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Top budget travel tips for Singapore

For such a small country Singapore manages to fit a lot into its compact size. The city-island-nation has become an increasingly popular tourist hotspot thanks to its mix of discounted shopping, bright lights and unique melting pot of cultures. It also has a long reputation for being a particularly expensive place for a city break.

Image by DavidR1988, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

While it is expensive in comparison to nearby Asian cities, prices in Singapore will not feel unusual for typical western visitors. That being said, it is easy to burn through the cash if you’re not careful. To make sure you don’t, we’ve put together some tips on how to make the most of your time in the Lion City without breaking the bank.

Image by Leonid Yaitskiy, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Buy a Travel Pass

The Cepas/EZ-Link transportation card is a godsend for tourists. It saves you having to purchase multiple costly rides on the buses and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). As Singapore has an excellent public transport system that only has to service and island of less than 300 square miles, a transportation card can easily let you see the whole country on your trip. In fact, Singapore’s MRT is so efficient and reliable that you can easily enjoy a stay there without ever needing a taxi.

Eat at a hawker centre

Hawker centres are the famous outdoor food courts that Singaporeans flock to everyday. Bustling hives of activity, the hawker centres offer some of the finest food in the city and are the best place to savour blend of Chinese, Indian, and Malay flavours that make up the taste of Singapore. They are also cheap, and will only set you back a fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal. If you’re not sure which stall to choose, pick the one with the longest queue, as the locals know where’s best!

Choose attractions wisely

Entry fees for Singapore’s many tourist attractions can easily eat in to a budget. With this in mind, pick and choose the attractions you want to see. The Marina Bay Sands have quickly become a must-do activity in the city, and entry fee to the Sands SkyPark Observation Deck is worth it, thanks to the incredible views over the city. Singapore Zoo is another attraction well worth the admission fee, especially if you are travelling with children.

Take advantage of free attractions

Save money and enjoy free attractions like a walk through the amazing Gardens by the Bay. These modern landscaped gardens are free to walk through and the Heritage Gardens and Sun Pavillions are unmissable, as is the walkway at Supertree Grove. Admission to the Garden’s conservatories does require an entry fee, however. Taking a walk through the city’s Chinatown is another excellent activity that doesn’t cost a penny, so is taking a walk down to the harbour to see the iconic Merlion statue that has become synonymous with the city.

No matter if you are there a day, a week, or a month, Singapore has things to do and see for any budget, and the amazing city state is like nowhere else. So get planning your itinerary and make your way to the Lion City.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.