A Budget - Friendly Guide to Singapore

The Republic of Singapore, or a sovereign city - state found by Stamford Raffles in 1819 . A country referred to as the 'Lion City', the 'Garden City' or the 'Little Red Dot'. 

After my Georgetown, Penang trip, I've planned to stay at Singapore for five days and four nights. I've been wanting to visit Singapore for the longest time because of its incredible airport and technologically advanced transportation and communication system.  If I would describe Singapore in five words - pristine, modern , friendly,  efficient but expensive. 

Its hard to recognize that this tiny dot on the map was once a colonial backwater because of its speckled skyscrapers, lots of shopping malls and jaw-dropping man-made attractions best seen at night. A country, though, costly, has a lot to offer to travelers from all over the world.

A tranquil way of traveling Singapore - be prepared. Have an itinerary - save it on your mobile. Book hotels/hostels in advanced. Carry credit cards (if you have) or cash -seeing that you'll do many shopping. I budget my travel money atleast 100 USD or less per day (1 SGD = 37.00 PHP or 100 USD = 5,000 PHP) Bring your employee ID and business permit. Be polite and confident in answering the Immigration Officer, you have to prove them that you are entering Singapore as a tourist and not looking for a job illegally.

I experienced the terror of an Immigration Officer - I was confident that I can enter the country peacefully but the officer doubted my passport (though, I've traveled some countries ). He consistently checked my passport and my face, asking me to remove my eyeglass. At the back of my mind, I need to calm down, then he opened his mouth uttering ' I can't recognize your face from your passport because of your hair and eyeglass,  you have 30 days to stay in Singapore'. That was intense.


Singapore is a year - round destination. But best is to book your hotel/hostel in advance especially during peak season of January to February, June to July and September to October.


Singapore is notoriously expensive  compared to other SEA countries, its still possible to tighten your budget in looking for a place to rest here. You just have to stay in hostels/guesthouses and booked in advance for possible online discounts. Bugis, Chinatown, Little India, Lavender Street and Clark Quay are the most popular places to stay for travelers on a budget.

But for me, the cheapest way to find a place to rest for the night is to contact a family member or closest friend working or staying in Singapore. I find it more practical and convenient. If he/she offered you to stay in his/her place then you are fortunate. I am thankful that, a friend and a classmate offered her place at Serangoon,  for me to stay in Singapore. 


This country, unlike Malaysia , doesn't have much natural resources. It means, the country import vegetables and fruits including meat products and other commodities are from other countries. In fact, some products came from Philippines. Therefore, foods are pricey. I bought a cup of fresh fruit salad amounting to 3.5 SGD and while eating I convert it to peso and I was shocked! and never tried to look at them whenever I wanted to eat fruits. 

There are wide varieties of restaurants in Singapore, from budget- friendly food hawkers to luxurious diner.

Clark Quay is one of the best place to satisfy your hunger. You can choose from a plain food shop to a resto-bar with a live band for more enjoyment.


Singapore is a health - friendly country. If you want the cheapest way to traverse from here to there, you will do a lot of walking. But don't worry, there are many ways to get to your destination without sweat.

By Taxi - I won't recommend you this one. Your 100 USD wouldn't be enough. 

By Bus - Yes, its one of the cheapest mode of  transportation  but its time consuming because you have to travel for 1.5 hours going to Changi Airport Terminal 1, 2, and 3 basement and ride 36/36A bus ride to Singapore City. Cheap but time consuming.

By Hop on - Hop off Bus - A hassle-free way to tour Singapore. You can see attractions like Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown, Botanic Gardens, Temples etc., without your shoes getting dirty.

By Grab/Uber - one of my favorite mode of transportation during my stay in Singapore. It's not only uncomplicated to use, as well as its safe and friendly. Drivers are polite and they will entertain your query about Singapore.

By MRT/LRT - The most popular and efficient mode of transportation in Singapore is the MRT/LRT system. So far, the Singapore transporation system is my favorite. You just have to follow the colors and you'll not get lost, specially when you're commuting. If you're planning to take MRT/LRT, you have to buy a EZ-Link or Nets Flashpay, it will cost you about 10 SGD. I purchase my EZ-Link at Transit Ticketing Station.


Four to five days would be enough to explore Singapore. You can cover all the fun and attractions in Singapore. 


Spending less doesn't mean that you have missed out awesome adventure in Singapore. You can achieve cheaper yet excellent travel when you know what and where are the best attractions of Singapore.

-Garden By the Bay-

At first glance, it may seem a simple huge tree surrounding with beautiful garden of flowers but wait until its 7:30 in the evening.  The music begin and you feel felt the magical moment of your life. 

-Marina Bay-

-Cavenagh Bridge and Bronze Statues of Children Playing-

-Clarke Quay-

-Singapore Riverside while eating square ice cream-

-Little India-


Orchard Road is a famous shopping destination in Singapore. You can find almost everything in every mall. Bugis Street and Chinatown is also a shopping haven.

-Orchard Street-

-Bugis Street-


-Harbour Front-

-Merlion Park-

-Raffles Hotel-

-Sentosa : Universal Studios-

Unleash the inner child in you when you visit Singapore Universal Studios. I was extremely excited when I got to visit this place. I've tried, as much as possible their rides, but one ride had changed my mind - The Mummy Revenge. But I enjoyed my one day adventure at Universal Studios. A place not only for kids but also families and group of friends too.


Here's my actual budget when I visited Singapore for 5 days and 4 nights. You can modify your iteniraries and expenses according to your choice and budget. My suggestion, bring a bottle of water and a biscuit on your bag - tipid tips lang. I was doing it, tried and tested, in all of my travels, sometimes you might end up on a place where all restaurant are highly expensive, atleast you can just sit on a bench,  watch people walking in front of you while eating your baon. 


Chewing gum is not allowed in Singapore. Make sure that you'll not bring any gums whe entering Singapore.

Bring umbrella or rain gear, Singapore weather is unpredictable. Somedays are shiny and a couple of hours, its gloomy.

Eating and drinking inside public transportation  is prohibited and carries a huge amount of heavy fine.

Never bring objects that resembles a weapons, cigarette or toy guns.

Pirated goods, cd's, software, publications, etc. has a penalty.

Make sure you bring prescription for medicines if you have a maintenance meds. Singapore is very strict in buying medicine drugs such as narcotics (diazepam/valium), or opiods ( morphine/codeine).

Changi Airport is also a must experience in Singapore. I was seriously amazed by the trashcan -  its  powered by infrared. You have to slide your hand at the top of the trashbin jjust to open the bin and throw your tissue.

And lastly, enjoy each moment in Singapore. You will never know, five years from now its all different from your last travel.

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