3D2N in Singapore for the Budget Travellers
March 07, 2020
Contrary to what you’ve watched on Crazy Rich Asians, Singapore isn’t only made for luxury travellers. You can experience Singapore on a budget too. My home country might be expensive as compared to travelling in other Southeast Asia countries, but you can still visit Singapore while sticking to a tight budget.
Upon arriving at Singapore Changi Airport, purchase the Singapore Tourist Pass Plus from ChangiRecommends. You’ll be able to enjoy what my beautiful city has to offer, from inexpensive scrumptious dining to one-of-a-kind shopping to heart-thumping entertainment and unlimited travel on Singapore’s bus services, MRT and LRT trains for a period of 3 consecutive days. The Pass will also enable you to enjoy great savings while maximising your travel experience in Singapore. Check out the following 3D2N Singapore itinerary I’ve planned for first-time budget travellers.
Day 1 – Chinatown, Haji Lane and Gardens by the Bay
Begin the morning at Chinatown Complex Food Centre. The price of food at hawker centres cost between $2.50 and $5. I recommend trying soon kueh, chee cheong fun, yam cake and economic noodles from Jia Ji Mei Shi, Xiu Ji Ikan Bilis Yong Tau Fu and traditional kaya toast and freshly brewed kopi (coffee) from The 1950s Coffee. After you’ve had your fill, explore the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown Street Market, Keong Saik Road and the district’s colourful street art.
Head back to Chinatown Complex Food Centre for lunch. You should try Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, one of the first street hawker stalls in the world to be awarded 1 Michelin Star. It’s also the cheapest Michelin-starred eatery in the world. Cool down with a local dessert called “chendol” from the Old Amoy Chendol stall.
Spend the afternoon visiting Haji Lane, Arab Street and the Kampong Glam district. There are numerous vibrant wall murals painted on old-school buildings along Haji Lane and Arab Street. You can also learn about Singapore’s Malay culture and heritage at Kampong Glam. The majestic Sultan Mosque is quite a sight. Have dinner at the Kampong Glam Cafe and try Malay cuisine such as mee rebus, mee siam, soto ayam, and gado-gado, just to name a few.
After dinner, enjoy an evening stroll at Gardens by the Bay before catching the Garden Rhapsody music and light show. Watch the illuminated Supertrees “dance” along to the music. No entrance fee is required unless you want to visit the Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest, the Floral Fantasy and the Supertree Observatory and OCBC Skyway.
Day 2 – Merlion Park, Little India, Haw Par Villa and Marina Bay Sands
Curious about the mythical Merlion with the head of a lion and the body of a fish? Make the effort to wake up early to catch the sunrise at the Merlion Park. Spouting water from its mouth, the Merlion statue stands tall at 8.6 metres and weighs 70 tonnes.
Since you had an early start and might need caffeine to keep you awake throughout the rest of the day, grab breakfast at Amoy Street Food Centre. You can either go for the hipster coffee, tea and toasts from Coffee Break or the traditional kopi, teh and kaya toast from Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee. After breakfast, pop by Thian Hock Keng Temple that’s located just a stone’s throw away from Amoy Street Food Centre before visiting Little India.
Discover Indian culture and heritage at The Temple Of Thousand Lights, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple and the Indian Heritage Centre. Hunt up cool spots for your Instagram feed at the House of Tan Teng Niah and the wall murals scattered around Little India. Shop at the Little India Arcade and bring some interesting souvenirs home. Take a break for lunch at Tekka Centre and try Indian cuisine like the briyani from Allauddin and the Indian rojak from Temasek Indian Rojak.
If you enjoy discovering places that are off the beaten path, use the afternoon to visit Haw Par Villa. Previously known as the Tiger Balm Garden, this cultural theme park is the last of its kind in the world. Built in 1937 by Aw Boon Haw, the millionaire philanthropist and marketing extraordinaire who gifted the world Tiger Balm, Haw Par Villa is Singapore’s largest outdoor art gallery. This eclectic park which houses more than 1,000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting scenes from Chinese mythology, folklore, legends, history, and illustrations of various aspects of Confucianism, is a treasure trove of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion.
Enjoy dinner at Marina Square’s air-conditioned food court (a slightly pricier version of Singapore’s hawker centre) before admiring Singapore’s night view from Esplanade’s roof top garden. Cross the Helix Bridge towards Marina Bay Sands and watch the Light and Water Show at the promenade.
Day 3 – Tiong Bahru, Katong and Joo Chiat
The Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre is one of my favourite hawker centres in Singapore. The huge variety of food options will leave you spoilt for choice. For breakfast, I highly recommend chwee kueh – steamed rice cakes topped with diced preserved radish and served with chilli sauce.
Wander around this nostalgic neighbourhood after breakfast. You’ll come across the Tiong Bahru Air Raid Shelter and the Qi Tian Gong Temple and you can learn about the life of Singaporeans during the Japanese occupation. There are also a few wall murals depicting the life of Singaporeans in the past.
Since you’ve already experienced the Chinese, Malay and Indian culture in Singapore, head to the Katong and Joo Chiat neighbourhood in the afternoon to learn more about our Peranakan culture. You can check out the architecture of the colourful shophouses along Koon Seng Road and learn more about the Peranakan culture at Rumah Bebe. Before you leave for the airport, try 328 Katong Laksa – one of my favourite local delights.
There you have it – a 3D2N Singapore itinerary that will not break the bank. Hope you’ll enjoy your trip here!