As soon as I arrived in the incredible city-state of Singapore, gazing up at the teeming skyscrapers and marveling at the fast-paced hustle of my surroundings, I was eager to explore. However after months spent indulging on the likes of £3 foot massages in Thailand and huge cheap-as-chips exotic spreads of food in Laos, when we arrived in Singapore things seemed… not so cost-efficient.
On a pretty strict travel budget, me and my travel buddies made sure to try our very best not to spend too much in Singapore. Here’s how we did it:
- Most hostels averaged about the same price per night (between £7-£10ish) but if it included breakfast, this would mean a little less spending each day. Bonus if there was a kitchen to cook in!
- Two words – Food Street! Restaurants and cafes in Singapore tend to be quite expensive, and very similarly priced to western standards. Food Street situated centrally in China town was a haven for us, as we were able to pick up delicious and heaped plates of food for only a couple of pounds or so. It was also a really nice atmosphere to eat in, with the street lined with Chinese restaurants and visitors and locals alike ambling around choosing their dishes.
- I found alcohol to be extremely expensive in Singapore, probably even more so than in the UK! The wine seemed to be a lot pricier, as did a pint of beer or cider. For this reason, we avoided going out in Singapore (shocker, I know!). However, if you do want to hit the tiles in Singapore, word on the street is to hit the happy hour bars. Check out this article by City nomads for the best happy hours in Singapore.
- Most big cities usually hold free walking tours, and Singapore was no exception. We met up with a team called ‘Singapore footprints’ in the business district of Raffles place and spent a nice couple of hours exploring the city. It was great to explore in a group, and the tour guides were very friendly and knowledgeable of the city. Not too shabby for a freebie!
- One of my favourite spots in the city were the gorgeous Singapore Botanic Gardens. There was so much to see and once more, the gardens were free to enter! There we saw lots of wildlife; tonnes of fish and terrapins in the lake and even water monitor lizards crouching round.
- If you want to visit some of the top tourist attractions such as Universal Studios or Singapore Zoo, there’s no denying you’ll have to spend a bit. However, we found that booking online or visiting outside of peak hours (e.g. there was a promotion that the night safari at the zoo was 50% off during the week) meant you could save a fair chunk of dollar.
- Southeast Asia’s largest light and water show situated at Marina Bay Sands sure is a stunning spectacle to see, and free for all to enjoy! The 13-minute show tells a visual story using lights, water, and laser effects and is a definite must-see. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to check out the world-famous Marina Bay Sands.
Making the most of the free events and spots to visit, we managed to explore Singapore without ruining our budget for the rest of our travels! Do you have any tips for a cost-friendly trip to this incredible city?