Counting your pennies? Read on
How do you choose a hostel in Singapore? Do you research which one has the friendliest atmosphere or is closest to the MRT, or do you just book the best deal you can find?
As a budget traveller myself, I can empathise that sometimes it all comes down to the numbers, especially in Singapore where prices in general can be higher than elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Little India is the epicentre of Singapore’s budget accommodation, including the cheapest beds in the whole city at Ali’s Nest. The homestay vibe won’t appeal to everyone, but with dorms at S$12 you can’t expect too much. If you’re optimistic this is a chance to save some money and interact with a local family, but you do have to walk through their living room to reach the slightly squalid dorm room. For a more traditional hostel experience you can’t go wrong with a night at The Inn Crowd. S$20 gets you a bed in their mixed dorm plus fresh linens, a locker, internet access, and a cook-it-yourself breakfast of toast and eggs.
On the outskirts of Little India toward the Bugis area you’ll find the Green Kiwi Hostel where a bed in a mixed dorm will set you back a mere S$20 on a weekday. The hostel is squeaky-clean and has a cool rooftop terrace, but they charge extra for a towel or locker and rates rise S$2 on weekends. A few doors down on the same road is the Little Red Dot Hostel. A night in their dorm costs S$20-28 depending on the season and size of the room, but if you take advantage of their free internet, breakfast, and hang-out areas you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. However, this area’s biggest bargain is the S$18 dorm beds at Backpacker Cozy Corner. This hostel has a perfect location beside the Bugis MRT station, but negatives are noise, rundown facilities, and indifferent service.
For a warmer welcome try Service World Hostel in Chinatown. It’s a simple set-up with a small apartment converted into a hostel, but S$20 gets you a clean bed, continental breakfast, and use of the guest computers. It also has the advantage of being right beside some of the best food in Singapore at the Maxwell Hawker Centre.
If you don’t mind being outside the city centre there are some bargains to be found in eastern Singapore. Another apartment-turned-hostel, Axis Hostel / 98 SG (they’re one and the same) charges as little as S$14 for a spot in their six-bed dorm. Thankfully the hostel looks much better inside than out and is literally a one-minute walk from Aljunied MRT. In terms of facilities and freebies, The Betel Box Hostel is one of Singapore’s greatest deals. Rates start from S$20 and include breakfast, internet, use of their fitness centre, and free tours like their famous Food Walk.
Many of Singapore’s cheapest hostels have also teamed up with the Beesy Bus, the cheapest way to get to Changi Airport, which costs S$8 in either direction.
Ali’s Nest: 23 Roberts Lane, (65) 9245 2376
The Inn Crowd: 73 Dunlop Street, (65) 6296 9169
The Green Kiwi: 280 Lavender Street
Little Red Dot Hostel: 125 Lavender Street, (65) 6294 7098
Backpacker Cozy Corner: 490 North Bridge Road, (65) 63396128
Service World Hostel: Block 5 Banda Street #02-70/82, (65) 6226 3886
Axis Hostel/98 SG: 6A Lor 27 Geylang, (65)9100 9123
The Betel Box: 200 Joo Chiat Road, (65) 6247 7340
Tanya Procyshyn is a freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea.
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