Costs & Other Useful Stuff – Singapore

I’ve tried to cover all the practical things you might need to know when planning a trip to Singapore in this blog, for things to do, click HERE.

Money and Costs:

Singapore is notoriously one of the most expensive countries in Asia, we spoke to a few other backpackers who were shocked we were staying there for a full week. But we actually spend less on Singapore than we did in Malaysia.

Eating at hawker centres and making the cost of the “free things to do” in Singapore really helped the budget. We only spent £56 per day as a couple, including accommodation, food and everything else.

Currently the exchange rates are:

GBP £1 = $1.79

EUR €1 = $1.60

USD $1 = $1.37

Where To Eat:

There are so many options in Singapore, we like to stick to local hawker centres for a more authentic flavour (also because they are really cheap). You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice, I read somewhere that Singapore has over 6,000 individual food stalls, our favourites were:

Telok Ayer Market – Close to the marina and housed inside an old Victorian building. It has food from all over the world, we ate delicious Costa Rican chicken and rice.

Smith Street – China towns main food street, its under a glass cover to keep the rain away. It’s quite touristy but still serves great Chinese food.

Tekka Centre – In the heart of little India, really cheap and amazing

Getting There:

By land – if your coming from Malaysia then the best way to get to Singapore is by bus. Tickets are very cheap and can be booked online at The buses are regular and there are a range of drop off locations so you don’t need to travel too far get find your hotel once you get to Singapore.

By air – Singapore is one of the central hubs for most airlines in Asia. Check for the latest schedule and best prices. The subway runs directly into the airport.

Getting Around:

The subway is fast, regular and most importantly its got air conditioning! Ticket machines are easy to use and will cost around $1 to $3 depending on how far your going.

Where To Stay:

Hotels in the marina area can be really expensive, even the hostels are expensive, but public transport in Singapore is good and it’s cheap, so there’s no need to stay right in the centre. We stayed in a gorgeous Airbnb for just £35/night on Guillemard Road. If you shop around you can still find plenty of affordable options in Singapore.

Visas and Vaccinations:

UK passport holders don’t need a visa for visits less than 90 days.

No vaccinations are required and the mosquitoes here don’t have malaria. (But they still bite!)

Free Things To Do – Singapore

In one of Asia’s most expensive countries, here are 5 of my favourite free things to do:

1. Gardens by the bay – only the main area is free for visitors but the giant flowers are what most people come to see anyway. There is a free light and music show every night at 19:45 and 20:45. It gets busy so be there early to get a good spot.

2. Exploring China town – one of Singapore’s oldest districts, it’s managed to avoid the glittering sky scrapers and still has a local feel to it. The streets are colourful and decorated with hanging lanterns. The Buddha tooth relic temple is free to enter and sarongs are given to visitors at the entrance. Just outside is the visitor information centre, there was a free show each night but I’m not sure if this was all all year round thing.

China town is also the best place to buy souvenirs and there are cheap food stalls on Smith Street.

3. The east coast park – the park stretches for miles and is one of the few places in Singapore that you can paddle in the sea. The park is busy with joggers and cyclists as well as families on a Saturday morning. It’s the perfect place to relax and have a picnic.

4. The sights and smells of little India – this was one of my favourite places in Singapore, the food at the Tekka centre (although not free but cheap enough to sneak into this post) was out of this world. After lunch we explored the streets and markets of little India. There were bright colours and lots of loud noises, it was really busy and felt like you could actually be in India. Knees and shoulders need to be covered if you plan on visiting the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. We didn’t plan that far ahead and ended up just admiring it from the outside.

5. Mount Faber Park – feel like you’re alone in the jungle walking through sections of the park, you can either pay for a cable car ride to the top or walk it for free. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a view over Sentisa island. (Mostly hidden by thunder clouds during our visit.)

Hope you found this useful, don’t forget to click HERE for more info on where to eat and stay and info on visas etc