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How to Visit Singapore on a Budget

Yes! It is possible to visit Singapore on a budget. We share our top insider tips on how to save money during your Singapore trip.

Tourists outside Shophouses in Singapore.

Singapore, known for its high living costs, may seem daunting for budget-conscious travellers. 

But fear not, as there are numerous ways to cut down expenses while exploring this vibrant city. Whether you’re planning a family vacation or solo adventure, these tips will help you make the most of your Singapore trip, without breaking the bank.

Read more in our article How Much Does a Trip to Singapore Cost

Key Takeaways

No time to read the whole article? Here are our top tips for saving money in Singapore, in a nutshell: 

  • Eat local food in hawker centres.
  • Drink tap water; it’s perfectly safe. 
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption or drink beer in hawker centres
  • Buy discounted attraction tickets through Klook.
  • Hang out in one of Singapore’s beautiful parks or at the beach.
  • Try our self-guided walks and save money on guided tours.
  • Check out our list of free attractions.
  • Avoid high-end shopping on Orchard Road and browse the markets or cheaper malls.
  • Use public transport – it’s awesome and cheap.
  • Check out some of our budget hotel recommendations

Note: All costs provided below are in SGD.

Find Affordable Dining

While dining in Singapore’s top-notch restaurants can be pricey, you can savour delicious local cuisine at hawker centres and food courts for a fraction of the cost. 

Maxwell Food Centre Singapore hawker centre.

With dishes priced as low as $4-6, these venues offer a fantastic and budget-friendly culinary experience. Check out our list of Singapore’s best hawker centres here. 

Expected meal costs: Mid-range restaurant – $25-50 per person (not including alcohol) vs Hawker centre meal – $5-10 per person

Likewise, skip the fancy coffee shops and opt for local coffee shops to save even more on your daily caffeine fix.

Expected coffee cost: $8 in Starbucks vs $2 in a local coffee shop. 

Drink Tap Water

Great news! The tap water in Singapore is safe to drink. That’s right! No need to waste your money on buying bottles of water. 

Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated. You’ll not only save money but you’ll also contribute to reducing plastic waste.

Economize on Alcohol

Alcohol is heavily taxed in Singapore, making it an expensive indulgence. 

Man serving beer in a bar in Singapore.

Save money by heading to hawker centers where you can enjoy a large bottle of beer for around $7. 

You can also consider purchasing alcohol from supermarkets, but be prepared for the relatively high prices compared to what you are used to at home.

Expected costs for Beer – $15 per pint in a bar vs $6-7 per bottle in a hawker centre.

Buy Discounted Attraction Tickets

Explore Singapore’s top attractions without burning a hole in your pocket by checking out websites like Klook or Get Your Guide, which often offer discounted tickets for popular spots like Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Zoo

Also consider buying bundled tickets for the multiple wildlife parks to enjoy significant savings.

Explore the Parks and Beaches

Singapore, often referred to as the Garden City, boasts numerous parks like Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

bridge over the water at Botanic Gardens Singapore.

You can enjoy the beauty of these green spaces for free or at minimal cost. Check out list of the best parks and gardens in Singapore here.

Sentosa Island‘s beaches also offer a budget-friendly way to relax, with affordable transportation options such as the Sentosa Express, or even walking across the Sentosa Boardwalk. 

Although there is a small entrance fee to enter Sentosa, once you are on the island, all public transport is free. 

Take our Self-Guided Walking Tours

Our self-guided walking tours offer a cost-effective way to tour some of the most popular areas of the city. 

Advert for self-guided walking tours of Singapore.

They are designed to download to your phone, so that you can explore the city at your own pace. You’ll learn about the culture and the history of the area you are exploring and will get some dining recommendations along the way too. 

Click here to learn more about our walking tours

Expected Tour Costs: Guided tour: $65 – 150 per person vs Our self-guided tours: $9 each or $21 for 3 tours.

Find Free Activities in Singapore

It is possible to discover the charm of Singapore without spending a dime. 

Many areas are easily accessible by public transport, offering a budget-friendly way to explore the parks, temples, markets, and architecture.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum Singapore.

Here are a few suggestions for free activities in Singapore. You can learn more about them and others in our article Free Things to do in Singapore

  • Gardens by the Bay (not including the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, Supertree Observatory or OCBC Skyway)
  • Botanic Gardens (not including the Orchid Garden)
  • Fort Siloso
  • Spectra Light Show (Marina Bay Sands)
  • Garden Rhapsody Light Show (Gardens by the Bay)
  • Buddha Tooth Relice Temple & Museum
  • Southern Ridges Walk
  • Jewel Rain Vortex
  • Haw Par Villa
  • MacRitchie Treetop Walk
  • Wander the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam or the Civic District
  • Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
  • Take a photo tour of some of Singapore’s most Instagrammable spots

Go Budget Shopping

While high-end shopping malls line Orchard Road, you can instead opt for more budget-friendly shopping malls or crawl the local wet markets. 

Chinatown street market Singapore.

Places like Tekka Market in Little India offer reasonably priced fresh produce, spices, and even clothing. 

Explore souvenir stalls in Chinatown, Little India, and Bugis Street for affordable keepsakes. Try Lucky Plaza for cheap clothing options or head to the famous Mustafa Centre in Little India to find just about anything at an affordable price.

Enjoy Cost-Effective Travel

The good news is that public transport is very affordable in Singapore and even taxis are relatively cheap compared to most cities around the world. 

Inside the Singapore MRT.

It’s easy to navigate the city efficiently and affordably by using Singapore’s MRT and bus systems. You can read our full guide to public transport in Singapore here. 

Cost of public transport: 

  • MRT – $1 – $2.50 per ride
  • Taxi from the airport – $25-40 depending on the time of day. 
  • Taxi across town – $5-10 

Insider Tip: Note that taxi surcharges of 25-50% apply at certain times of day. Booking fees also apply. Download the Grab/Gojek/Tada apps (similar to Uber) and the CDG Zig app (taxi app) to compare costs. 

Read more recommended apps for Singapore here.

Find Budget Accommodation

Contrary to the city’s luxurious reputation, Singapore also offers plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options, including budget hotels and hostels. 

Aerial view of shophouses in Singapore Chinatown.

While areas such as Marina Bay, Sentosa and Orchard are filled with Singapore’s top luxury hotels, other areas such as Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Bugis offer many options for those with a more modest budget. 

Price obviously depends on location and number of guests, but you can expect the following prices for accommodation in Singapore. 

Expected Costs: (per room, per night) 

  • Hostel – $25-50
  • Budget hotel – $80-100
  • Mid-range hotel – $200-350
  • Luxury hotel – $400 + (the sky’s the limit!) 

Here are a few ideas of recommended budget hotels. You can read our full pick of the Best Budget Hotels in Singapore here. 

These tips should help you make the most of your Singaporean adventure without breaking the bank. 

Do you have any additional money-saving tips for Singapore? Feel free to share them with us in our Facebook Group, Singapore Travel Tips!