Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destinations and is an expensive destination. The city-state has many attractions, excellent food, pristine beaches, and exciting nightlife. Overall, Singapore is known for its hotels, such as
Transportation, food, airfare, and accommodation are the most expensive in Singapore. However, these items can quickly add up, so it’s essential to plan and budget appropriately. Tourist attractions’ entrance fees, such as Singapore Zoo or Night Safari, are expensive.
This country may not be the place for you if you’re looking for an affordable vacation destination. Instead, I recommend visiting neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, or Vietnam for travelers on a budget.
However, that doesn’t mean having an enjoyable and affordable holiday here is impossible. With some planning and creativity, you can save money on your trip to Singapore.
What Are The Highest Expenses While Visiting Singapore
The most expensive costs when traveling to Singapore are the accommodation and airfares. So unless you spend a lot on costly goods and gear, these two expenses should add up to at least 50% of your total traveling cost.
You should also consider traveling to Singapore during the off-peak season. The low season is generally from February to May, August, October, and November. There will be fewer crowds, and airfare and accommodation are also lower.
* Remember to look out for deals or use any coupons, points, and mileage to reduce the total costs for your accommodations and airfares.
How To Save Money On Airfare
Singapore Changi Airport is one of Asia’s largest transportation hubs, serving over 100 airlines. There are many flights to and from Singapore daily, including budget airlines, which offer cheap flights.
Buy your air tickets to Singapore with a budget airline, as the fares are much cheaper. You may have to make a stopover in another country, but the total journey will be much more affordable. Avoid direct flights if you are not in a hurry, as they are more expensive.
You should also sign up for an air miles credit card to earn points that you can redeem for free air tickets in the future. For example, if you are flexible with your travel dates, search for flights on weekdays as they are generally cheaper than on weekends.
How To Save Money On Accommodation
Most travelers will think of Airbnb when it comes to saving for their accommodation. However, Singapore’s regulations govern the short-term rental of homes. Homeowners cannot lease their HDB for less than six months or their condo for less than three months. However, you will still find lots of listings on the Airbnb website.
Though the laws are directed at property owners and not travelers, you could still get into unnecessary trouble, which is not a good idea when you are on holiday. You also have no coverage if something goes wrong, and you don’t have adequate hotel insurance.
Singapore hotels are one of the most expensive. You can look for hostels instead of hotels to save money on accommodation. There are lots of hostels in Singapore. They are usually clean, comfortable, and have friendly staff. Most importantly, they are much cheaper than hotels. You can find many hostels in the central location, so you don’t have to spend too much on transportation.
For those who want privacy and prefer a private room, choose a hotel out of the following location. These are some of the more popular areas with more hotels, so the rates usually are higher. Choose a local boutique hotel instead of an international brand.
- Marina Bay
- Orchard Road & Dhoby Ghaut
- Along Singapore River (River Valley Road & Havelock Road)
- Boat Quay & Clark Quay
- Downtown (Raffles Place & Tanjong Pagar)
- City Hall & Bugis
You can pick hotels farther away from the city center for better rates. Eastern or Western parts of Singapore also have some nice hotels. I would choose somewhere in the east since they are nearer to the airport.
How To Save Money On Food
Food is one of the most significant traveling expenses, especially in Singapore. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can cost about S$50 (US$35). Eating local food at hawker centers or food courts is much cheaper if you are on a budget.
There are more than 100 hawker centers in Singapore, and you can find them all over the island. They sell a variety of street food such as noodles, rice dishes, chicken rice, satay, and more. A meal at a hawker center or food court is usually under S$15 (US$11) for two people.
You should also avoid eating at a tourist attraction, as the prices are usually much higher. Instead, ask a local for some recommendations on where to eat. They can point you to some hidden gems that serve delicious food at reasonable prices.
I would also recommend avoiding coffee shops or cafes as the food costs are generally more expensive. For example, you can find many good coffee shops and cafes in Singapore, but they will cost you more money.
How To Save Money On Transportation
When traveling around Singapore, consider taking public transport. Trains and buses in Singapore are very efficient and can take you anywhere you want to go.
You can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, a special EZ-link card that gives you unlimited rides on buses and trains for several days. This is a great way to save money on transportation if you stay in Singapore for more than a few days. Moovit is a helpful app to help you plan your route using public transport.
More information on Singapore Tourist Pass.
There are also lots of bicycle rental stations or shops in Singapore. Cycling around the central location is another excellent way to reduce costs, especially if the traveling distance is short.
Best Free Activities And Attractions In Singapore
There are many things to do in Singapore that won’t cost you a single cent. Here are some of the best free attractions and activities for exploring Singapore.
- Visit Marina Bay – Marina Bay is home to iconic landmarks such as the Merlion, ArtScience,
Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, and Fullerton Hotel.
- Watch a free concert – The Singapore Symphony Orchestra puts on a variety of free concerts in various locations throughout Singapore.
- Watch Spectra Light and Water Show – A 15-minute outdoor show displayed over the water at the
Marina Bay SandsEvent Plaza. It’s free for the public.
- Visit Garden by the Bay – Garden by the Bay is a big attraction, and most of the area is free and open to the public. Only a few specific locations require admission tickets.
- Chill at the Singapore Botanic Gardens – A UNESCO World Heritage site over 100 years old and located at the edge of Orchard Road.
- Admire HSBC Rain Vortex – Located inside Jewel Shopping Mall adjacent to Changi International Airport, this is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
- Wander around Chinatown, Kampong Glam, and Little India – Chinatown, Kampong Glam, and Little India are three of the best places to find a variety of foods in Singapore. These places are also full of history.
- Stroll MacRitchie Reservoir Park – A lovely park featuring an 8-kilometer treetop walk with bridges. You may see animals such as long-tailed macaque monkeys, squirrels, or even flying lemurs.
- Explore Bukit Timah Nature Reserve – The highest point in Singapore, the reserve cover over 400 acres of rainforest. Established in 1883, Bukit Timah Forest Reserve is one of the first forest reserves in Singapore.
- Visit places to worship – Singapore is a multicultural country where people of mixed races live together. There are numerous temples, churches, and mosques in Singapore, and some are open to visitors.
- Marvel street arts – Kampong Glam, Chinatown, and Little India, have masses of street wall art that you will find on random buildings. Art Walk Singapore has three self-guided walks outlined on its website.
- Tipping is not required – Tipping isn’t a culture in the city. Almost all meals at restaurants and coffee shops include Goods and Services tax.
- Avoid Sentosa island – Everything on Sentosa island is expensive.
- Buy your items outside the city area – Prices vary at different locations, even from the same franchise convenience store. Buy your item outside the city area to get cheaper rates.
- Cut Down on Alcohol – In Singapore, alcohol is heavily taxed. Avoid any nightlife entertainment if possible. If you want to consume beers, drink during Happy Hours.
- Use free WiFi – There are lots of free WiFi available in Singapore, especially in malls. Use them, and you can save up on buying a local sim card for data plans.