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How to have the perfect Singapore weekend on a budget

How to have the perfect Singapore weekend on a budget

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

It is no secret that Singapore is (by far!) the most expensive country in South East Asia. While you can sip 50 cent beers on a beach in Cambodia or drink $3 liquor buckets in Thailand, a Singapore Sling sets you back $20, or even more if you want to try the classic version at the Raffles Hotel. But that doesn’t mean Singapore can’t be visited on a budget with some smart planning.

We loved our quick visit to Singapore, which made for the most cosmopolitan experience in South East Asia. Luckily, it is not expensive to get to Singapore at all, as it is a major transport hub in South East Asia with daily connections to North America, Europe and Australia.

Read on for the tips we used for our weekend escape to Singapore on a budget:

Singapore on a budget

Visit Singapore on a budget

Find deals on accommodation in Singapore

Hotels in Singapore are easily the biggest chunk of anyone’s budget while in town. The best way to find a great accommodation deal is to check the usual hotel comparison websites to see if there are any special offers. All the big hotels usually have a promotion which can save you up to 70 per cent of the original price. This is one city where the best dorms can run the same price as quality hotels, which is why research and reservations are key to saving on accommodation.

Locate the best restaurant promotions

Singapore is filled with hawker centers, popular food halls that offer a variety of food stalls where you can try some of the best specialties that the country has to offer, with prices rarely above $4 for a delicious meal.

However, Singapore is a foodie city and it would be a shame to miss out on top of the line restaurants and exciting cuisines while in town. We signed up to deals websites before our trip to find discounts on hotspots we wanted to try. Check out the restaurant and bar deals on restaurant deal websites, where you can find incredible promotions for some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes. A popular promotion for example is the lunch buffet for $28 at Windows on the Park on Orchard Street, which is double the price without the coupon, or the 4-Course French Degustation Menu at The Tastings Room in Marina Square for the same price, which is a true bargain.

Singapore on the cheap

Plan out your activities in advance

No matter what your interest is, Singapore has something for every travel style. You can visit the theater, art galleries and a number of world-class museums, and even if you don’t have cash to spare, we loved joining the throngs of shoppers on Orchard Road, a wide boulevard lined with over 20 malls offering everything from high street brands to luxurious designer labels. One of the best things about the city is how many free things there are to do in Singapore. 

For paid attractions, it’s worth checking for promotions on websites like Groupon, where we found deals on admission to the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest, Underwater World and the Dolphin Lagoon for only $35, or a combined ticket for the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel and the Gardens by the Bay for $37 instead of the normal price of $53. Other deals include the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour plus a river cruise for only $35, which is a great way to take in this majestic city!

Singapore does luxury best, but there is no reason to miss out on the wellness side of things if you’re on a budget, either. There are deals to be had for Spa & Wellness activities here, too, like full body massages for $25 or mani pedis for $20.

Singapore on the cheap

Thing you can do in Singapore on a budget:

The views from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Rooftop

The vistas over the city from up there are breathtaking, especially at sunset. You can either pay $20 for the observation deck or pay the same $20 for a drink at the Sky on 57th restaurant. The views from both are the same, so why not sip a drink while you take in the twinkling lights of the city. It’s not the cheapest thing to do in Singapore, but we thought the experience was totally worth it.

A stroll through Chinatown

This neighborhood has not only some fantastic restaurants, but also the best-preserved colonial buildings, Hindu temples and street markets and offers a fascinating contrast to the bright lights of the Marina Bay. We loved our Singapore Walking Tour through Chinatown with The Original Singapore Walks®

A beach break on Sentosa Island

Singapore’s Sentosa Island is home to several amusement parks (including Universal Studios) and resorts, but is also the best spot to hit the beach and relax from the city rush back across the bridge.

Singapore on a budget

The Botanical Gardens

If you are not a beach person but are looking for some peace and quiet, make sure not to miss the Botanical Gardens. We absolutely loved it here, surrounded by a massive selection of exotic flowers, including a rain forest, a ginger garden and an orchid garden. The best thing: they are free!

The Marina Bay Visual Arts Trail

A stroll around Marina Bay should not be missed, and the Visual Arts Trail features a number of outstanding sculptures, including a piece by Roy Liechtenstein. You can find more details and a map here.

The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is Asia’s largest observations wheel and well worth the SGD35 (around US$25) – book your ticket in advance for a discount! The glass capsuled are air-conditioned and the views over the city and the Singapore Strait are unrivaled.

Singapore on a budget

Continue reading: Singapore on a shoestring

sachin bhandare

Thursday 9th of July 2015

Visiting Singapore for the 3rd time with my family have been to most of the tourist spots and activities... Can anyone help me in knowing what's next... Had been to SING just 2 years back. Would like to visit the most and some unique ways n memories I can take back home


Wednesday 26th of February 2014

I've been to Singapore four times and I still love reading blogposts about this country. Well done on this one! I should have just ordered a drink for my S$20 :-)


Wednesday 26th of February 2014

Thanks, Tara! I'll definitely head up to the rooftop again next time - the views are so worth the $20 drinks ;-)

Andrew Darwitan

Saturday 18th of January 2014

Marina Bay Sands is definitely not to be missed, along with other architectural landmarks such as the financial district in Raffles Place and the iconic Esplanade. The newly-established Gardens by the Bay is also a fantastic budget-friendly destination. The Bay East Garden side of it provides a skyline view of the entire Singapore. Your recommendation for Chinatown is great too, as it provides a cultural perspective into Singapore. For cultural experience, I'd personally add Little India and Bugis into the mix as well.


Saturday 18th of January 2014

Totally agree with everything you say! The Gardens by the Bay weren't open yet when we were in Singapore but we'll definitely visit them next time we're in town! I love the pictures of the Gardens.


Saturday 2nd of November 2013

Thanks for the great tips. We head to Singapore in just over a week for a few days before hitting Borneo.

Just a note on Groupon ... Be sure to check the terms and conditions, some offers are only open to Singapore residents and it states they ask for ID. This seems to mainly be the beauty and massage offers but something to keep an eye on.



Friday 8th of November 2013

Hi Louise, that's a great tip! I hadn't even considered that groupons might only be valid to residents. Enjoy Borneo and Singapore!


Monday 29th of July 2013

Singapore has always been one of my favorite cities, but it definitely is expensive. These are some good solid tips... And applicable to anywhere you travel! I know Groupon is making major moves. It's doing a lot here in Taiwan as well.

But it's been a long time since I've been back... It's great to see that there is so much more to see and do there. Looks like it's about time for another visit. Thanks for sharing all these places to visit on the cheap. I'll save this page for when I'm going back to my favorite little benevolent tyranny.