Choosing among all the cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget it’s not an easy task, having in mind how much the city, or may I say the country, has to offer.
The mega-metropolis has to offer its visitors plenty of attractions to see, places to visit, and things to do. Singapore is one of the cities with the best investment potential and global commerce, finance, and transport hub. Singapore also has the reputation of one of the most expensive cities in the world. Living there is certainly expensive, but visiting doesn’t necessarily need to be so. Keep on reading to discover 15 cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget.
The options for cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget are a lot! Here, you’ll find some of the best ones that have been personally tested.
Table of Contents
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Fest on the food!
As such a modern and vibrant city, in Singapore, you can find food from all over the world – Chinese, Thai, Indian, Sushi, Malaysian, whatever your guts might scream for. I visited Singapore after spending two weeks in Malaysia, where I fell in love with the food. In Singapore, I ate mostly more Malaysian food, Indian and Chinese. Everything was delicious. The good news is that you don’t need to eat in fancy restaurants all the time, or at all.
All around Singapore there are hawker centers, where you can find the most delicious food for a reasonable price. Trust me, you’ll love those places. The price range for a meal in the hawker centers is between 2.50-5 SGD. Feasting on the food is without any doubts a must-have experience in Singapore.
Here are 3 places I love:
- Maxwell Road Hawker Center
- Chinatown Complex Food Center – the largest one in Singapore, over 260 food stalls!
- Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Center
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Enjoy the cheapest Michelin starred meal
But wait, Michelin starred restaurants are bloody expensive?! Well, in Singapore, you can find the cheapest one – it’s not the whole restaurant actually, it’s just one meal. A meal that received a Michelin star from the world’s most prestigious food guide. Chef Chan Hon Meng soy sauce chicken rice used to cost 1.50 SGD at the original stall. Today, there is a restaurant dedicated to it – the price for the same meal there will cost you 3.80 SGD. That’s still cheap for a Michelin star meal and it’s absolutely worth it! Enjoying the cheapest Michelin starred meal in the world definitely deserves its place on the list of cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget.
Address: 78 Smith Street, Singapore
READ NEXT: How to Eat on a Budget Around the World
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Explore the Tiong Bahru neighborhood
One of the cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget is to visit and explore the Tiong Bahru neighborhood. Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore. While you’re exploring the area, you’ll notice the mix of old and new. It used to be a burial ground. Nowadays, it’s the hippest place in the city, filled with trendy cafes and shops.
Things to do in Tiong Bahru:
- Wander aimlessly and relax
- Check out the street art
- Food – Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Center
- HDB flats
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Admire the street art
You can see street art in Singapore in many places and it’s all nice. One of the places where you can spot lots of is Haji Lane (see below). I personally really liked the street art in Tiong Bahru and some random pieces I came across while exploring the city on foot.
For street art fans, admiring the art around the city is one of the coolest free things to do in Singapore.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Discover some great views
In Singapore, there are many chill rooftop bars. Unfortunately, a drink at one of those bars costs a lot. Yeah, it would be awesome to enjoy the skyline with a drink in hand in a cool and fancy rooftop bar, but remember that you’re on a budget, so it’s likely that you cannot afford to do that. The Sands SkyPark Observation Deck (23 SGD) offers a view over the Marian Bay. The Singapore Flyer (33 SGD) offers a 360 panoramic view of Singapore from Marina Bay to the islands of Malaysia. If that fits within your budget, I’d say go for it! Luckily, I’ve been taken to the Government apartments (HDB flats) from where I enjoyed a great view of the city without paying a dollar. You can do it too!
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Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Meet and hang out with the locals
The locals are always the best company to hang out with when exploring a new place. While I was in Singapore, I meet two nice and cool local boys that were kind enough to show me around the city, tell me about its history and one of them even let me fly his drone. Those guys were great and I had such a lovely time exploring Singapore with them. At Tribe Theory, where I was staying, the owner and the girl at the reception (both locals) were wonderful as well – so helpful, fun, and friendly.
Btw, if you’re traveling to Singapore between January and February, you can witness Singapore’s Thaipusam festival. This is a Hindu festival celebrated by the Tamil community. If you find a local person to take you to the festival and tell you more about it, that’d be great.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Lost yourself in books (BooksActually)
As I was wandering around Tiong Bahru with one of my local friends, we stumbled upon a lovely bookstore, BooksActually. BooksActually is a little independent bookstore crammed with local, classic, and contemporary literature. You can easily spend hours in it. As a book and bookstores lover, I loved this place! If you’re one yourself, you’ll love it too. More than books, in the back of the store, there is also a great mix of cool and interesting souvenirs. In front of the store, you can also risk and buy a mystery book for 19 SGD. In my opinion, both the mystery book and the cool stuff at the back of the store are great and you can take something home as a souvenir from Singapore.
Ah, did I mention the cats?
Address: 9 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru, Singapore
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Stay at the Tribe Theory Hostel
Tribe Theory Venture Hotel is a new category of affordable business accommodation for startups and entrepreneurs in Singapore and expanding worldwide. I found this place online when I was searching for a place where to stay in Singapore. As soon as I found it, I knew I wanted to stay there during my trip. As a start-up or an entrepreneur, there, you’ll be able to meet lots of like-minded people who also share the love of traveling – how cool, isn’t it?
I loved my stay in the Tribe Theory because of the great atmosphere that is flying around the place thanks to the people, both staying and working there, the convenient location, the design and the idea of the hotel, and of course, because it was really suitable for me having in mind that I was working full-time during my stay not just in Singapore but my whole SE Asia trip.
Tribe Theory is located in the Chinatown district on the buzzing Ann Siang Road, housed in a heritage shop-house. The building where the Tribe Theory Venture Hostel resides in once has been Singapore’s first bloodline and hometown clan association, founded by Chow Ah Chey – Singapore’s first entrepreneur. He established two of Singapore’s earliest companies, one of which used this shop-house on Ann Siang Road as an investment property and clan association.
The hotel features air-conditioned dormitory rooms with capsule beds, each fitted with individual lockers and curtains for privacy. The co-working space is on the top floor. The hostel also features complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Inspirational quotes are scattered all over the hotel and when you feel tired from work, you can also relax on the full body massage chair. Books for entrepreneurship are also available in the lobby. The Happy Hour is also a plus.
The area is full of bars and restaurants, Maxwell Food Centre and Chinatown Food Street are within a walking distance, as well as the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station and Chinatown MRT Station. If you are a start-up, entrepreneur, blogger, vlogger, digital nomad, etc, Tribe Theory is your place to stay in Singapore.
Location – Wonderful!
Rooms – Great!
Cleanliness – Perfect!
Staff – Fabulous!
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Wander around the Marina bay
Marina Bay is probably the most popular spot in Singapore. While wandering around the 3.5km area, you’ll find plenty of things to do and see on the way. Of course, this area is also the most expensive area in Singapore, but wandering around and admiring the architectural masterpieces doesn’t cost a thing.
Around Marina Bay, you’ll find:
- The Gardens by the Bay (check below)
- ArtScience Museum – the iconic lotus flower design of the building is simply impressive and beautiful.
- Sands SkyPark – it will cost you 23 SGD to enjoy the view from up there.
- Singapore Flyer
- Esplanade – Concert Hall, Theatre, and outdoor performance area. Most events are tickets only, but the Esplanade also has plenty of free shows and performances – definitely one of the cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget, or even for free.
- The Merlion – You haven’t been to Singapore if you haven’t taken a photo next to the iconic statue looking like the fountain of water is pouring into your mouth. YOLO.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Watch the light show at Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is a man-made park where you can find the so-called SuperTree Grove. A visit to the Gardens is Singapore’s must. One of the most recognizable landmarks of the city, the Gardens by the Bay is luckily completely free to visit (some attractions inside the park have an entry fee). You should visit the Gardens at night to watch the light show – every evening at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm, the 50-meters trees lit up! The Gardens by the Bay light show is one of the best night activities you can do in Singapore.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Take a walk through Chinatown
Singapore’s Chinatown is very different from the rest of the city – the buildings are much lower, the culture is bursting on the streets, delicious smells of traditional cuisine, Chinatown is the place to visit in Singapore. Chinese is the largest ethical group in Singapore, who arrived in the then-British colony, who is very proud of its heritage and has a lot to show.
- Chinatown Street Market
- Chinatown Heritage Center
- Baba House
- Sri Mariamman Temple
- Speakers Corner (Hong Lim Park)
- Duxton Skybridge
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Haji Lane
Haji Lane has been the original hipster neighborhood before Tiong Bahru. Haji Lane is filled with independent boutiques, quirky cafes, and many murals. It’s a nice and cool area to hang out at and it also gives you the opportunity for many great shots.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Photo walk
Singapore can be best explored on foot – grab your camera and go for a walk around the city to hunt for the best photo spots.
Things to do in Singapore on a budget: Singapore Airport
There are lots of cool and fun things to do in Singapore on a budget, but at some point, you’ll need to leave. Why not head to the airport earlier? I can’t believe that I said that, I hate wasting time at the airport, but Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the best airports in the world.
The airport offers many things to do to kill the time while waiting and most of them are completely free! When I was making my way back home from my first SE Asia trip, I had a 6-hour layover at the Changi Airport before boarding my 11-hour flight to Athens.
There are many restaurants, shops and places to waste your time. Changi Airport even has its own gardens, it’s beautiful. It features free and actually fast and working Wi-Fi.
You can watch movies for free at the all-day Movie Theatre – Terminal 2 & 3.
You can play Xbox and Playstations at Entertainment Deck – Terminal 2.
You can catch up with the news at the Xperience Zone – Terminal 2.
Things to do in Singapore: Party
If you go out to a club in Singapore, prepare yourself to spend a lot of money. I ended up partying in a club without spending a dollar – no one from our company did, but that’s a different story and we just happened to be lucky, I guess. However, as I was curious, I wanted to check the menu to see the prices. The cheapest thing on the menu was a shot of tequila, 21 SGD – 21 SGD!!! That’s 15 USD or 13 euros. Going out to party in Singapore is not budget-friendly but you can always buy drinks from the groceries and make your own party – just don’t expect to do this wherever you want, you’re in Singapore after all.
For even more tips on things to do in the city on a budget, check what $10 can get you in Singapore.
Thanks for reading,
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