Singapore : Itinerary + Budget Guide for First-Timers

SINGAPORE TRAVEL BUDGET GUIDES FOR FIRST TIMERS

Singapore : Itinerary + Budget Guide for First-Timers


Singapore is a country in South East Asia that has the smallest area in terms of land mass. But don’t be fooled because it is actually one of the most expensive, safest and cleanest country in the world.

Also, it is home to one of the Universal Studios in the world.

If you have the chance to fly in/out/around the Asia via Singapore. Go for it! Make sure to spend a couple of days on exploring the country and different places around it.

Traveling to Singapore for the first time? This detailed and curated travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.

Scroll down to read must-know travel tips before you go, followed by a sample itinerary + budget breakdown , recommended hotels/places to stay , things to do/places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.

Get Started

How to get to Singapore —
Touchdown at Singapore Changi Airport, which serves flights from Cebu (4 hours), Hongkong, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, New York, London & more. From the Philippines, you can also fly direct from Manila, Clark, & Iloilo. Flights are operated by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia,
Scoot, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines. Click below to see online prices on airport and city transfers.

🏷️ 19% OFF Private Hotel to Hotel Transfers in Singapore

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

🏷️ 6% OFF Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers for Wildlife Reserves Singapore

🏷️ Private City Transfers between Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Always book your hotel early — Avail low rates and avoid fully-booked rooms by booking online as soon 2-3 months before your travel departure. Click below to compare discounts and read reviews by other travelers.

Check discounts and prices online  — Save money by checking discounts on tours & airport/hotel transfers. Booking before you leave also saves you time & avoids the hassles of bringing large amounts of cash during your actual trip.

Visa-free travel for Philippine citizens — 75% of all nationalities, including Filipino tourists, do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Singapore for short period of visits. Scroll down to the extra tips for the list of things you might need to prepare.

Singapore 3G/4G internet data sim card & pocket WiFi rental

🏷️ 12% OFF Universal Studios Singapore™ Ticket (1 Day Pass)

🏷️ 13% OFF Singapore Cable Car Skypass

Spend 3 days or more — While it’s possible to explore the highlights of the city in a day, consider planning at least 3 days to tour the city. Go for 5 days for a more relaxed trip. Travel longer if you want to explore nearby islands & provinces.

🏷️ 7% OFF The Original DUCKtours Singapore

🏷️ 20% OFF S.E.A. Aquarium Ticket and Ya Kun Kaya Toast Combo Package in Singapore

🏷️ 12% OFF Singapore River Safari

🏷️ 5% OFF Gardens by the Bay Ticket Singapore

Save More while Traveling — I’ve included a lot of money saving tips on this guide. You can actually save more when you do not include attractions that has entrance fees. You can achieve cheaper expenses by knowing where to find and book the attractions.

Getting around Singapore — There are a lot of transport and tour options available whether you want to go with a private tour or a do-it-yourself trip. You can even go full local and try the bus/train commute to get around or stick with packaged tours that can offer a hassle-free experience.
Grab ride – hailing app is popular in Singapore.

See more blogs & travel guides

Pre- Travel Tips

How to get to Singapore
How to get around Singapore?
Should I book my Singapore hotel online?
What to prepare for a trip to Singapore?
Where to best exchange currency (SGD DOLLARS) ?
How to find cheap flights to Singapore?
When is the best time to visit?
Travel Must Haves
Money-saving tips
Where to book tours & attraction tickets

How to get to Singapore

From the Philippines, you can also fly direct from Manila, Clark, & Iloilo. Flights are operated by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Scoot, Jetstar and Singapore Airlines.
From Malaysia, you can also fly direct from Kuala Lumpur or ride by bus. I have tried the bus and the experience is so overwhelming. I am a border crosser.

How to get around Singapore

Buy an EZ-Link Card sold at Changi Airport station & many ticket offices around Singapore. This prepaid card can be used to pay for MRT, LRT and bus rides. Enjoy discount fares if you use this card. The cost is SGD 12 per card. Includes SGD 7 stored value and SGD 5 non-refundable card cost. You can top-up at any 7-Eleven store. Only 1 person is allowed per card.
Buy a NETS FLASHPAY. (same as ez-link)


By MRT.

This is the best, most convenient and money saving option. If you find it hard to read the MRT and LRT Map, chat me! I can help you.

MRT Open Hours is 05:31 AM – 11:18 PM on Mondays to Saturdays and 05:59 AM – 12:06 AM during Sundays & Public Holidays.

By BUS.

This also a good transportation alternative but I find it hard to understand the bus system. Also, this is time consuming.

Bus is available daily; during weekdays from 6:08 AM to 10:52 PM and 06:07 AM to 10:52 PM on Sundays and public holidays.

By GRAB or TAXI.

If you are in a hurry, this is the very best option for you but is the most expensive. Grab at your own expense! *wink*

By HOP ON/HOP OFF BUS

A less hassle way to tour Singapore is by Singapore Sight Seeing Buses or (Hop on/Hop off bus).  You can see the top attractions in Singapore like Marina Bay Sands, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Botanic Gardens, Buddha Relic Temple, etc.  Entrance Fees not included.

Should I book my Singapore Hotel Online?

My answer will always be YES. You can save money by checking discounts online. Booking before you leave also saves you time & avoids the hassles of bringing large amounts of cash during your actual trip.

What to prepare for a trip to Singapore?

Singapore Tourist Visa — Go to the Singapore Immigration website to check if you need to apply for a visa before going on your trip. Foreign visitors from countries not listed in the “Assesment Level Countries” can visit Singapore visa-free.

Visa for Filipino citizens — Philippines nationals can enjoy visa-free travel in Singapore, for up to 30 days.

Also, be sure that you are able to provide the following:

-Have confirmed flight tickets back to your home country or an onward destination that you are allowed to enter.
-Company ID or School ID.
-Passport not expiring within 6 months.
-Evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only.
-Evidence that you are able to fund your stay for the entire duration of your visit.

Always Remember!
Always remember that all countries have the right to refuse entry to any person. Even if you are eligible for the free tourist visa or already have one in hand at the border.

Where to best exchange currency (SGD DOLLARS) ?

It is best to exchange currency in your country’s local bank way before your trip. Try to plan this too when booking plane tickets. Currency rates are so unpredictable.

If you’re from CEBU, exchange here:

✓ ALCO CREDIT AND MONEY EXCHANGE at Raintree Mall

✓ Drop-By Foreign Exchange at Rustan’s Dept. Store or Fuente Osmeñ circle

If you have not think this over and have read this now and your flight is in a week, try this.

✓ Bring Philippine Peso for your trip since Singapore Exchange Currency Stores accept it. Exchange a small amount at the airport and then the rest at the city center for better rates.

How to find cheap flights to Singapore?

Start your search on Wego, Momondo, and Skyscanner.

Also, check Singapore promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold up to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date & are often only available if you book directly with the airline.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

In my experience, March – July are the best months to visit Singapore.

Travel Must-Haves

✓ Google Map App – A life-saver for me because without it, I might get lost.

✓ Google Translate – Super powerful app. Translate anything.

Gps-Guided App

✓ Grab app – Hassle-free ride and it takes you to your destination fast.

✓ Sunscreen – Protect yourself from sunburn or much worse – Cancer.

✓ Pocket Wifi or Sim Card – The convenient of searching anything is a go-to. Please don’t forget this baby. It is a life-saver for me though.

🏷️ 12% OFF 4G WiFi (SG Airport Pick Up) for Singapore

🏷️ 8% OFF 4G SIM Card (SG Pick Up) for Singapore

Money Saving Tips

Get a good map and explore the city on your own tour — You can tour the city at your own pace plus you can choose from a variety of options. There are a lot of awesome things to do in Singapore that doesn’t cost a dime.

Visit Chinatown — Food and things that will be bought here are cheap.

Eat at hawker centers & taste Singapore’s multi-cultural food — Meals are cheap and the food is prepared in relatively high quality and sanitation. A long line of people queuing at a stall is usually a sign that it serves good food that is safe to eat.

Ride MRTs and buses — This is the cheapest way to get around.

Stay at hostels or airbnb — If you are travelling alone or by group of 3, hostels are best for you. But, if you are travelling in group of 4 or more, then airbnb is best for you. I have calculated the difference and airbnb ones are best for group of travellers.

Pre-book your Singapore tours & attraction tickets online

Booking online to enjoy discounts and cashless convenience during the actual trip is what I always do. Always check prices of tours and attraction tickets on this booking sites:

✓ Prices are often cheaper than booking on-site. Huge discounts on many activities.

✓ Maximize your trip! Avoid wasting time queueing at ticket booths & shopping for tours.

✓ Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision.

✓ Earn rewards points for every booking.

✓ Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies.

If you’re booking tours and you’ve already finalized your travel dates, book early, especially if you are traveling with family/friends to lock-in those open slots for everyone in your group.

Singapore Itinerary

Here’s a suggested itinerary that you can follow on your travel to Singapore . Scroll down for the budget and list of expenses. Followed by extra travel tips & top spots to visit/things to do in Singapore.

Day 1: Singapore tour

Ducktours Tour and Night Safari.

Time Activity
Flight to Singapore
0730 amETA Singapore Changi
0800 amSingapore Airport to Hotel transfer
0830 amHotel check-in See rates Compare prices
1100 amHead to Suntec Mall and Redeem ticket for Ducktours
1200 nnLunch at Suntec Mall
0100 pmMarina Bay
0300 pmMarina Bay Observatory Deck
0400 pmHaji Lane Graffiti
0530 pm Singapore Night Safari
0700 pmDinner + Free Time

Day 2: Universal Studios + Marina Bay Water Show

Universal Studios and Pictures near the marina bay.

TimeActivity
Start Universal Studios day trip
0800 amHotel to Vivo City to buy food
0900 amVivoCity to USS
1000 am – 0500pmUniversal Studios!
0600 pmCasino
0700 pmMarina Bay Water Show
0800pmDinner
0900 pmStroll some more at Marina Bay (Singapore Flyer, Helix Bridge, Merlion and many more)

Day 3: Gardens By the Bay + Gifts Buying

TimeActivity
0900 amGardens by The Bay
1130 amSingapore Cable Car
1230 nnLunch at Mount Faber
0130 pmBugis Market/ Chinatown
0300pmValue Dollar Store
0500 pmClarke Quay
0700pmDinner

Singapore Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 3 days and 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Prices below are ‘per person’, calculated based on a group of 5 people sharing the travel expenses.

Transport expenses breakdown
PHP 268 or SGD 7Singapore Airport to Hotel transfer— To Singapore hotel. PHP 1339 / 5 pax.
PHP 800 or SGD 20Ez Link or NETs Flashpay —For Trains and Bus transfer. Book online
Activities/Attraction costs breakdown
PHP 1,492 or SGD 37.3Original Ducktours — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 2,830 or SGD 70.8Universal Studios — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 1,347 or SGD 33.7Singapore Night Safari — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 880 or SGD 22Gardens By the Bay — Entrance fee per person.
PHP 1,260 or SGD 31.5Singapore Cable Car + Lunch at Mount Faber — Entrance fee + Booked meal per person.
Budget Trip Expenses Summary
PHP 1,080 or SGD 27Transport — Shared expenses per group of 5. Airport transfers and Ez Link. Excluding grab transport.
PHP 2,240 or SGD 56Accommodations — 2 nights in budget hotel/hostel.
PHP 2,000Food — Full meals x 3 days
PHP 7,809 or SGD 195.3Activities — Admission tickets/entrance fees on selected activities above.
PHP 13,129 or SGD 328.3Total — Including all expenses above for 3 days in Singapore. Excluding flights.

I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can do the trip. If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your own budget.

Where to Stay in Singapore

Many of the top tourist attractions in Singapore are located in the city itself. I can suggest that you stay in a hotel that is near a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) .

Click below to compare rates on Singapore hotel/hostels or apartments within your budget.

Best Luxury Hotels in Singapore — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Singapore. See rates & reviews
Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Singapore hotels — Discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today. See discounts
UnderPHP 4,000Recommended 3-Star Singapore hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews
UnderPHP 2,000Best Singapore Apartments — For 4 or more travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations and does not like crowded hostels.See rates & reviews
UnderPHP 1,000Best Singapore hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews

Top-rated places to stay in Singapore

TOP RATED PLACES TO STAY IN SINGAPORE
Fullerton Bay Hotel
Splurge / Marina Bay. See discounts
Four Seasons Hotel
Splurge / Orchard Boulevard. Check Rates

Carlton Hotel

Mid-Range / Downtown Singapore. Check Rates

Grand Park City Hall

Mid-Range / Downtown Singapore. Check Rates

Quarters Capsule Hostel

Budget Hostel / 12 Circular Road, Riverside. Check Rates
Bohemian Chic Hostel
Budget Hostel / Chinatown. Check Rates

Where to book

Book your room through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to avail cheaperst prices & enjoy convenient bookings. Click below to confirm the lowest prices:

Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Places to Visit in Singapore + Things To Do

Check out these top tourist spots, best places to visit & things to do in Singapore.

1. Wanderlust at Marina Bay

2. Have fun at Universal Studios

3.  Ride a Cable Car and Dine at Mount Faber

4. Buy Gifts at ABC Store in Bugis (Cheapest Store in Singapore)

5. Enjoy Day or Night Singapore Safari

6. Sightseeing in Singapore Downtown (Land and Water)

7. Visit Gardens By the Bay

8. China Town not in China

1.Wanderlust at Marina Bay

SHELLWANDERS AT MARINA BAY SINGAPORE

Around the Marina Bay

Marina Bay, Singapore is a top luxurious destination in the world even though the city is small. It is located in the Central part of Singapore. Standing at this place will give you the main highlights of Singapore. You can actually walk or bike around the Marina Bay. 

Top hotels, restaurants, designer clothes and bags, malls, and tourist attractions encircles Marina Bay. The Helix Bridge, Merlion, Art Sciene Museum, Esplanade, Gardens by the Bay are some of the destinations encircling Marina Bay.

During the day, many people visits the bay. This is the best time of the day to snap pictures.

🏷️ 5% OFF Secrets of the Bay Tour

🏷️ 3% OFF Marina Bay Sands Skypark Sightseeing Experience

🏷️ 8% OFF ArtScience Museum: Marina Bay Sands Admission Ticket

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

2. Have fun at Universal Studios

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE

The infamous Universal Studios Singapore Globe

If you are heading to Universal Studios to start your Singapore adventure or if you have started you’re Singapore adventure and is headed in Universal Studios, you are in for a super real treat. 😀 

Myself is and has always been a kid-at-heart. I did get so excited when I start to see the first glimpses of the adventure/theme park from the bus window heading into Sentosa Island.

This Universal Studios in Singapore is one of the 4 currently built Universal Studios theme parks in the world. It has its own unique theme lands that can only be experience in this theme park.

Universal Studios discounts

🏷️ 12% OFF Universal Studios Singapore™ Ticket (1 Day Pass)

🏷️ [Skip The Line] Universal Studios Singapore™ Express Pass

🏷️ 3% OFF Universal Studios Singapore™ Admission Ticket and Express Pass Combo Package

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

3.  Ride a Cable Car and Dine at Mount Faber

SINGAPORE CABLE CAR
SINGAPORE CABLE CAR

Feel that magic moment ride.

Singapore Cable Car giving you an utmost 360 degrees views of the place. It will take you to different places in Sentosa. Cable car will operate at 8:45am to 10:00pm (last ride will be at 9:30pm).

🏷️ 5% OFF Singapore Cable Car Pass

🏷️ 9% OFF Dining at Faber Peak or Sentosa

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

4. Buy Gifts at ABC Store in Bugis (Cheapest Store in Singapore)

Osmeña Peak, Cebu

Affordable chocolates for your loved ones can be bought here. Try to drop by next time if you can.

5. Enjoy Day or Night Singapore Safari

Singapore Night Safari
Singapore Night Safari

This has to be one of the coolest Safari in the whole world that you should not pass to experience. Seeing so many creatures at night while riding a trailer or walking will give you goosebumps. Also, do not miss the show.

🏷️ 12% OFF Singapore River Safari

🏷️ 9% OFF Singapore Night Safari Open Dated Ticket

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore River Safari with Private Transfer Combo

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

6. Sightseeing in Singapore Downtown (Land and Water)

Original Ducktour Singapore Car

Original Ducktours, Suntec Mall, Singapore

There are many types of vehicle tours that can give you an overview of the city but I personally recommend this one because it is very unique. Why is this unique? Well, it takes you to land and water places. This is an amphibian type of vehicle. Imagine touring Singapore in a whole lot new level! Hitting two birds with one stone, right?

🏷️ 7% OFF The Original DUCKtours Singapore

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

🏷️ 5% OFF Singapore Cable Car Pass

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

7. Visit Gardens By the Bay

Gardens by the Bay Singapore
Gardens by the Bay Singapore

Reading the place’s name will automatically tell you it is a garden by the bay. Literally! You will totally love this place! No exaggeration intended.

🏷️ 5% OFF Gardens by the Bay Ticket Singapore

🏷️ 6% OFF Gardens by the Bay and OCBC Skyway

🏷️ 10% OFF Singapore Private Car Charter

🏷️ 10% OFF iVenture Singapore Ultimate Attractions Pass

🏷️ 8% OFF Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay Package

8. China Town not in China

CHINATOWN
CHINATOWN

Explore street foods from singapore in chinatown.  Buy some budget friendly key chains and Refigerator Magnets. They have so many things to see. Buy many affordable items.

MAP TO HELP YOU LOCATE THE NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

shellwanders

Have you ever been to the places I’ve listed above? Go and try them yourself!

Always remember to “Develop your One Days to Day Ones!

XOXO,

Civil Engineer by Profession. Blogger by Passion. This young girl channeled her energy in blogging when her favorite girl group disbanded. Join and Catch her next wanders.
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