Singapore is an expensive city by anyone’s standards and so is often avoided by budget travellers. Yes, beer costs around USD$12.00 a pint, and the shops are full of designer goodies that most people can’t afford, but it is possible to visit Singapore on a budget. And to prove it to you, we’ve found a selection of things to do that are absolutely FREE.
Firstly, sightseeing doesn’t need to cost you anything. Singapore is a compact city so you can walk around much of it if you’re fit (and there’s always the ultra-cheap MRT to get from one area to another). The Colonial District can easily be explored in an hour or so. Start at Merlion Park, follow the river to Raffles Landing Point and then make your way up the Padang to Raffles Hotel.
Chinatown is another area easily explored on foot. There are several temples worth visiting, including the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, Thian Hock Keng Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple. A visit to the wet market in the basement of the Chinatown Complex won’t cost you a penny either (if you choose not to buy anything) but is a great insight into local life.
If nature is more your thing, the Botanic Gardens make an ideal escape from the bustle of the city. Its many winding paths, manicured lawns, and 4 hectares of preserved rainforest belie its city centre location. Further afield, the well signposted trails of the MacRitchie Reservoir Park enable you to get in amongst some of the lush tropical rainforest that once covered the island of Singapore. The highlight is the 10.5km HSBC TreeTop Walk which takes you over a 25m high suspension bridge to admire the rainforest canopy.