When it comes to travel in Southeast Asia, Singapore usually finds its way on the must-see list. This small country really stands out in this part of the world. While it still has plenty of temples and cultural attractions it is incredibly modern and, in some parts, maybe even a little bit futuristic. Of course, in comparison to its neighbouring countries, Singapore can also be expensive. So, just how much does it cost to go to Singapore? Read on to find out.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest an itinerary for 4 days and 4 nights. While this seems like an incredibly short time to travel to this part of the world, Singapore is really quite small. Four days will allow you to see the highlights and experience the city. Since Singapore is so close to other Southeast Asian countries including Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, I recommend you visit it in combination with a couple more of these countries. If you do combine your trip with other areas, your overall airfare costs will drop.
Please note that this guide is based on the costs for a single person. If you are travelling as a couple, make sure to double these estimates (except for hotels).
|Food and drink||$240|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use XE.com to find out the average costs in your home country.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 85,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $850 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
One of the biggest perks about flying into Singapore is that it is one of the main hubs in Southeast Asia. This means that it’s pretty easy to fly to and often involves shorter flight times (thanks to fewer stopovers) and you can find cheaper tickets to Singapore from North America than to various other places in this part of the world like, for example, Malaysia.
For return airfare from North America to Singapore, you can expect to pay about $700, though flights will be cheaper from the west coast than the east coast. Make sure to shop around as many airlines offer routes here and, if you start looking early, you may be able to find a deal.
Insider tip: Singapore Airport is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world for all of the things to do and attractions which include butterfly gardens, a movie theatre, and more. When it comes time to leave Singapore, go to the airport early so you can enjoy some of these attractions.
Singapore has a variety of accommodation budgets, however, even the cheaper options here will be more expensive than what you would expect to pay elsewhere in Southeast Asia. If you are on a tighter budget, I recommend choosing a hostel (either a dorm or a private room). However, if you can afford to splurge, then Singapore is definitely the place to do so.
For the purpose of this article, I’ve averaged nightly accommodation to be $125 per night. This is based on the costs of a mid-range hotel. However, for those looking for accommodation recommendations in Singapore, I suggest the following:
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you up to 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $500. There’s also the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year.
Singapore isn’t huge, but you’ll still need to use public transit to get around. Public buses do the best job in connecting all parts of the city. They can be a bit tricky to get the hang of, but the drivers are willing to help (and most do speak English). The front desk at your accommodation can help direct you what bus to take. It’s a pretty affordable option as well, though fares depend on the distance travelled.
The easier way to travel is by MRT, or the train. The MRT connects the major points of the city and offers a fast and easy way to get around. Tickets can be purchased on a per ride basis, though if you plan on using it a lot, your best bet is to get a day pass (or 2 or 3 day passes). They are quite affordable with the 1-day pass costing about $7.50 and a 3-day pass costing about $15.00. These passes can also be used on the bus, so I highly recommend buying one for your trip.
If you are daunted by the idea of relying on public transit, you might want to consider a hop-on hop-off sight-seeing bus which will take you to the main attractions around Singapore. These follow stricter schedules than the public transit options but are an easy way to see Singapore’s highlights. You can buy your tickets here.
When it comes to attractions, Singapore has plenty to see and do. There are lots of great free sight-seeing things to do in Singapore, but you will definitely want to allocate some of your budget to Singapore’s attractions because they are pretty cool.
Singapore is home to some incredible museums, beautiful gardens, and even some theme park type attractions. I recommend buying your attraction tickets online before you depart from Klook as you can sometimes get a small discount and skip the lines when you arrive. Some of the popular attractions in Singapore include:
- Gardens by the Bay
- National Museum of Singapore
- Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation Deck
- Universal Studios
- Singapore river cruise
- Singapore Cable Car Sky Pass
If you do end up with a lot of paid attractions on your list of things you want to see and do, then consider purchasing the Singapore Pass for part of your stay. It has great value for what it offers and is easy to use.
Food and drink
Food and drink in Singapore are one of the areas where you can really save or splurge. There are tons of classy restaurants and bars spread across the city. However, there are also plenty of amazing street food finds as well where you can eat like a king for only a few dollars a day.
When in Singapore, you must visit a hawker stall centre at least once. These centres are big, loud, and busy and look more like a food court at a mall than a fine dining experience. But you’ll find some of Singapore’s best dishes here as well. Each vendor specializes in something specific and they do it really, really well. So wander around, see what looks good, and try a few things. Try the Chinatown hawker centre. There are more than 250 vendors and dishes here normally cost around $2-$5 each.
If you choose hawker stall meals for breakfast and lunch and go out to a nicer venue for dinner, then your daily food and drink spending will look something like this.
- Breakfast – $5
- Lunch – $5
- Dinner – $50
That works out to $60 a day which may seem a bit high, but you probably also want to enjoy some of Singapore’s nightlife as well. The country has some pretty spectacular rooftop bars that are definitely worth a visit, but make sure you bring a full wallet because cocktails will put you back an easy $20 or more each. Keep in mind many of these rooftop bars also have dress codes, so dress to impress if you want to get in (this means no flip flops or running shoes).
If you plan on enjoying Singapore’s nightlife, you’ll want to add at least an extra $40 to your daily food and drink budget.
Insider tip: Unlike in the rest of Southeast Asia, you can drink the tap water in Singapore (as long as there isn’t a sign that says not to!). So save some money and bring a reusable water bottle with you.
Singapore is a shopping mecca in Asia with huge malls featuring top designer labels and brands. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a big shopper, you’ll probably end up in a mall at some point just to take a look around and to enjoy the cool air conditioning. For those looking for unique souvenirs, you’ll want to check out Chinatown and Little India where you can find all kinds of unique little mementoes to bring home or buy as gifts.
Even if you don’t plan on shopping, I advise allocating an extra $100 to random spending. If nothing else, you may need it for ice cream or cold drink breaks. Exploring Singapore can get pretty hot!
So how much does it cost to go to Singapore? Based on my calculations, four days and four nights in Singapore including roundtrip airfare from North America will cost approximately US $1,665. Of course, using some of the tips I’ve listed throughout this article, you can easily drop this price. Especially when it comes to accommodation and food.
Singapore is a safe and fun city to explore. While you probably won’t want to spend your entire vacation here, it makes a great addition to the start or end of a trip to Southeast Asia. Just make sure to budget accordingly because you don’t want to miss everything that this country has to offer.