Singapore is a beautiful destination that seemingly manages to pack all of the best features into one island. All of the amenities you’d expect from a world-class city are merged with natural reserves and beaches, well-preserved cultural attractions, and contributions from a melting pot of different cultures, offering something for everybody to enjoy.
Still, one thing many visitors observe is that the cost of living here can be pretty steep. If you’re not careful, dining out and visiting all the must-see places each day can hurt your pockets. Thankfully, if you look closely, you’ll find a lot of ways to explore and enjoy the city within a reasonable budget. Here are a few basic tips for your affordable travels.
Choose your location
Despite its size, the island nation is packed with attractions and activities. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because Singapore is smaller than a lot of other top destinations, you’ll easily be able to visit everything from where you’re located.
If you try to scamper across Singapore haphazardly, you’ll find that much of your time is spent travelling from one point to another. Instead, identify the top places you want to visit and group them together based on location, and try to find accommodations within the area. And be prepared to leave off some attractions for your next visit.
There’s an endless variety of great places to eat in Singapore. Whatever your food craving, you’re surely going to find something here to satisfy your appetite. And if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of ways to eat smart. Scout out lunch deals, online discounts, and other promotions to enjoy fine dining at affordable prices.
It’s no secret you can also find excellent meals at hawker centres. Although you’ll have to deal with heat, humidity, and long lines at busy hours, these are clean and organised areas with stalls offering a wide range of international cuisines. If there’s one nearby, it could easily become your go-to stop for cheap eats.
Plan your travel
Many people navigate Singapore below ground whenever possible. Walking can get you around, but the heat and humidity on a typical day out can really wear you down. On the other hand, train costs can add up pretty quickly.
Similar to how you should try to find accommodations within the vicinity of your preferred attractions, try to organise your daily activities within a few areas each time. That way you can take a single trip on the MRT, exit the station and walk about, and head back after seeing and doing everything on your list.
You can also save some places for the evenings when the lights can make for a truly enhanced experience. Viewing the Merlion or the Bayfront from or across Marina Bay Sands, or the illuminations at Gardens by the Bay can be much better than seeing them by day – with cooler outdoor temperatures as a bonus.
Look for free attractions
There are plenty of awesome attractions in Singapore, and not all of them require you to shell out additional cash. While you’ve probably got some must-see destinations on your list, once you’re in the neighbourhood, look around or do a quick search online and you might find something unexpected nearby you can visit for free. Starting with Changi Airport, for instance, upon arrival, you can easily spend a half-day or more exploring its world-famous amenities and features.
Whatever you’re up to in Singapore, there are many ways to customise your experience to suit your budget and tastes. Enjoy your stay, and know that it’s perfectly normal to come back for more.