Singapore seems to be one of the most expensive places in Asia to travel to. Most people hesitate to travel in Singapore fearing that they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Here are some tips on how to travel to Singapore without breaking the bank.
There are plenty of options in this very touristy country. If you have the money, you could either stay in nice Singapore Hotels if you want to pamper yourself or you could stay in Singapore Airport Hotels if you want to be close to the airport. Or if you’re like me who does not have much money in my pocket, I stay in cheap hostels.
Tip: Go to Little India or Bugis. It’s near various markets and malls and there’s a lot of backpacker’s hostels and affordable hotels to choose from. There’s a lot of watering holes as well where you could interact with fellow backpackers. And there are lots of nice Indian restaurants too.
Flick Creative Commons Attribution Pic by Icemoon
There are four major low cost carriers that fly to Singapore from other South East Asian countries. These carriers often have promotions that you can always take advantage of.
1. Cebu Pacific Air
2. Air Asia
3. Tiger Airways
Once you get here in Singapore, local transportation is pretty neat and easy. The trains and buses can practically get you to most of the tourist attractions. As soon as you arrive in the airport, buy your EZ Link card and top it up. You can use it to pay the train and bus fare.
Tip: Take the bus. It’s cheaper though slower because of many stops. But it’ll give you a nice view of Singapore’s local life.
Flick Creative Commons Attribution Pic by Nate Robert
Food does not need to be expensive. And the cheapest way to satisfy your hunger is by eating in the hawker center. It’s like a cluster of smaller eateries that you’ll usually find near the MRT station and some malls. The food varies from Chinese, Indian to Malay cuisine. Some even serves western delicacies.
Tip: My favourite is the Iced Coffee. Instead of creamer they add condensed milk which makes it sweet. A plate of rice with 2 viands (vegetable and meat) would cost you around S$2.00-S$2.90. And don’t miss the S$1 Ice Cream bar with wafer or bread that you’ll find along Orchard.
Flick Creative Commons Attribution Pic by Stephen Barnett
This is the main reason why most tourists flock to Singapore, to shop and shop and shop. I haven’t gone around that much yet but here are the best shopping areas that you can go to.
1. Mustafa (in Little India): They say this market offers the cheapest souvenirs and some chocolates. You can also find some gadgets and clothes in this market.
2. Bugis Market: From Little India, you can just walk straight and past Sim Lim Mall and it’ll lead you to Bugis Junction. This market offers a lot of trendy clothes, bags and accessories for the young ones.
3. Orchard Road: If you have the money to burn then this is your place. You can find all the designer labels along this road. Now this place might really break your bank.
4. Sim Lim Mall: For cheap gadgets. I’ve bought some a few years back and they were uber cheap. I never had any problems with them too. The only drawback would be, sometimes some sellers are really pushy. Some people that I met also recommend Funan as the best place to buy your gadgets from.
Tip: Go here in July for the Great Singapore Sale!
Surprisingly there are many places to go to that will not cost you that much. Here are my top 5 picks:
1. Clark Quay: Buy your drinks from 7-11 and sit beside the river banks and watch people as they pass by.
2. Esplanade and Merlion Park: Take a picture of Singapore’s famous landmark, the Merlion and marvel at the grandeur of Marina Bay Sands.
3. Little India and Chinatown: Stroll down Little India and Chinatown to experience Singapore’s diverse cultural heritage.
4. Sentosa: Watch the Lake of Dreams light and water show in Sentosa (A trip to Sentosa from Vivo City would only cost you S$3.)
5. Casinos: Singapore has nice casinos that you can go to. As a tourist you don’t have to pay anything to get in. Go to Marina Bay Sands or Sentosa and sign up for their free membership.The membership card entitles you to some discounts on their hotels and restaurants and the card itself is a nice souvenir too. Oh, coffee and milk tea are free.
Tip: Bring a bottle of water so you wouldn’t have to buy along the way. You can also make a sandwich before you leave your hostel. This would definitely be cheaper.
What’s your best cheapskate tip for Singapore?