Singapore is definitely an expensive place to live. However, it is possible to experience it as its fullest without breaking the bank! Here are the best things to do in Singapore, on a budget:
Enjoy the nature in many parks (here are the best ones):
Mac Ritchie is the most untouched and best park if you want to see what the real jungle is, and the animals that go with it. The park is mostly untouched, with only a few paths going through. This allows the wildlife to not be too disturbed and you get to see a lot of it if you’re lucky (we ourselves have spotted scorpions, snakes, monkeys, birds, fish, monitor lizards fighting, etc).
It is a beautiful place, there is also a suspended bridge going over the canopy that gives you a great view. Overall, count about 2 hours to discover it.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
There are paths going through the wetlands, but you’re still able to do some good animal spotting depending on the day. Seawater crocodiles live in the area and you might spot one, however I have never seen any myself. Overall, it is a lovely walk with different environments.
After your walk, stop at Bollywood veggies for some organic lunch!
Southern Ridges Walk from Mount Faber to Kent Ridge
This walk crosses four different parks over about 6 kilometers. It is well maintained, and allows passing through patches of forest on boardwalks, rose and vegetables gardens, high bridges…
Singapore Botanic gardens
The botanic gardens are very well maintained and everything has been planted on purpose. You will not find natural forests, but it is still one of my favourite places in Singapore. It demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden and allows you to discover very different plants and environments, all very well designed and making you feel you pass from a world to another in just a few steps.
Gardens By The Bay
Gardens by the bay are probably the least “natural” parks of all, as everything has its place in the park. However, you cannot miss it while traveling to Singapore, it is such an impressive place, in day light like at night time. The entrance to the park is free, the only area where you have to pay to enter are the domes and if you want to get on the bridge between the Supertrees.
I would not recommend to visit the domes or get on the bridge, as you can see things as beautiful for free around the park.
Rent a bicycle and discover Pulau Ubin island
Pulau Ubin is a small island North of Singapore. You can take a ferry for 3$ from Changi Ferry Point (you can find the location on our Google Maps at the end of the article).
On arrival, you will find that most places at the port rent bicycles. Don’t settle for the first ones, they are the most expensive! Walk to the end of the street until you arrive on a small square and you will see bicycles for rent, some of them are as low as 2$ a day!
This will allow you to visit the island, don’t miss out the Chek Jawa Wetlands, for a lot of monkey spotting!
Visit one of the smallest islands (St John, Lazarus and Kusu Island)
If you want to go to the beach, forget about Sentosa, too expensive and “fake”. Instead, head out to St John, Lazarus or Kusu islands. They are a flora and fauna heaven and have much quieter beaches. You can get a ferry from Marina South Pier for 15$ return ticket, with about three boats a day (but check their timetable in case).
Don’t forget to bring food and drinks as there are no shops and restaurants on the islands!
Visit an organic farm and taste their delicious veggies afterwards
Another great things to do in Singapore on a budget is to check out Bollywood veggies. It is an organic farm that welcomes visitors. It is a great way to discover where local fruits and veggies are grown on, as you can freely walk around the beautiful garden. I highly recommend tasting some of their food too!
You can take the MRT to Kranji and then a local van that drives between the farms and back.
Go mountain biking at the Chestnut Nature Park
You can rent mountain bikes by the hour at Aire MTB (weekdays / weekends: 1h 15/18$ – 2h 25/30$ – 4h 40$ – 8h 50$).
The park isn’t that big so 2h is ideal. The trails are nice and can fit for both beginners and more advanced bikers.
Avoid wet days because it will get very slippery in the forest then.
Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown
This Chinese Temple is beautiful and a must see in Chinatown. You can visit for free. They require that you cover shoulders and knees, but provide pieces of clothing at the entrance if your outfit isn’t suitable.
Go see a outdoor night show
Garden Rhapsody by Gardens By The Bay
Garden Rhapsody is a music and light show that takes place twice every evening, all year long. It showcases the supertrees in the garden. It is very impressive and magical to be able to see them this way, a must do in Singapore!
The show changes every month and lasts about 15 minutes. The first one is at 7.45pm and the second one at 8.45pm.
Spectra at Marina Bay Sands
Spectra is a light and water show in the bay in front of the Marina bay sands shopping center. It lasts 15 minutes as well. It is a very poetic show, here as well, a must see in Singapore.
Check out the view of the city from up high
You don’t need to pay a high fee to have a drink while watching the city at night! Forget about the Marina Bay sands, and check out Mr Stork or Empire instead. Both offer views on the city and you can have a drink without having to pay your entrance on top of it.
Visit the Istana
The Istana is the equivalent to the White House in Singapore. The house opens its doors a few days a year, if you’re lucky, you might be there at the same time. Check out their website for the dates.
Take a secret shortcut and learn about the history of the neighborhood at Ann Siang Hill
This backstreet has several signs giving you some background on the history of the neighborhood. It emerges on Ann Siang Hill Park and a view on both the old and new architecture of the city.
If you start from Club Street and follow down the path, you will reach Thian Hock Keng Temple where you will find more signs about the history of Singapore itself. Overall, a 15 minutes walk and plenty of knowledge about the country .
You will find it on the map at the end of the article.
Do some good and take part in a cleaning day in Pulau Ubin
Each month, people get together to clean up Pulau Ubin for a few hours. It is a great way to meet locals and do a good action. After the cleanup, people get together for some drinks and snacks.
Visit the Haw Par Villa
The Haw Par Villa is a very bizarre, one of its kind place. This Asian cultural park is full of statuses, a treasure trove of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion – quirky yet enlightening at the same time.
While the entrance was 10$ last year, it is now indicated free entrance, so I would suggest checking on their website prior to your visit.
Cheap Shopping at Mustafa center
Mustafa center is this labyrinth of gold jewels, furniture, clothes, food… basically a mix of everything you need, or don’t. Anyways, if you are looking for some cheap shopping, this is the place, if you manage to find your way out then!
Wonder on Haji Lane
Haji Lane, and the streets around it, are buzzing at night, with lights, paintings, people, music… The area has such a great atmosphere and is the ideal place to start, or end, your evening.
Discover very different but incredibly beautiful neighbourhoods
Singapore is well known to be a mix of many different cultures and religions, first a Malay fisherman village, then an English colony, today Indians, Chinese, Malays and other nationalities all live there together.
You can see it in different neighborhoods. Of course, Chinatown and Little India are great representations. Bugis and Tanjong Pagar also offer beautiful architecture and deserve some time to be discovered.
Are you looking for a place to stay? Here are the spots we would highly recommend:
Where to stay in Singapore on a budget?
There are several lovely places where you can stay in Singapore, even on a budget.
ST Signature Chinatown (Chinatown)
This hotel offers small but clean and modern private rooms in the city center of Singapore (Chinatown). The location is ideal and the hotel is self check-in. The bathrooms, kitchen and terrace are shared.
Cube Boutique Capsule Hotel (Chinatown)
This hotel is also located in Chinatown which is a great advantage. The hotel offers both shared and private rooms. It is simply furnished but it got everything you might need. There is a shared lounge and breakfast is included. Staff is available and lovely.
The Atlas Station (Farrer Park)
The Atlas Station is a small, simple property with futuristic looking pods, with single or double beds. You can change the settings within your pod which makes it ideal AC wise. It is quiet and very clean.
It is further than the other hotels recommended but still very close by using the MRT.
The Pod Boutique Capsule Hotel (Beach Road, Bugis, Arab Quarter)
This property offers single or double pods in shared rooms or private rooms. Breakfast is included and bathrooms are shared. The property is modern but welcoming, and the bedding is very comfortable.
Dream Lodge (Lavender)
Dream Lodge offers single and double pods in shared rooms. Bathrooms are shared and there is a kitchen. Breakfast is included. There is a bit of a homey feel, with decoration with a 50s vibe and very friendly staff. The place is also extremely clean.
Champion City Hotel (Boat Quay)
The property offers small, private bedrooms and bathrooms, with a 24h reception. Despite their small sizes, the rooms have all amenities you might need.
This place is extremely well located, a few steps away from the river, in a lively area in the evening. From there, you could walk to Marina Bay, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Raffles, etc.
Heritage Collection (Seah, Bras Basah, Business District)
This is a bit more expensive but if you have the budget, it is worth it. This is a loft in a renovated traditional shop house. The place is clean, modern, full of light. There is an apple TV, hosts who are happy to help with any request. Additionally, the location is ideal.
All our best places at once in Google Maps, covering things to do in Singapore on a budget
Here is our Google Map link with all our best things to do in Singapore on a budget. You can also save the map below: