City Pass’ if your trip is for a short duration like 2-3 days. With the pass, you get two tickets for entrance to any of the following: Jurong Bird Park, Trick Eye Museum, 2-hour Sentosa Bike Rental, Tiger Sky Tower, River Safari, 1-Altitude Viewing Gallery, Captain Explorer Dukw Tour, Madam Tussauds, Luge & Skyride, 2-way Cable Car, Gardens by the Bay and Segway Fun Ride (3 rounds). The Singapore City Pass also includes the hop-on-hop-off bus around the city.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore from aerial view, Southeast Asia. Spectacular buddhist temple in Chinatown district with business district skyline on background by night.

Recommend budget tours in Singapore

Want to learn how to travel on a Budget? Check out our dedicated “Budget Conscious Travel Guide”

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Budget Travel Guide For Singapore

Budget Travel Guide For Singapore

Budget Travel Guide For Singapore

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious!With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!