Nov 27 2012
It’s no secret that Singapore is an expensive city to be a tourist — especially by Southeast Asia standards. Here are some tips to get the most bang for your Sing-dollar during your time here.
Accommodation will be your biggest expense in Singapore and a private room with en-suite bathroom will set you back at least S$100 a night, and even then it’ll be the size of a shoebox. That said, even if you’re “not really a hostel person”, Singapore might be the place to reconsider. Singapore hostels are excellent value and average about S$22 per night for a bunk, light breakfast and internet access. I’ve previously written about Singapore’s cheapest hostels, but my all-around recommendations would be Little Red Dot Hostel or The Inn Crowd. Alternatively, Singapore has an active Couchsurfing.org community so you could try to crash with a local for free.
Thanks to Singapore’s abundant hawker centres, eating is as tasty as it is affordable. At a price of S$3-5 you’ll have dozens of delicious options including chicken rice, char kway teow and laksa soup. Eating at hawker centres is just as affordable as self-catering, and I recently showed it’s possible to eat three meals a day in Singapore on a budget of S$10.
Singapore does have some excellent restaurants, so if there is one you’re dying to try go at lunchtime when most offer a multi-course set lunch that’s significantly better value than dinner.
Singapore’s high tax on alcohol means that drinking is an expensive activity – you may want to give your liver a break while you’re here. If you just can’t resist a cold beer on a hot day (we don’t blame you), the cheapest place to get one is at a hawker centre where locally-brewed Tiger Beer will set you back about S$5.20 for a large bottle.
Bars and nightclubs charge significantly more, so try to hit the popular watering holes at Clarke Quay from 18:00–20:00 to take advantage of happy hour promotions. You’ll still be paying upwards of S$15 for a drink, but at least the next one will be free. Female visitors can take advantage of ladies night’ every Wednesday when most bars offer free entry and free drinks until midnight.
Eager for even more tips how to save money during your trip to Singapore? Part 2 will cover transportation, sightseeing, shopping and the cheapest way to keep in touch with your friends and family back home.
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