While Singapore may be known for being an expensive destination, it’s still possible to experience Singapore on a budget.
This bustling, cosmopolitan city attracts millions of visitors each year. Its dynamic and modern vibe is often associated with luxury. However, with a little bit of planning and some insider knowledge, you can enjoy all that Singapore has to offer without breaking the bank.
From budget-friendly accommodations and delicious street food to free attractions and affordable activities, there are plenty of ways to experience Singapore on a budget.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best ways to save money while exploring Singapore, including tips for transportation, accommodations, food, and activities.
Whether you’re a backpacker, a budget traveler, or simply looking to stretch your money a bit further, this guide has everything you need to know to enjoy Singapore on a budget. So, let’s dive in and discover the best ways to explore this incredible city without breaking the bank!
Getting to Singapore on a Budget
Getting to Singapore on a budget is relatively easy, as it’s a major transportation hub in Southeast Asia.
Singapore is served by the award-winning Changi Airport, which is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world. You can fly into Singapore on a budget from almost any major city and get topnotch service in this airport.
Fortunately, there are plenty of budget airlines that fly into Changi Airport. Budget airlines such as AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Jetstar Asia, and Scoot offer affordable flights from many cities in Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, and beyond.
If you’re traveling on a budget, booking a flight with a budget airline can be a great way to save money. However, it’s important to keep in mind that budget airlines often charge extra fees for things like baggage, seat selection, and in-flight meals, so make sure to read the airline’s terms and conditions carefully before booking your flight.
Another tip for saving money on flights to Singapore is to book in advance. Many airlines offer cheaper fares for those who book well in advance, so make sure to check the airline’s website regularly for promotions and special deals. It’s also a good idea to be flexible with your travel dates, as flights on weekdays and during off-peak seasons tend to be cheaper.
Getting to Singapore on a budget is definitely possible, especially if you’re willing to be flexible and do a bit of research. By booking in advance, being flexible with your travel dates, and taking advantage of budget airlines, you can save money on flights and transportation while still enjoying all that Singapore has to offer.
How to Get Around Singapore on a Budget
Singapore by Public Transportation
Singapore’s bus system is affordable and easy to navigate. The fares range from S$0.77 to S$2.00, depending on the distance traveled. You can pay for your fare with cash or by using an EZ-Link card.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to take the bus, the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the best way to get around Singapore on a budget. The MRT is fast, clean, and affordable. The fares normally range from S$0.77 to S$2.20, depending on the distance traveled. You can pay for your fare with cash or by using an EZ-Link card.
You can also buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, which gives you unlimited travel on buses and trains for a certain number of days and a mobile phone sim card. The pass is available for 1, 2, or 3 days and costs S$10, S$16, and S$20 respectively.
Singapore By Taxi
Singapore By Tour
If you want to cover a lot of places in a short time, getting around Singapore on a tour is an affordable way to see the city!
You can do the Singapore Hop On Hop Off City Tour, which takes you to popular landmarks such as the Merlion Park, the Thian Hock Keng Temple, and the Marina Bay Sands. You can purchase it for one day or for two days. It includes unlimited transportation and a knowledgeable audio guide.
Other tours available include night tours of the city, bike tours, land and sea Original Duck tours, and walking tours of specific neighborhoods such as Little India and Chinatown. With so many options available, you’re sure to find something to get around the Singapore on a budget.
Singapore by Walking
Singapore is a small city, and many of the popular attractions are within walking distance of each other. Walking is a great way to explore the city and save money on transportation costs.
In our experience, we enjoyed walking around the city! We found this to be one of the best ways to get around Singapore on a budget.
Singapore is a truly walkable city and we enjoyed the pedestrian walkways and bridges, not to mention the views you get at every turn. From the Marina Bays towering the skies to the Flower Domes lit up from a distance, it’s a pretty amazing city to walk in!
Plus walking is not only a budget-friendly way to get around, it also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and architecture.
Accommodations in Singapore on a Budget
Accommodation is one of the biggest expenses when traveling. However, there are many accommodation options available in Singapore on a budget as we have listed below.
Hotel 81 in Singapore
These are basic but clean and comfortable rooms with affordable prices starting at around S$60-70 per night.
Popular locations include:
Fragrance Hotels in Singapore
Fragrance Hotels has several locations throughout the city. These hotels offer basic amenities at an affordable price of around S$70-80 per night.
Popular locations include:
Capsule Hostels in Singapore
There are several hostels available throughout Singapore on a budget. These include dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms. Some even have Capsule Pods like in Japan. Prices start at around S$30 to 50 per night.
Popular hostels include:
Dining Out in Singapore on a Budget
Singapore is famous for its food, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to experience the best of Singaporean cuisine. Here are some of the best food options in Singapore on a budget:
Hawker centers are a popular dining option in Singapore and are well-known for their affordable and delicious food. These centers are typically indoor or outdoor food courts where you can find a variety of local dishes, from Chinese and Malay cuisine to Indian and Western dishes.
One of the most famous hawker centers in Singapore on a budget is the Maxwell Food Centre, located in the Chinatown area. Here you can find a wide range of local favorites, including Hainanese chicken rice, popiah (spring rolls), and laksa (spicy noodle soup). Prices at Maxwell Food Centre start at around S$3-4 per dish, making it a great option for those visiting Singapore on a budget.
Another popular hawker center is the Old Airport Road Food Centre, located in the Geylang area. This center offers a variety of local dishes, including the famous char kway teow (stir-fried noodles) and bak chor mee (minced meat noodles). Prices at Old Airport Road Food Centre start at around S$2-3 per dish, making it a great budget-friendly option.
For those looking for a more modern hawker center experience, the Amoy Street Food Centre is a great option. Located in the central business district, this center offers a variety of gourmet-style dishes at affordable prices. Some popular dishes at Amoy Street Food Centre include the nasi lemak (coconut rice with various toppings) and the handmade dumplings. Prices at Amoy Street Food Centre start at around S$4-5 per dish.
With so many centers located throughout the city, you’re sure to find a variety of delicious and affordable dishes to try in Singapore on a budget.
Food courts are another popular dining option in Singapore on a budget. These indoor or outdoor dining areas are typically located within shopping malls or other commercial buildings and offer a variety of cuisines, including local favorites, Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western dishes.
One of the most famous food courts in Singapore is the Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. This market is located in the Tiong Bahru neighborhood and offers a variety of local dishes, including char kway teow, Hainanese chicken rice, and rojak (a fruit and vegetable salad). Prices at Tiong Bahru Market start at around S$3-4 per dish, making it a great budget-friendly option.
Another popular food court is the Food Republic at Wisma Atria, located on Orchard Road. This food court offers a variety of local and international dishes, including Chinese, Japanese, and Western cuisines. Prices at Food Republic start at around S$4-5 per dish.
For those looking for a more upscale food court experience, the Food Opera at Ion Orchard is a great option. This food court offers a variety of gourmet-style dishes, including sushi, dim sum, and roasted meats. Prices at Food Opera start at around S$6-7 per dish.
Street food is a beloved aspect of Singaporean culture, and it’s a great option for budget-friendly dining. There are countless street food stalls scattered throughout the city, and you can easily find them in popular areas like Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Glam.
One of the most famous street food dishes in Singapore is satay, which consists of skewered and grilled meat served with a peanut sauce. You can find satay stalls throughout the city, but one of the most popular areas is Satay by the Bay, located near Gardens by the Bay.
Another popular street food dish is the roti prata, which is a flaky, crispy flatbread served with curry. You can find this dish at hawker centers and Indian food stalls throughout the city.
Other popular street food dishes include chicken rice, laksa, and mee goreng, which are all available at hawker centers and food courts throughout Singapore.
For those looking for a more unique street food experience, head to the Geylang Serai Market in the Malay neighborhood. Here you can find a variety of traditional Malay dishes, including nasi padang (steamed rice served with a variety of side dishes) and mee soto (spicy noodle soup).
Things to Do in Singapore on a Budget
Singapore has many attractions that are free or affordable. Here are some of the top attractions that you can visit in Singapore on a budget:
Gardens by the Bay
When one thinks of Singapore, Gardens by the Bay is the ultimate picture of the city. What’s even better about it is that it’s a great thing to do in Singapore on a budget!
This beautiful public park features impressive gardens and stunning views of the city skyline. Admission to the outdoor gardens is free so you can enjoy it without paying, but there is a fee to enter the conservatories if you like.
Marina Bay Sands Lights Show
The Marina Bay Sands Light Show is a spectacular light and water show that takes place every night. It’s free to watch, and you can enjoy the show from several vantage points around Marina Bay, making it one of the best things to do in Singapore on a budget.
If you prefer to visit Marina Bay Sands itself, you can visit the observation deck for an affordable price and witness the Singapore Skyline in all its glory.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first UNESCO Site Singapore has.
This gorgeous garden park features a variety of plants and flowers. The park is free to enter, but you need to pay to enter the National Orchid Garden.
Merlion Park is a popular tourist attraction that features a statue of a mythical creature, the Merlion. The park is free to enter, and you can take photos with the Merlion statue.
Sentosa Island is a popular tourist destination that offers a variety of free and affordable activities. You can relax on the waterfront, visit the free attractions like the Merlion and the Fort Siloso Skywalk, or take advantage of the discounted packages for attractions like Universal Studios and the S.E.A. Aquarium.
Night Markets in Singapore
Singapore has several night markets that offer a variety of affordable shopping and dining options. Some of the best night markets in Singapore include the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar and the Chinatown Night Market. It’s a great place to shop and eat in Singapore on a budget!
Little India is a vibrant neighborhood that offers a variety of affordable activities. You can explore the colorful streets, visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, or shop for textiles and souvenirs at the street markets.
Chinatown is another vibrant neighborhood that offers a variety of affordable activities. You can explore the colorful streets, visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, or shop for souvenirs at the street markets.
National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in Singapore and features exhibitions on the history of Singapore. The museum is free to enter for Singapore citizens and permanent residents, but there is a small fee for tourists.
Haw Par Villa
Haw Par Villa is a theme park that features over 1,000 statues and dioramas that depict Chinese mythology and folklore. One of the lesser-known attractions to visit in Singapore on a budget, the park is completely free to enter.
The Jewel at Singapore Changi Airport
Last on our list, but one of the top places to see in Singapore on a budget. The Jewel at Changi Airport is a must-visit destination.
This world-class lifestyle destination offers a range of activities and attractions, many of which are free or low-cost. For example, you can explore the indoor forest, which is home to over 2,000 trees and plants, or take a walk around the rain vortex, which is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
Additionally, there are numerous shops and eateries, many of which offer affordable options, as well as a cinema and other entertainment options.
Final Tips for Saving Money in Singapore
Here are some our final tips for saving money in Singapore based on our experience there earlier this year:
Use a Tourist Pass – The Singapore Tourist Pass offers unlimited rides on buses and trains for a fixed price with a SIM Card.
On the other hand, the Singapore Klook Pass offers free entrance and discounts to many attractions if you don’t really need unlimited transportation.
Drink Tap Water – Singapore’s tap water is safe to drink, so you don’t need to spend money on bottled water.
Take Advantage of Free Wi-Fi – Many public places in Singapore offer free Wi-Fi, so you can save money on data charges. However, if you really need internet on the go, you can also buy a SIM Card at the airport for an affordable price.
Shop at Local Markets – Singapore has several local markets that offer affordable souvenirs, clothing, and electronics. Some of the best markets include Bugis Street, Chinatown Street Market, and Mustafa Centre.
Avoid Peak Season – Traveling to Singapore during peak season can be more expensive. Try to plan your trip during the off-peak season to save money on flights and accommodations and get the chance to see Singapore on a budget.
Conclusion: Singapore on a Budget
In conclusion, Singapore may be known for being an expensive destination, but it’s also possible to experience Singapore on a budget. By following the tips and suggestions in this ultimate guide, you can enjoy affordable accommodations, delicious food, and free or affordable activities.
Singapore offers a unique blend of culture, history, and modernity, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to experience it all. Whether you’re a backpacker, a budget traveler, or simply looking to save money, Singapore has something to offer for every budget.
Have you ever visited this beautiful city? Do you have any questions on how to visit Singapore on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!
8 thoughts on “Best of Singapore on a Budget – Ultimate Guide You Need (2023)”
We did find Singapore expensive but we too found some ways to save some money on our visit. We used the public transit system a lot and found it really good. Even without a Singapore Tourist Pass. But most of the time we were able to walk and see a lot at little cost. We visited with our son and he was great at finding cheap and tasty foods. We tried a few hawker centers and had some great food at night markets too.
It’s great to know that you can travel to Singapore on a budget. I had the opportunity to do a day trip to Singapore when I visited Malaysia, years ago, but I decided against it. Hopefully next year, when I will return to Malaysia. I love street food and I remember those food courts which are popular around South East Asia. In my opinion, they have the best food, and it is so cheap. It’s also great to know that Singapore is a small city, with all the attractions walking distance from each other. This is a great way to save money on transport.
I’d love to walk around Singaopore to see the attractions. It truly is the best way to enjoy the place. Merlion statue is so iconic and it’s high on my list of selfie spots. I would also like to explore the botanical gardens and see the orchid house. Everyone talks so much about it. And would love totry the rojak salad. Of cours, evening walks on Marina Bay are a must.
My husband traveled to Singapore many times, and yet I was never able to accompany him. Your post touches on nearly all of the things he loved about Singapore! He especially liked visiting the hawker centers for authentic Singaporan food, and exploring the modern shopping malls that are easy to get to via subways. He always mentioned how good the air conditioning is! I would love to experience the many gardens and Sentosa Island as well as the National Museum. And I’ve heard a lot about the Changi Airport. Almost seems like a destination in and of itself!
I will be visiting Singapore in June for my second visit, so I have taken note of your recommendations for hawkers stalls in the city to try while I am there. I also look forward to returning to the Gardens on the Bay to see the free light show.
This a a very good post on Singapore budget travel. Singapore is a country with lot of things to explore. It’s good tip to look for flight deals during weekdays, off peak seasons and special promotions. Changing airport is a beautiful airport with so many attractions. The marina bay sands is a unique hotel with lovely architecture daunting the skyline and the flower dome is a beaming spectacular spot for tourists. It’s nice that Singapore has a good number of budget hotels and a variety of street food and street art to explore. Changi airport is a great hub for tourists traveling to and from countries which gives good flight deals.
Thanks for sharing this article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about budget-friendly options in Singapore. The tips and recommendations provided are fantastic and will definitely come in handy for folks traveling there. I remember staying in a capsule hotel for just 21SGD. Not sure about the prices now.
One of the Asian nations I like best is Singapore. I also concur that it is a somewhat pricey travel destination. I appreciate you providing us with this comprehensive guide, which I may utilize later. All of your advice and recommendations will be taken into consideration.