Singapore is an expensive place to visit. There’s no way around it. The small city state is priced relative to the United States, which is a lot more expensive than its neighbors! On a small stop-over trip, this isn’t a problem. But on a big trip through the region, a trip into Singapore can elicit sticker shock, and it can turn people away if they’re trying to do the area on the cheap. If you still want to visit this country, though, there are still many ways to travel around Singapore without breaking the bank. Check out these free activities you can do:
Cool Off in the Underground Malls
The best places to cool off in this very hot city are the underground malls where the A/C’s cranking. You’ll be able to move around most of the city and never expose yourself to the heat and humidity. Since it gets cool at night, it can save you from having to pay extra for A/C at your hotel or hostel. Plus, you can spend your afternoon wandering underground Singapore without spending any money.
Eat Cheap Food in Little India
Singapore has some great food, but many of the restaurants are expensive. However, one of the best places to eat is Little India, where great Indian meals cost as little as $5 SGD. Make sure you find the places where you can eat with your hands! They’re the most authentic and local places. You’ll probably be the only Westerner in there, though, so be prepared for people to stare. Eating at these places was still the most fun I had in Singapore.
Eat Cheap Food in Chinatown
Another great place to eat cheap food is Chinatown. The dim sum here is great, most everything is in Chinese, the hawker food is also good, and there are a few cool temples here too. This is a wonderful place to not only eat, but to also wander around. You’ll be able to cut down a lot of your food budget by sticking to the hawker stalls here and in Little India.
If you’re looking for a nice place to sit down and eat, then the best time to eat at Singapore’s famed restaurants is during lunch when restaurants offer 20% off, making them a great deal. The set lunches will give you dinner food at a discount and allow you a bit more variety in what you’re eating. Make sure to check out the restaurants in the underground mall, where you’ll find even more lunch specials.
Walk Around the Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are free and are a nice place to walk around—especially in the mornings and evenings, when Singapore’s tropical weather cools down a little. Early in the morning, locals practice t’ai chi on the lawn, and there are often free concerts on weekends.
Combine the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
The Singapore Zoo is a must-see. It’s an open-air zoo, which is great because animals aren’t locked up in tiny cages. It’s actually one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to. They also offer a night tour in a different section of the park where you get to see the nocturnal animals. These activities aren’t very cheap, but if you combine them together, you’ll save a lot of money. It’s worth the price.
Singapore may not be the cheapest city in the world, but there are still some ways to make it less of a burden on your wallet. By eating cheap, walking, and taking advantage of discounts, you can easily do Singapore without busting your wallet!
For more information on Singapore, including costs, activities, and more ways to save money, visit my complete guide to Singapore travel.