Things to do in Singapore on a Budget
by Seek To Travel | January 28, 2019
Do you think Things to do in Singapore is expensive? You will be surprised after reading this article on Things to do in Singapore on a Budget on how you can enjoy Singapore without spending much money.
Singapore is a small country located south of Malaysia. It is a bustling growing multicultural city. From the moment you step into Changi International Airport and make your way out into the city, you will be astonished by the luscious green trees planted along the side of the roads and the spectacular architecture of the buildings.
Immediately you feel excited about exploring the island whether it’s exploring the city, seeking action and adventure or going on a foodie adventure.
A destination you must visit whether a short stopover before your final destination or a short holiday planned, you will not be disappointed.
You may have been familiar with Singapore after watching the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians. Although the movie focuses more on the people living a luxurious lifestyle, it is not all about luxury and glamour but overall a sophisticated country.
The standard of living is high but don’t let that stop you from visiting this beautiful city. There is so much the city has to offer. The city caters to everybody whether it’s a luxury trip, family holiday or a budget holiday.
The best time to visit Singapore is from February to April, the average temperature of 28 degrees. The weather is pleasant during that time with minimum rainfall. The wettest months fall from November through to January while the hottest months are May and June.
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Best Things to do in Singapore on a Budget
- Stroll in the Singapore Botanical Garden
- Visit Gardens by the Bay
- City View from Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck
- Visit Little India for shopping, food and temples
- Explore Chinatown
- Watch the Marina Bay Sands Light Show and Water Show
- Spend a day in Pulau Ubin
- Free Walking Tour
- Enjoy Free performance at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
- Visit the Haw Par Villa Asian cultural park
- Relax at the Sentosa Beach
1. Stroll in the Singapore Botanical Garden
Singapore Botanical Garden is Singapore’s oldest garden located 10 minutes from Orchard Road in the heart of the city. There is a small entry fee to the orchid garden. This garden is the country’s first UNESCO heritage site and is around 60 acres of the green garden.
Home to more than 10,000 species of flora. The garden opens daily from 5 am to 12 am midnight and entry is free. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon avoiding the heat.
For a more different experience, visit during twilight. This could be one of the best Free things to do in Singapore for all ages.
The garden features a spectacular vibrant coloured orchid garden, ginger garden and a small rainforest, all located inside Singapore’s iconic skyscrapers.
The rainforest itself consists of more than 300 species of flora. It is a paradise away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
A free guided conducted tour can be organised. These tours are run by volunteers. Please find more information here. Not only will you spot exotic plants and flora, you will also spot many different species of birds and insects.
Most families visit the garden during weekends for a picnic. Restaurants and food court are available inside the garden.
The Swan Lake also referred to as the Main Lake is one of the main features of the Botanical Gardens. The lake is 1.5 hectares and about 4 meters deep, home to many aquatic plants and fishes. A charming spot for visitors to rest and admire the beauty of the garden.
2. Visit Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a colorful park spanning around 250 acres of reclaimed land. It is a 5 minute walk from the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel. The theme of the park is futuristic. Waterfront views across three different gardens can be seen.
The three trees like steel frame towers are named Bay Central Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay South Garden. The tree shaped structure is home to over 200 different species of flowers and plants, a walkway connects the three trees together. Its Flower Dome is the largest glass greenhouse in the world.
The entrance to the Gardens by the Bay is free for the supertree and surrounding gardens however fees do apply for flower and cloud forest dome. Adult fees are $28 and children $15. The best time to visit the gardens is during the weekdays.
Early morning or evenings when the weather is cooler is the best time to visit. The conservation is open until 9 pm and spectacular lighting of the gardens are on display.
A light show is held twice every night. The first show is 7:45 pm and the second at 8:45 pm. The light show is free so no need to pay for entrance.
Do take your time while visiting the gardens. There is a lot of beautiful things to see and you won’t enjoy the beauty of the gardens if you are in a rush. Do give yourself at least 1-2 hours to cover the whole garden.
If you want to get a closer look of the supertrees, you can walk the OCBC skyway for a fee of $8.
You can get more information about the park from the garden’s official site here
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3. City View from Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck
To soak in 360 degree panoramic bird’s eye view of Singapore, there is no better place then the Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck. The deck is on top of the popular Marina Bay Sands hotel also famous for its iconic edge pool.
The observation deck is on the 57th floor of the hotel surrounded by a glass wall so you will get an uninterrupted view of the whole city including Gardens by the Bay. Please note edge pool area is only accessible for hotel guests.
The best time to visit the deck in the early evening before sunset to see the beauty of Singapore at different times of the day. Do have your camera ready to take in the spectacular views. Guided tours are available.
Guided tour times are 10 am, 2 pm and 9 pm (check on the hotel site) every day where you will get a tour of the Marina Bay Sands and an insight into the history of Singapore. Book in advance if you are interested in the guided tour.
Tickets are valid for a single entry to the observation deck between 9:30 am to 10 pm and 11 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Make sure to have your camera ready to take back amazing memories. The entrance fee is S$23 for adults and discounts are available for children and senior citizens. To check the price and opening times, please visit the official site.
Check how much it costs to stay in Marina Bay Sands
4. Visit Little India for shopping, food and temples
Little India is an ethnic Indian district in Singapore once was home to cattle herders and a racecourse, now times have definitely changed! It is now a vibrant district located 15 minutes from Chinatown.
You can expect to see modern buildings mixed with traditional buildings, big shopping centres like the famous 24 hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre, Hindu Temples and Mosques.
The shopping here is fabulous and one not to be missed. You will find everything from electronics, fresh food, traditional clothing and products just to name a few and is the best place to buy gold jewellery.
For a food adventure everyone comes to visit Little India to taste the best authentic Indian food in town whether it is eating South Indian food off a banana leaf or trying a variety of North Indian dishes. Here you will find the Tekka Centre. A large orange and yellow building just outside the MRT.
Also a popular centre at Little India for its Hawker Market. Here it is set up as a hawkers center with food stalls all individually lined up together. Plenty of options to choose from so follow the crowd and enjoy the food and its aroma.
The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple and one of the biggest temples in Singapore dedicated to the goddess Kali is located in Little India. There are many other Hindu temples and Mosques located here. You can walk into one of many colourful fresh flower garland stores and purchase them as an offering to the temples.
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5. Explore Chinatown
Chinatown is a must see place to visit located in the center of Singapore. Rich in culture and Chinese heritage. It is made up of four districts, Kreta Ayer, Telok Ayer, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Pasoh and divided into streets. The popular Pagoda Street and Sago Land.
You can visit beautiful temples, shops, eat at the authentic hawker center and explore the streets and discover hidden gems. All public transport services to Chinatown and can easily get around by walking. Whether you are visiting during the day or night, both times offer a different experience with a lively atmosphere filled with locals and tourists.
For a food adventure, try one of Singapore’s best hawker center, Maxwell Food Centre. Here you will find the best local cuisines all at a cheap price. Markets and food stalls are available in the streets of Chinatown, a perfect place to go on a foodie trip and buy unique Chinese souvenirs.
Don’t forget to add Chinatown on your Singapore adventure which is one of the Cheap Things to do in Singapore.
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6. Watch the Marina Bay Sands Light Show and Water Show
Spectra the light and water show displayed over the water at the Event Plaza is one that should not be missed and enjoyed by people of all ages. The spectacular show involves musical water fountains, colourful laser lights and mist affects all choreographed by the orchestral soundtrack.
The shows are free and run for 15 minutes held every night at 8 pm and 9:30 pm. On Friday and Saturday, the show runs three times a night with the last show at 11 pm.
You can view the show at three locations. A close stunning view at the Event Plaza, from a 7:30 pm river cruise and with the Marina Bay Sands in the backdrop. Enjoy the show and make sure to have your camera ready!
7. Spend a day in Pulau Ubin
If you are looking for an authentic experience then Pulau Ubin is a beautiful place to visit where you will get to experience the culture of Singapore. Pulau Ubin is a separate island located northeast of Singapore. Unlike Singapore, you will find Pulau Ubin as a rural village with lush forests, rustic roads and the place to be quite secluded.
You can take the bumboat from Changi Jetty costing you around $3 per person and will take 15 minutes to reach. Boats run frequently and are available all day.
There are a few things you can do when you are in Pulau. You can experience the untouched terrains on a Kayak and explore the water and the mangrove forests.
Cycling is probably the best way to explore the island. You can either bring your own bike or hire a bike. Here you will spot charming kampung houses, ponds and experience the natural beauty of the island.
If you like hiking then you can take the Chek Jawa Wetlands trail, a 45 minute hike. During the walk, you can spot plant and marine life, mangrove swamp and soak in the view of the sea and rocky shores at the end of the trail.
For people who want to spend the night on the island, there are a few campsites available. Please visit here for more information.
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8. Free Walking Tour
Free Walking Tours are a great way and no better way to explore the city with a local guide along with other tourists. The guide will take you to amazing sites and will explain the history and culture of each site you visit. So make sure to wear your comfy shoes and enjoy the experience of seeing Singapore on foot.
There are a few Free Walking Tours in Singapore that provides tours of various places and run various times of the day. Pick your session and times and plan your day so it won’t be missed.
If you are short on time and wanted to do Things in Singapore in 24 hours, this should be on your list.
To see a list of walking tours, please visit here
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9. Enjoy Free performance at Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay
Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay is also known as The Esplanade is a world famous arts center with around 3000 performances performed yearly. There’s a great range of entertainments available for everyone from music, dance and theater mostly free of charge.
The architectural design of the building consists of triangulated glass elements and the shape of the building is a unique design that resembles a durian fruit. The center offers world class performances and is performed almost every day of the week.
Whether you are an art, music, dance or theater fan, the Esplanade will not disappoint you.
You can find more information here about the showtimes and charges.
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10. Visit the Haw Par Villa Asian cultural park
Haw Par Villa is an 8.5 hectare cultural park build in 1937 which has been famous for being the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. This park showcases the history of China with over 1000 statues reflecting the culture of China.
This park is located in Pasir Panjang and is also known as the Tiger Balm Gardens. The park was built by the famous businessman Aw Boon Haw who built the park for his brother Aw Boon Park. Both names are famous and well known as the creators of the famous Tiger Balm.
Singapore Tourism Board started managing the park in 1985 and since then it has been reconstructed and modernized. A park is now a popular place for locals and tourists to visit. The park offers entertainment for people of all ages and is free of charge.
For more information about the park, please visit here
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11. Relax at the Sentosa Island Beaches
Sentosa island the famous attraction of Singapore, home to the ever popular Universal Studios. This man made island consists of many attractions and activities and will never leave you feeling bored.
There are three beaches listed below to visit all within walking distance from each other so enjoy the time on the water, soak up the sun and make the most of the time spent here.
Siloso Beach is the busiest beach of the three. You will find the trendiest bars and restaurants here with many other activities on offer. The most popular activity is the 450 meter zip line starting from Imbiah Hill and finishes at Fox Finish Point. Along the way, you will see spectacular views over the water.
Another beach is Palawan beach. A quieter beach suitable for families with playgrounds, lagoon and parks for the kids to enjoy. There is a bridge over the water which overlooks the “Southernmost Point of continental Asia”. Few restaurants and shops are available around the beach to grab a bite to eat.
The third beach is the Tanjong beach on the island and is considered one of the best beaches in Singapore. The setting of the beach is beautiful with palm trees and white sand. This beach is considered an adult gateway. Here you can chill at the beach or relax by the pool sipping on cocktails.
There are two clubs on the beach – Tanjong Beach Club and FOC Sentosa opened daily. The beach comes to life at night and transforms into one of the best beach parties in Singapore.
For more information about these beaches, please visit here.
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Tips and Helpful Links:
We recommend Bookings.com for Accommodation Deals – Check Booking.com here
We recommend World Nomad for Travel Insurance. Its super quick to check the price. Check WorldNomad here
We recommend Skyscanner. Skyscanner
We recommend CarRentals.com
We recommend Books and Ebooks from Lonely Planet
Singapore is truly an ultimate destination to visit, a small country filled with so many surprises in every part of the city. A vibrant city that has so much to offer. A destination you want to come back to and take on a new adventure.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and have found it helpful in planning your next trip to Singapore. Feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts and experience in Singapore.
Which of these do you think are the Top things to do in Singapore? Please comment below, we would love to hear from you.