HOW COSTLY IS SINGAPORE
Singapore - a gem in South East Asia. The country has achieved development in almost all areas and the government needs to be appreciated for achieving this in such a short time after independence. The country has a high standard of living and the costs associated with each and every thing is obviously more than that of India. In this article, we will check out how expensive the country is for an average Indian travelling there.
Lets talk about accommodation first. The average hotel in Singapore is significantly costly. The hotel that i stayed in was situated in Lavender area and it cost me about Rs 6000 per night which was quite costly compared to the standard of the hotel. Rooms were also very small. The only consolation was the balcony which ridiculously was bigger than the room itself.
If you are comfortable staying in a red light area, then you can stay in Geylang area. Prices of hotels are around Rs 3000 per night. Since I was not comfortable staying there as I was with my family, so i opted for Lavender area.
Staying in hostels is also not so cheap compared to Thailand or Malaysia. Hostels will also burn a hole of around Rs 1500 per night per bed. Capsule hotels are also available but I am a little claustrophobic and thus didn't book a hostel.
Hence, expect to spend around Rs 3000- Rs 10000 per night for hotels if you are travelling with family.
Next comes food. This can be managed pretty well. You can spend around Rs 2000 per meal and also spend Rs 200 per meal depending on what you eat and where you eat. I will suggest to eat at the hawker courts which are available everywhere. Also food in KFC and Mc Donalds are comparatively cheaper then the restaurants there.
Indian street food is also available at all places. Little India area is very famous for Indian Food and there are lots of Indian Restaurants there. Street food is comparatively less costly in Singapore. A comparative break up is provided for your easy reference.
Expect to spend around Rs 500- Rs 700 in KFC or Mc Donalds for a combo meal comprising of a burger, fries, crispy fried chicken and soft drink.
Expect to spend around Rs 200 - Rs 300 in Hawker Food Courts for a simple meal per person. The image above shows a chicken porridge meal that I had for breakfast and it cost me about SGD 3.80 (Rs 200)
Expect to spend around Rs 150 - Rs 200 for instant noodles along with a drink for breakfast.
Expect to spend around Rs 200-Rs 300 in Indian street food restaurants. I had food once in a South Indian restaurant and prices were around SGD 1 (Rs 52) - SGD 4 (Rs 210) per paratha. Keep in mind that you need to eat two parathas to be fully satiated.
Expect to spend upwards of Rs 2000 if you eat in an average fine dining restaurant.
Expect to spend through the roof in case you want to try out a celebrity chef restaurant.
Thus, food costs can easily be managed in Singapore. Drinking out is a costly affair and hence i would recommend to drink at hawker centres only in which you can have a beer for around SGD 8 minimum (Rs 410)
Transportation in cabs is a costly affair and hence I will not recommend anyone to travel by cabs in Singapore until and unless it is absolutely necessary. Singapore's public transport is extremely efficient and fast. It comprises of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transport or MRT, LRT and Buses.
I had used Cab on three occasions only in my 8 days stay.
The first time i had used was while coming from the airport to hotel (as I had a lot of baggage)
The second time i used it after doing the Night safari at Singapore Zoo. (It was almost 00:30 hrs and the MRT had stopped by that time)
The third time i used cab while going to the airport from the hotel (as I had a lot of baggage)
In all other days, i used the MRT extensively and I must say that I was really impressed with the MRT. The journey takes hardly a few minutes from one area to the other and all areas of Singapore are well connected by MRT. I had purchased an EZ - Link card at a 7/11 store for SGD 10 (which contained $5 credit and the rest $ 5 was the issuance fee of the card). This card is an asset and it can be used in all modes of transport and it has a validity of 5 years. The card can also be purchased at the airport for SGD 12 (which containS $7 credit and the rest $ 5 was the issuance fee of the card). Top up can easily be done at any 7/11 stores which charges a SGD 0.50 commission for each top up. It can also be done at the MRT stations.
You can also buy the Singapore Tourist Pass which has a validity of 1,2 or 3 days depending on which package you want to take. It costs SGD 10, SGD 16 and SGD 20 for a 1,2 or 3 day validity card (as of 2019), It also has a refundable security fee of SGD 10 which will be refunded when you return the card within 5 days.
Attraction costs are quite high in Singapore. I visited Universal Studios, Sentosa Island other attractions, Singapore Zoo (including River Safari, Night Safari, Rainforest Lumina, Bird Park) and Gardens by the Bay and it cost me about Rs 15,000 per person for all these. I will suggest you to buy the combo tickets as these are more value oriented compared to the single tickets. Keep in mind that each of these attractions require one complete day to watch and hence try to reach the place by opening time. Otherwise, if you reach late, you will miss out on many things.
One more thing to remember here is that bottled water prices is exorbitant here. Expect to pay around Rs 200 per litre of bottled water. One good thing is that Singapore tap water is clean and suitable for direct consumption. Hence, if you want to save on water costs, then drink directly from the tap water. I did that for 8 straight days and thankfully, I am still fit ! I saved more than Rs 10,000 on drinking water alone during my trip to Singapore.
In case you are awkward about drinking directly from the tap, then you can also take a refill bottle or two and fill those bottles at any shopping mall or any water fountain which you will get while travelling to attractions. Keep in mind that these may also be direct tap water, after all !!
Singapore is a costly country. It is one of the most expensive countries in the world. However, with proper planning, you can easily make a one week trip to the country at less than Rs 1.5 lakh for a two person trip.
And lastly, please do not believe those people who say that Singapore can be visited in 2-3 days. You need at least 6-7 days to see a "little bit" of Singapore and that's the minimum duration of your trip that you should be making. I assure you that you will need more than 15 days to experience every nook and corner of the country.