Thinking of backpacking across Singapore? Fabulous plan! In terms of travel, Singapore has always been an uber-expensive city, which backpackers tend to avoid. However, we’re going to take you to a Singapore that’s not only budget-friendly, but backpacker-friendly. It’s true, Singapore has many rules that may seem a bit too much for the average traveler. However, these rules are what make Singapore one of the safest places for travel – just perfect for backpackers. Come join us on a journey of discovery, and let us check out what this diamond-shaped little island has to offer budget-minded folks!
Transport Options in Singapore
Singapore’s public transport system is economical, clean, on-time and well-controlled.
Metro System (MRT): The MRT is cheap, clean and fully air conditioned; it connects almost all parts of Singapore including the airport. Pick up a temporary MRT card from the airport MRT station; you can return it for a deposit refund when you leave. You can also pick up a Singapore travel guide at the airport or MRT station.
Busses: Buses connect those parts that the MRT doesn’t. Look up http://www. gothere.sg to get to know bus routes around Singapore.
Taxis: For about SD 20 to 30, you can transfer from the airport to any city hotel. Travel in a group of 3 or 4 for a more affordable taxi ride.
What’s truly great about Singapore is that almost everything is located within easy distance from city center. You can walk to every corner of Singapore if you want to – the streets are pedestrian-friendly. Note: Be sure not to jay-walk, since that’s a punishable offence. Use crossing bridges and tunnels to cross roads.
Hop on Hop Off Tours
If your time in Singapore is short, sling on your backpack and sign up for a Hop on Hop off tour. A single affordable ticket takes you to all the major landmarks in the city. You can obtain the tour pass at MRT stations or even at Singapore hostels (at a discount). Hop off to explore the city and hop back on at a different spot; pace your tour as you like it.
Not to Miss Sights And Activities In Singapore
Don’t miss checking out these attractions!
Marina Bay: Don’t miss a visit to Marina Bay at night, when the multi-color LEDS from skyscrapers glimmer beautifully on the water. Get to the top of the Marina Bay Sands for a look at the breathtaking infinity pool. Take pics of the Merlion at night, and enjoy the water, lights and music show which takes place daily at 8:00 P.M.
The Gardens by the Bay: Take your time to explore this garden and its incredible array of flowers from around the world. There’s a Flower Dome, an OCBC Skyway, the Supertree Grove, Children’s Garden, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes and so much more to enthrall you. Of great note is the Supertree Grove, which contains enormous trees made of metal through which rare orchids grow.
Chinatown: A tiny slice of China, tucked away in Singapore, decked out with shop fronts selling Chinese silk, food, herbs and tea. A must-visit.
Little India: A tiny slice of India in Singapore. Explore the spice, clothing and jewelry stores. Check out the old temples that grace Little India’s streets and shop at the 24/7 Mustafa center.
Botanic Gardens: Check out the amazing Orchid Garden, watch turtles swimming in the lakes and walk around the amazing tropical flowers garden.
Arab Street: Arabic food, Arabic clothing, shisha pipes and carpets – entering Arab Street is like visiting a souq in the Middle East or Saudi Arabia. Sit by a roadside café sipping ginger tea and enjoy the ambience of this place.
Palau Ubin: A beautiful, untouched island that you can explore by bike. Check out the jungle-like landscape and the ancient huts that people use. This is how Singapore was before all the modern developments.
Chinese Gardens: Visit at night when the lanterns are lit and the lovely gardens turn magical.
Singapore Zoo: A night safari at the Singapore Zoo is the thing to do while at Singapore. Take advantage of the free zoo transfer service offered by Singapore’s hostels. Book a breakfast with the orangutans on the zoo’s website for a truly incredible experience.
Kuso Island: Visit Kuso Island from the Marina Bay by bum boat for great views and amazing natural landscapes.
Sentosa Island: Sentosa has its own Monorail system from Harbor front MRT. Enjoy the beautiful manmade white sand beaches, the Segway course, the sky diving arena, Butterfly Centre, the Universal Studios, the Hard Rock Café and some of the best theme parks in Singapore
Bukit Timar: Climb up to the summit of this fun natural mountain reserve and hike the trails. Travel by taxi with others to make the ride a bit cheaper.
Shopping: Head out to Orchard road, which is lined with some of the top malls in the city. Get to Bugis for bargain hunting, and Sim Lim Centre for technology needs.
If you’re a foodie, don’t miss eating at Singapore’s hawker stalls. The local vendors ply traditional recipes that they’ve hoarded since old times. Enjoy wonderful Indian, Malay, Chinese, Western, Thai, Indonesian and mixed cuisines at street stalls. Note: Food at street stalls is clean, fresh and hygienic so you can eat as much as you like. Plus, it is really cheap, so perfect for backpackers on a budget. Place a packet of tissues on a table if you want to reserve it and don’t sit at a table if there’s a pack of tissues already on it. That’s the local table reservation custom at street side stalls. Here are some of the best foodie haunts in Singapore:
Maxwell Food Court, located in the heart of Chinatown
James St hawker Center, for top BBQ dishes
Lau Pasat Festival Food Court, Singapore’s oldest standing food court
Singapore’s people are friendly; when in doubt about where to eat, what to see and what to do, always check with the locals. Singaporeans are proud of their city and will be more than happy to guide you to the best spots, eats and fun.