How to Travel Singapore with $30 per Day: Budget-Friendly Tips and Tricks

How to Travel Singapore with $30 per Day: Budget-Friendly Tips and Tricks


Singapore, a bustling city-state known for its stunning skyline and vibrant culture, can be an expensive destination for travelers.

However, with local knowledge andintelligent planning, it’s possible to explore this tropical paradise on a budget of just $30 per day.

As a Singapore resident and travel enthusiast, I’m eager to share my insider tips to help tourists make the most of their visit without breaking the bank.

Planning Your Budget: Making Every Dollar Count

Understanding Daily Costs in Singapore

I understand the importance of budgeting while exploring Singapore and other Asian countries. On average, the daily cost of travel in Singapore can range from S$98 to S$300, depending on your preferences and itinerary.

By carefully selecting accommodation, dining, and transportation options, you can plan a trip with a budget of S$30 per day. We will provide some tips for making every Singapore dollar count during your visit.

Accommodation Options on a Budget

Accommodation can be pretty pricey in Singapore. However, there are budget-friendly options available for travelers.

Hostels offer dormitory-style rooms and range from S$15 to S$25 per night. Affordable hotels and Airbnb options can cost around S$30 to S$50 per night, while more upscale hotels can double or quadruple that price.

For an even cheaper alternative, consider Couchsurfing—a platform where locals offer travelers a spare couch or bed—for accessible accommodations and a unique experience with Singapore residents.

Price Comparison Table:

Accommodation Type Average Price (SGD)
Hostel 15 – 25
Budget Hotel/Airbnb 30 – 50
Upscale Hotel 60 – 100+
Couchsurfing (Free Option) 0


Eating in Singapore for Less

Food is essential to the Singapore experience, and it’s easy to find delicious options that won’t break the bank.

Hawker centers should be your go-to choice for meals. These food courts are home to various stalls selling diverse, authentic dishes at budget-friendly prices. Expect to spend around S$5 to S$10 per meal at a hawker center.

The best hawker centers can be found in Chinatown, Tiong Bahru, and Lau Pa Sat.

Cafes and small eateries offer meals for S$10 to S$30, whereas restaurants may charge between S$20 to S$100 or more per person.

Budget food options:

  1. Hawker centres: S$5 – S$10 per meal
  2. Cafes/Small eateries: S$10 – S$30 per meal
  3. Restaurants: S$20 – S$100+ per meal

Don’t be afraid to explore various hawker centers and try new foods! Myfavorite dishes include Hainanese chicken rice, Laksa, and even the Hokkien Noodle!

Getting Around: Transportation Tips

Singapore’s Public Transport Network

Singapore is renowned for its efficient and well-connected public transport system, which includes the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), buses, and taxis. Based on my experience, I highly recommend getting an EZ-Linkcard, which offers a seamless way to travel on public transport in Singapore.

Transport Type Price Range Pros Cons
MRT $0.83 – $2.08 Fast, efficient, widespread Crowded during peak hours
Buses $0.83 – $2.00 Extensive network Slower compared to MRT
Taxis $3.20 – $50+ Comfortable, door-to-door Higher cost, traffic during peak times
Ride-Hailing $6 – $50+ Convenient, door-to-door Surge pricing during high-demand periods

I’ve found that the MRT and buses are cost-effective options for tourists on a budget, and they cover most of the popular attractions in Singapore.

Taxis and ride-hailing apps like Grab can be convenient for short trips or late-night outings when public transport is less frequent.

Rememberthat taxi fares and ride-hailing prices can add up quickly.

Affordable Alternatives to Paid Transport

Exploring Singapore on foot is another great option, mainly because the city-state is known for its clean and pedestrian-friendly streets.

Walking can be a great way to discover hidden gems, experience vibrant culture, and save money on transportation.

Many popular destinations, like the Marina Bay area, are easily accessible by foot and offer well-maintained pathways.

Bicycles and e-scooters are also options for getting around in certain areas, with several bike-sharing and e-scooter rental apps available for an affordable fee.

However, cycling and e-scooters are not allowed on pedestrian walkways, so follow local rules and regulations.

Free and Low-Cost Attractions

Exploring the Cultural Enclaves

One of the best ways to experience Singapore on a budget is by exploring its cultural enclaves, such as Little India and Chinatown. Both neighborhoods are free to wander around, offering an authentic taste of Singapore’s diverse communities and rich history.

In Little India, for example, you can visit beautiful temples like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, taste delicious Indian food at affordable prices, and shop for colorful textiles.

Meanwhile, Chinatown is home to the stunning Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and the vibrant night market, where you can indulge in local cuisine and find unique souvenirs.

Gardens and Green Spaces

Singapore is also known for its gardens and green spaces, which offer free and low-cost activities for visitors of all ages. A must-see is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts over 10,000 species of flora.

Its convenient location near the Orchard Road shopping belt is the perfect place for a relaxing stroll or picnic.

Another great option for nature lovers is the Southern Ridges, a 10-kilometer trail that offers stunning views of Singapore’s skyline and coastline. This scenic walk is not only free but also an excellent opportunity to witness a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Gardens by the Bay, where you can admire the Supertree Grove and the Flower Dome, which does require an entrance fee but is worth the expense for its breathtaking displays.

Attraction Comparison Table

Attraction Admission Fee Best For
Little India Free Culture, food, shopping
Chinatown Free Temples, night markets, food
Botanic Gardens Free Nature, relaxation, picnics
Southern Ridges Free Scenic walks, nature, photography
Gardens by the Bay Free + Paid for certain attractions Iconic landscapes, flora displays

Where to Stay: Accommodations Within Your Budget

Hostels and Budget Hotels

As a local Singaporean and an avid traveler, I understand the struggles of finding affordable accommodations in the city. Singapore offers a variety of budget-friendly options, such as hostels and budget hotels for travelers.

A bed in a large dorm typically costs around 25-48 SGD per night. Meanwhile, a private room in a budget hotel can range from 60-100 SGD. Many hostels provide free WiFi and complimentary breakfast.

Some of the best options to consider for budget-conscious tourists are:

  • ABC Hostel: Located in vibrant Kampong Glam, this popular hostel offers clean dorms and private rooms.
  • Rucksack Inn: With multiple branches across Singapore, this hostel chain provides cozy accommodations at an affordable price.
  • Fragrance Hotels: This budget hotel chain offers clean, private rooms for travelersseeking more convenience and privacy.

Remember that booking in advance and during off-peak seasons may yield better deals.

Eating on a Budget: Hawker Centres and Street Food

Local Dining Experiences

Singapore is a food lover’s paradise, offering various cuisines at affordable prices. One of the best ways to experience authentic Singaporean cuisine on a budget is through hawker centers and street food.

These bustling open-air food courts boast various food stalls serving irresistibly delicious and budget-friendly meals.

Some popular hawker centers you should check include Chinatown Complex Market, Maxwell Food Centre, and East Coast Lagoon Food Village.

You can find dishes like nasi lemak, Ipoh hor fun, the famous Singapore chili crab at these centers.

Here is a brief comparison of the costs at some popular hawker centers and street food vendors in Singapore:

Food Items Average Price Range (SGD)
Nasi Lemak 3.50 – 5.00
Chili Crab 15.00 – 20.00
Michelin Star Hawker Meal 3.00 – 7.00

Supermarket Meals and Self-Catering Options

While hawker centers provide a unique dining experience, another cost-effective option for travelers is to purchase ingredients from supermarkets and cook their meals.

Singapore hasvarious supermarkets and grocery stores, such as NTUC FairPrice and Cold Storage, where you can find reasonably priced fresh produce, meats, and packaged food products.

If you’re staying at an accommodation with a kitchen, preparing some of your meals can help reduce your daily expenses and allow you to try making Singaporean dishes.

Don’t hesitate to visit local wet markets as well.

There, you can find fresh ingredients and experience the lively atmosphere. Some popular markets in Singaporeinclude Tiong Bahru Market, Tekka Centre, and Geylang Serai Market.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most cost-effective modes of transportation in Singapore?

Singapore has an excellent public transportation system, including buses and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. Using public transportation is the most accessible and affordable way to get around.

Can I find budget accommodation in Singapore for less than $30 daily?

Finding budget accommodation in Singapore is possible, but expect to lower your standards.

You can find hostel dorm beds for S$30-40 per night.

Remember that location is essential when choosing your accommodation – staying near an MRT station will make your trips more comfortable and cost-effective.

What are cheap but satisfying local food options in Singapore?

Singapore’s hawker centers are famous for their diverse and affordable food options. Visit popular hawker centers like Lau Pa Sat and Maxwell Food Centre to try budget-friendly dishes.

You can expect to spend around daily on meals. Singapore’s diverse culture offers a wide range of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Malay dishes, giving you a variety of options.

How can I enjoy Singapore’s attractions with a limited budget?

Singapore has several free or low-cost attractions. For example, you can visit Singapore Botanic Gardens, Fort Canning Park, and the iconic Merlion and Gardens by the Bay without spending much.

Many museums and galleries offer free admission, while others have discounted hours or days. Doing research in advance can help you save money while still experiencing Singapore’s vibrant cultural scene.

What are the best free activities to do in Singapore?

Singapore has numerous public parks and gardens that you can explore for free, like the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay. Stroll along Singapore’s iconic waterfront and soak in the stunning views.

Additionally, you can experience local cultural events like street performances and various religious festivals throughout the year.

How do you manage daily expenses in Singapore within a $30 budget?

To manage daily expenses within a $30 budget, prioritize using public transportation, eating at hawker centers, and seeking out free activities.

Plan your itinerary wisely, focusing on visiting budget-friendly attractions and taking advantage of available discounts or free admission days.

Doing prior research, such as understanding transportation costs and local food options, will help you better manage your budget while still enjoying what Singapore offers