Singapore has always been high on my list of places in SE Asia that I really wanted to visit. However, I was slightly put-off by everyone telling me how expensive it would be. By keeping accommodation costs down and eating at Hawker centres, I didn’t end up spending too much!
I stayed at the InnCrowd Backpacker’s hostel, which wasn’t the nicest hostel I have been to, but it was the cheapest I could find (£9.90 / night) and they had some great free activities to join in on – my favourite being the night-time scooter tour (push scooter, not electric sadly!) which was a great way to see the city and work off some of that hawker food!
Things to do and see:
1. Gardens by the Bay
Obviously, this is on everyone’s Singapore to-do list… and for good reason. It is free to enter the Supertrees and watch the light show that happens every night at 7.45PM and 8.45PM. I came back here twice to watch the show, it really was amazing.
If you want, you can pay to go on the SkyWay, for a view over Singapore. I decided not to because I was told the view wasn’t that great so I didn’t think it was worth the price (12 Singapore Dollars = £7). Instead, my friend and I went to Ce la vie bar, where we had a great view over the city.
2. Light Show on the bay
As well as the light show at the Supertrees, you should definitely check out the light show on Marina Bay itself. I didn’t know about this before we were taken there on our scooter tour, but the music and lights were amazing – especially some of the special effects! To visit this, you can attend Sunday – Thursday at 8PM and 9PM, Friday and Saturday at 8, 9 and 11PM. Maybe combine it with your trip to the Supertrees!
3. Hawker Centres
Eating in Singapore restaurants is way too expensive, so most tourists (and locals) choose to eat at the Hawker Centres. They are filled to the brim with lots of different food stalls and they are regulated to ensure safe food standards, so everything you eat is prepared hygienically!
We ate at Hawker Centres every day of our trip, for at least 2 meals a day. There are so many different centres, but our favourites were:
- Tekka Food Centre
- Maxwell Centre
- Lau Pa Sat
You should also try the Michelin starred hawker stands – for example, Hawker Chan, where you can get Michelin star food at a very cheap price!
4. Ladies Night
Every Wednesday in Singapore, bars and clubs across the city have special promotions for women. Most of the promotions are free drinks or free entry to the clubs, so we decided to try it out. We went to:
- Ce La Vi bar and club – for rooftop views over Singapore, free drinks and entry into the club
- The Exchange bar – from 6 to 10 pm, women can have as many drinks as they want (limited to selected spirits and wine). We didn’t really make use of this as we didn’t arrive till 9.30PM, but you can definitely have a cheap night out should you arrive early!
There are so many more to choose from, but some do require RSVP so check online before you go!
5. Free Walking Tours by Monster Day Tours
This company are rated as no.1 for Singapore free walking tours. Their daily tours include: Little India, Chinatown, Marina Bay Sands and more. We joined the Chinatown tour and learnt so much during the 3.5 hours we were there. We also got to try some delicious food along the way!
6. Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
I found this temple very beautiful and I enjoyed learning about the zodiac years and animals inside too.
7. Street Art
Throughout the streets in Singapore, you can see some brilliant pieces of street art dotted around. Much nicer than the graffiti that I’m used to seeing in the UK!
I absolutely loved Singapore (probably more than I expected to) and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount that I spent. I averaged at around £25/day in spending money, which although a lot higher than what I would spend in Thailand or Vietnam, is still manageable for a few days on a backpacker budget.