Singapore has so much to offer. It's vibrant mix of cultures, attractions and sights makes it a place where everyone can find something to their liking. We've listed several things to do and see, that are perfect for those who are looking for budget options.
The public transportation in Singapore is very accessible and gets you around town easily, for just a few dollars. You can buy an ez-link card, which holds some initial cash and can be topped-up anytime. Using this card over cash paid/single tickets gives you more value for your money. And even if you're not using the Public Transport all day, this is still cheaper than the Singapore Tourist Pass.
Taxis are not too expensive in Singapore, so if it's late at night or you are just in need, hop on a cab.
Michelin food for street prices
In Singapore, you can eat for as much as S$300 for top-notch cuisine or pay as little as S$3 for a world-renowned meal!
If you want to spend less, enjoy the street food as well as the hawker food; the food halls and food courts. Follow the locals (it's said that the longest lines have the best food) where you get to taste Indian, Malay, Chinese or any of the many other flavors of Singapore.
Enjoy the world's cheapest Michelin-starred meal at Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. This hawker stall is located in the Chinatown food complex and won a Michelin star last year for its Chan Hon Meng. Run on over to get a S$2.50 award-winning meal. Another starred hawker stall, is the Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle.
Sightseeing on a shoestring
Diverse Singapore truly comes out when you visit the different neighborhoods and districts. Ethnic districts such as Little India, Chinatown, Geylang, and Kampong Glam are easily seen by foot, and won't cost you a thing.
For those wanting a little help on the way, Indie Singapore offers free guided walking tours. Chinatown Tuesdays, Kampong Wednesdays or Riverfront Thursdays, Indie Singapore will show you around these areas.
For some great "do-it-yourself" routes, check out this four-hour trail of Little India, which will lead you through street art and majestic murals. Also recommended is Tiong Bahru, with art and architecture to admire.
Cultural and local shopping at the markets
If you want to do some shopping and avoid the luxurious stores and high-end shopping malls, there are many markets to visit. Regardless, it's always fun to explore these markets even if you choose not to purchase anything.
- The Chinatown Street Market is open daily and offers Chinese culture and goodies, from traditional clothing to calligraphy, jewelry and street fashion.
- You'll find local artists and designs at the Market of Artists and Designers.
- The Bugis Street Market is one of the biggest street markets, where you can purchase clothing, accessories as well as great hawker style food.
Gardens & Parks
Take a moment to relax and enjoy "garden-like" scenery in Singapore, enjoy the outdoors and set foot in one of the following parks or gardens.
- The Singapore Botanic Gardens are the oldest gardens in the city. A visit to this UNESCO world heritage site is worth your time. There are DIY trails guides as well as free guided tours. The National Orchid Garden charges an entrance fee, but you will get to see the world's largest orchid display, with over 60,000 plants and orchids, which is truly spectacular.
- The Gardens by the Bay are a must of course, and although some attractions inside the park cost entrance (such as the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, S$16 each or S$25 together) entrance to this park is without charge. The SkyWalk allows you to get close to the SuperTrees and will cost you approximately S$5.
- If you're up for an actual hike, go to the MacRitchie Reservoir and enjoy the TreeTop Walk. This free-standing suspension bridge connects the two highest points (Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang) in MacRitchie and offers a bird's eye view of the community of plants and animals that live in the forest canopy.
Marina Bay Sands Light Show
The Marina Bay Sands is one of the most iconic landmarks in Singapore. Aside from exploring the hotel and its attractions during the Congress, it is worth to admire it at a distance. One great way to do so is by viewing the light and water show. Colored lasers beams shine from the top of the towers and dancing water fountains are displayed over the water. The outdoor show is free to watch and runs daily.
The city's iconic Merlion statue is the symbol of the city, hence a must-see that should be included on your list. Moreover, it is free! Walk by the half lion/half fish figure, which is a tribute to Singapore's sea town history.
The Esplanade has a lot to offer. This impressively designed building is a must-see for everyone interested in architecture. The arts center offers theatre, dance and other performances, and there are some free workshops, concerts, and exhibitions. You'll find what's on, on their website. And if you want a free place to overlook the city, their Roof Terrace is your spot.
This island off Singapore's southern coast is connected to the city by road, cable car, boardwalk or monorail. Although sometimes perceived as too touristic or expensive, there is lots do and see without spending too much.
Get into Sentosa by cable car, which will be around S$13 and is an attraction by itself. You'll enjoy an aerial overview of Singapore's city skyline, the harbor, and the island.
Avoid the expensive attractions such as theme parks, and instead, walk the renovated Sentosa Boardwalk. After walking around, finish your trip on one of the amazing beaches.