Singapore on a Budget – Your Ultimate Guide

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently named Singapore the world’s most expensive city to live in, among 131 cities!

But before you start reconsidering your upcoming trip to Singapore, we want to tell you something – it is still possible to travel in Singapore on a budget.

From low-cost carriers connecting the little red dot to the rest of the world, to value-for-money budget hotels and a plethora of eating, sightseeing and shopping options that won’t destroy your travel budget.

We have put together the ultimate budget travel guide for your next trip to Singapore!

1. Choose a low-cost carrier and take the MRT to arrive in Singapore.

As a major transit hub for countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, a lot of low-cost carriers, including AirAsia, Lion Air, Tiger Airways and Indigo fly to Singapore on incredibly low costs. Subscribe to their email updates to keep a tab on flight sales, and book early.

You could fly for as low as $1 + taxes to the little red dot, and the money you save will go a long way to make your trip memorable ☺

Once you arrive at Changi Airport in Singapore, resist the temptation to take a cab to the city and do it like the locals do – hop on to the Singapore MRT at Terminal 2 or 3 and make your way to the city center in under $2 and 30 minutes.

2. Don’t compromise on style or budget when you choose a hotel/hostel.

Matchbox The Concept Hostel in Chinatown

Dull and drab they are not! Hostels in Singapore are quirky, affordable, clean and fun place to make new friends!

The sheer choice of hotels and hostels in Singapore on every budget is at first, intimidating (Read: 7 Tips to Find a Cheap Hotel in Singapore).

An easy place to start is choosing the location.

If it’s your first trip and you’re not quite sure where to stay, Bugis is an excellent choice of area with its choice of budget hotels, diversity of shopping and F&B options, and proximity to everything you could want to see and experience during your first time in the lion city.

Whether your budget is $20 a night for a bed in a dormitory (Read: Top 5 Hostels in Singapore’s Chinatown) or $80 a night for a chic boutique hotel (Read: Top 10 Hotels in Singapore Under $100), you’ll find something that’s chic or quirky – just the way you like it.

Travel during off peak season if you can, and make use of the latest budget hotel promotions and deals in Singapore to find a steal for your next stay!

3. Shop to your heart’s and wallet’s content.

Singapore Shopping on Sale

The annual Great Singapore Sale usually takes place from June to July and It’s definitely the SALE worth waiting for!

Most people think of Orchard Road when they think of shopping in Singapore.

And justifiably so, given the shopping extravaganza this street with Singapore’s most hip malls has to offer (Read: 1 Day Shopping Madness on Singapore’s Orchard Road).

But if bargains are what you’re after, visit Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale in summer, when literally every store in every mall has huge discounts on offer. Or head over to Bugis Street, Singapore’s largest street shopping district, to hunt for bargains on everything from shoes and clothes to quirky souvenirs.

To appease the electronics buff in you, traverse the many floors of Sim Lim Square, or head to the 24/7 Mustafa Center in Little India for an immersive bargain shopping experience.

4. Indulge in food on a budget.

Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice

The Hainanese chicken rice, the must-try local dish for all tourists that is found in most of Singapore’s hawker centers and coffee shops.

No trip to Singapore is complete without some satisfying culinary indulgence, and depending on what pleases your taste buds, budget options in the city are aplenty.

Hawker centers, coffeshops and food courts (usually located in the basement of every mall), offer big portions of local food for as little as $2 (Read: Top 10 Places to Eat in Geylang).

Hit the cultural districts of Arab Street and Little India to satisfy your curry and hummus cravings; a meal in a small bistro could cost you $8-$10. Fork up a little more to try one of Singapore’s upcoming trendy cafes, especially in Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru.

5. Look out for awesome free things to do!

Spectacular Fireworks View from Esplanade Rooftop

Free and spectacular fireworks lasting more than 5-minute on full display during National Day which takes place on 9th of August every year.

Will you believe us if we told you that you can find everything in the world’s most expensive city, from cultural sightseeing and romantic hideouts to delicious food and stunning panoramas, for FREE?

You can find your way to a free tree top walk at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, or catch a view of the entire city from the rooftop of the Esplanade. You can catch spectacular fireworks, get a free shuttle to Sentosa for a beach day, and dance the night away at one of Singapore’s hippest clubs – without paying a penny!

Read our collection of 37 free things to do in Singapore and plan your trip now.

6. More money saving tips.

You’re determined to do Singapore on a budget and we’re determined to help you!

So we compiled a pro list of ways to save money while traveling in Singapore, without compromising on your comfort, expectations or experiences.

For instance, choose a boutique hotel with character in the heart of the city, to save yourself travel time and cost from a faraway location.

All of Singapore’s tap water is purified for drinking, so carry a water bottle and don’t waste precious dollars on buying multiple mineral water bottles everyday (save the environment too!).

And forget taxis; Singapore has one of the most efficient public transport systems in the world – hop on to an MRT or bus and you’ll likely reach your destination even sooner than on a cab during peak hours.

Have you traveled to Singapore on a budget? Share your tips with us!