Backpackers budget. Is it Singapore really expensive?

Singapore, the city of high skyscrapers and gateway to Asia, is considered one of the most expensive cities on the continent. Compared to its neighboring countries Malaysia and Thailand, the price difference is quite noticeable upwards, yet it does not exceed the European price average.
This will always depend on which city and country you compare it with, but how expensive can Singapore be with a backpacker budget?

As a general summary, we did not find it too expensive and with acceptable prices everywhere. If you know where, you can pay little and eat well as well as, move and stay with low budget. Keep reading the post for our recommendations of where to eat and where to stay cheap in Singapore. In this case, we would highlight the price of the accommodations that we think is excessive in relation to price-quality.
Find below the recent average prices of our trip to Singapore to help you get an idea of ​​your travel costs. Here we go!


Average prices
(September 2017)

  • Metro ticket from the airport to the city center 2.30 SGD (1,45€)

  • Single bus ticket (in the city center)- 1.5 SGD (0,95€ aprox)

  • Meal at the Chinatown stands for two people- 23 SGD (14,15€ aprox)
  • Eat a durian in the market- 2 SGD (1,23€ aprox.)
  • Skypark ticket entrance- 23 SGD (14,15€ aprox)


Where to eat for less in Singapore

Komala Villas Restaurant

Here we ate for less than 5 Singapore dollars per person. It is a restaurant with Indian food with great quality, it is vegetarian with several options of sauces and the typical roti that you should try if you visit Singapore. It is located on the main street of Little India.
It is likely that if the restaurant is full you will have to share a table, but think it as a good opportunity to talk with a local and get free advice.

ChinaTown Market

It is also cheap to eat in any food truck of the market although in some more than others. Here you can find many variety, including stalls of typical Chinese food, rice, meat, seafood, dumplings, and desserts. ChinaTown is a good place to eat more than once for its wide variety of food stalls, especially if you are on a budget and want to save.

In this case, Ice Kacang is a famous ice cream from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore that you can find in all markets and as a personal recommendation, you can skip it or go through with them but it is possibly not the dessert you expect. They call it the dessert of the thousand ingredients because on a layer of ice they put on all kinds of toppings, syrups, fruits, corn, and even black beans!

Makansutra Gluttons Bay


Located near the famous Merlion lion statue and a walk through Marina Bay, you will find this seafood and fish market at low prices and good quality.

Here there are also a variety of stalls where you can choose what you want to eat and choose where to sit at one of the several outdoor tables. The best of the area since you are right in the tourist heart and you will not find anything cheap around there.


Where to sleep cheap

Resultado de imagen de zen rooms kallang

Zen Rooms

It has a total of 86 hotels spread over Singapore that include hostels and hotels at low prices. You can stay at any hotel in the city because even though they are a bit far from the center, there is always a good transport connection and it takes a short time to get to each place.

Although in this case, we thought that the accommodation offer in Singapore was expensive, we were lucky to find Zen Rooms since they are a budget hotel chain of good quality. We stayed at the Zen Kallang Hotel for one night.

Save $20 of any accommodation at Zen Rooms using this link for your next booking

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I write for curious and independent travelers that would like to maximise their time and costs, even having a full time job and not "so many holidays".


  1. The hawkers food stalls in China town are my absolute favorite place to eat in Singapore! It makes me hungy just to thing about all those incredible food options 🙂

  2. You just made Singapore go high up on my bucket list, with this helpful post. I had the notion that Singapore is expensive, but it seems that its pretty doable in a budget too.

  3. It’s great to know Singapore can be done on a relatively okay budget! I was actually going to visit for a day a few years ago when I visited KL, but opted not to in the end as I’d read it could be horrifically expensive.

  4. This was a very interesting read, Singapore seems like such a magical city and it’s great to know that it’s possible to explore on a budget- I have heard of all the places nearby Singapore is the most expensive! I’m currently looking into how to get to Singapore without flying (my boyfriend has a massive fear of flying but is very keen to go). Thanks for sharing! Shan xoxo

  5. I’ve heard amazing things about eating hawker style/street food in Singapore! I’ve been dying to try it so these are some great tips, especially keeping things simple. I’m also amazed at how cheap the durian is! I guess it comes from nearby Malaysia/Thailand so it’s not as bad. Appreciate all the tips!

  6. Nice little tips on keeping it simple and saving money in Singapore. In general, it is considered one of the most expensive places in Asia, but I always believe that you just have to know the right tricks to save money no matter where you are.

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