10 Secrets Of Budget Travelers In Singapore

Don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamour of Orchard Road. Contrary to popular belief, you too, can enjoy Singapore even on a budget. There is much more to Singapore than shopping malls, skyscrapers and Michelin-starred restaurants. Beyond the squeaky clean image of Singapore lies a city teeming with personality and culture – and discounts!

Have we sparked your curiosity yet? If you’re visiting the island and worried about breaking the bank, don’t worry. Today, Evolve Vacation shares the secrets of the biggest bargain hunters in Singapore. Here are the 10 Secrets Of Budget Travelers In Singapore:


1) Bring your own water.


Yes, Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world, with potable water available on tap. If you’re looking to save a few extra dollars, bring a refillable water bottle or thermos and fill it up. A bottle of water or can of soda could cost you up to $3, depending on where you eat.


2) Eat at a hawker center.


Foodies around the world wax poetic about the hawker centers in Singapore. If you’re looking for authentic local cuisine, look no further than a hawker center where you can enjoy a plate of Hainanese chicken rice for less than $5. If you aren’t picky, you could even get away with under $3 a meal!

Hawker centers can be found all throughout Singapore – at the basements of shopping malls and office buildings, and even on top of wet markets. For the best deal, check out the standalone hawker centers such as Maxwell Food Centre at Tanjong Pagar or Lau Pa Sat near Raffles MRT.


3) Take public transportation.


Singapore has one of the cleanest and most efficient public transportation systems in the world – why not take advantage of it? Buy an EZ link pass at the MRT station nearest to you and you’ll be able to take a bus or MRT to any destination of your choice. Plus, it’s a great way to cool down during a hot day (Pssst! It’s always hot in Singapore).

Taking public transportation also allows you to get to know the city better, which is perfect if you’re staying for more than a week. Many first-timers make the mistake of paying for each bus and train ride, which could quickly add up if they aren’t careful. An EZ-Link pass costs $15 and includes $10 worth of credit.


4) Stay at Little India or Chinatown


When you stay in the city center such as Orchard or Raffles Place, you can guarantee that you’ll be paying quite the hefty sum for a stay at a hotel. Staying at Little India or Chinatown is a great alternative. Both places have many hostels and easy access to some of the best hawker centers in town. Little India and Chinatown are both teeming with character, filled with interesting tourist spots within walking distance.


5) Take advantage of the free activities available all year round.


Looking for something to do? You’ll be spoilt for choice in Singapore! Singapore offers lots of free activities all year round to suit all kinds of interests! Are you in need of a culture fix? The city has lots of galleries that are free of admission. In fact, the Singapore Art Museum offers free admission on Fridays, from 6 pm onwards. Are you into live music? The Esplanade often features local bands at nighttime, the perfect soundtrack as you soak in the sights. For more activities, check out our article on How You Can Enjoy Singapore Without Spending Any Money.


6) Check out a festival.


Regardless of the time of year you’re visiting, there’s always some kind of festival taking place. The Buskers Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore Night Festival – all offer interesting activities and entertainment for free! For more information, check out yoursingapore.com for listings.


7) Try not to shop.


Yes, the rumors are true. Singapore is expensive. In fact, it was nominated last year as the most expensive city in the world. However, this shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting – all you have to do is be smart about what you spend money on.

Singapore is probably one of the few countries in Southeast Asia where you shouldn’t stock up on personal items like toiletries and clothes. If you’re on a budget, avoid shopping in malls or convenience stores. You’re better off stocking up in your own home country!


8) Wear comfortable shoes.


If you don’t mind the heat, Singapore is a great place to walk. Almost everything is walking distance, especially if you have a good pair of comfortable shoes. Go on, explore the city on foot! You never know what you might discover!


9) Skip the touristy activities.


Nothing’s more overpriced than something that has “tourist” written all over it. The “Singapore Sling”, those boat rides around Boat Quay – expensive! If you want a taste of the real Singapore, put on those comfortable shoes and get walking. Head over to the nearest hawker center or just pick an area of interest and explore it on foot. There’s no need to break the bank if you want to explore Singapore.


10) Drink local kopi or teh tarik.


Forget Starbucks and those expensive lattes with fancy art. If you want a decent cup of strong coffee for less than $2, grab a kopi at a drink stall instead. Order like a local and ask for “kopi bing” or iced coffee. It will surely quench your thirst on the hottest days. They’re also a great way to get your blood pumping before an awesome Muay Thai class.


There’s no doubt about it, Singapore is the place to be, even if you’re on a budget. Despite being one of the most expensive countries to visit in Southeast Asia, there are plenty of activities to suit every price range.

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