Dubbed the most expensive city in the world by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), ahead of Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva and Paris, Singapore is not exactly favourable for the traveller on a shoestring budget but when there is a will, there is a way and if it’s exploring Singapore on the cheap you want, these are wallet-friendly ways you can have your cake and eat it too.
Stay in guesthouses instead of hotels
Hotels and boutique hotels can be a little on the steep side when staying in Singapore but if you do a little browsing, you may be surprised with the really decent guesthouses scattered around the Island city. If dorms aren’t your thing, you could always opt for guesthouses with private rooms. These places can range from below SGD20 to SGD150 a night, depending on your preferred accommodation.
Carry a reusable water bottle
Purchasing drinks while on holiday can be a real wallet-killer as many are not aware of how much they are spending to keep hydrated. In Singapore, tap water is safe for drinking based on the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Save money by carrying around a reusable (or even better, a collapsible) water bottle and fill up whenever you come across a tap!
Eat in hawker and Mamak stalls instead of cafes & restaurants
Eating at cafes and restaurants in Singapore can be a little on the pricey side and you do not necessarily compromise on food quality if settling for something cheaper. Hawker and Mamak stalls are strewn all over and you are bound to come across them and you can get a pretty decent meal for as little as SGD5! Food hygiene standards in Singapore are generally high and you wouldn’t need to worry too much about food poisoning while diving into a bowl of laksa!
Get an EZ-Link Singapore Tourist Pass for commute
The best thing for the roving traveller, the EZ-Link Tourist Pass gives you unlimited access to the train system and public bus service all over Singapore, for 1-3 days, using as little as SGD6.70 a day (a ride can cost between SGD.070 to SGD3.00). This also means that you can eliminate time lining up to purchase your tickets and you will also get a refund if you return the card within 5 days.
Buy your souvenirs from Little India & Chinatown
Singapore is full of quirky and kitschy souvenirs but bear in mind that they can be a little heavy on the wallet. To still be able to go on holiday and bring back trinkets for your friends back home, head over to places such as Little India and Chinatown, where you can sometimes purchase items at wholesale prices.
Look for free activities
Contrary to popular belief, having fun in Singapore does not necessarily entail dubious amounts of spending and if you want to see the city from different angles, you can head over to the Southern Ridges for a scenic walk, or relax in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. If you need a little bit more inspiration, head over to this link for a long list of things you can do in Singapore for free!
Curate your holiday, stress-free: