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While making your way around Singapore can be pricey, there are ways to budget
While making your way around Singapore can be pricey, there are ways to budget | © akenarinc / Pixabay
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How To Enjoy One Day in Singapore On a Budget

Picture of Tarandip Kaur
Updated: 30 July 2018
Singapore can be an expensive place to visit but when done right, it’s possible to spend a full day without breaking the bank. The small size of the country means it’s easy to walk to most of the key destinations and still have a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. We reveal how to do this without worrying about finances.


Explore central Singapore and its historical neighbourhoods

Start your day in the centre of Singapore, located in the southernmost tip. Probably the best thing you can do is consider the various low-budget guesthouses in the area, especially around Little India.

Sri Mariamman temple
Sri Mariamman Temple | © Pigprox / Shutterstock

From there, head on over to Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore built in a classical agamic style. Walk along the road and then head to Tekka Centre where you get a massive list of local dining options among the various stalls at affordable prices.

After filling your belly, check out the historical Little India neighbourhood and see how this dynamic and vibrant area manages to maintain its essence in a globalised and modern city-state. From here, begin your next step towards Bugis.

Pro-tip: Best thing to do when exploring Little India is to start your day early, so you can beat the crowd that starts pouring in due to the popularity of this area.


Venture into Singapore’s hipster enclave

While in Bugis, immediately head towards the Arab Street area, but while on your way there, make a slight detour towards Haji Lane. This is Singapore’s prime hipster neighbourhood where all the trendsetters and fashionistas congregate. Check out the stores and you might be able to nick a bargain from one of their vintage and thrift boutiques.

singapore-haji lane
Haji Lane is decorated with artistic graffiti all over the street | © cegoh / Pixabay

Then head over to Arab Street and get cracking while you check out the opulent Sultan Mosque. Immediately in front of this are a whole bunch of photogenic alleys and streets in another of Singapore’s beautiful historic squares filled with bars, boutiques and dining outlets. If you feel hungry, check out Zam Zam and try one of their famed murtabaks, which will be an experience in itself.

Move on to the National Museum of Singapore after this. A great place to soak in the cultural history of Singapore, check out the main exhibit and when done, make your way to Fort Canning which is nearby. This is a scenic hill that has a storied history in Singapore, where you can even glance, according to folklore, the grave of the historical founder of Singapore, Parameswara.

Pro-tip: Don’t spend too much time at one place, there’s plenty to see but it’s easy to lose track of time and focus. Best thing is to keep moving and focus on what you like best.


Bask in the beautiful Singapore night lights

The best thing to do at this time is head straight to the City Hall area. Check out the Supreme Court under the night lights and move towards the Esplanade. Outside the Esplanade, there might be free performances you can catch and just across the river, you can even catch a night show where lights are scattered across the skyscrapers in front of you.

Afterwards, move on towards the Boat Quay area to see the reputed nightlife of Singapore in action. If you need to spend money, here might be the best time to do so while you enjoy the merriment.


Save the best for the last

If you’ve still got time, head on over to the Marina Barrage, which will provide some stunning scenic views of the ever-changing city centre. Last but not least and just for laughs, check out the water-gushing Merlion at Merlion Park. It’s always popular with tourists trying to catch a pose with the water jumping right into their mouths.

The Merlion statue | © skeeze / Pixabay