Singapore on an Indian budget –Tips to Save Money When Planning a Holiday in Singapore
Singapore is on the hot list of top travel destination for Indians. And why shouldn’t it be? Given its close proximity to India, a flight to Singapore just takes a few hours. This Lion City in the South East Asia is an epitome of a medley of cultures with strong influences from Chinese, Malay, and India. It boasts of towering skyscrapers, efficient subways, and a clean and modern environment. Being one of the prosperous and cosmopolitan countries in the world, holidaying in Singapore comes with a price tag. But, that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy Singapore on an Indian budget. Of course, you can – if you travel smart and plan your trip well in advance.
By travelling smart we mean – do more and explore more of the city at a minimal cost. Planning a trip thoroughly before you set out on the journey is very important. A 5 day trip to Singapore should be enough to cover most of the attractions. While you may increase another day or two, but then the more you prolong you stay there, the more expensive it will get for you. Get your priorities clear – what kind of accommodation you prefer, which attractions of the city you want to visit, food, way of commute, etc. In today’s age of Internet where all sort of information is just a click away, researching thoroughly online will save you quite a few bucks and will help you make the most of your trip.
Here we are sharing some of our pro tips on how to explore Singapore on a shoe-string Indian budget:
One of the biggest costs of travelling to any foreign destination is the travel fare. Therefore it makes sense to save on it as much as you can by travelling in a not-so-busy season. If it is not very inconvenient to you avoid the months of December and January for travelling to Singapore as the flow of tourists there is said to be the highest in these months. You should plan and book your tickets at least 3-4 months in advance. Keep an eye on the airfares around the time you want to visit Singapore and book as soon as you find a reasonably good deal.
Save on Accommodation:
Another important factor of your travel budget is the accommodation. While Singapore boasts of some of the fanciest stays for a premium experience. But, if your budget doesn’t permit you to indulge on that, check out the hostels for backpackers that provides affordable accommodation (breakfast and internet access included) on a tight budget. If you are visiting Singapore with family, you can explore cheap hotels in Little India and China Town. Choose the ones that come with breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Another thing to keep in mind while choosing a place to stay is its location. There is no point in staying in a cheap hotel that is secluded and far from the city, as you will end up spending more time and money in commuting.
You should refrain from using your Indian SIM in Singapore. International calling and mobile data can cost you a lot and it might topple your budget. Instead, buy a local SIM as soon as you can. Singapore offers free public Wi-Fi. You can find Wireless@SG almost in every malls and cafe. The only criterion to be able to connect to it is to have a local SIM. While it might not be super-fast, it is enough to keep you connected via social media and WhatsApp. You can use the local SIM to make international calls as and when needed.
It is easy to get a visa for Singapore for Indian passport holders. However, it is advisable to apply it in advance, instead of getting it on arrival by queueing up in long lines. This will save you quite a bit of time which you can utilize to do other things in Singapore.
Stay Away from Getting Fined:
The laws in Singapore are very stringent and there are hefty fines for activities that might seem harmless elsewhere. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when in Singapore to avoid getting fined.
- Always use marked crosswalks to cross the roads. If found violating this rule, you will be fined instantly.
- Always wear a seatbelt when in a car.
- Do not ride a bike on the paths marked only for pedestrians.
- Chewing gums, eating food on public transportations are not allowed.
- Spitting or littering in public areas is considered an offense and will attract a big fine.
- Not flushing after using a public toilet is also considered illegal
- You cannot feed the pigeons in the park; else you may end up getting fined.
- Electronic cigarettes are illegal in Singapore. So, make sure you do not bring them with you in Singapore.
- Flying kites or playing any games in any public area that disrupts the public traffic also attracts fine.
- Connecting to another user’s Wi-Fi in Singapore is a crime.
Singapore is a food lover’s paradise and there is something to cater to every budget needs. Typically, there should be no dearth of good and cheap eating joints around the place of your stay. You should also explore the street foods of Singapore in some of the food halls also known as local hawker centers. People swear by their perfectly grilled Satay, Hainanese chicken rice, dim sums and chilli crabs. If you are a vegetarian don’t worry, you will have plenty of options in Little India – be it Parathas you are looking for or Idli Sambhar; you will find it all here.
Singapore has one of the best and efficient public transportation systems in the world. If you intend to save time and money on commuting in Singapore shun travelling by private cabs and make use of the Singapore basic bus services, LRT and MRT services as much as you can– they are fast and connect to most part of Singapore. While tickets for single trips are available, but it will make more sense to go for the EZ-link pass if you plan to use bus and train services multiple times a day. EZ- link pass lets you travel unlimited times a day. The cards can be bought at the ticketing counter of most MRT stations. Do ensure that you buy the pass according to your travel needs. Some cafes and stores do accept this card as a mode of payment.
Shopping in malls in Singapore is exorbitantly expensive. So, if you need to do some souvenir shopping head to the markets around Little India and China Town. You can get an even better price there if you know how to bargain. Mustafa in Little India needs a mention as here you can find almost everything you might want to buy in Singapore to take back home. Bugis Street Market is another place to shop for cheap souvenirs like fridge magnets, Singapore tees, accessories, etc. There are few malls on Orchard Road that also deals in such stuff.
Chances of partying in Singapore when travelling on an Indian budget is practically zero. Thanks, to the excessive taxation on booze, entry to a decent nightclub alone can cost you a hefty amount. However, if you want to get the feel of nightlife in Singapore without burning a hole in your pocket, head to the riverside development of Clarke Quay – the partying hub of Singapore early and grab some happy hour deals. There are a couple of cheap bars that lets you enjoy a few drinks at a reasonable cost – check out Five Izakaya Bar, Ice Cold B’s @SMU, Orgo and Wala Wala Café & Bar. Many travelers on a tight budget often buy drinks from the 7-Eleven stores in Clarke Quay and hang out around the Waterfront which is teeming with people socializing around giving a very relaxed atmosphere. If you are heading out to Singapore with your girl’s gang – Wednesday is the perfect day for you to party as most clubs across Singapore allows free entry and drinks for ladies on this day.
Singapore is an ever-evolving city that offers numerous attractions and fun activities to its visitors. Even though you are on a budget trip to Singapore, you will not want to miss out on some of the most popular attractions like the Night Safari, Singapore Flyer, Garden by the Bay and Universal Studios located on the Sentosa Island.
It is a very popular attraction that has tourists thronging in all day round. This large observation wheel stands 541 feet from the ground and offers its visitors with majestic panoramic vistas of the city.
Sentosa Island and Universal Studios:
If beaches are your kind of thing, another place to explore when in Singapore is the Sentosa Island. Located off the southern tip of Singapore, it has been built to be a leisure center with a number of beaches, theme parks, and all sorts of fun activities. Cable car ride to Sentosa Island is quite popular among visitors. It also has the famed Universal Studio, the first of its kind in South East Asia. With more than 20 attractions in themed zones, Universal Studios Singapore is an amusement park par excellence. You need to dedicate one full day from your itinerary to enjoy the island and the thrilling rides at Universal Studios.
Garden by the Bay:
Winner of the World Building of the year in 2012, Garden by the Bay consists of manmade futuristic looking trees boasting of impressive designs and colors. Be ready to be enchanted by the man-made waterfalls located in the Cloud Forest Dome in the garden.
A leading wildlife conservation and research centre, Singapore’s Night Safari is an interesting place that warrants a visit. It gives the visitors a glimpse of the nighttime habitat of over 2500 animals.
One way to save on these must-see attractions in Singapore is to get the Singapore Attraction Pass. This is the only pass that covers most of the popular attractions in Singapore (cable ride to Sentosa Island is not included in this). This pass enables you to enjoy a long list of 45 participating attractions without having to wait in long queues or pay anything extra. Just present this card and jumpstart your tour. You can buy this card online. It will save you money and also some precious time while you are in Singapore.
Among other things to do in Singapore, there are a number of attractions to enjoy in Singapore that will actually not cost you much. Here is a quick list:
The Singapore Botanic Gardens:
Laced with lush greenery, these gardens are home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. And the best part is there are no entry fees.
Want to witness Singapore’s most spectacular vistas; Marina Bay is the place to visit. With the Marina Bay Sands complex in its heart, there are plenty of things to do and explore in the area. Be sure to be here around 8 in the evening and watch one of the most splendid light shows that dazzle the water and the several landmarks around.
Situated right at the mouth of the Singapore River, Merlion Park is one of the iconic parks in Singapore and it is also free to visit. You can get a great view of the Singapore skyline, the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands from here.
Explore the ethnic neighbourhoods:
Walking around and exploring the famed area in Singapore like Little India, the Arab Quarters or China Town won’t cost you a penny either. In China Town you can visit the oldest temple in Singapore – Sri Mariamman Temple as well as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple apart from sampling authentic Chinese dishes.
If you prefer nature walks, places like Fort Canning Park, the hiking trails at the Southern Ridges Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve are perfect for you. There are no entrance fees in all these places too.
If you need any help in planning your trip to Singapore on an Indian budget, get in touch with the travel experts at Viisit. They will find you great deals and help you get more done for less in Singapore.