6 Tips for Going to Singapore on a Tight Budget

Singapore is a vibrant city-state full of unique attractions and experiences. For its modernity, cultural diversity and heritage, Southeast Asia’s so-called Lion City should be on any globetrotter’s bucket list.

However, many travellers who are exploring budget options often hesitate to put SG on their list due to its reputation of being an expensive destination.

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All the same, you shouldn’t be discouraged to visit the city-state now that technology, the local travel industry, and other initiatives from Singapore’s public and private institutions have made it easier than ever to travel here on a budget.

Dreaming of an all-inclusive but budget-friendly journey through Singapore? Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your visit without straining your wallet:

1) Stay Somewhere Affordable When Visiting Singapore on a Tight Budget

There’s no doubt that Singapore is well-known around the world for its luxury resorts and five-star hotels. But you can also find many affordable accommodations scattered across the island.

There’s a wealth of budget hotels, hostels, homestays, guest houses and short-term rental flats in SG that all offer reasonable rates.

Going for the most affordable lodgings will allow you to save a substantial amount of money, which can then be redirected toward other aspects of your trip.

While some of these accommodations may be far from the city centre, thanks to Singapore’s excellent public transport system, it won’t be hard to go around and get from place to place.

2) Consider Getting a SIM Only Plan for Calls, Texts and Mobile Data

If you anticipate travelling to Singapore for an extended period and may need to catch up on some official business while there, consider getting a SIM-only plan for your mobile data needs. For a monthly fee, you can stay reliably connected to the internet and use your travel apps during your visit, which will help you avoid incurring hefty roaming charges.

SIM-only plans can be purchased at convenience stores, electronics shops, or even at the airport upon your arrival. As such, it’s a good idea to make a SIM only plan comparison so that you can find a plan that suits your needs and fits your budget.

3) Get an EZ-Link Card

strange towers shaped like papyrus flowers rise up from a garden area in an urban scene
Marina Mall Gardens by The Bay MRT Station (TE22), Singapore | Photo by Isaac Matthew on Unsplash

To navigate Singapore’s efficient public transportation system with the ease of a local, you’ll want to get your own EZ-Link card.

The EZ-Link card is a contactless stored-value card that can be used for Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains, buses, and even selected taxis.

With an EZ-Link card, you can enjoy discounted fares compared to purchasing single-trip tickets, and you’ll save time on queuing for tickets each time you travel.

EZ-Link cards can be purchased from a variety of places, from convenience stores to vending machines.

They’re also easy to top up because you can find self-service machines and service counters near SG’s bus and MRT stations.

Use an EZ-Link card for the duration of your stay in Singapore and enjoy hassle-free commuting experiences while keeping your transportation costs in check.

4) Check Out the City's Free Attractions

city skyscape with three tall buildings bridged by narrow span across their 3 roofs, nighttime shot of water and sky is something to see while in Singapore on a tight budget
Fullerton Road, Merlion Park, Singapore | Photo by Photo by Jeyakumaran Mayooresan on Unsplash

Singapore is home to numerous landmarks and cultural sites that can be explored without spending a dime. Take Merlion Park near the city’s Central Business District, for example.

This famous tourist spot is the perfect place to enjoy stunning views of Marina Bay while marvelling at the iconic Merlion statue, all free of charge.

Another must-visit attraction that doesn’t require an entrance fee is Gardens by the Bay, which is located by the Marina Bay Waterfront.

This incredible nature park beautifully combines horticulture, garden artistry and technology, creating a one-of-a-kind experience nature lovers will surely savour.

Although you have to pay to enter the park’s Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, the garden complex—where you can view the Supertrees and evening light show—is free for tourists to enter.

5) Shop ‘Till You Drop in the Local Street Markets and Shopping Centres

people shop at night along streets jammed with stores and colorful displays of merchandise
Bugis Street, also known as the "Chatutchut" of Singapore | Photo by SGXP.com via Unsplash

Shopping enthusiasts will be delighted to know that Singapore is not just about high-end luxury malls. The city is also a treasure trove of local street markets and shopping centres where you can find great bargains and unique items.

Head to Bugis Street, known for its affordable fashion, accessories, and souvenirs. Explore the city’s Chinatown street markets, where you can buy trinkets, traditional handicrafts, and local snacks. Mustafa Centre in Little India is another shopping haven that offers a wide range of jewellery, consumer electronics, and household goods at competitive prices.

Each of these places gives you the opportunity to score great deals, making your Singapore shopping experience enjoyable and budget-friendly.

6) Find Affordable Good Eats at Hawker Centres

When it comes to dining in Singapore on a tight budget, hawker centres are your best friend. These food courts offer myriad delicious and affordable local dishes, from mouth-watering chicken rice and savoury char kway teow to delightful desserts like ais kacang.

Each hawker centre will provide you with a wide variety of culinary delights at wallet-friendly prices. Some of the best-known hawker centres in the city are Maxwell Food Centre, Amoy Street Food Centre, Newton Food Centre, and Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre.

Embarking on a memorable trip to Singapore doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect for budget-conscious travellers.

With the help of these tips, you can immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this incredible city-state and create lasting travel memories while staying within your budget constraints!

young man looks at camera while pushing his shopping cart down a long hall of modern architecture filled with other tourists hoping to visit Singapore on a tight budget
Singapore airport | Photo by Adrian Agawin via Pexels
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Hi, I’m Stacey

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…

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