FAQ on Singapore: How Much Money Should I Bring?

It is always difficult to say how much money to bring in your holiday. So many factors to consider. How long are you going to stay? Are you going alone, with friends, or with the whole family? Are you going for a backpacking or luxurious style? Do you want to try the local street side food, or the fine dining? Are you going to splurge or merely going for the experience?

Roughly, the recommended budget is around $200 per day for low budget (backpacking) travel and $700 per day for higher end trip. That would already include accommodation, meals, and some shopping.

Although as someone who lives there, I usually only spend around $10-15 for meals and transport. This is a very minimum amount of plain food (nothing fancy, no appetiser and desserts) and transport (basically to work and back home). So if you're in a real tight budget trip, you can easily spend only $50 per day for meals and accommodation (basic meals, walk everywhere, and rent a shared backpadker room).

Where is Singapore? Do I need a Visa? Where can I go in Singapore?

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To give you a picture of how much you will spend, here is a list of usual prices in Singapore.

Food

Chicken rice $3-$5
Laksa $3
Coffee $0.90

Accommodation

Hotel 81 from $80
Hilton Hotel from $180
Marina Bay Sands Hotel from $400

Clothes

Shirts $10
Dresses $20-$30
Male formal shirts around $70

Entertainment

Movies $7-$12
Museums from $10

Transport

Taxi starts at $3.50 and additional $0.22 every 400m thereafter
Bus from $1 to $1.90
Midnight bus $4.50
MRT between $1 to $2.20

Should I exchange the money in my country or in Singapore?

One of the questions I get a lot is whether it's wiser to exchange the money in one's home country, or in Singapore. And which exchange rate will be better.

To find out about the exchange rates in certain countries is not easy, as the rates constantly change. It is also unnecessary, to my personal opinion, because the difference will not be that much; unless you're exchanging a million dollars. If you are, please don't bring cash, just put your money in the bank and pay with your credit card.

What's more crucial is to prepare some money before you leave your home country. This is to avoid unforeseen circumstances like additional tax or immigration fee in the destination country and they don't accept other currencies (also, as far as I know, the immigration does not usually accept credit card). So, exchange about one tenth of your spending budget in your home country, and exchange the rest in Singapore.

Tips

  • Don't rent a car in Singapore. The price is very expensive, not to mention the parking costs and the traffic at certain times. Besides, the public transports in the country are very comfortable. If you have the budget for renting a car, it's better to take taxi: you won't be driving, so you'll be stress-free!
  • For emergencies or sudden urge to shop big, it's always good to bring your credit card with you.
  • Be prepared for unexpected sundry expenses, like drinking water (Singapore is hot and humid!).

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Comments 2 comments

Iammattdoran profile image

Iammattdoran 3 years ago from Manchester, UK

Singapore is expensive but I think it's possible for backpackers to budget for much less than $200 per day unless they're going for cocktails in Raffles everyday or Sentosa.


Eva Berlin profile image

Eva Berlin 3 years ago Author

That is true, if you don't shop at all. I usually only spend around $15 for meals and transport. And let's say the accommodation is $20 (for shared room) per day. We can easily live in Singapore under $50 per day, without shopping.

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