We recently spent 10 days in Singapore. Singapore isn't exactly off the beaten path or known for being cheap and cheerful. If anything it's very well established and rather expensive. However you don't have to spend a fortune in Singapore. Here are some of the things we did that didn't break the bank.
Eat Lots of Food
While most things are expensive in Singapore, food is not. There is food available pretty much everywhere at very reasonable prices. There are certainly expensive restaurants out there but you don't need to venture into them to get a delicious meal.
There are areas specializing in specific types of food like China town and little India, which are worth visiting, but you don't need to travel that far for good quality food. Stumbling on food halls that put the food halls of Australia to shame happened by accident over and over. Whenever we wondered “what's around this corner?” or “what's through that door?” the answer was always “a packed foodhall.”
Visit the Marina Bay Sands
The very famous Marina Bay Sands is a rather pricey hotel with attached shops, restaurants etc. You're going to need to put a big dent in your bank account if you want to actually stay there. However it's free to just visit. The whole area is very pretty and offers great views of the Singapore skyline.
Just behind the hotel are the “super trees”. They're actually elaborate vertical gardens. Again, it's free to just go and wander around.
The super trees and surrounding gardens make for good photographs and the greenery is a nice break from the city.
Walk, Walk and Walk Some More
Singapore is extremely walkable. Public transport is excellent and once you arrive in your desired neighbourhood it's easy enough to stroll to your final destination. Foot paths are pretty much always available, they're well maintained and the traffic is predictable. It all makes for a very relaxed pedestrian experience.
Walking is not only a convenient way to get around it's also a wonderful way to explore. Everywhere is well signed so it's difficult to get too lost. The exercise can also help balance out all the eating.
Find The Cheap Shopping (It Exists!)
While Singapore has no shortage of high end retailers there are shopping centres like the Mustafa Centre in Little India and Bugis street which are very affordable. The Mustafa centre is cheap but a little lacking in style. We particularly recommend Bugis street. The entrance is not impressive but once you get inside there's a large multistorey complex packed with very cool and very affordable clothing stores.
A trip to Singapore is probably never going to be as cheap as Thailand or Vietnam. However it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg and you can have a wonderful time without taking out a second mortgage.