As a major center for business and trade with renowned shopping and night-life districts, Singapore is fast to become an ex-pat destination for a lot of creatives. Though the old saying goes that “there’s nothing to do in Singapore except shop”, it is not necessarily a good thing and may not even be true.
Getting around and into Singapore is easy and convenient for most Western travelers. The city-state is a major stopover when traveling through Asia or between continents, usually Australia-Europe, and thus has become a hub of international curiosity.
We have a list of activities that you can do during a Singapore travel for a budget of less than 50 USD. So, next time you’re flying through Singapore and have around 24 hours to kill on your layover, take the uber-fast train out of the airport and get acquainted with this wonderful place.
Singapore’s special Chinatown
No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to Chinatown. Singapore’s own one is quite unique in that it’s a throwback to the old Chinese regime though it seems like every major city in the world has Chinatown.
After immersing yourself in the district perusing the shops and stalls of their items, find your way out to any of the side streets where restaurants litter the streets, offering cheap, delicious meals for under 10 SGD (approximately 7 USD)!
Orchard Road – a place to shop till you drop
Head to Orchard station for some window-shopping after your appetite has been sated. With the multitude of options available in terms of stores and malls, feel free to just walk around and browse through all the available shops.
You don’t even need to spend a cent here despite the fact that it is Singapore’s main shopping district. Sit for hours in the world’s largest Kinokuniya – a bookstore – or catch a movie at any of the cinemas in the mall.
Singapore’s galleries and museums will amaze you
As you have your tourist card in hand, get yourself to downtown Singapore and start walking around. Get yourself a cheap breakfast at any of the restaurants next to the canals or find yourself a hidden gem that does breakfast for cheap. You must try any of the crepes that are on offer for under 10 SGD (approximately 7 USD), that’s such a great deal!
Then, let’s explore the area surrounding the MRT station of Raffles Place and you’re more than likely to come across some of the top famous museums and galleries in Singapore.
The National Art Gallery is the largest visual arts institution in Singapore and finds its home here, along with Singapore Art Museum, the Substation, and Art Plural Gallery – Singapore’s largest art gallery. Browse the intricate exteriors of each building or hop into the museums to while away your morning!
The entrance fees for these places are less than 20 SGD (approximately 14 USD) each for foreigners, and free for Singaporeans.
Little India takes you out of Singapore
Coming to Little India might give you an insight into life in the sub-continent if you’ve never been there. As the name implies, it’s a minuscule reflection of the enormous country itself. You’ll find most of the Indians here are from the south as it is the center for the large Indian community in Singapore.
It’s definitely one of the top colorful places in Singapore and not as sterile as the rest. There are several Hindu temples in Little India that one can visit for free, most lively in the morning or afternoon, each temple represents a different god.
Grab yourself dinner from one of the hostels/restaurants that litter the outskirts of this mini-town. You’d be hard-pressed to find restaurants with meals over 20 SGD (approximately 14 USD), as most restaurants in the area cater to locals more than the foreigners.
Or, you can get a local meal for cheap at any of the typical Indian restaurants if you do not have much money left over. And remember a later time when you’ve walked around, worked up an appetite for dinner but can’t afford any of the prices on Orchard street, head to Little India.
The affordable public transport tourist pass in Singapore
With an impeccable public transport system that’s easy to use and understand. Taxies here are reasonably priced and buses are surprisingly frequent. Get yourself an EZ-link card for tourists. Called a Singapore Tourist Pass, it’s available at major Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, Changi Airport, and Orchard being two of them.
What does the pass offer? It includes unlimited travel on buses and trains and costs about 10 SGD (approximately 6 USD) for a day, 16 SGD (approximately 12 USD) for two days, and 20 SGD (approximately 14 USD) for 3 days. The deal is so good that you couldn’t ask for a better bargain.