Singapore is known as an expensive city for travelers. But is this true? We decided quite spontaneously to spend a weekend in Singapore and kept track of all our expenses. Here’s a clear overview of the money we’ve spent in Singapore in the 3/4 days we were in the city.
We just came from Malaysian Borneo and decided we needed a change of scenery. Singapore was a perfect little getaway for us and allowed us to go back to Kuala Lumpur by train.
During all of our trips, we like to stay within a certain budget. We’re definitely not ultimate budget travelers, but we don’t like to spend more money than we need to. You might call us flashpackers 😉 .
What did we spend during a weekend in Singapore?
As I mentioned before we like traveling as cheap as possible, but with a little luxury from time to time. So no dorm rooms for us. In Singapore, we did visit some of the more expensive sights like Gardens by the Bay and the Art Science museum. But we didn’t eat in restaurants or drank any alcohol. Here’s an overview of what we spend:
- Accomodation: $195 (3 nights)
- Food: $118
- Transportation: $75,50
- Sightseeing: $69
- Other: $28
In total we’ve spent $485,50 for three nights and four days in Singapore, not including flights. But including two train tickets to Johor Bharu (Malaysia) for $8,25. Which means we’ve spent $121,38 a day for two persons and $60,70 per person per day.
We stayed in the Cube boutique capsule hotel in Kampong Glam. This is actually a semi dorm with separate capsules. We paid about 65 dollars a night for a two-person capsule including breakfast. The capsule was ok. Not at all soundproof (like they said it would be), but plenty of storage room below the capsule to safely store your bags and a comfortable bed.
If you want, there are cheaper and of course more expensive accommodations available.
The food in Singapore really surprised us. We thought it would be very expensive, but it wasn’t all that bad. Of course, spending $118 is still quite a lot but we just ate anything we felt like. And a big part of our food budget was spent on our last morning. When we’d decided to skip the hostel breakfast and go to a super popular breakfast place close by: Tolido’s Espresso Nook. Breakfast here set us back almost 32 dollars. But it was worth it!
Other than that, we mostly ate at different hawker centers. You can find these all over Singapore, and they’re basically just street food joints put together in one building. A meal here costs about 11 – 17 dollars for two persons. During the day we often bought sweet and savory pieces of bread in one of the many bread shops. It’s not as good as European bread, but it will do 🙂
Our first day in Singapore, we mostly used Grab. But later we found out it’s cheaper to use public transport. You can get a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited travel by bus or MRT (Mass Rapid Transport). They have one day ($7,38), two days ($11,80) or three days ($14,75) passes, so you can pick one depending on how long you’ll be in the city. You’ll have to pay $7,38 for the card, which you’ll get back when you return the card when you’re leaving Singapore.
Because we didn’t want to spend too much money, we decided to just do two of Singapore’s famous sights. We really wanted to see the Cloud Forest and the Flower Dome in Gardens by the Bay, so we paid SGD 56 for two tickets. Those tickets are valid the whole day so you can walk in and out as many times you’d like (make sure to get a stamp though). We also wanted to do the SkyWalk, but unfortunately, it was closed due to possible thunderstorms. If you do get a ticket for the Skywalk you can only enter once. You’ll have to pay 8? SGD every time you want to go up.
We also visited the Art Science museum. Tickets cost SGD 19 each, but to be honest we were a bit disappointed by the size of this museum. If you’re on a tight budget, I’d recommend skipping it.
Other things we spend money on in Singapore, is renting bikes on Pulau Ubin (24 SGD), getting a cup of coffee and buying a bottle of water. Totals add up to 28 dollars.
Can you visit Singapore on a budget?
Because of all the horror stories on how expensive Singapore is, we were so surprised by the prices. We think you CAN visit this gorgeous Asian city on a budget. However, do keep in mind that your budget needs to be slightly higher than in other countries in SE Asia. If you want to spend a weekend in Singapore on a tight budget, this is probably what you’ll spend in a day:
- Hostel: $30 a night
- Food: $8 – 10
- Transportation: $5
- Activities: $0
Which means you can travel around Singapore for about $45 a day. Pretty cheap, right?
Free things to do in Singapore
One of the things you can save massively on is Singapore’s sights. The things you do in Singapore can really take a big bite out of your budget. Luckily, there are also a lot of free things you can do in this city. We’ll talk about this more elaborate in a different blog, but this should give you an idea:
- Walk around town
- Explore the free part of Gardens by the Bay (not the Cloud Forest or Flower Dome)
- Enjoy the Gardens by the Bay light show
- Enjoy the Marina Bay Sands light show
- Take a walk across the Formula 1 track
- Go window shopping in Shoppes
- Wander thru Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam
- Walk between the trees at the Mac Ritchie Reservoir
- Photograph that famous skyline at dawn from the pathway in front of Esplanades or the Helix bridge
- Enjoy a free show at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
- Relax at Sentosa’s beaches
What is a decent budget for a weekend in Singapore?
I’d say our budget of about $500 will be just fine if you don’t want to go all out but do want to enjoy some of Singapore’s famous sights. You can save a bit on the accommodation if you just want a bed to sleep in. If you want a private room, you’ll pay at least 75 dollars a night. And if you’re willing to spend more money, well really the sky is the limit in Singapore. Quite literally actually, as a room in the famous Marina Bay Sands will set you back at least $300.
So, is traveling in Singapore expensive?
Even though we’ve spent more than we did in Malaysia for instance, it is still possible to travel on a tight budget in Singapore. And it’s way cheaper than a city trip in Europe for instance. There are many free things to do, you can get around town for 20 SGD for three days with a tourist pass and you can eat delicious food for little money in one of the hawker centers. So I’d say Singapore is no budget destination, but it definitely doesn’t have to be as expensive as a lot of people claim it to be!
How about you? Have you ever been to Singapore?
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means that we receive a small fee if you purchase something through these links. No worries, you pay no extra money for this!