Singapore on a Budget: Is it possible!?

Singapore on a budget. calculator
Written by Town & Tourist

How much does it cost to Travel Singapore!?

Singapore on a Budget – Singapore, is a vibrant island city-state just off southern Malaysia! It’s a global financial centre for Asia, which with a warm tropical climate, great economy and multicultural population, making it popular with many expats.

As a new city, Singapore offers plenty of modern skyscraper style architecture and world renowned luxury hotels such as the Marina Bay Sands. Along the Harbour front close to Marina Bay, you will find the uniquely designed Shopping Mall (Vivo City). This is a showcase created by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the design is modern and captivating.

Of course there is an amazing high end food court nestled next to the Gucci & Louis Vuitton shops. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, there is a Canal which runs down the centre of the shopping mall, popular with boat rides!

Top things to do in Singapore include: 

  • Visiting Marina Bay Sands. 
  • Gardens by the Bay (Botanical Gardens) 
  • Merlion (Half Fish/Hlaf Lion) Statue/Fountain.
  • Vivo City Mall
  • Sentosa (Palawan Beach & Tiger Sky Tower)

Fun Fact: At the Colonial core of Singapore, Chinatown you will find the red and gold Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which said to house one of Buddha’s teeth.

Singapore chinatown

Singapore chinatown

Is Singapore Expensive?

In a recently annual survey (Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer) (by the UK-based Post Office, Singapore was revealed as the world’s most expensive country!

In the study, 42 popular destinations were surveyed and prices of eight tourist-related items were compared, including a dinner for two with wine, a selection of drinks, sunscreen and insect repellant.

According to them, this bundle of items total up to $198 (£153.72) in Singapore’s district of Chinatown. Which is 9% ahead of Dubai and Muscat in Oman, in joint second place at ($183) £141.

Can you travel on a Budget in Singapore?

Despite the Survey, I have found Singapore not to be significantly more expensive than other major cities such as London, LA, Tokyo and Dubai. In fact you can do Singapore in a Budget, I actually did a day of Singapore sightseeing for less than $40. But you must know a few things to avoid being left out of pocket, see my top tips below.

Essential Money Saving Tips for Singapore:

A rule of thumb in any “Expensive city” is to observe the locals, not the tourists. The locals travel regularly, so you will be sure they know the best way to save money.

1. Take the Metro from the Airport (Not a Taxi!) 

The journey from Changi Airport to Marina Bay Sands takes about 45mins-1 hour on the Mass Rapid Transit (MRTTrain and costs around S$2 ($1.50!).  You can purchase the tickets at the machines or ticket booth.

2. Purchase an EZ Link Card

To save even more on Buses and Train travel in Singapore purchase an EZ-Link Card.

At the train station, the Ez-link card costs $12 and includes $7 worth of travel credit!

Facts about the EZ Link Card:

  • You can purchase and add credit to the cards at 7-Eleven minimarts for just S$10 (includes S$5  travel credit).
  • The EZ link Card also saves you a lot of time waiting in queues at ticket machines in MRT stations.
  • The EZ-Link card can be used on both the LRT and MRT trains, along with the reliable public bus system.
  • With the card, you pay only for the distance traveled, rather than a flat fare like everyone else!

Don’t forget to tap your card on the reader as you exit the bus or you’ll pay extra!

Singapore MRT

Singapore MRT

3. Dont buy a Singapore Tourist Pass. 

The  Singapore Tourist Pass  can get confused with the EZ-Link card. It offers unlimited train journeys during a one, two and three day stay. This may seem great but we did the numbers!

They are generally not good value as the one day pass costs S$10 plus an extra $10 which is refunded after. This means you would have to take the MRT 4-5 times per day just to break even!

4. Drink the Fresh Water! 

Unlike many other parts of Southeast Asia, the tap water in Singapore is actually safe to drink! Purchase a collapsible water bottle which you can pull out whenever and fill up. See out: Travel Accessories

A bottle of water can cost around S$2 at the minimart, which can add up fast in the hot climate.

5. Eat in Food Halls/Food Courts. 

Singapore has some fantastic food halls which offer a great atmosphere at really reasonable prices. For example, at the Vivo City Mall the food court here has some delicious asian fusion food, at very reasonable prices…despite being in a tourist centre.

There are many other food halls in Chinatown and Hawker street stalls which offer tasty street foods (which are all safe!) .

One thing you will notice about Singapore is everything is just much better quality than other parts of South East Asia such as Thailand. You can enjoy a tasty meal for between S$4-6 in food halls. The noodles soup costs less then S$3.

A really affordable yet tasty place is the Lau Pa Sat food center near the Raffles MRT stop.


Lau-Pa-Sat-Food-Hall. Source: visitsingapore

6. Gardens By the Bay is FREE

The Widely popular Singapore Botanical Gardens is actually FREE to enter the majority of it. This is good enough to have a wander round and take a photo on the platform. You only have to pay if you want to walk across the suspended bridge.

garden-by-the-bay-Singapore on a budget

garden-by-the-bay-Singapore on a budget

7. Explore the Other FREE Landmarks

Sight seeing is exactly that “Seeing” which is a FREE activity (For now!). You can take in great views of Marina Bay Sands.

Visit the Merlion Fish Statue, Chinatown and the Vivo City mall.

Entrance to museums in Singapore is expensive. However, at certain times of the month the fees are waived for special events, check with your hotel or museum for details.

You can purchase a tourist pass, which offers discounted entry rates to museums & attractions. However, be aware that these only make sense if you plan on visiting alot of the attractions.

Singapore Merlion Statue Sunset

Singapore Merlion Statue Sunset. Source: Wiki commons

8. Avoid Smoking & Drinking! 

For some of you this may be extremely difficult but it will definitely save you lots of money! Due to lots of extra tax, the prices of Cigarettes & Alcohol is very expensive.

For example, A pack of Marlboro cigarettes costs over S$13!

Nightclub entry can cost up to S$30 which includes one watered down drink!

If you really must drink! Then head to the nearby 7 Eleven (Clarke Quay). Many backpackers from local hostels buy drinks from there before chilling out by the waterfront.

Note: Electronic cigarettes are actually illegal in Singapore!  Don’t cross the border with one.

9. Street Performers! 

Singapore always has something going on. Head to the city centre, riverfront or esplande (theaters on the bay) for a variety of live entertainment, art displays and performances. Many of these are FREE, of course tips are encouraged.

10. Don’t get arrested!! $$

There is a local joke which is Singapore is a “FINE” city! It is indeed, Fine looking due to lots of costly FINES! There are fine payment kiosks located all over the city. You can get fines for ridiculous things from chewing gum to jay walking.

Singapore Fine City

Singapore is such a Fine City!! $$$

Here are some tips below: 

  • The most popular reason you will get fined in Singapore is for not using marked crosswalks!
  • Chewing gum, eating snacks, and drinking drinks are not permitted on the MRT trains or public transportation.
  • Riding a bike on pedestrian-only paths, especially close to the river, is not allowed.
  • Seatbelts are required when in a car;  drivers cannot use a mobile phone while moving.
  • Electronic cigarettes and “vaping” are illegal.
  • Spitting will get you fined in Singapore!
  • Feeding pigeons in the park is hefty S$500 fine!

Fun Fact: Failing to flush a public toilet is illegal.

Where to Stay in Singapore?

Singapores hostel cost around S$20+ and hotels vary in price.

If your looking for a less expensive part of town head to Little India where hostels & hotels are slightly cheaper.

For the list my recommended Hotels in Singapore follow the link HERE.



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The only Place you meet a monk who wears designer shades…Welcome to Singapore 🇸🇬 #material #monk #balenciaga #buddhist

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Singapore: Travel Budget Calculator

To help you budget your next adventure to Singapore.

Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below

User Guide: Simply select your “Travel Style”,  ” Number of Persons” and Number of Days Traveling.

Top Tip: “Group” travel budget gives the total budget for 4 people. To find out how much that is each simply divide by 4.

Family Budgets:

Families would be best using the Group selector, or those with small children should select “Couple” if the children are young enough to share a room.

We have compiled the data in the table above from our vast travel experience & other reliable sources. src

Singapore: Currency

The Singapore dollar (SGD,  “sing-dollar“) is Singapore’s official unit of currency. Paper notes come in $2, $5, $10, and $50 (less commonly seen are $100, $500, $1,000 and $10,000 bills). Coins come in 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents and $1 denomination.

1 USD = 1.36 SGD

Singapore Travel Costs (Budget):

i. Budget Backpacker Travel Costs:

Budget Singapore Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel) $27
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $57
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $5
Food & Water $11
Entertainment $12
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $12

ii. Mid Range Travel Costs:

Mid Range Budget: Sinagpore Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel) $74
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $146
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $10
Food & Water $24
Entertainment $29
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $29

iii. Luxury Vacation Travel Costs:

Singapore Luxury Travel Costs
Budget Data Cost (USD)
Accommodation (Single Occupancy) $208
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel) $406
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway) $25
Food & Water $63
Entertainment $72
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities) $62

Insider Tip:

-Invest in a quality Travel Camera! 

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments to help you cut costs and have more of an adventure while traveling!

Other Travel Essentials  (Things You can’t travel without!)

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

Would you like some Travel Inspiration?

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Malaysia Street Art


About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.