Botanic Gardens Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singapore, alongside Zurich, ranked the world’s most expensive city in 2023, as reported by the Economist Intelligence Unit. With this, tourists seeking to make the most of their budget in Singapore may find it difficult. Marielle Descalsota, a woman living in Singapore for 20 years shares five tips to save money as a tourist in SG on Business Insider.

1. Dine at hawker centres outside the city center

Local food remains a budget-friendly option in Singapore, particularly at hawker centres. Even at the most frequented spots, dishes rarely exceed US$5. Travelers can further stretch their budget by exploring hawker centres in residential areas.

For instance, Maxwell Food Centre in Chinatown offers chicken rice for around S$5(US$3.75), while Changi Village Hawker Centre in the east provides an economical option at S$3.

This not only saves money but also introduces visitors to a more laid-back side of Singapore beyond the bustling city center.

2. Choose kopi over pricey coffees

To avoid the high costs of coffee at trendy cafes which can cost around S$6, tourists can opt for kopi, a locally brewed and hand-roasted coffee available at hawker centres and traditional coffee shops.

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With prices averaging S$1.20, kopi provides an affordable and aromatic alternative. Consider a breakfast set, including kopi, toast with coconut jam, and soft-boiled eggs, for just S$3, steering clear of tourist-heavy spots for better prices.

3. Explore alternative coasts beyond Sentosa

While Sentosa Island attracts many tourists, its beach clubs often come with inflated prices.

A bottle of Corona at Tanjong Beach Club, for instance, costs S$16. Tourists seeking budget-friendly options can explore Changi Beach in eastern Singapore, where Stella Lounge offers beers on tap for as little as S$13.

Additionally, nearby hawker centres provide a variety of affordable food options under S$10, allowing visitors to enjoy a picnic on the beach without breaking the bank.

4. Consider backpacker hotels for accommodation

For budget-conscious travelers, backpacker hostels and hotels present a cost-effective alternative to luxury hotels.

Hotel 81, one of the popular chains, offers a night’s stay for as low as S$95. These accommodations, known for cleanliness, spaciousness, and central locations, often provide private bathrooms, offering a comfortable stay at a fraction of the cost of high-end hotels.

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5. Explore free galleries and performances

While Singapore boasts popular attractions with hefty admission fees, there are numerous budget-friendly alternatives.

  • Gillman Barracks and NUS Museum offer free admission to art enthusiasts.
  • The Esplanade hosts free outdoor concerts, providing entertainment without the price tag.
  • Nature lovers can explore the Botanic Gardens, offering free guided tours, and enjoy the light and water show at Marina Bay Sands at no cost.

With these tips from Marielle, an SG local, tourists can enhance their travel experience while staying mindful of their budget./TISG