Singapore for Budgeteers

Waterfront Concert in Singapore

For those with money, Singapore feels like an unending list of awesome things to do. Stroll along the Marina Bay Sands’ unbelievable SkyPark balanced across the tops of three adjacent skyscrapers. Take in the exhibition of Salvador Dali’s works at the ArtScience Museum. Or better yet, Van Gogh’s. Try the G-MAX Reverse Bungee or the GX-5 Xtreme swing at Clark Quay. Spot nocturnal animals in the Night Safari Park. Or, if you have an extra hour on your hands, learn to pilot a commercial airliner at the very unique Flight Experience. For those with bucks to burn, Singapore is the ultimate playground. But what about us budgeteers?

Well, Singapore is definitely worth a couple of splurges for long-term travelers. But those on a budget will find the city offers many free or inexpensive activities which are just as great as those with a hefty entry fee. Here’s a list to get you started:

1. Discover the city’s amazing modern architecture. From the new Marina Bay Sands complex on the waterfront to Ion Mall on Orchard Road to Henderson Waves Bridge in the Southern Ridges Park, Singapore is the ultimate stop for architecture buffs. FREE

2. Sample the local cuisine in the city’s hopping food courts and inexpensive outdoor markets. Before you gasp in horror, Singapore’s food courts can be surprisingly good and we discovered some excellent takes on several hard-to-find traditional foods. INEXPENSIVE

3. Temple hop and explore the backstreets in colorful Little India and manic Chinatown. FREE (For an extra dollar you can throw in a mango lassi.)

4. Visit Singapore’s sprawling Botanic Gardens, Tripadvisor’s top-ranked attraction in Singapore. FREE

5. Experience Singapore’s spectacular waterfront attractions by taking an evening stroll from the Marina Bay Sands complex over the Helix Bridge along the Esplanade via the Merlion statue and Boat Quay to Clarke Quay. FREE

6. Take in a free concert at Singapore’s outdoor concert complex at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. FREE

7. Window shop and people watch along Orchard Road and explore the street’s bustling mega-malls. FREE

8. Sample the local fare at Geylang’s inexpensive local restaurants, said to have some of the best street food in Singapore. INEXPENSIVE

9. See what Singapore looked like long before the development in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Where else can you take a city bus to the jungle? FREE

10. Explore the town’s colonial district and drop by the Raffle’s Hotel Arcade to take in a little of the hotel’s colonial vibe. FREE

Raffles Hotel in Singapore

6 responses to “Singapore for Budgeteers”

  1. avatar Greeneyes says:

    This list of things to do at minimal or no cost is a great tool to take along for a trip to Singapore.
    Will you be considering making any more such lists for areas you intend to visit or have already visited?

    • avatar Thomas says:

      Room rates are definitely the highest we’ve seen in Asia. Being on a budget, we paid about $60 U.S. for a small, clean double with bathroom, A/C and free WiFi.

  2. avatar Evelyn says:

    How long did you say you’re staying in Singapore?! 😉 Just when I’ve been plotting a return to sub-Saharan Africa, you tempt me with Singapore, where I’ve never been?

  3. avatar Tony says:

    @ Laurelle, It’s hard to find anything below $50 US, even in the Red Light district. Dorms (often with bed bugs) are available for around $15-20 per person.

    @ Evelyn, Real time, we are already back in Indonesia 🙂

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