• Sunday, Jun 04, 2023
  • Last Update : 06:03 pm

A city of contrasts

  • Published at 05:18 pm February 6th, 2020

A comprehensive budget travel guide to Singapore

Singapore is, without a doubt, one of the most developed and urbanized countries in South East Asia. This unique country-city is small in size, but has big surprises hidden in every nook and cranny. In case you want to travel to Singapore, read on to find out the best spots to visit while you’re there.Photo: Ilyani Nasir

Walk around in China Town

While in Singapore, you’re sure to find Chinese influences everywhere. Starting from wood carving stores to quaint little tea shops, flower sellers on every street and delectable local dishes -- Singapore will tell you the authentic story of its heritage. At China Town, you should definitely check out the oldest temple in Singapore, which is called Thian Hock Keng. Next, you can stop by the famous Sri Mariamman Temple, which is a colourful Hindu temple, absolutely perfect for your Instagram feed.

There is also a free walking tour in China Town every Tuesday and Friday, between 9.30am to 12.30pm. However, advance booking is required. 

How to get there:

Take the MRT at the city centre, and get off at the China Town stop.

Watch the Spectra Light and Water Show

The Spectra Light and Water Show should definitely be a must-do on your list, while you’re in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands Light Show is one of those great things to do in Singapore at night. Moreover, it is a great activity to add to your budget trip itinerary, since it is completely free! The amazing choreography of singing fountains and projections shown on their splashes creates a festive experience, that goes on every day, so make sure not to miss this attraction while you’re there. 

How to get there:

I recommend taking the subway from Downtown to Bayfront, which is the cheapest option and takes around three minutes. 

Supertree Grove Light Show

The Supertree Grove Light Show is simply mesmerizing and will make you feel like you stepped into some kind of fairytale. The Garden Rhapsody is held in Gardens by the Bay every evening, once at 7.45pm and then at 8.45pm. The futuristic looking Marina Bay ‘super trees’ are lit up in fabulous ways, along with the rhythm of the music. 

How to get there:

Take the MRT from the city centre, and get off at the Bayfront station.

"If you’re tired of sightseeing and just want to relax on a beach, Sentosa Island Resort is the perfect place to do that"

Explore the Cloud Forest

The Cloud Forest is home to planted walls and artificial waterfalls, and it is something absolutely surreal. While you’re there, you can learn about rare plants, take some great pictures, enjoy a magnificent view of the Marina Bay Sands and just walk around this mysterious world built by man. The Cloud Forest also features a 35 metre high hill covered in lush vegetation, which is also the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

How to get there:

You can take the Circle Line or Downtown Line to Bayfront MRT Station. Once you arrive at Bayfront MRT Station, take Exit B. Then, take a short walk to Gardens by the Bay in three to five minutes.

Visit Sentosa Island

If you’re tired of sightseeing and just want to relax on a beach, Sentosa Island Resort is the perfect place to do that. At Sentosa island, you’ll find the S.E.A Aquarium, which hosts more than 100,000 fish and sea creatures. The Universal Studios amusement park is also located at Sentosa, and it is one of the top tourist attractions in Singapore. The Universal Studios is the perfect idea for things to do in Singapore with children, and it’ll provide an amazing time for the entire family. Some of the attractions awaiting you there include the world’s tallest dueling rollercoaster, cute shows for smaller kids and more.

How to get there:

By foot:

Take the Singapore MRT Service to Harbour Front Station. There are travelators from the Harbour Front that will help you go faster, so it will take you only about 20 minutes to get to the island by foot. If you use this choice, you can also go back to the Harbor Front free of charge by train.

By train:

Take the Singapore MRT Service to Harbour Front Station, then enter VivoCity Mall. Go to the third floor and purchase a Sentosa pass. If you’re tired and don’t feel like walking all the way to Sentosa, you can use the train that goes parallel with the travelator. From 7am until midnight, tickets cost 4 Singapore dollars. 

By cable car:

Take the Singapore MRT Service to Harbour Front Station, then enter VivoCity Mall. Go to the third floor and purchase a Sentosa pass. The cable car will take you directly to Sentosa island -- tickets are priced at 35 Singapore dollars for a two-way ride.Photo: Hanson Lu

Great hotel choices in Singapore

Luxury stay:

The InterContinental Singapore is an elegantly decorated five star accommodation with an outdoor pool, and is one of the top luxury hotels in Singapore. A five minute drive from the central business district, and located on the fringe of Marina bay precinct, this hotel also offers a number of dining options.

Value for money:

Located in central Singapore, the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel has a mind blowing view over the city, with two outdoor pools, a restaurant and elegant rooms with floor to ceiling windows. 

Budget stay:

Adamson Lodge is one of the best budget hotels in Singapore when it comes to price and hospitality and it is located very close to everything you will need. Located right next to the Rochor MRT station, it makes transport to many tourist attractions in Singapore a breeze.