Singapore is famous for fancy dining experiences and swish hotels, but it doesn’t have to be a bank-breaking trip. Once you get the know-how and top insider tips, the Garden City suddenly becomes one of the most accessible and affordable metropolises – and you don’t even have to sacrifice on style.
Singapore is home to some of the most breathtaking and futuristic architecture on the planet – and it doesn’t cost a thing to view. Must-see landmarks include the Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, the Interlace, Art Science Museum and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay… and there’s plenty more where those came from. Stroll along Marina Bay Sands Boardwalk for uninterrupted views of the city skyline and catch the water and light show at 8pm or 9.30pm daily. Let’s just say, after half a day exploring the city, your Instagram feed is going to #explode.
After getting your futuristic fix, explore Chinatown and Little India. These more traditional and authentic parts of town are the perfect place to pick up gifts and rustic treasures, and taste traditional Asian street food (more on that later). If you’re one for vintage clothing and thrift shops, then explore Dulcetfig (Haji Lane) or Déja Vu Vintage (Raffles Boulevard), to pick up some bargain garb.
Another great way to spend time in the city on a budget is by visiting some of Singapore’s grand gardens. Gardens By The Bay, which has been voted the number one thing to do in Singapore, opens up its outdoor gardens to the public for free. This includes the Supertree Grove, Sun Pavilion, Dragonfly and Kingfisher lakes and more. If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a stroll through the clouds on the OCBC Skyway, which costs just $8. Or if you want to go the whole-hog, explore the mind-blowingly cool indoor conservatories for $28 – you won’t be disappointed (there’s an indoor waterfall, for starters). It’s also free to enter the main grounds of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (a Unesco World Heritage Site), where you can join a free guided walk on Saturdays. East Coast Park is another one of Singapore’s jewels. This 457-acre green space borders the coast and we recommend hiring a bike, scooter or rollerblades to fully explore.
Tasting the array of amazing eastern flavours in Singapore is an absolute must, and you don’t need a stuffed wallet to enjoy it. This is where the hawker centres, aka food courts, become your best friend. Devour chicken rice, fried carrot cake (sounds odd, but people queue up for it), satay, lor mee (a noodle dish with gravy), duck rice, prawn noodles… is your mouth watering yet? Chinatown Complex Food Centre and Maxwell Road Hawker Centre are two all-time favourites, where you can scoop up bargain meals from just S$2.50 (around £1.50).
But it’s not just the hawker centres where you can pick up a low-cost lunch: 328 Katong Laksa, situated in Peranakan, serves up flavoursome dishes from just S$4.
Insider tip By simply showing your Singapore Airlines Boarding Pass, you can receive great discounts on multiple restaurants around Singapore. Discover more.
First things first: did you know that when you book a flight with Singapore Airlines, you can add on a Singapore Stopover Holiday? This package starts at just £28 a person and includes one night’s accommodation, unlimited rides on the SIA Hop-On bus and a Singapore Explorer Pass, which gives you access to more than 20 tourist attractions (when you select the full package).
For example, you could bed down in the super-central Hotel Royal @ Queens for just £28 for the first night. Or, for just £112, you can live the (luxury) dream at the Ritz Carlton, Singapore… yep, the Ritz Carlton for £112. It really is the best way to snooze in style at a fantastic hotel in a central location, without spending a fortune.
Book a Singapore Airlines Stopover Holiday and spend your first night in Singapore from just £28 a person. The full package includes:
· Accommodation for one night at hotel in applicable price category
· Unlimited rides on the SIA hop-on bus
· Entry to over 20 top attractions