We should probably get something straight before we get started: it’s really hard to travel in Singapore on a budget! I’ve been to this amazing place no less than 3 times now, and despite extra care and planning we’ve gone over budget every single time.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s totally okay to blow your budget, but when you’re working online like we are and need to earn every penny as you go, those opportunities to be a bit spendy don’t come around very often.
It’s extremely easy to go overboard in Singapore, but we want to reassure you that it is possible to visit Singapore on a budget if you want to. Here’s our best tips and suggestions for staying on track with your money while in Singapore.
Write Down Everything You Spend
It’s easy to go over budget in Singapore if you’re not writing down how much things cost. Whether you use notes on your phone, an app such as Trail Wallet (as we do) or good, old-fashioned pen and paper, if you want to stick to budget then jot it all down. You’ll be surprised how quickly costs can add up if you’re not paying attention!
Don’t Let Yourself Get Hangry
We’ve noticed a distinct pattern with our spending habits: if we let ourselves get hungry and don’t have a plan, we’re more than likely going to overspend. It’s not that we can’t control ourselves, but when we’re starving we become a little desperate, and end up sitting down at the first place we can find. It’s almost always going to cost more than we want to spend.
To avoid this, plan out your day a bit, and look up places you’re interested in eating. Trip Advisor almost always has photographs of a restaurant’s menu, so you’ll know if it’s within your budget or not. With many ordinary restaurants in Singapore costing upwards of $20 (£11.30) per person for a meal, you could find yourself £30 out of pocket without even thinking about it.
Some of our favourite places to eat on a budget in Singapore include:
Komala Vilas, Little India
A vegetarian Indian restaurant with amazing curries and naans. Expect to pay anything between $9 (£5) and $14 (£8) for a meal, depending on your hunger level and what you choose. We recommend the paneer butter masala with garlic naan- yes!
Glutton’s Bay Hawker Centre, Marina Bay
Glutton’s Bay is a collection of well-respected food vendors who serve everything from roti, to crab, to banana fritters. There’s something here for everyone’s taste, and prices for a meal start at just $4 (£2.30). Try the Roti John from the Old Satay Club stall.
Muchachos, Outram Park
If you’ve craving good Mexican food then this is where we’d recommend you head for a fix. The location is adorable- think dinky Colonial architecture and culture for days- and the restaurant itself is pretty snazzy too. Prices are around $12 (£6.80) for a meal and a drink. The burritos were our favourite!
If you’re ever in doubt about where to eat, head to your nearest shopping centre. Every mall has a food court with plenty of cheap local eats. You must try curry puffs while you’re in Singapore- they’re around $1.50 (£0.85) each!
Shop Around for Cheap Accommodation
Accommodation is going to be your biggest barrier to staying on budget in Singapore. The best thing you can do is look in advance and lock down a deal when you see one. Be warned, private rooms cost a bomb, so you’ll need to be prepared to sleep in dorm beds unless you’ve got buckets to spare.
A room in a decent shared dorm will cost upwards of $18 (£10) per night, and you’re unlikely to find a double room in a reasonable hotel for less than $60 (£34).
Try comparing prices in Singapore for your dates:
BUDGET SINGAPORE ACCOMMODATION WE LOVE
Bunc Hostel, Little India – A social hostel with plenty of communal areas, good breakfast and super-comfy beds!
5Footway.inn Project Boat Quay – A small hostel with both dorms and private rooms, excellent modern showers and stylish vibe.
Clifden Hostel, Little India – Although we haven’t stayed here ourselves, this hostel has excellent reviews and regularly comes up cheapest.
Visit Free Attractions
If you don’t want to spend money on attractions in Singapore, you don’t have to! There are hundreds of free things to do in the city, and most of them are nature-based, which is excellent for us as we love taking in the natural environment and spotting wildlife in a responsible way.
Some great free things to do in Singapore include:
- Gardens by the Bay – gorgeous greenery, flowers and structures, which are all free as long as you don’t go inside the domes or up onto the platform at Supertree Grove
- Botanical Gardens – a huge park with many sections, including lakes, herb gardens, an exhibit on the evolution of flora, an orchid garden and lots of cute wildlife, including fish, terrapins and butterflies
- Take a walk – try climbing Mount Faber, taking a stroll along the Southern Ridges, walk across to Sentosa Island and go to the beach or getting lost in the City
- See the varied cultures – Singapore has many neighbourhoods, all of which have a charm about them. Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street and Kampong Glam are all worth visiting
Got any more suggestions of free attractions that can help people travel in Singapore on a budget? Let us know down below!
Don’t Do Your Washing
To keep your miscellaneous costs down, avoid doing laundry in Singapore if you can. One load will be at least $8 (£4.50), and we saw it as high as $12 (£6.80) in some places! Either push on through until your next destination (Malaysia laundry is only around £0.80 per KG) or tide yourself over by doing some washing in the sink and leaving it out to dry for the afternoon.
Don’t Take a Taxi: Walk or Use the Metro
We’ve never taken a taxi, but we have it on good authority from fellow travellers that they’re NOT CHEAP. If you’re centrally located, you can walk to many places, otherwise use the clean and efficient Metro for cheap travel.
As an example, Singapore Changi Airport to the City costs about $2.40 (£1.35) one way, compared to a $50 taxi!
These are our best tips for visiting Singapore on a budget, what do you think? Using this advice, we spent an average of £54.65 per day between us as a couple on our most recent visit to Singapore. Although it was quite a bit higher than what we wanted to spend, overall we’re pleased with how we travelled Singapore on a budget.
Did you stick to budget in Singapore, or do you have any more questions on how to keep costs down? Let us know in the comments section below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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