How Expensive is Singapore?

Singapore gets a bad rap for being expensive, but that shouldn’t prevent you from visiting this incredible city. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget or fancy luxury travel, you’ll find that this modern city-state provides a wide range of options no matter how much you’re willing to spend.

So, how expensive is Singapore?

In this post, I’ll tell you exactly how much you can expect to pay for accommodation, transportation, food, alcohol, and entertainment in Singapore. I’ll also include my own personal spending so that you can more accurately define a budget that works for you.

Keep reading to find out how expensive visiting Singapore really is.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore at Sunset

All prices in this post are listed in Singapore dollars.

How Expensive is Singapore?

Accommodation

When it comes to your expenses in Singapore, you’ll probably allocate a good amount of your budget to accommodation.

The average hotel price in Singapore is about S$250 per night. More budget options tend to run around S$100 per night for a 3-star hotel, while you can expect to pay upwards of S$400 for luxury accommodation like the Marina Bay Sands. Hostels in Singapore can also be found for as little as S$26 for two beds in a mixed dorm.

Transportation

Getting around the city doesn’t have to cost you much thanks to Singapore’s excellent public transportation system. The main three types of transportation you’ll encounter in Singapore are:

Singapore MRT

The MRT is so well-connected that all of the city’s main attractions are just a short walk away from an MRT station.

A ride on the MRT will cost you anywhere from S$0.83 to S$1.95 for a single trip or one-way journey to most locations throughout the city. Depending on how long you’re staying in Singapore, and how frequently you plan to ride the MRT, you might want to consider purchasing a Singapore Tourist Pass.

Singapore MRT

Singapore Bus

For those who like taking the scenic route, riding the bus might be a more suitable option than the MRT. Buses in Singapore are just as well-connected as the MRT and are actually the cheapest way to get around the city. A typical bus fare in Singapore will run you somewhere between S$0.73 to S$1.66.

Taxis in Singapore

Are taxis expensive in Singapore? Depending on where you are going, a ride in a Singapore taxi can cost you upwards of S$10 per trip. Taxis in Singapore run on meters and are based on flag down rates. Before you hop in a cab, you’ll want to note some of the surcharges that you could incur.

Food and Drink

Singapore Hawker Center

A question that people ask all the time is: how expensive is food and drink in Singapore? Meal and drink prices can vary in Singapore, depending on the type of restaurant you choose to eat at. Lunch or dinner at an average restaurant can run you anywhere from S$20 to S$40, while less expensive options can be as low as just a few bucks.

More budget-savvy travelers might choose to eat at Hawker Centers. Singapore’s Hawker Centers are basically large food courts filled with endless rows of food and drink stalls. These stalls are known for preparing a wide variety of local dishes including Chinese, Malay, and Indian.

Singapore is overflowing with Hawker Centers, boasting a total of 114 food courts that can be found throughout the city. At Hawker Centers, you can expect to enjoy a meal for as little as S$2.

Alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, are notoriously expensive no matter where you go. In Singapore, alcohol is considered a luxury item and is therefore heavily taxed. The average price for a cocktail in Singapore is around S$20.

Singapore Chinatown

How Expensive is Singapore Entertainment?

When it comes to entertainment, Singapore does not disappoint. This city offers world-famous attractions and countless events all year long. Here are some of the top paid attractions in Singapore:

Gardens by the Bay Conservatories – S$28

Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck – S$23

Entrance to Singapore Zoo – S$28

Entrance to Singapore Night Safari – S$39

Ride on the Singapore Flyer – S$33

Entrance to National Museum of Singapore – S$15

Universal Studios Singapore – S$79

There are also plenty of free activities available in Singapore. If you’re on a budget, my suggestion would be to pick and choose the activities or attractions you want to see. Then, weigh your options to decide which experiences would be worth the most to you.

Check out my post on Singapore Money Saving Tips where I’ve included a sample Singapore budget as well as hacks on how to travel the world’s most expensive city.

Singapore Supertree Groves

How Much Did I Spend On My Trip to Singapore?

I thought I would share my personal expenses as I find it helpful to see what other travelers have spent so that I can form a more accurate budget for my trip.

Here’s what we (2 travelers) spent over the course of two full days in Singapore:

Accommodation

S$593.37 for 2 nights*

*Keep in mind that this is not a budget hotel – we were on our honeymoon and decided to splurge a little. You can definitely find more budget-friendly options like hostels at less than S$40 per night.

Transportation

S$5 per person per day

When we weren’t walking, we only used the MRT to get around Singapore. We also used the MRT to get to and from the airport, which cost less than S$2 per person.

Food and Drink

Hainanese Chicken Rice at a Hawker Center

3 Hawker Center Meals

  • Hainanese Chicken Rice – S$5 per person
  • Laksa Soup – S$3.90 per person
  • Satay – S$10 for 20 sticks of chicken satay and 2 ketupat (a type of rice dumpling made in a banana leaf pouch)
  • 1 sugarcane juice – S$1.50

1 Dinner at Din Tai Fung Restaurant

  • Steamed Pork Dumplings (10 pieces) – S$9.80
  • Fried Rice with Pork Chop – S$10.80
  • Coke – S$3.50
  • Water – S$3.50

Our breakfast was included in the price of our accommodation, so that left us having to pay for only two meals a day.

Tip: We carried reusable water bottles with us as the tap water is safe to drink in Singapore.

Activities

Gardens by the Bay Cloud Forest and Flower Dome – S$56 total (S$28 per person)

This is the only activity we paid for during our two full days in Singapore. Everything else we did was absolutely free! We felt that the conservatories (especially the Cloud Forest) were definitely worth paying for.

Singapore Supertree Groves

Total Spent Over Two Days in Singapore

Considering we booked accommodation that is more expensive than we normally would, I am going to leave that out of this total. As I mentioned before, whether you’re looking to save or splurge, you can definitely find something that will match your budget in Singapore.

Here’s the total amount of money we spent in Singapore over the course of two days (not including accommodation):

S$132.90

How Expensive is Singapore? Conclusion

As you can see, the Lion City doesn’t actually have to be an expensive visit. If you’re looking to save some money while traveling Singapore, all you have to do is do a bit of research ahead of time. Having an idea of where to eat and what activities you want to partake in before you go will eliminate the chances of making impulse decisions that will end up costing you more than you planned.

Planning your first trip to Singapore? Check out my guide on Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Singapore.

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28 Comments

  1. We were in Singapore in November. We stayed at Marina Bay Sands, so we found Singapore to be expensive. However, we did take the MTR on our Tourist Pass. I love Singapore.

    1. I bet the Marina Bay Sands was wonderful to stay at! Such a special memorable experience in Singapore.

  2. Like you, I always find planning ahead can save lots of money! But equally it’s nice to splash out sometimes. Interesting post!

  3. Great post! And I agree, that there is always a way to adjust a journey to your budget, and budget shouldn´t be a reason to not visit a city!

  4. Good to know that there are some budget food and accomodations options in Singapore, although I´d love to splurge a bit myself once there and stay somewhere with the views!

  5. Love this post! I was looking at the prices in Singapore last year but only found vague amounts. Seeing how much others spend is so much more useful!

    Was the price tag pf Gardens by the Bay worth it? I’ve seen amazing shots on Instagram, but there’s always the question if what we see on social media actually shows reality.

  6. Very informative post as it helps in financial planning for a trip to Singapore. It is good you tipped that alcohol here is very very expensive as it is considered luxury here.

  7. This is a great post! I have been planning to visit but was concerned about the cost. I am grateful for all these money saving tips!

  8. This is great to see trip expenses broken down like this! I will have to check what the conversion is from CAD to SGD. Singapore is beautiful and so high on my list to visit so I hope I’ll have the chance to go in the next few years 🙂

  9. I always thought Singapore was WAY out of my price range, but this post was really helpful in showing me the realities of prices there. Thanks!

  10. I always here Singapore is so expensive. It’s great this post really breaks it down. I can’t wait to go to SE Asia again and will definitely check out this post!

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