It is a well-known fact that travelling in Singapore, isn’t cheap. As such, many backpackers hop in and hop out in a few days, on the way to or from popular destinations such as Thailand and Malaysia. I did the same.
Although I initially had one day in Singapore, prior to moving to New Zealand, and didn’t think too much if it, this time it surprised me. It is more than a concrete business driven city.
I was initially going to couch surf, but looked last minute, and didn’t get many responses I felt comfortable with, so I forked out $24 singapore dollars per night for a hostel. Not bad, but still twice as much as you’d normally pay in mainland South East Asia.
During my first night, I met up with a couch surfer host, who couldn’t host me, as he was travelling the next day but invited me out to a trivia night. This was a really fun night, but by far the most expensive. I had a few drinks, and a pizza, and paid $35; normal if I was out in New Zealand or Australia, but pretty hard on the backpacker budget.
The rest of my time, I did things, which cost little or nothing. Here is how you can get around Singapore on the cheap.
Eat in the Hawker markets. Popular ones include Gluttons Bay, near Marina Bay Sands, and the Maxwell Road Food Centre. Here you can pick up a full meal for $3-4 dollars.
Like many things in Singapore, their transport system is efficient, and reliable. A Single journey on the MRT will cost you anywhere between $2.30 and $1.10. Tip: if you reuse your standard ticket, you will get 10 cents off the next journey, for the next 5 journeys.
If you don’t fancy spending your precious dollars on the MRT, walking is the best and cheapest way to see a city. I spent a good 3-4 hours trekking around the city on my second day there, and with a map, it was easy to navigate.
Free things in Singapore –
Singapore has many attractions for visitors, including the Night Safari, a zoo, the Singapore flyer and endless shopping opportunities.
However, if you want to save money, it costs nothing to wander around areas such as Little India, with its great aroma of spices, a great market, and temples. Chinatown market, for cheap souvenirs, and food.
The Bayfront – Marina Bay Sands area is beautiful. Amazing buildings, and art work. If you head down at night, there is often some sort of free light show on the water. There was a free fireworks display, both nights I was in Singapore. There was also a free music festival on the Esplanade the weekend I was there. Marina Bay Sands also offers free WiFi, which I made good use of before getting my night bus into Malaysia.
Gardens by the Bay – near Marina Bay Sands, these gardens are beautiful to walk around, and lovely at night.
In three days in Singapore I spent a total of (in Singapore Dollars and others in italics):
Accommodation = $48.
$38 (USD) or $41 (AUD)
$37(USD) or $40 (AUD)
Other 17.50 (laundry, postcards, toiletries)
Total spent – $172.45 (Singapore Dollars) or $147 (Australian) or $137 (USD)