SIngapore Dollar

You are here

How much do I need to travel Singapore?

29th October 2019

I like to think of Singapore as Asia for beginners. It is the perfect blend of east and west, combining the heat and the hustle and bustle of a less developed Asian country with the shopping and luxury of a world-class city. 

This fusion has allowed it to be a hotspot for travellers of all types. Whether you want to spend your yearly paycheck on a pair of shoes in the mall, or rough it with the locals on a plastic stool while eating the best $2 meal of your life, Singapore has you covered. 

Singapore is well and truly emerging as more than just a stopover city, cementing its spot as a destination in itself. As Kiwi travellers take advantage of the short and relatively cheap flights, many struggle with putting together a holiday budget. Without being there, how does one know how much each day will cost above accommodation? 

Wonder no more, as the team at Travel Money NZ have created the holiday budget planner to answer your budget questions. The calculator combines Numbeo data with our daily exchange rates to give you, the humble traveller, an idea of how much you need to save for your trip to Singapore. 

We've fired up the robots, but while they warm up* let's have a quick chat about the components of a Singapore travel budget. 

*Just kidding, they're robots, so they are always warm and ready to go. Kinda like you'll be in the Singaporean humidity. 

What goes into a travel budget for Singapore? 


Unless you're an outstanding swimmer, you're going to have to dish out some cash for flights. The good news is that New Zealand to Singapore is a very popular route and there are often sales on the flights. So, unless you're flying business, airfares shouldn't take out a huge chunk of your budget. 

When you arrive in Singapore, you'll have a few transport options. The cheapest and most efficient is the metro, or MRT as they call it over there. With 106 stations scattered throughout the city, you are bound to have a stop nearby. Adult fares cost between 0.80 and 2 SGD depending on how far you travel. Just purchase a reloadable smart card or a single ticket. For areas not covered by the MRT, you can also catch the bus.

If public transport isn't your thing, taxis or the  rideshare app 'Grab' are your best bet. Taxis are metered, though you may want to double-check with the driver as to whether there are any surcharges or extra fees that day for your drive. Grab is an affordable option if there are a few of you travelling. 

Thankfully Singapore is super small, so you don't need to account for any cross-country travel. 


Accommodation in Singapore is renowned for being pretty expensive unless you are keen to share a hostel room with ten other strangers. Unfortunately, Airbnb is also illegal in Singapore, so while you can still technically book a place on the app, you are running the gauntlet as to whether you can actually stay there when you arrive. 

With this in mind, it's best to keep an idea on any travel deals and book in advance to get the best deal. Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and Orchard Road are the most popular areas  to stay, so look outside these areas for a cheaper place to stay. 

If you are, however, planning to splurge during your trip, you can't go past the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Averaging between 800 - 1500 SGD per night, a weeks stay will be a considerable, but oh so epic, expense. 


Food is without a doubt the cornerstone of every Singaporean holiday (aside from the heat I guess). Hot? Eat. Tired? Eat. Bored? Eat. Low on cash? Eat. Have some money to splurge? Eat. Cold? You're not in Singapore. Just eaten? Eat. 

For those that enjoy the finer things in life, Singapore boasts 44 Michelin star restaurants. And for those that enjoy the finer things in life but maybe can't always afford them, the city is bursting with deliciously, cheap eats. Most of which are found at the Hawker Centres. Scattered around the city, Hawker markets are where the locals go to eat most meals. Here you'll be able to fill your table and your stomach for less. 

Tip: Singapore has a gnarly alcohol tax, so drinks are pretty expensive. Hawker centres tend to have pretty cheap beer, though. 


Aside from eating, there are plenty of activities you can fill your day with. Popular attractions include:

  • The Singapore Zoo
  • Night Safari
  • Universal Studios Theme Park
  • Bike tours of the city
  • Food tours of the city
  • Exploring Sentosa Island
  • Wandering around the Gardens by the Bay

All of these activities vary in price, but I would recommend choosing at least two to your Singapore bucket list as they are all very worthy. For ticketed attractions, always book online as you will generally get a better price. 

Keen to escape the heat? Load up your Cash Passport Platinum and flee to the aircon confines of any of the shopping malls and treat yo' self to some retail therapy. Then eat, because it's Singapore. 

Pre-departure expenses

Regardless of where you are staying or what you are doing, travel insurance is a must. Purchase your insurance as soon as you book your flights so that you are covered from the get-go against the unexpected. 

How much does a trip to Singapore cost?

Can you hear that? It's the sound of our budget planner getting a little bit too excited about calculating your Singapore travel budget. Let's not keep it waiting. 

Using the budget planner 101

Step 1 

  • Where are you travelling (Singapore)
  • How long will you be away
  • Select your currency. In this case, it would either be SGD or NZD.
  • Get something to eat in the spirit of Singapore. 

Step 2 

Rip off the bandaid first. Let's not kid ourselves on how much you'll be eating in Singapore. We promise not to judge if anything we might judge you on not eating enough. Try and put yourself in a holiday mindset, sitting in your hotel as the smell of freshly made fried rice and satay sticks waft through your window.

Step 3 

Time to account for your therapy, retail therapy that is. From cheesy 'I <3 Singapore' souvenirs to high-end fashion, be sure to include it in the budget planner. 

Step 4 

This is for all of your transport costs outside of flights. So basically your day to day means of getting from one meal to another. 

Step 5

Great job! You've done the hard work. Sit back and peruse our simple layout of your planned expenses in both Singapore and New Zealand dollars. Need to edit something? Too easy, go back to the screen and adjust as necessary. Now you're ready to start saving for your holiday. 

It's important to note here that this only accounts for your most basic expenses. You'll need to add in travel insurance and other daily expenses. It's also worth having a bit of wiggle room in the kitty for unexpected costs or particularly wild shopping sprees. They happen, I've been there, and it was both refreshing and overwhelming for my bank account. 

Singaporean Travel Budget Examples

Here are some examples of what the bones of your travel budget would look like. Please note all of these examples are based off seven nights accommodation and are quoted in New Zealand dollars. Prices will, of course, vary with seasonality and availability. 

Lovey dovey couples retreat

Forget Paris, Singapore is the new city of love and it’s calling your name. 



Auckland to Singapore return with Singapore Airlines.



7 nights in a Deluxe King Room at the Pan Pacific in the Marina Centre. Talk about views. 


$280 per day 

So many 5 star restaurants, so little time. Don’t forget to give the Hawker centres a try though!


$280 per day +/-

Another day, another activity. Will it be a visit to the Zoo, a foodie tour of Hawker markets or perhaps a shopping spree at the mall?

Total for couple 


You’ll leave well fed and even more in love than before. 


Family getaway

Between visits to the zoo, rides at Universal and trying to get the little ones to try BBQ stingray, you’ll have an action packed week. 


$3620 for 2 adults and 2 kids

Auckland to Singapore return with Malaysia Airlines. 



One bedroom apartment with kitchen in Clarke Quay. 


$250 per day

You’re cooking breakfast, and trying to get the kids to try new cuisines at the super cheap Hawker Markets. 


$350 +/-  per day

Public transport and as many cheap attractions as possible. You’ll splurge on tickets to the zoo and Universal Studios though. 



The smiles on the kids faces makes up for the price tag...


Solo traveller

Pack some sunscreen, because you’re gonna be soaking up the sun during your week away. 



Auckland to Singapore return with Malaysian Airlines. 



Single bed in a downtown hostel that includes breakfast and is close to the metro. 


$70 per day

Supermarket snacks, cheap drinks and plenty of oriental delights at the hawker markets. 


$80 per day 

Metro trips, plenty of steps on your fitbit and a lot of sweat as you take in the city, with a treat at the zoo or Universal studios.  



That’s only like, two paychecks? Add another week, we know you want to. 












Last-Minute Tips

  • Visit a Travel Money NZ store for a foreign currency solution tailored to your holiday. We've got the Best Price Guarantee so you can be sure you're taking off with more. 
  • Travel outside peak tourist seasons to get cheaper accommodation and fewer crowds.
  • Pack plenty of sunscreen and bug spray. The mosquitos can be rather aggressive.
  • You don't need to tip in Singapore
  • Buy your foreign currency in advance and add Rate Move Guarantee. It's free, and if the rate improves within 14 days of purchase we will refund you the difference!* Plus it means you won't get caught out with terrible airport exchange rates because you left it until the last minute.
  • Research your 'per day' budget and include the things you want to do. Once you know the costs, you have a goal to save for and some flexibility to work with
  • Most items are cheaper to book in advance (especially if you're going near peak times), but some things can be more affordable to purchase in Singapore. We recommend keeping an eye on sites like Groupon, as they can often have some epic local experiences for a fraction of the cost.
  • Lock in your exchange rate with a Cash Passport Platinum.
  • Don't eat Durian; it tastes just like it smells.


Flight costs based on search from and are indicative costs only for travel dates 4 - 11 August 2020. Prices were sourced on October 25 2019. ^Accommodation costs are based on an average per night price for budget, moderate or luxury hotels, as indicated in the table. 

COST COMPARISON TABLE: All costs are based on estimated approximate costs from major metropolitan cities. “From” costs indicate costs that start from the indicated price and may be higher than shown. Average prices indicate a typical estimated cost you would pay for the indicated item. Prices may vary from time to time.

This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.

*Terms and conditions apply to Best Price Guarantee and Rate Move Guarantee. See in store or online for more details.