Singapore is known to be an expensive city to visit, especially compared to its far more affordable neighbours throughout Southeast Asia.
However, don’t be put off – it is 100% possible to visit Singapore on a budget!
Ok, maybe it won’t be a £20 per day budget like many other places in Asia, BUT it can be done cheaply without missing out on the best sights and activities. If you haven’t already, have a read of my ‘Top 10 Things To Do in Singapore’ blog post for an overview of the places we visited and the things we did in the two full days we spent there.
We didn’t over-plan too much before arriving in Singapore as we wanted to just take it day by day and see where our money could get us. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we were able to see and do on this budget!
I’m going to give you my best tips on how to visit Singapore on a budget, but first let’s start with a quick summary of our spending throughout our 3 nights in Singapore.
- Hotel Boss – £305.26
- MRT – £16.17
- 7/11 (water, snacks etc.) – £22.10
- Activities – £67.97
- Food & Drink – £247.08 (bear in mind a fifth of this was on one drink each in Raffles!)
- Bus to Kuala Lumpur – £50.92 (it wasn’t quite this much but it’s what we withdrew in cash to pay for tickets and probably spent the rest on food)
- Total – £709.50 = £354.75 per person
That’s less than £120 per person per day! This was even with us indulging in beers (had to be done while watching the World Cup right?) and choosing one of the most expensive places to drink in Singapore – Raffles.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that we travelled to Singapore as a couple, so the cost of our hotel was split in two. If you visit as a solo traveller, my first tip is to…
FIND A BUDGET HOSTEL
Hostels are great places to meet like-minded travellers and they can range from very basic to slightly more bougie. I tend to look at Hostelworld to book any hostels on my travels. A quick search on there shows that a bunk in a 10-bed mixed dorm a little further out of the centre (but easily accessible by metro) would cost as little as £20 per night. Somewhere a bit closer to Marina Bay might set you back up to £100 per night so I would recommend picking a budget option and catching the MRT in. Just make sure to check reviews and ensure it’s not only clean but that you would feel safe there.
EAT AT FOOD HALLS
Probably my number one tip is do not bother with restaurants in Singapore. Seek out some food halls or hawker centres for authentic street food options. We did this every day and a meal for one person plus a drink would cost around £2-5. Chinatown is a popular choice for street food as there are so many options, but make sure to also try Little India.
GET THE MRT FROM THE AIRPORT
It might seem a bit daunting getting the local transport as soon as you arrive in a new place, but the metro in Singapore is the easiest I have ever used. It’s well signed within the airport and everything is in English, so buying your ticket is really easy. Plus, it’s FAR cheaper than getting a taxi from the airport to your hotel! I think it cost us £2.50 each to travel about 20 minutes to the stop closest to our hotel. In contrast, a Grab (which is cheaper than a regular taxi) would cost about £20.
WALK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
The MRT may be cheap but I highly recommend walking around the city. The streets are clean and safe, people are friendly and will gladly help with directions, and there are just so many little streets you might not otherwise see if you were to get a taxi everywhere. The longest we walked was from our hotel near Little India to Marina Bay Sands. It was around 40 minutes and we found some gorgeous spots along the way, including a lovely cafe which served great coffee and we stumbled across a lovely park en route.
FIND FREE ACTIVITIES
There are some fantastic free things to do in Singapore which really surprised us on our visit! Our top 3 free activities were exploring Little India and Chinatown by foot, watching the light show at Marina Bay Sands, and spotting monitor lizards in the Botanical Gardens.
PICK YOUR TOP 3 ACTIVITIES WHICH COST MONEY
If you want to visit loads of places which cost a fortune, I’d suggest making a list and picking your top 3. If you only have 3 days in Singapore, this is also a sensible idea time-wise, as you don’t want to pay for things and then have to rush them to get to the next one. Our 3 main activities were the Cloud Forest, the treetop walk at the Supertree Grove, and a Singapore Sling in Raffles. Everything else we did was either free or only cost us a few pounds on the metro to get there. It might be worth having a look on Klook to see if there are any guided tours which tick off multiple sights in one day.
And finally…. Don’t get carried away with alcohol! To be honest it wasn’t too bad, probably the same prices as back home in the UK. If the World Cup hadn’t been on when we visited, I don’t think we would have spent as much. So if you’re really looking to tighten your budget, maybe stick to water and pop for a few days in Singapore.
We definitely could’ve spent less but at the end of the day we had an amazing time and ticked off some great sights on our bucket list.
Are you surprised by how much (or how little) we spent?
I’d love to hear your tips for travelling to Singapore (and other typically expensive destinations) on a budget!