A Backpacker’s Guide to Singapore

Thanks to its relatively lower costs and the unparalleled freedom it offers, backpacking has become a popular way to travel. If you’re planning on going on a backpacking adventure soon and don’t have any ideas where to go yet, consider visiting Singapore.

The city-state dubbed as the Lion City is known for its rich cultural heritage and unique urban architecture. It’s also one of the most tourist-friendly travel destinations in the world. It boasts an efficient public transportation system, so you can easily explore every corner of the island. English is also widely spoken and signages are available in multiple languages, eliminating most communication barriers. Moreover, Singapore is renowned for its safety and strict laws, which can help you feel more comfortable during your stay.

singapore backpacking 9

Pretty convincing, right? But before you prepare your trusty rucksack, here’s a quick guide of everything you need to know for backpacking in Singapore:

Accommodation Choices

If you’re backpacking on a budget and are intimidated by hotel prices, don’t fret. Singapore has a variety of accommodation options that balance cost with comfort and convenience. Hostels are a popular choice among backpackers; aside from being cheap and clean, they also provide an opportunity to meet other travellers and backpackers. Hostels also have reliable free Wi-Fi, communal lounges, and sometimes even complimentary breakfast. Prices for a bed in a shared dormitory room range from SGD20 to SGD50 per night, depending on the location and amenities offered.

Capsule hotels are also available if you prefer more privacy. These hotels offer compact sleeping pods that cater to your basic needs and give you more personal space. When you first arrive in Singapore, Changi Airport hotels are located within the airport building itself. You can check in there if you want to drop off your luggage, freshen up, and start exploring Singapore right away. Prices usually start at SGD50 per night and other capsule hotels located in populous districts are also near hawker food centres and public transport for even more convenience.

Transportation Cards

singapore backpacking 10

Speaking of transport, traveling around Singapore can feel effortless for backpackers because of its world-famous highly efficient public transportation system. To save on fares when you ride buses and the LRT and MRT trains in the city, you’re going to need a Singapore Tourist Pass. It’s essentially a contactless smart card loaded with travel credits, so that you can pay for your fares with ease. There are different types of Singapore Tourist Pass, with different validity durations and amounts that you are able to use. Make sure to choose the correct one based on the length of your stay.

Food Options

If there’s one thing you should splurge on in Singapore, it’s food. With Michelin-starred hawker centers and a wide variety of street food, Singapore is a gastronomic paradise that’s easy on the pockets. One full meal at a hawker centre can cost between SGD3 and SGD10, which makes it an excellent option for budget-conscious backpackers. Maxwell Food Centre and the Chinatown Complex Food Centre are must-visits for an authentic taste of Singapore cuisine. Make sure to sample some Hainanese chicken rice, laksa, char kway teow, and satay to complete your Singapore foodie adventure!

Attractions to Visit

singapore backpacking 6

While Singapore is home to impressive urban architecture, it’s not the only thing that it offers. Indeed, the Lion City has dozens of popular attractions that cater to different interests and age groups, many of which are free. For example, The Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove and outdoor gardens don’t charge an entrance fee. The place features spectacular views and seamlessly blends nature with technology. Meanwhile, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage site that invites visitors to explore its lush landscapes and themed gardens at no cost. Other free attractions include Merlion Park, Marina Bay Sands boardwalk, Little India, various parks across the city, and many more.

singapore backpacking 2

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, you can head on over to paid attractions like Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios Singapore, and the S.E.A. Aquarium. These are perfect for backpackers who want to explore more of Singapore’s modern attractions. You can save on ticket expenses by looking up discounted deals online.

Shopping Destinations

singapore backpacking 13

While Singapore often features high-end and luxury brands in their malls, backpackers can also find high-quality items and souvenirs in local markets and bazaars. You can visit the vibrant markets of Chinatown, Little India, or Bugis where you can haggle for the best prices on different goods, from traditional crafts to trendy fashion accessories. The cost of the items can vary depending on its type and the shop, but rest assured that prices are affordable and fair. Exploring these local markets provides a more authentic shopping experience and better deals so you can shop to your heart’s content.

Cultural Etiquette

singapore backpacking 1

As a multicultural nation, Singapore and its citizens value social harmony and peace. They have specific norms you need to observe, especially regarding public behaviour and dress codes at religious sites. If you’re planning to visit temples, mosques, or churches, remember to dress modestly. Singaporeans also highly value cleanliness and order, so littering, smoking in non-designated areas, and eating on public transport are prohibited. Before you backpack across Singapore, make sure to familiarize yourself with their cultural norms and respect their rules and traditions.


Singapore has one of the fastest internet networks in the world, which makes staying connected easy and hassle free. One of the most cost effective ways to access the internet and send messages is to purchase a local sim. Prices for a basic SIM card start from around SGD15 and include local calling minutes, text messages, and a generous data allowance. You can find kiosks and shops selling SIM cards at Changi Airport or throughout the city. You may also connect through public WiFi, but make sure to apply security practices to protect your data.

Backpacking Your Way through Singapore

Singapore has cemented itself as a top destination in Asia for international travelers and backpackers, and for good reasons too. From the moment you land in Jewel Changi Airport, you’ll be greeted by the country’s welcoming atmosphere. The wonders and experiences that Singapore offers visitors are truly unparalleled, so what are you waiting for? Book that flight, pack your bags, and embark on an epic backpacking journey in the Lion City.

singapore backpacking 5

error: Content is protected !!