Singapore Cost of Travel for People on a Budget in 2023!

You’re probably here because you’re looking for a budget-friendly cost of travel guide to Singapore. We know and we understand because just like you, we also like saving money!

They say that Singapore is an expensive country to travel to and that you have to spend bucket loads of cash to enjoy or be comfortable, but we don’t think so!

What if we tell you that $100 is enough for a day in Singapore? If you want to know how that’s possible keep on reading!

In this article, we will be computing a day’s expense in Singapore for 1 person. We will also compute how much is the total expense for a 5-day trip to the city-state.

Cost of Transportation in Singapore

Singapore is a small country which means that going around it won’t cost you a lot. In fact, transportation in Singapore is cheap especially if you use their metro system a.k.a ‘the MRT’.

There are other options like buses and taxis but we recommend you to use the MRT simply because it is cheaper and easier to navigate with compared to the bus or taxi. Taking the bus can be complicated especially if it’s your first time in Singapore, with the codes and the stops. Meanwhile, the taxi can become too expensive since it runs on a meter.

When using the MRT, we recommend you purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass which gives you unlimited rides starting at $20.

Singapore Tourist Pass Card for unlimited rides in Singapore| Singapore Cost of Travel
Singapore Tourist Pass Card, credit: Lilpjourney

The Singapore Tourist Pass is a special kind of EZ-Link card specifically offered to tourists who want to explore Singapore. It includes unlimited rides for 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days and is inclusive of a $10 refundable rental deposit. It’s perfect for travelers or tourists whose itineraries are as jam-packed as our 5 days Singapore Itinerary.


Number of DaysPrice
1 $20

Therefore, if you plan to tour Singapore for five days, you can purchase a 3-day pass and when your pass expires, you can simply top up the card for two days via EZ-Link’s top-up channels and sites

So, that would be $56 divided by 5 days = $11.2 per day of unlimited rides and you can get your $20 refunded before you leave the country or keep the card as a souvenir!

Cost of Accommodation in Singapore

Next on our list is the accommodation! Being on a budget, especially a tight one, means that staying at a luxury hotel is completely ruled out.

“Where can I stay in Singapore for a cheap price?”, you might ask. Well, if you are looking for a cheaper place to stay in Singapore, opt to stay at a hostel instead!

Capsule beds at Wanderloft Capsule Hostel
Capsule beds at Wanderloft Capsule Hostel, credit: Agoda.com

There are plenty of hostels all over Singapore and the cost per night is cheaper compared to hotels. This is why we recommend staying at a hostel because, at the end of the day, what we are looking for is a place to sleep and be comfortable whilst being cost-efficient.

Accommodations can go as low as $18 for a night or $72 for 4 nights!

For example, the cheapest hostel with the highest rating right now on HostelWorld is Royal Hostel Singapore, which costs $23.77/per bed per night. If you’re staying for 4 nights, that would be $93.48 only! You can check out HostelWorld for more affordable offers on hostels in Singapore!

Beds at Royal Hostel in Chinatown
Beds at Royal Hostel in Chinatown, credit: Agoda.com

Before deciding whether or not hostels are right for you, here are some things you must remember:

  1. Lack of Privacy. Staying in a hostel means that there is a possibility of you sharing the room with strangers. If you are not comfortable with this, a hostel is not the right place for you.
  2. Safety. You need not worry about the safety of the hostels because 99% of the time, they are safe for you to stay in. However, we can never be too sure of the people we are staying with. We might sound like we are judging but in this case, it’s simply taking extra precautions. So, when you stay at a hostel, be mindful of yourself and your belongings!
  3. Curfews. Unlike in hotels, receptionists at hostels are not available 24 hours a day. They do take time-outs, especially at night. Most hostels have curfews and if you arrive at your hostel beyond the curfew hours, you are in bad luck because chances are, there’s nobody to accommodate you and rooms might be locked. But fortunately, you already have your keys or passcodes with you during check-in.

Cost of Meals in Singapore

Now that we’ve settled the transportation and accommodation costs in the previous areas, it’s time to look into meals!

Girls enjoying food at a hawker centre in Singapore
Girls enjoying food at a hawker centre in Singapore via Alex Soh

Fortunately, Singapore is home to the largest collection of hawker centres in the world! If you are not quite familiar with hawker culture and hawker centres in Singapore, you can read about it in our blog!

Basically, hawker centres are areas where food stalls are located in one place, usually a huge building. The stalls offer a wide array of authentic dishes from different kinds of cultures at cheap prices! These are the reasons why locals adore them and now, tourists love them too!

Food at Changi Village Hawker Centre
Food at Changi Village Hawker Centre, credit: Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore

The best thing about hawker centres aside from the cheap prices is the availability of food from different cultures and the opportunity of tasting them all in one place! There are Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Thai, and even Western options!

Halal-certified dishes are also available, especially at Tekka Food Centre in Little India!

No matter which meal you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find cheap eats in hawker centres! Prices for simple noodles or rice meals start at $3! So, let’s say you will allot $5 for meals and drinks, that’s only $15 worth of food per day or $75 for 5 days!

Of course, bigger meals might cost more but not as much as the cost at restaurants.

Additionally, tap water is safe to drink in Singapore so you don’t have to buy water anymore.

Cost of Activities in Singapore!

Singapore lost a lot of tourists during the height of the pandemic, just like any other country that relies on tourism. Because of this, the Singaporean Government has extended efforts to bring back the liveliness of tourism in the Lion City.

A lot of the tourist spots now are free for all, except for special features that have entrance fees.

Iconic bandstand at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Iconic bandstand at Singapore Botanic Gardens, credit: Visit Singapore

In our blog about Singapore Botanic Gardens, we mentioned that admission is free! This already allows you to explore and discover the many species of flora and plants.

Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay is free for everyone to visit and you’ll already get to witness a musical and light show if you stay long enough in the evening!

Another place that is free for you to go to is the ever-popular Sentosa Island! Until April 1, 2023, Sentosa Express is free to all who want to visit the island!

There are tons of things to do there, like going on the rides at Universal Studios Singapore which costs $61, or meeting our fishy friends at S.E.A. Aquarium for $39! However, for those who do not want to spend more money on activities but still want to see the beauty of Sentosa, check out the beaches at Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong! Admissions are free!

The good thing about Singapore is that everywhere you go, there is a piece of history for you to discover! So, even if you simply take a stroll in the concrete jungle of Singapore, you’ll find hidden gems which will surely make your time in Singapore memorable!

How much is the total cost of travel in Singapore?

For the first half of this year, a lot of the tourist spots are free to visit which means you don’t have to spend extra to enjoy them. There might be features that might entice you but if you can look past those, all you’ll ever have to worry about are transportation, accommodation, and meals.

Computation of daily travel cost for 1 person:

Cost of Transportation= $11

Cost of Accommodation= $18

Cost of Meals= $15

Cost of Activities= $40 (May vary depending on your preferred activity)

Total= $84 per day

If we compute the total cost for 5 days in Singapore, that would only be $403!

Despite Singapore’s reputation of being an expensive country for tourists, traveling on a budget is possible!

When you’re on a budget, it is expected that you will really be tied to a certain amount of money. For some, frugality is a negative trait but for us, it’s simply doing the most of what we have to explore.

Clearly, traveling on a budget has led us to sacrifice some things. But if you really think about it, much of what we have disregarded do not take away the experience of Singapore’s culture and heritage!

Staying at a hostel will still give you comfort and a good night’s sleep, and eating at hawker centres allow you to experience local food and many other cuisines. And if your purpose of traveling to Singapore is to experience life in Singapore, you don’t really have to go somewhere grand or expensive. Simply go out, walk around and be amongst the Singaporeans!

Final thoughts…

Fortunately, a lot of attractions are free in Singapore right now so we recommend you to plan your trip within the first quarter of 2023 just to be able to enjoy the perks of the free admissions and big discounts.

Traveling on a budget takes a lot of dedication. Planning ahead and planning wisely is the key. Also, always be open to new experiences and remember to think outside of the box!

What do you think about this article? Do you have any budget-friendly tips that you’d like to share with us? Please comment down below!

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