Singapore within a budget – yes, it’s possible!

Singapore is charmer of a city. The verdure alleys, the chiaroscuro of the China town, the romantic beaches and the dazzling cityscape have lots​ more to offer than one can even think of!  And I am not even getting started on the gastronomic delights intrinsic to the country.

However, whenever we have talked about this lovely little island-nation to our friends and relatives who have been there, all they would revel about are the statue of Merlion, the shopping malls (!), the artificial beaches of Sentosa, and sometimes the Singapore Zoo! That’s it. And yes, the downside would inevitably be the expense.

Well, while we agree on the expense part, we would love you to know that it is very much possible to plan a trip to Singapore all by yourself without burning a hole in your pocket. And that is exactly the reason behind penning this descriptive article on planning a 4-day trip to Singapore. We have pushed ourselves really hard and tried to chalk a comfortable day-to-day itinerary that would take you to most of the interesting places in Singapore and experience the city at its grandest. Don’t forget to pour in your ideas in the comments section below 🙂

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The Singapore Skyline

Planning a 4-day trip to Singapore

Being one of the foremost hubs of Southeast Asia, reaching Singapore is pretty easy. There are numerous flights plying between Changi International Airport and numerous Indian Airports, including Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. AirAsia also offers budget flights between various Indian cities and Singapore. A round trip from any of the Indian cities will cost you approximately INR 18k to 20k. Singapore’s national aircraft Singapore Airlines and Silk Air also ply regularly between India and Singapore though they charge you nearly double than that of the other budget aircrafts.

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Blurry perfection 🙂

Being a developed nation, Singapore offers extremely well-connected network of roadways and railways. You have the option of taking cabs, MRTs, buses, and cabs in order to ply within the mainland. If you wish to hop onto other smaller islands, such as Pulau Ubin, you will have to board the ferry services. Now, here’s one word of advice from us: if you are travelling on a budget, instead of going for the taxi services, which may cost you bomb, try taking the local buses and the MRTs. You can get an EZ-Link Card (Smart Card) which you can swipe to travel in both MRTs and buses. The charge for the smart card starts from SGD 10, which will survive you for quite many rides as travelling in both buses and MRTs for fairly long distances will set you back by SGD 2 to 3. The routes for the buses are clearly written at every bus stop for the aid of the travellers. As for MRTs, you can get a map from the ticket counters.

Where to eat in Singapore

No matter whether you have planned your trip alone or have tagged along a travel agency, try savouring delicacies from the local food courts – those are hygienic and serve you piping hot local as well as South Indian delicacies at extremely reasonable rates. A decent meal at a local restaurant can set you back by SGD 25 to 30 (without alcohol) but you can have scrumptious wanton meal and other local delicacies from these food court at as less as SGD 6.

And when in China Town, do make it a point to savour scrumptious local food from the food street there, which is on a short walking distance from the China Town MRT as well as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. But hey! We’re not asking you to limit your gastronomic experiences in Singapore. If you’re willing to splurge, there is no dearth of options in Singapore! 🙂

Where to stay in Singapore?

Now, this is where you tend to spend a lot. Hotels in Singapore are quite costly with the decent ones going to up SGD 100-150 per day. To lessen this cost, we recommend you to stay away from the central business areas, preferably in Boon Lay and Lakeside areas. Alternatively, you can also have your booking done with Airbnb. Although we had Kali’s office apartment to stay, we had still booked a room with Airbnb for emergency purpose and had impeccable experience there. If you’re booking with Airbnb for the first time, let us tell you, it’s very safe and gets you fantastic experiences as travellers. Alternatively, if you’re a group of youngsters, we recommend you to stay in one of the quirky hostels that are in plenty in Singapore.

Packing for Singapore

Being a tropical island-country, there isn’t any seasonal variation. Simply take in your light cottons and breezy clothes, and you’ll be good to go. Also, carry your umbrellas and/or raincoats with you whenever you step out of your hotel for rains might budge in at any point of time and mar your plans for the day.

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Our in-house model 😉

Singapore in 4 days – a day-to-day itinerary

Instead of writing the ‘must-visit’ places for you, this time we decided on providing you a complete itinerary so that you can experience the best of the places without breaking your budget. It is not necessary to follow the exact Day 1, Day 2 schedule but try to stick to the schedules given in the course of a single day as we have listed together only those places that are in close proximity to each other.

Try taking the late night flights to Singapore so that you can reach Singapore early in the morning. Take time to freshen up and start for an eventful trip through this vivacious city.

Day 1

Morning: After freshening up, take a bus to reach Jurong Bird Park – a place that both me and Paula LOVED. You will take minimum 3 hours to experience the entire park. The entrance fee to this park is SGD 29 and for the kids between 3 to 12 years, the entrance is $19. However, for children below 3 years, entrance is free.

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Feeding the Lori birds is so much fun! Try it out yourself! 🙂
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The love(ly) Lori Birds

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Evening: Since this is going to be somewhat hectic, we have kept it light for the evening. In the evening, hop over to the Singapore Flyer right during the sunset to experience the sky changing its colours across the famous Singaporean skyline. The entrance fee to the flyer is SGD 33 while for the senior citizens and the children, it is priced at SGD 24 and 21 respectively. After that, hop on to a bus and get to the Marina Barrage for a quick off-time picnic (if time permits). If you want to skip Marina Barrage, you can straightway get to the Garden by the Bay for a thrilling and colourful experience amidst flowers and greens! Later on, call it night by spending some relaxing moments by the iconic statue of Merlion. Trust us, it’s one of the best ways to call it a night in Singapore.

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Ariel view of Garden By the Bay

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No matter what time of the day, Merlion always has company 😉
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How can you say NO to a click amid this mesmerizing lighting
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Touristy affairs! 😛

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Garden by the Bay becomes MAGICAL in the evenings! 🙂

Day 2

Morning: Wake up late this day, enjoy a great brunch and head straightway to the enchanting China Town. Don’t worry if the heat is too much to bother as the first destination today is the sanctified Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. You can easily spend 3 hours in this temple. China Town in best experienced on foot, so after you’re done, you can simply lose yourself in one of the numerous hidden alleys of this area. Hop over to Club Street for a great cocktail on the road.

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Rooftop garden at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple – a breath of fresh air

China Town is also the ‘it’ place in Singapore for bargain shopping. So, shop and shop till you drop. And when you’re in China Town, not trying out delicacies at the Food Street is a crime. A hearty meal for 3 (since we were three) will set you back by SGD 20 – 25. You can also sip on to some local beer in China Town.

If you’re a party buff, call it a night by raising a toast at Clarke Quay. And if you wish to seek some time off in quietude with your beloved, the East Coast Park beachfront may just be the place for you. You can read more about both these places here.

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Shoppers’ delight – China Town!

Day 3

Morning: If you’ve read about our previous article on Singapore, you would know how much we’re in love with the Macritchie Reservoir. Set out early in the morning for a treetop walk and jungle trek here through the vivid tropical rainforest. And if you feel the weather is just perfect, you can go kayaking on the reservoir by paying a very nominal amount. However, don’t forget to take a change of clothes whether or not you’re interested to do so.

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After the kayak 🙂
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If you haven’t done kayaking before, we recommend you on doing this for the first time here!
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Sunset at Macritche – had to be special! 🙂
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The jungle safari

Evening: To be honest, neither of us likes visiting zoos when we’re travelling. So, when Kali asked me to visit the Singapore Zoo, I instantly knew this would be something special. However, instead of visiting these in the morning, like we do in case of the Indian zoos, we recommend you the evening time. Purchase a twin ticket that would enable you to enjoy both the zoo and the magical Night Safari. The twin entrance ticket will cost you SGD 59.

Note: You can cover the Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Singapore Zoo together on a single ticket worth SGD 79. However, we think doing these three parks together may get too tiring; hence, kept the Jurong Bird Park for another day. So, if you wish, you can visit these three places together.

Day 4

This one is the not-so-budget-friendly-day where we recommend you to experience the best of Sentosa!

We recommend you starting early in the morning for Sentosa. Have your breakfast in the Vivo City Mall – the gateway to Sentosa – before hoping on to the monorail. Unlike some blogs and travel agencies, we won’t recommend you to visit the artificial beaches of Sentosa; rather, we will want you to concentrate on the S.E.A Aquarium and the Universal Studios – located just adjacent to each other at the Waterfront stop.

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An unparallel experience – S.E.A Aquarium, Singapore

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Silhouettes and Jelly fishes 😛

Start with the Universal Studios and let the child within you take over the more responsible adult for a day. Groove with the old Hollywood music on the street, click yourself with Marilyn Monroe and watch the brilliant road shows. There are numerous rides on offer as well – try one and all till your feet starts aching! And no matter what your age is, DO NOT FORGET to experience the TRANSFORMER. We bet you’ll want to do this again and again! 🙂 An all-inclusive ticket to the Universal Studios comes at SGD 76.

After you’re done with Universal Studios, visit the enchanting S.E.A Aquarium. Each ticket for an adult is priced at SGD 34 whereas for the kids and the senior citizen, it’s priced at SGD 24.

We understand how tiring this entire day is going to be. So, when you’re back in Vivo City Mall, don’t forget to hop over at the rustic Chinese village-themed food court right adjacent to the monorail exit. You’re surely going to love it! 🙂

Do you have any queries regarding planning your trip to Singapore? If so, ask us right here at the comments section. We’ll reply at the soonest!

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