As one of the most expensive cities in the world, Singapore is not at the top of most budget travellers’ bucket lists. However, it is still possible to enjoy the city, even if you can’t afford to shop in the Orchard Road designer showrooms or eat in the celebrity chef restaurants. Yes, even on $50.00 a day – and we’re talking Singapore Dollars here, where $50.00 is only the equivalent of around $40.00 USD – you can eat, sleep and sightsee in Singapore.
If you only have $50.00 a day to spend in Singapore, then your best bet would be to take a dorm room at Sleepy Sam’s in the Arab Quarter. This will swallow up $28.00 of your budget, but this price includes your breakfast, and free internet.
Luckily public transport is very cheap in Singapore. Tickets on the MRT (subway) start at just $1.00 and rarely go above $2.00, and buses are even cheaper. As Singapore is a compact city, you also can walk fairly easily from one area to another, which is of course FREE!
Eating & Drinking
Firstly, tap water is safe to drink in Singapore, which saves you (and the environment) from shelling out on bottled water. The cheapest places to eat are the hawker centres, Singapore’s version of street food. Here you will find an enormous choice of dishes, all going at anywhere between $3.00 and $8.00 a dish. With most bars charging around $14.00 for a pint of beer, the hawker centres are also the cheapest place to buy yourself a can of Tiger – but even here it will set you back around $5.00, so you’re not going to get drunk on $50.00 a day in Singapore!
Most of the main tourist attractions such as the Singapore Zoo, or the Singapore Flyer will be outside your budget. However, if you forgo that Tiger Beer at dinner, you might be able to afford entry to the National Museum of Singapore ($10.00), the Asian Civilisations Museum ($8.00) or Fort Siloso ($8.00), to gain an understanding of the history and culture of Singapore.
And if you have a spare $5.00 left over, a visit to National Orchid Garden within the Botanic Gardens is well worth the splurge. Of course walking around taking in the sights need not cost you anything, and entrance to the temples and national parks is free. See also our blog post on the Best Free Things in Singapore to help stretch your $50.00 even further.