Monday, 28 March 2011

Travel costs for Singapore

Singapore is a fantastic destination, but cheap it ain't. So how much should you realistically expect to spend in Singapore?

Here's a summary of my spending (you can see my travel style in this post on travel costs in Thailand, so you can calculate how your likely spending would match up to mine).

30 January to 7 February = £550 in total for 8 nights
Average costs per day = £69

I only stayed in one place – Hangout at Mount Emily. It's classified as a budget hotel, but feels decidedly mid-range. SIN$117 (£57.50) got me a huge, ensuite room, with pillow-topped mattress and fluffy duvet. After 2 months of budget travel, it felt like absolute luxury.

You can find cheaper accommodation if you're willing to stay in a dorm or go a bit lower-rent, but even a bed in a dorm will cost you at least £10 to £12 a night (and for that price you'll probably be in a 10 or 15 bed dorm), and a private room will cost you at least £30.

Sightseeing and transport
£4.53 average per day.
Surprisingly reasonable for a city with a reputation as expensive.

Food and drink
£5.73 average per day.

Most expensive meal – £4.40 for lunch at the zoo (high prices because you're a captive audience).
Cost of a plate of food at a hawker centre – £1.50 to £2.00.
Cost of an iced coffee – £1.00 to £3.00.
Cost of a 500ml bottle of water – never bought any (tap water's drinkable in Singapore).

Singapore has lots of expensive restaurants and cocktail bars, but you can still eat reasonably if you're careful.

I made full use of the included breakfast and free tea and coffee in my hotel. Lunches tended to be either an iced coffee or fresh fruit shake, and perhaps some fruit or buns bought in the local grocery store. Dinner was at a hawker centre most nights.

If you like a drink or want to eat in "proper" restaurants every night, I'd budget three times what I spent (at least! If you're looking for rooftop cocktails and trendy restaurants, budget 10x what I spent).

In summary, accommodation costs ensures Singapore is several times more expensive than other SE Asia locations, but it doesn't have to break the bank if you're careful.

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