How to travel Singapore on a budget

marina bay sands singapore

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How to travel Singapore on a budget! Is that even possible? Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world which makes you think of how to travel to Singapore on a budget. Remember that fantastic movie ” Crazy Rich Asians”? But don’t let that stop you! Do not expect gin tonic Thailand-style buckets for €10 just because it’s Asia. In Singapore, we must step up our game.

Lucky for you I have already done all the groundwork! Singapore is one of my favourite destinations, and I’ve possibly been to Singapore about ten times! Expect your budget to be a little less than most big European cities. If you know where to go, you can definitely travel to Singapore on a budget too!

Let’s get going! I will answer all your burning questions on how to travel in Singapore on a budget.

How do I find budget accommodation in Singapore?

The definition of cheap accommodation has a totally different meaning in Singapore. The biggest splurge is going to be a place to stay. Expect to pay more even for budget options.

The best low-price options will be in hostels or even pod hostels. I saw plenty of them when walking around in Chinatown. All we really need is a clean room, a bed without bed bugs and a shower, right?

Hostels

Price: €20 – €40 per bed

If you don’t mind sleeping in hostels, I recommend checking out Hostelworld. Prices are higher depending on the season and how fancy you want it. 

The Pod – Boutique Capsule Hostel

If you like staying in a hostel but need a little more comfort, check out The Pod – Boutique Capsule Hostel. It’s one of the fancier hostel options, and it has an excellent location.

Singapore on a budget

MET a Space Pod

A cool pod hostel I saw while walking around in Chinatown is MET a Space Pod. I was so intrigued by how it looked! They are a chain of space-themed hostels and were the first capsule hotel in Singapore.

Photo by MET a Space Pod

Mid-range hotels

Price: €100 – €200 double room

ST Signature Tanjong

Some of us prefer to sleep in privacy without snoring strangers and that someone is me! If you don’t need a lot of space during your stay in Singapore, check out ST Signature Tanjong. They have small pod-like private rooms but with an on-site bathroom and a little more space.

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The JEN Orchardgateway

If you can spend a little more, and sometimes that’s absolutely worth it, then check out The JEN Orchardgateway. It is a fantastic hotel with a fabulous pool, spacious rooms and an excellent location near Orchard Road, the main shopping area.

How to travel in Singapore on a budget?

By foot

Walking is the best way to explore the city, and luckily the Singapore centre is not big. If you’re staying around Chinatown, a lot of places can be easily walked from there. From Chinatown to Marina Bay or even to Little India will be around forty minutes.

Totally doable if it’s not too warm! I love walking because that’s how you explore everything. I always start my day on foot, and when I’m getting tired, I’ll move on to the next options.

Public transport

Public transport is excellent in Singapore and widely used. Buses are cheap, and the metro system (MRT) links to most of the central areas. If you’re going to visit Singapore frequently, an EZ-link card at 7-Eleven for €9 will be more convenient. You can top up this card whenever you need it.

Singapore Tourist Pass

If you’re spending a few days in Singapore, your best option is the Singapore Tourist Pass. This pass will give unlimited rides for a fixed amount per day. A 3-day SG Tourist unlimited pass is about €15.

Taxi

Taxis might not be the first thing you think of on how to travel in Singapore on a budget, but when it’s after hours, you might need one. Grab is the Asian version of Uber and works precisely the same.

Grab is widely available in Singapore, and prices are reasonable. Especially when travelling with more than two persons, it’s definitely worth checking the current fare on the Grab app.

What is there to do in Singapore on a budget?

Gardens By The Bay

Singapore has many great places and areas to visit as a budget traveller. Two of the main highlights in Singapore, Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bar, are free.

Ever seen those big, colourful neon threes passing by on someone’s travel photos on Instagram? That’s Garden by the Bay, and it’s incredible! The best experience is in the evening, you will feel like you’re in the movie Avatar.

how to travel singapore on a budget

>> Do you want to spice up your visit? Visit the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest in Gardens By The Bay! You’ll get to walk all the way up between the supertrees, see the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and take amazing shots in the Flower Dome, just for €13! <<

Marina Bay Sands

Singapore’s Marina area is the spot for that fantastic view of the famous luxurious Marina Bay Sands hotel with its iconic three towers. Besides taking photos with this landmark in the background, walking around in this area is fantastic.

A big luxurious mall and the Merlion statue, a lion’s head and the body of a fish body, Singapore’s mascot can be seen here too. And don’t forget about the free light show called Spectra starting at 8 pm and 9.30 pm in the marina.

Cé La Vie

The city’s best view is on the 57th floor, on top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. You can either purchase an entrance ticket of €15 to the observation deck or buy a drink at Cé La Vie with a complimentary entrance. It will cost you about the same if you stick to a soda, but at least you’ll be hydrated😊.

Chinatown

Chinatown town is probably my favourite area in Singapore. It’s energetic, and the streets are colourful. I walk around Chinatown a lot, but I still discover something new every time.

There is great food, and shops with souvenirs, and it will not be your typical Chinatown like in other cities. For food check out the Chinatown Street Market or my favourite hawker centre, Maxwell.

how to travel singapore on a budget | singapore travel | singapore cheap
Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash

Little India

Little India is one of the cheaper areas in Singapore. Just as in Chinatown, this area is vibrant and beautifully coloured. You’ll actually feel like you’re in India, only with better air quality😁. You’ll find Hindu temples, sari shops, goldsmiths and delicious vegetarian foods.

Do you still need more inspiration on what to do on a budget in Singapore? Check out my guide on the best free things to do in Singapore! It’s an extensive guide, and by free I mean for absolutely nothing.

Where do I find cheap food in Singapore?

Singapore is such a diverse city with so many different ethnicities. This has a significant influence on the cuisine in Singapore. You can find everything from Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, and Arabic to Western food. For me, that means that Singapore is food heaven!

Food courts

Food courts in malls are very affordable compared to eating out in restaurants. I recently ordered a delicious plate of Ikan Dori Bakar with rice for only €6. Here you can eat until you’re full for a fraction of the price in a traditional restaurant. Perfect if you travel on a budget in Singapore.

how to travel low budget in singapore

Hawker centres

The cheapest, most fun places and my go-to to eat in Singapore is at the local hawker centres. Don’t be fooled by how basic or hectic some of them look! Some food stalls have won awards or Michelin stars! You’ll find these hawker centres spread out over the city.

Maxwell food centre

My favourite hawker centre is Maxwell Food Centre in the middle of Chinatown. You can get a meal here for an average of €8, and the options are endless. The most famous food stall is the Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice because of their famous guest Anthony Bourdain. At Maxwell food centre you’ll enjoy your meal between locals, ex-pats and tourists.

Zion Riverside Food Centre

Although a little out of the centre is the Zion Riverside Food Centre across the World City Mall on Zion Road😜, this particular hawker centre is not as big. Still, it has my absolute favourite food stalls. From chicken Hainanese rice to juicy dumplings and my absolute favourite ‘Chai Tow Kway’.



Happy hours

Drinking alcohol, in general, can get quite pricey in Singapore. But many restaurants and bars do have a happy hour. Yay! Finally time for a cocktail!🍸 Deals depend but mostly is a discounted drink or even a two-for-one deal. If you’d still like a cold beer or a refreshing Aperol Spritz (my personal poison), you’ll save some bucks with these happy hours!

Alley Bar

If you’re around Orchard Street, I recommend Alley Bar for a drink. Happy hour is between 5 pm – 8 pm, and a cocktail will cost €9 and a G&T around €6. The bar has this relaxed jazzy vibe, and there are tables inside and outside or seats at the bar.

D.O.P. Mozarella Bar & Restaurant

This spot has been my spot when arriving in Singapore. Their happy hour starts between 5 pm to 7 pm, setting their Aperol Spritz back for €8. I’ve never eaten here, so I can’t comment on the food, but the staff is friendly, and the bartender knows how to make a proper Aperol Spritz.


>> I’m sharing my secrets!🤫 Click here for your ultimate guide on how to find cheap flights in 2021! <<

What is my daily budget in Singapore?

To give a straightforward and average overview of your possible daily costs, check out these charts. The first one is based on real budget travellers, who will sleep in hostels. The second is for the budget traveller, that wants proper but affordable accommodation, eats out sometimes and sees some sights.

Budget accommodation in hostels€15 – €35
Food at hawker centres€6 per meal
Public transport Singapore Tourist Pass€10 per day
Drink and view at Cé La Vie€10
Spectra light show at Marina Bayfree
Mid-range hotel accommodation€100 – €200
Meal at a mid-range restaurant€20
Happy Hour Cocktails€20
Public transport + Grab€20
Ticket Science Museum€9

What I personally do is make a mix of these two together. You still want to explore Singapore, visit some sights and travel. Keeping a balance between the two will keep your expenses lower. Eat out in a restaurant for lunch, eat dinner at a hawker centre and get your GT fix at happy hour!

Any other budget tips I need to know?

As I’ve said before. Singapore can be great for a budget traveller, but it will be more expensive than other Asian countries. If you’re really on a tight budget, these additional tips will help too.

Skip the bars and restaurants, even when you’re drinking water, you’ll still be paying more than necessary.

Skip the alcoholic drinks. If you’re really craving one, get a beer at 7 eleven.

Stick to eating at hawker centres to really save money on food.

Bring your own water bottle and fill up your bottle during the day. Tap water is safe to drink in Singapore, and you can refill it at any public bathroom or mall.

Don’t forget to check my best free things to do in Singapore post for more ideas!

Keep all these tips in mind, and you can have a great time without stressing too much about your budget. Singapore is a fantastic city, with so much to see and to do. And since Singapore is very small, you’ll only need a few days to explore. Singapore unquestionably belongs on my list of favourite cities in the world!


Look for your flight to Singapore with Kiwi.com
Book your hotel in Singapore with Booking.com
Check out the best restaurants in Singapore with Tripadvisor
Check out what tours to book in Singapore with GetYourGuide

low budget tips singapore
low budget tips singapore

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