Considering a visit to the charming Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore? As well you should! Though it’s only about half the size of Los Angeles, this teeny country boasts oodles to do, from culinary experiences to the theater, and beaches to one of the best zoos I’ve ever seen.
Seriously, I cannot recommend the zoo enough. And … well, everything else too.
My overwhelming impression of Singapore when I visited on my honeymoon was something along the lines of Wow, this city is clean. Like, so clean! And there are so many gardens! And also so many McDonald’s restaurants! And literally no McDonald’s wrappers on the ground!
There’s a reason for that, of course. You will pay $1,000 for littering on your first offense, and $2,000 for subsequent offenses.
Spitting costs you $1,000 and chewing gum – yes, you heard me, chewing gum – will range from $500 to $1,000 for your first offense and $2,000 thereafter. (Don’t even think of selling it, which can earn you a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 as well as jail time.)
In other words, it’s a dang clean city and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. There were still, after all, plenty of French fries to be had (though they don’t hold a candle to the national dish of Hainanese chicken rice).
If you’re looking to see Singapore on a budget, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn everything you need to know about food, fun, financials, and more.
Average Trip to Singapore Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Singapore for two people will cost around $4,800:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $100 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,300 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day
- Transportation: $100 total
- Total Cost: $4,800
The first question many people have about Singapore is: Should I really spend a week there? They look at its size – 281 square miles total, a little less than New York City – and think, Won’t we get bored?
The answer, IMHO, is a resounding no. There are endless things to see in this clean, quiet, and ever-so-green city, and I wish I’d spent more than 3 days there myself.
Still, I learned a lot during my visit (especially about keeping the streets clean), and I’m here to pass those tips and tricks on to you. Keep reading!
Singapore Trip Cost: Average by Item
Averaging out trip costs is always a dicey proposition. Everyone travels differently. If you like hostels and street food, that’s going to be a lot cheaper than if you enjoy fine dining and cushy lodging.
However, you can get away with that if you skip all guided activities and tours, which cuts hundreds of dollars out of the cost of your trip.
The point is, that you can mold your vacation into your own image by saving here and spending out there. First, though, you need a basic idea of what it’s going to cost overall.
The following categories – accommodation, flights, food and drink, activities, and transportation will help you there. Then we’ll cover some tips and tricks to help you save even more.
Singapore hotels are reasonably priced as long as you’re not looking for anything fancy. In general, a 2-star hotel will run you about $50, a 3-star hotel $75 to $100, and a 4-star hotel starting at about $100.
Since many couples don’t need more than 3 stars to feel comfortably nested, you can easily keep costs down by budgeting $100 a night. If you price-watch carefully in the months leading up to your trip, you may snag one of those $100, 4-star hotels.
Just don’t be cavalier. Prices on hotels typically only go up the closer you get to a trip. If you’re careful and set up alerts, then you may get a great deal on a cancellation, as long as you’re able to jump on it.
If you just want a nice round number, then $100 will do you fine in Singapore, as it will in most destinations around the world today.
Singapore sits across the Pacific from the West Coast of the United States. As such, you’d think it would be cheaper to get there from Los Angeles or Seattle than from Chicago or New York.
Surprisingly, though, all flights from major cities seem to be about the same, sitting right around $1,200 on average.
You will, of course, see major differences in flight times. From the West Coast, plan to spend about 20 hours in transit with a connecting flight. If you fly Singapore Airlines, you can get nonstop tickets for about 17 hours, though that will tack a few hundred dollars onto the cost of your ticket.
From the Midwest or East Coast, your flight times are more like 24 to 30 hours, depending on which airline you fly with and when you go.
The best way to save money with an international flight like this is to track prices and buy well ahead of time. It’s not crazy to buy a ticket like this 10-12 months in advance, so don’t feel like you’re being hasty.
You may also save money by booking your domestic and international flights separately, so scope out the difference in prices and see if it’s significant. If so, buy your international tickets first and purchase domestic flights about 1.5 to 5 months out, where you’ll get the best deals.
In general, budget the aforementioned $1,200 plus $100 or so to get to a hub that serves Singapore as a destination, for a total of $1,300 per person.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
There’s plenty to do in Singapore to keep anyone entertained for an entire week, and you can spend as much or as little money as possible. If you want to see the city without paying a cent, you’re totally covered.
Free walking tours are extensive and enjoyable, and they’ll take you to all of the most exciting points. Singapore also abounds in parks, most of them free to visit (though you may pay parking for some if you’re driving a car … more on that below).
Simply wandering the neighborhoods is also a grand adventure. Check out Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam, and Geylang for colorful, regional experiences.
Down to spend to take the adventure to the next level?
You have lots of choices, from Universal Studios to the Singapore Cable Car to SkyHelix Sentosa – an open-air experience that takes you more than 250 feet into the air, then slowly lowers you down as you take in the breathtaking views of the city-state all around you.
Happily, these are all pretty affordable for the traveler. You’ll pay about $60 for Universal tickets, $20 for the cable car, and $25 for SkyHelix – though all of these can be had for less if you price-shop and reserve online.
The one thing I do strongly recommend paying for is the Singapore Zoo. It’s a world-class establishment stretching almost 70 acres and hosting more than 300 species.
The exhibits are incredible, and simply walking through them is a joyful experience for both the young and the young at heart.
While it’s currently about $50 for a ticket, I say do it! I recall Singapore being a very affordable place to eat. Some good street food is about $8, while a meal in an expensive restaurant is about $10 to $15 for dinner.
Singapore does have its share of spendy foodie destinations if that’s your thing; just plan to pay more like $35 or $40 for it.
One thing you won’t pay less for in this country than in the US is beer and liquor, which cost about the same. Because both food and activities are so reasonably priced, you can easily enjoy your time in the city and eat well for about $100 a day.
Getting around Singapore is pretty affordable. The best way to see the sights, hands-down, is Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
Singapore’s clean, reliable, and frequent trains arrive every few minutes and cost between a dollar and two to get anywhere in the city. Public buses are also affordable and clean.
If you want to flag down a taxi during off-hours for public transit or simply to have a more private experience, expect to pay a bit more – but still surprisingly little.
Taxis are heavily regulated in Singapore to avoid price-gouging, so you can travel 15 miles for only about $22 (roughly 28 Singapore dollars). If you’re a diehard car renter, I have two things to say about that.
First, just don’t. Singapore is such a cheap and easy city to get around that you simply have no need to. Second, parking is annoying.
It’s not particularly expensive, but you have to find designated car parks and they all charge for the privilege. In general, I advise taking public transport and keeping your budget to $100 for the week.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Singapore:
- Want to save money on food? Stay out of restaurants. Seriously, you can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at street stalls and never want for more. With plenty of desserts and drinks also on offer, there’s no need to pay sit-down prices.
- Singapore is generally considered a year-round destination. However, the nicest times of year are between December and June. These are typically lower in humidity and sunnier than the rainy season. If you’re going for peak pleasantness, February through April are optimal.
- The cheapest time to visit is summer. Temperature and humidity are sky-high and you can expect some serious afternoon rain, but you’ll certainly save money.
- Get an EZ-Link card. They cost $10, you can get them at multiple locations – including ticket offices, passenger service centers, and 7-11s – and $5 of that can be used on purchases or fares.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Singapore:
Is Singapore expensive?
You may have heard that Singapore is the most expensive city in the world, and if you’re looking to enjoy a lavish lifestyle, that’s true.
For everyday travelers who don’t want a nice car, regular spa trips, fine dining, personal chefs, or swank wardrobes, however, there’s nothing to worry about.
Street food is delicious and plenty affordable, lodging prices are reasonable (downright cheap if you stay in 2-star hotels on city outskirts), and public transportation basically couldn’t be more reasonable.
So … avoid the caviar. You’ll be fine.
How can I get fined in Singapore?
You cannot spit, chew gum, or litter in Singapore (not that you should do the first and last anywhere). You also cannot drink in public, and there are designated smoking areas throughout the city, so do not walk and puff.
Eating and drinking on trains, forgetting your seatbelt, and using your mobile phone while driving are all punishable no-nos as well – in addition to good old jaywalking, speeding, and running a red light. If you must go into a healthcare setting for some reason, you are still required to wear a mask.
Is it safe in Singapore?
Yes, Singapore is very safe. They have CCTV cameras everywhere, so criminals are caught quickly and punished harshly. You should still take precautions in crowds and late at night, of course.
What should I see?
My favorite memory from Singapore is the zoo. I also recommend walking around the markets, eating at street stalls, checking out the cable car, and going on the free walking tours.
What’s the cheapest way to get around?
The least expensive way to get around Singapore is by using MRT, or Mass Rapid Transit. This typically costs between $1 and $2 and it will get you anywhere in the city.
Over to You — Book Your Trip to Singapore Today!
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$100 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,300 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$100 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$100 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,800|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Singapore is around $4,800 for two people. For an adventure at the other end of the world, it’s well worth it – and one of my personal favorites. Happy travels!