Three days in Singapore is ample time to see what the bustling city-state has to offer, especially when you’re on a budget.
I arrived in Singapore by taking a four-hour bus ride from Malacca (Melaka), Malaysia, after having purchased the tickets directly from the Malacca Sentraal Station for 26 MYR/USD 6. The journey involved a coach bus with plush seats and loads of space because there were only three people on the trip.
ENTRY INTO THE COUNTRY
If you’re American, you can receive a visa on arrival in Singapore. The same is true for citizens from the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, and Switzerland.
Make sure to fill out an arrival card before you go through immigration, which should be provided by the bus driver. It only took five minutes to go through immigration, and once we got back on the bus, we were in Singapore within 15 minutes.
Before visiting, I heard reports of the immigration lines being long and of people being left behind by their drivers. That wasn’t my experience. I suspect traveling on a Wednesday afternoon made a difference, but even our 3:30 p.m. arrival time didn’t lead us into any traffic or issues.
WHERE TO STAY
Quarters Capsule Hostel – Only a 15 minute walk from Chinatown and across the street from a bustling food court. Beds cost 35 SGD/USD 25 per night. The facilities were spotless, private, and quiet.
Geylang AirBNB – click the link to see the Airbnb listing
Geylang is considered Singapore’s Red Light District, but I never saw any sex workers or explicit activities. The Airbnb was in an apartment complex called Mansion 28. It was a large shared space with three bedrooms, a shared bathroom, and a kitchen. There was even a washer machine to use free of charge. The room was spacious, the shower’s water pressure was A1, and the bed was comfortable. Mansion 28 was a 5-10 minute walk directly to the Aljunied train station that takes you everywhere around the city. There was a large fruit shop on the walk to the station, and there was Food Loft, a food court right across from the train station, that had various dining options for prices ranging from 2-3 SGD per meal.
WHAT TO SEE, VISIT AND DO
Thursday Night, Ladies Night – Ladies night boasts free or cheap drinks for ladies and deals for guys as well. During ladies night, we went to Idle at Prinsep and Canvas Club. Idle at Prinsep had a 6-hour all you can drink event for 9.90 SGD/USD 7, and Canvas bar has FREE drinks until midnight for ladies.
Marina Bay Sands – Beautiful and FREE! I recommend going to the bridge between the Supertree Grove and the Marina Bay Sands to get a great view of the hotel.
Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway – I recommend seeing them in both the day and night. They are FREE to visit. You can see the Supertree Grove from a balcony and walk amongst them at the ground level. If you want to walk along the OCBC Skyway, it will cost 8 SGD ($6).
Singapore Botanic Garden – The Botanic Garden is FREE to visit, but the orchid garden within the botanic garden will cost you 5 SGD/USD 4 to visit.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple – FREE to visit, but donations are welcome. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately – covered knees and shoulders. They provide free skirts and scarves for tourists who need to cover up.
Tan Teng Niah – Also known as “those colorful houses” in Little India that you see on Instagram. FREE to visit and check out from the outside.
Clarke Quay – Bar/Club area
There are plenty of nightclubs and bars to frequent in the Clarke Quay area. Entry to clubs is about 20 SGD/15 USD. The entrance fee includes two drinks.
Changi Airport – The airport has excellent food, a free movie theater, an orchid garden, a sunflower garden, and a rooftop pool. The airport is nothing short of entertaining. I spent my last day lounging by the pool for the day for only 17 SGD/13 USD.
Get the Singapore Tourist Pass for 30 SGD/USD 22. The Singapore Tourist Pass gives you unlimited rides on all public transit. If you return it to Terminal 3 in Changi Airport, you’ll get 10 SGD/USD 7 back.
ALWAYS carry tissues and wear easily removable clothes. Toilets in Singapore are western style, but if you’re taking a bus, you’ll definitely have to use a squat toilet a time or two.
Have you ever been to Singapore? If so, what was your favorite part? If not, tell me what makes you want to visit? Drop your answer in the comment section.