Singapore is expensive, there’s no way around it. But it’s a great place to ease your way into traveling in Southeast Asia if you’ve never been there. It’s also an easy airport to get to from other parts of the world, so even if you’re going somewhere else in the region, it’s worth considering spending a few days here before flying to your final destination. Andy and I spent three nights in Singapore at the beginning of our trip and one more night at the end. Here’s a look at how much our Singapore trip cost.
Total Singapore trip costs
Expenses are listed in Singapore dollars (S$) and US dollars. I’m using S$1.25 per US$1 as the exchange rate since our two stops there were seven weeks apart and the exchange rate changed.
S$459.84 / US$367.87 – accommodation
S$51.80 / US$41.44 – transportation
S$226.65 / US$181.32 – food and alcohol
S$78 / US$62.40 – activities
S$28.85 / US$23.08 – miscellaneous
S$845.14 / US$676.11 – total
This does not include our round trip flights to Singapore from Zurich which cost 1,590€ or about US$2,194, our flights from Singapore to Phnom Penh, Cambodia which cost 96€ or about US$132.50, our bus tickets from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore which cost 90 ringgit or about $27.45, and our train tickets from Freiburg to the Zurich airport and back which cost 56.80€ or about US$78.38.
Cost of hotels in Singapore – $367.87
As I mentioned, Singapore is expensive, and accommodation is the area that hurts the most. Figuring out where to stay in Singapore is tricky. We looked at private rooms in hostels, but the prices weren’t any better than budget hotels and usually had shared bathrooms, which wasn’t worth it to us without a savings. To make matters worse, since space is at such a premium in this tiny country, the hotel rooms are equally small. This is probably the hardest part if you’re doing a Singapore budget trip.
We ended up with twin beds in the hotel we stayed in for the first 3 days in Singapore, and they were so bad I woke up sore. The hotel we stayed in our last night was nice but so tiny I could barely walk between the end of the bed and the wall to get in and out of the bed. It did have a nice rooftop pool though. For four nights, we averaged $91.97 per night, or $45.98 per person per night, which was a pretty big chunk of our Singapore trip cost.
Transportation costs in Singapore – $41.44
Public transportation in Singapore is wonderful. Like the rest of the country, it’s organized, air conditioned, modern, efficient, and clean. Before we left the airport we saw a ticket counter and asked about transport passes. The Singapore MRT fare for a three day pass cost S$20 (US$16) per person. We just had to buy singles to get back to the airport to fly to Cambodia (since it was day four and our passes had expired). We also bought two single tickets each at the end of our trip.
Cost of food and alcohol in Singapore – $181.32
Overall, the food cost in Singapore is really low, especially considering how expensive other parts of your Singapore travel budget can be. And Singapore has tons of amazing food options.
There are hawker centers scattered all around the city where you can find cheap and delicious food, and if you’re traveling to Singapore, these hawker centers are a must! But there are also lots of expensive upscale restaurants as well as American chains. We mostly stuck to hawkers and other inexpensive options during our first 3 days in Singapore, but we splurged a little at the end of the trip.
To give you a better idea of what food costs, we spent US$106.80 during our first 3 days in Singapore. We spent US$74.52 during our final 30 hours in Singapore because we ate at Chili’s, Subway, and Starbucks, plus some snacks for the flight. We only had one beer each one night during our time in Singapore. Our food cost in Singapore for four days was an average of $45.33 per day, or $22.67 per person per day.
Activities spending – $62.40
The only activity we spent money on in Singapore was the Night Safari. Tickets are S$39, or US$31.20, per adult. It’s a little pricey, but one of my favorite Singapore travel tips is to go to the Night Safari because it’s so much fun. Of course, there are many more attractions in Singapore worth checking out if you have more time.
Miscellaneous spending – $23.08
We didn’t buy any real souvenirs in Singapore, but Andy needed flip-flops at the beginning of our trip. I used our remaining Singapore dollars to buy Tiger Balm at the airport, and we paid for showers at the Singapore airport right before our 13 hour flight.
So is Singapore expensive? Well, yes and no, but mostly yes. It can be tough to do a Singapore budget trip, but food can be inexpensive if you stick to the hawkers and don’t splurge on western chains. The Singapore MTR prices are reasonable and it’s an easy way to get around the city. Just don’t expect lodging in Singapore to be as cheap as the rest of Southeast Asia. If you’re willing to stay in hostel dorms, you can save money on accommodation.
However, there’s a lot to do in Singapore, and it’s a convenient starting point for a trip to Southeast Asia. Andy and I averaged US$169.03 per day, or about US$84.51 per person per day for four days traveling in Singapore. When planning a visit to Singapore, think European or US prices, not Southeast Asia prices.
You might also enjoy:
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Southeast Asia for Two Months
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Thailand
- How Much We Spent Traveling in Cambodia
- Or check out more real travel budget posts