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TRAVEL TIPS | Singapore on a Budget: 7x Free Things to Do

Singapore Budget - free things

Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. Especially in comparison to other Southeast Asian cities or countries, Singapore seems like a dauntingly expensive destination. But you may be surprised of the many free things to see and do in Singapore! Do not cross off Singapore off your list when backpacking on a budget. We decide to spend a couple of days roaming the streets of Singapore and end up pleasantly surprised how awesome this city is! These are our favourite free things to do around Singapore!

  1. Gardens by the Bay (by night!)

A truly magical place! Wander around the surreal landscape and feel like you are walking on Pandora from Avatar. The south garden is the largest of all, with the not-to-miss supertrees. During night these light up and there’s a fantastic daily sky show of choreographed lights and sounds: Gardens Rhapsody. Not many people know there is a Bay East Garden on the other side of the river, where you have an incredible view of the city skyline.

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. Sentosa Island

Sentosa is an island just off the southern coast of Singapore. It’s connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk and monorail. If you walk across the Sentosa pedestrian boardwalk you are able to walk onto the island for free. And even better: all the transport on the island is for free! There are so many things to do (Universal Studios! Underwater World! A tower, fort, Madame Tussauds and a lot of indoor/outdoor sports!) and there are three beautiful beaches to relax on. Too tired to walk back? Just take the monorail to the ‘mainland’ – the way back is for free as well.

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. China town & Little India

Chinatown and Little India are vibrant districts filled with traditional shops, markets, restaurants and cafes. When you walk around it feels like you are in a total different city. Both districts have Hindu temples, Mosques and Chinese temples. Don’t forget to score some cheap Chinese food in a food court or to fill your tummy with some roti prata (Indian pancakes).

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. Botanic gardens

Situated in the heart of the city of Singapore, the Botanic gardens are the perfect getaway from the populous streets. The gardens became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 and are home to over 10.000 species of flora. The perfect place to spend an afternoon and have a picnic! Check out their website to see if there are any concerts or other fun events going on.

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. Marina Bay Sands boardwalk

Walk around the bay, see the stunning skyline and take a selfie with the Merlion along the way. Twice a day – or actually, at night – an impressive water and light show ‘Spectra’ plays right in front of the Marina Bay Sands, on weekends even three times!

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. Arab Street

Arab Street refers to the area of Arab Street and the streets surrounding it. It’s Singapore’s Muslim quarter with in its heart the Masjid Sultan Mosque, with a history that goes back 200 years. These days the mosque is considered the “national mosque” of Singapore. To go inside conservative dressing is recommended, but they also offer shawls for visitors. The area is also famous for its hipster boutiques, cute cafes and colourful street arts (not a common sight in Singapore, as graffiti is illegal).

Singapore Budget - free things

  1. Changi Airport

Changi Airport, one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia, is a destination on its own. It’s much more than just an airport where you come to take a flight. It has many attractions, like a cinema (for free!), open 24 hours a day! Or you can enjoy some nature in the Sunflower, Orchid and Cactus gardens.

All of the above things are completely FREE, so do not hesitate and stop by Singapore! It might be slightly more expensive than other Asian places – looking at accommodation and transport – but overall: it’s not as expensive as you’d think!

Want to see more Singapore? Watch our Singapore video, take a look at our Singapore Gallery and read our travel journal!

Singapore Budget - free things

Have you been to Singapore? Did all the free things also surprise you? Let us know!

Want to read more travel tips? Read about our 5 uncommon, but unmissable things in our backpack!

31 Comments

  • luxurybackpacking

    This guide is great! Singapore has been on my list for so long, but I’ve always prospered visiting because of how expensive it is! I love how there are many great free things to do. Guess it’s on my list for 2018 🙂

    Reply
  • ourtasteoftravel

    so many fabulous free activities – other cities should take note! We loved the hawker markets too, did you visit them?

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      It’s an inspiration for many other place we think! And we love hawker food, as it’s always cheaper than normal food haha. Definitely a must in Singapore!

      Reply
  • Chasing Krista

    Singapore looks like such an awesome city! I regret not spending time when I was there (although the Singapore airport is one ommy favorite airports int he world hahaha). Thanks for sharing this! you are my inspiration to go back and explore the city!!

    Reply
  • heleneinbetween

    I need to go back to Singapore!! This is lovely!

    Reply
  • Jurga

    I never knew that Gardens by the Bay were free to visit, and most of the other places are completely new to me. Saved this for later – Singapore is definitely on our list for Asia

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      There are two domes where you have to pay entrance fee, but the gardens themselves are free!

      Reply
  • Justine Cross

    Aww man!! Singapore has been on my travel wishlist for such a long time… and it looks just as beautiful in your photos as I imagined. I’m particular in love with the Gardens by the Bay… like something out of the Avatar movie!!

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      It really is super magical! Can’t wait to hear what you think about it when you’ve seen it!

      Reply
  • Zoe

    I almost went to Singapore on my last trip to Southeast Asia, the reason I didn’t go was because I was worried it would be way too expensive! So this post is really useful for the future, it’s good to know there are lots of free things to do there! I know I definitely want to visit one day!

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      Happy to help a little! It can be expensive, but if you know where to look it’s easy to do on a budget!

      Reply
  • Katherine

    I’d been to Singapore about a decade ago and wow so many things have changed. 🙂 It seems more impressive than before. I didn’t know that the Gardens by the Bay was free!

    Reply
  • Portia Jones

    What a fab post, I love your photos. I went to Singapore 5 years ago and I really could have done with this guide then, I feel like I missed half of these. You have definitely inspired me to go back xx

    Reply
  • Wouter Lont

    Hi Maartje and Roxanne, great guide! I’m currently in Singapore and can confirm all of these activities are great fun! If you’ve got the time, you should explore the great nature reserves of Singapore as well. These parks are overflowing with beautiful plants and animals. Visit the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve for eagles, migratory birds, water monitoring lizards and wild crocodiles. Or the MacRitchie Reservoir for the great trail, macaques, more lizards and the height fear inducing TreeTop walk.

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      Heyy Wouter! Fun you’re there now! We wanted to go to MacRitchie, but eventually didn’t. We did do some hiking elsewhere though! And we guess it’s a good reason to come back one day 😉 Where are you going next?

      Reply
  • Reisfanaten

    Didn’t know you can do so much for free in Singapore. Can’t wait to visit it.

    Reply
  • Adri

    I always thought Singapore was really expensive! This guide is so helpful for a budget traveler like me! 🙂

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      So happy to help! It was such a big surprise to us, we actually did not expect to like it a lot (because to the prices), but this was just so perfect!

      Reply
  • chadoretravel

    We have been to the streetfood market near chinatown and then even the food is super cheap! 2/3 dollars for a full meal.

    Reply
    • Roxanne & Maartje

      Totally!! I don’t get why it’s the most expensive city in the world haha for us it wasn’t!

      Reply
  • Kimberley

    Ohh ik wil zo graag een keer naar Singapore! Super handig om dan zo’n lijstje met gratis dingen te hebben!

    Reply
  • Eugenie Van es

    Leuke en handige blog. Heb hem even opgeslagen. We hopen er dit jaar misschien nog heen te gaan

    Reply
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