Singapore on a Budget

Useful insights for our dear budget travelers

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When it comes to travelling Asia, Singapore is undoubtedly one of the top picks. However, being the most expensive city in the world, you often feel the need to wait until the entire universe be in your favor. Because, you know? Budget.

There are actually tons of ways to see the wonders of the Lion City without leaving that much holes in your pockets. Don’t believe me? Well, just read on.

1. Don’t buy the Singapore Tourist Pass

The Singapore Tourist Pass is similar to the EZ-Link card. However, it allows for unlimited rides depending on the type of card purchased (i.e. one, two, or three-day variants). Note that a one-day pass costs SGD10 plus an additional SGD10 that can be refunded after returning the card. So basically, you need to take four or five rides on the MRT per day to break even.

So if your itinerary involves lots of walking, an EZ-Link card will do. For more details, click here.

(image from http://www.ezlink.com.sg)
2. Enjoy the free attractions

There are a lot of majestic sights to see in Singapore… for FREE! From the architecturally grandiose structures, to the rustic and hipster nooks; every corner will not disappoint.

Cultural Walk (Chinatown – Little India – Kampong Glam)

Singapore is the embodiment of a true cultural melting pot. Visiting the suggested areas will give you first hand tastes of the rich cultural diversity stemming from the Chinese, Indian, and Malay roots. Again, this suggestion is very budget friendly (i.e. no entrance fees required).

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
The majestic Sultan Mosque
Graffiti at Haji Lane
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Clark Quay

I recommend you visit this place at night because the lights are just amazing! Sure there are lots of activities to do in the area (i.e. river cruise, shopping, wine and dine, etc.). But just sitting by the river and watching the world go by (i.e. while sipping a cold bottle of beer); sometimes it’s all you need to experience priceless moments.

The colors of Clark Quay
Street performer in Clark Quay
Merlion Park

Well, your Singapore trip is not really complete without a selfie with the iconic Merlion. But the thing is, the park is EXTREMELY crowded and you can not have a photograph without a photobomber. My advice? Try visiting in the morning. There is less crowd and the weather is more likely to better as well.

Singapore’s Merlion
Mandatory group shot
Happy people on the Helix Bridge
Marina Bay Sands

If you’re a fan of architecture, visiting this place is a must. Admiring the flawless facade and that one-of-a-kind structure can surely take your breath away. You can also go inside and check the interiors (i.e. no fees apply). Going up the Sky Park and Observation Deck require not so cheap fees though. For more details, click here.

Architecturally flawless MBS
The amazing interiors of the MBS
View from the MBS roofdeck

Also, be sure to catch Spectra which is a free-to-public outdoor light and water show displayed over the water at the Event Plaza along the promenade. For more details, click here.

Gardens by the Bay

The Outdoor Gardens and The Far East Organization Organization Children’s Garden can be accessed for FREE. And if you think that there’s not much to see in these sites because they are free, you are mistaken! In the Outdoor Gardens alone, you can visit five garden sections: Supertree Grove, Sun Pavillion, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants, and the Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes. For more information, click here.

The enchanting Garden Rhapsody
The Super Trees

If you have time, there is a free Garden Rhapsody show where the Super Trees illuminate and dance with surreal instrumentals. For details, click here.

Sentosa Beaches

When you reach the end of the Sentosa Merlion Walk, just walk a little straight ahead to reach the beach. On the right is the Siloso beach and on the other end is the Palawan beach. Both beaches are free! Though I don’t recommend swimming because the water is a bit murky; the scenery alone is enough to give you the chill vibes.

Palawan Beach
Quick dip fix
The hanging bridge
Orchard Road

If you’re not really into shopping, you may still want to consider passing by the Orchard Road. There are lots of activities in the area. From the must try street food (e.g. wafer ice cream) to the different busking performances; there’s just so much to see in this place.

Victoria’s Secret models
Buskers in Orchard
Street performer
The busy Orchard Road
3. Take advantage of free tours

At the Changi Airport, you can ask the concierge for available free tours. In our case, when we purchased our transportation cards, the personnel offered us free passes for a heritage walk tour as well. For details, click here.

Heritage walk tour
4. Check on discounts and deals

I used Klook in booking our Universal Studio tickets. Not only did we get discounted tickets, we also got meal and merchandise vouchers. How cool is that?

Image by Klook
5. Stay with your family or friends

If people dear to you are settled in Singapore, it’s an obvious decision that you should stay with them. Not only will  you save on accommodation costs, you will also get the chance to spend time with your precious loved ones. Not to mention, hosts (i.e. almost 100% of the time) automatically turn into tourist guides – something that is really convenient for travelers!

So there you have it, guise. These are my top recommendations so you can enjoy the Lion City without breaking the bank. Because as the saying goes, “The best things in life are free. The rest are too expensive.”
Happy travels! 🙂

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