Budget for 3 days in Singapore: What we spent

Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive destination in Southeast Asia, but there are certainly ways to cut the price. For example, skipping the most touristy attractions and dining in hawker centers (see our guide to hawker centers here) offers huge savings. It really didn’t feel like a sacrifice to forego these sites as we were most interested in the food in Singapore, and hawker centers are the best way to get a taste of how locals really eat.

Total: S$361.30 / $252.91
Per day: S$120.43 / $84.30
At the time of our visit, S$1 = $0.70. Unless otherwise noted, all prices are for 2 people sharing meals and accommodations.

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Budget Breakdown

Meals:

Budget meal in Singapore
Our meals ranged from S$4-18 for 2 people eating exclusively at hawker centers and budget restaurants. We drank almost no booze (jetlag is the worst), which also saved us a ton. Alcohol in Singapore is pricey; we never saw prices below what we could find in NYC. The jetlag combined with generous portion sizes also meant that we were totally satisfied with only 2 meals and a snack per day. It’s also worth keeping in mind that we’re coffee drinkers, and iced coffees tack on an extra S$3-4 (for two people) per meal.

Total: S$76.80 / $53.76
Per day: S$25.60 / $17.92
Typical prices: S$8 for a beer, S$3-5 for most hawker center fare (soup, porridge, noodles, etc.), S$0.60-S$2.20 for coffee, S$6-8 for a dish in a budget restaurant

Transportation:
The MRT is fast, convenient, and easy. You can absolutely get by without any other form of transportation. The MTR offers tourist passes for 1-3 days; there’s a refundable deposit of S$10 for the pass, plus S$10 for 1 day, S$16 for 2 days, or S$20 for 3 days (plus S$0.50 service charge for using a credit card). We opted to get a two day pass and spent our third day only on foot. You can also purchase individual rides, but we did the math and found that this would be far more expensive for us. It’s also nice to not have to consider the price when your feet are sore and you’d really like to cut your walk by taking the MTR a stop or two.

Total: S$52.50 / $36.75
Deposit refund: -S$20
Per day: S$10.83  / $7.58

Attractions:

Entrance to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Orchid Garden

Most of the sightseeing we did consisted of meandering through different neighborhoods and gardens, so we really saved a ton on attractions. I’m considering the super expensive drinks (S$60) we bought at the Raffles Hotel part of our sightseeing budget, as the price is reflective of the Raffles being a tourist destination first and foremost, and not just a typical bar. The only other paid attraction we did was the National Orchid Garden for S$5 each. We’ve reviewed TONS of sights in Singapore; see them all here. 

Total: S$70 / $49
Per day: $23.33 / $16.33
Typical prices: S$20-30 per person for attractions like the Gardens by the Bay greenhouses and Marina Bay Sands Skypark.

Lodging:
We stayed in a double bed in a shared room (with A/C and shared bathroom) in a hostel in Little India. This is, as far as I could find, the cheapest you could possibly get by in Singapore for two people. For just a bit more, you could probably get a private room, which might be worth it for most people. For us, I’m OK with the scrimping we did, as we had just begun our trip (meaning we weren’t yet annoyed with the inconveniences of travel) and were so exhausted we had no trouble sleeping despite lights and noise. The hostel also had breakfast, which you could take advantage of if you were really trying to save your money. Since this city was really about the food for us, we still went out to eat for every meal until our last morning when we had an early bus to catch.

Total: S$135 / $94.50 (including 5% credit card fee)
Per day: S$45 / $31.50

Misc:
We purchased some necessities we hadn’t packed (bug spray, iPhone screen protectors, etc.), postcards, and a gift.

Total: S$57 / $39.90
Per day: S$19 / $13.30

Where you can save

  • Skip the drinks at the Raffles Hotel to save yourself a bundle.
  • You could look into couch-surfing if you’re into that, but I couldn’t find paid lodging for less than we paid.
  • Obviously, if you don’t need to stock up on essentials right away, many other places in Southeast Asia could be cheaper for the items we purchased.

Where you could spend

Got more cash in the budget? Here’s where I would spend more:

  • Upgrade your lodging and get a private room in a hostel or guesthouse.
  • Depending on your other destinations, choose whichever of the following attractions you think will be most enjoyable for you and unique to Singapore: Night Safari, Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Marina Bay Sands Casino, Universal Studios, the SEA Aquarium, or any of the other attractions on Sentosa.
  • If you’re not jet lagged and looking for a night on the town, Chinatown is a good hotspot for bars and more traditional dining experiences.

Want to know how Singapore stacks up?

See our budgets for other Southeast Asia destinations:

Singapore budget for couples

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