How expensive is Singapore? 2 tourists try to survive on a $50 budget for a day

Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive place to live in, and even tourists know that.

But is it possible to explore our country on a tight budget? 

Travel vloggers Jayesh Chhaya and Karolina Palussek from the UK and Poland, respectively, decided to put that to the test in a YouTube video uploaded on July 8. 

The challenge was for them to spend a day in Singapore with just $50 between the both of them

Food, breathtaking views and more 

First up on their itinerary was the Pinnacle@Duxton, an HDB flat with a sky bridge that provides sweeping views of the city. 

They paid $6 per pax for tickets and then took the lift all the way up to the 50th floor. 

Upon stepping out, they were immediately blown away by the view. 

“You can see the whole of Singapore,” Jayesh said in awe. 

He also pointed out that this was a much cheaper option compared to Marina Bay Sands’ famous SkyPark Observation Deck, which costs $32 for non-Singaporean adults.

“I would highly recommend this because you get to see Singapore from a completely different perspective than what you might see from Marina Bay Sands,” he said, adding that this was a “budget version” of the iconic landmark.  

With $38 left in their pockets, they headed over to Tiong Bahru Food Centre for some hawker food. 

There, they ordered a combination of roasted duck, pork and char siew with rice ($8) from Tiong Bahru Lee Hong Kee Cantonese Roasted. 

While the pair thoroughly enjoyed the dish, Jayesh especially enjoyed the crispy pork belly. 

“You hear that crunch? That is so nice,” he said as he bit into a piece of meat. 

They also got a cup of sugar cane ($2.50) from Wang Wang Sugar Cane. 

“It’s very refreshing [when the weather] is super hot,” commented Jayesh after he took his first sip. 

After polishing this off, they got a pack of five pieces of chwee kueh ($3.30) from Jian Bo Shui Kueh. 

“It melts in your mouth,” Karolina said after trying it, while Jayesh likened the rice cake portion to egg whites. 

Before they left the hawker centre, Karoline also bought a cup of coffee from L21 Cafe Hot and Cold Beverages for $1. 

With that, they were left with $23.20 left to spend. 

Next up on the agenda was Bugis Street. 

“We heard it’s very affordable here,” said Jayesh. 

Here, they wanted to find a t-shirt and their budget was $10. 

But after walking around the mall, they came to the conclusion that there was nothing good to buy. 

“Mission has failed. It is really difficult to find a t-shirt for $10. Most of the t-shirts are a minimum of $18, so it’s not super budget-friendly,” Jayesh shared. 

Instead, they got themselves some peanut and yam ang ku kueh ($6.40) from a nearby street vendor as a snack. 

“It’s a very very weird texture, like sticky,” Jayesh described. 

Karolina much preferred the peanut ang ku kueh and said: “I love it! I love the colour, I love the texture.”

But when it came to the yam ang ku kueh, the pair were less impressed. 

“It tastes a bit like mushy rice with a bit of sweetness to it,” Jayesh described. 

After this, they had a grand total of $20.40 left to spend at their final destination — Golden Mile Food Centre. 

There, they bought a cup of milo and tea for a total of $3 from a drink stall.  

After deliberating over all the food options there, they eventually bought a bowl of wanton mee ($4) from two very cheerful hawkers. 

From the dumplings to the noodles, the couple thoroughly enjoyed this dish. 

And the hawkers who served them liked Jayesh and Karolina so much that they even gave them food to bring home, as well as more char siew. 

“You’re feeding us like my mother,” Jayesh said gratefully, adding that Singaporeans are very friendly. 

Before they left the hawker centre, they bought a barley drink for $1, which Jayesh said tasted like soya milk. 

How much was the damage? 

So after a full day of eating and exploring, Jayesh and Karolina tabulated their spending. 

And the grand total? $40.20. 

“We came in under our $50 budget for the day,” Jayesh shared. 

But in the comments, netizens weren’t too interested in how the couple budgeted their day — they were more pleased with how the couple were trying local food and interacting with the hawkers. 

Others also gave them bits of information about the various foods they tried. 

ALSO READ: British expat praises Singapore and calls it home, here’s why 


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