Sparse but immaculate rooms with powerful aircon and amazing views. Friendly staff and fellow travellers. A truly stunning roof terrace. Walking distance from the Long Bar at Raffles without the high prices; right next to an art gallery too. Ace.
Located in a beautiful building in central Singapore, having undergone massive redevelopment several years ago, this museum is a real must for anyone visiting the city. The exhibitions here are truly world class, presented in an innovative and interesting way, and provide a real snapshot into the Singapore of past and present. Entrance fees are minimal, and the staff on hand are plentiful. A must for old and young visiting the city.
93 Stamford Road, Singapore, 178897
A great backpacker hostel. Possibly the cheapest yet most well-developed place to get all sorts of information.
Decorated with IKEA furniture, free kitchen use, free breakfast and free internet use. Excellent service and location in Little India district.
73 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209401
Tel: (65) 6296 9169
Fax: (65) 6396 6694
Bugis (green line)-from the airport
Little India (purple line)
It is a friendly backpackers' place for those who are on a tight budget and want somewhere clean to crash. They also organise activities for their lodgers and there are people from all parts of the world.
Owned by 2 Singaporeans, Hai & Ping, the place is always fully booked. So booking in advance is definitely recommended!!
73 Dunlop Street
Tel: (65) 62969169
Located right in the heart of Little India and just a 10 minute walk from the "Little India" MRT station.
Malacca is a historic Malaysian town with a less sanitised atmosphere than Singapore. You can see it in a day on a fully escorted coach trip run by RMG Tours. Considering the distance, you get a reasonable flavour of the place as well as an excellent hotel lunch, for a very good price.
The same company do a tour to Kukup but this is comparatively disappointing, with three stops en route and inadequate time at the destination. They offer other tours within Singapore itself, which are less worthwhile as the public transport system is so good and taxis plentiful and cheap.
RMG's address is 109C Amoy Street, Singapore 069929. It has booking desks in the Orchard Road Visitors' Centre and various hotels, or see the website at www.rmgtours.com
The night markets offer delicious food on a budget and a great atmosphere. Pick up some great satay to share with friends and then wander along the waterfront after a couple of tiger beers.
Little india is also a great place to buy some amazing cheap food and is often thriving in the evening
Various hawker centres tinyurl.com/cu2st
Little India's nearest station is Little India
Singapore Airlines periodically offer 'Stop-Over Holidays'. These are heavily subsidised rooms in 4 and 5 star hotels. As part of the offer, you also get a range of free coupons -these include things like free entry to museums, the night zoo, the bird park as well as half price Singapore Slings in Raffles.
The hotel will try to sell you transport to the attractions, but you can easily go there on your own using the MRT and are perfectly allowed to do so.
Singapore Airlines offices and website www.singaporeair.com/saa/
There are a series of hotels in the Geylang area of Singapore which are part of a chain called Fragrance.
True, this is in the red light district but staying there will give you a 'real' view of Singapore. Even better, the rooms are really cheap - and even cheaper if you have an ISIC or IYIC membership.
For the budget traveller and for those who want to eat where the locals eat, you find them all over the city! Don't be afraid to sample exotic delicacies, you will be pleasantly surprised for just a few dollars! Oh and, if you like to chew gum don't forget to bring your own because Singapore law prohibits the sale of chewing-gum all over the city including the airport!
Everywhere in Singapore but especially in Chinatown.
Street food is one of the highlights of a trip to Singapore and Smith Street one of the best places to enjoy it. Choose popiah (a cross between filled pancakes and spring rolls) or a heaped plate of delicious black-pepper crab from one of the stands (all voted for by local people), sit down at a communal bench, and enjoy free, live entertainment most nights.
Smith Street, Chinatown
Singapore has a tremendous range of food and drink but the ColBar is a unique restaurant that is redolent of the colonial repast enjoyed by British ex-pats since it opened in 1948. It is run by Mrs Lim and is located in Portsdown, a quiet suburb with a pleasantly “arty” ambience.
The restaurant is a wooden-walled shed with school canteen tables, aluminium ashtrays and a concrete floor. Ceiling fans circulate the air affectionately and football team photos adorn the wall. It’s basic, and is all the better for that. The food is good Malay and Chinese but you can get the full British breakfast if required.
This is a much loved place that has already had one close call with the wrecking ball of progress. It was relocated lock, stock and wok a few years ago when an expressway was planned. The locals fought a rearguard action and the ColBar was saved. It doesn’t open on Mondays but is a fantastic place to relax away from the commercial bustle of Orchard Road and the Central Business District.
9A Whitchurch Road, off Portsdown Road
Singapore may be a modern business hub, but elements of its original melting-pot culture remain if you take time to search them out. When bored of the malls of Orchard Road, head to the free museum in Raffles Hotel (third floor) to see photographs and memrobilia of a bygone age: Charlie Chaplain, Elizabeth Taylor, Lord Mountabtten and more including images of streets with rickshaw drivers, coolies and colonials. Chinatown has some charm, but has sadly been made "more Chinese" over the last decade. The nearby Telok Ayer area (where you will find Singapore's oldest Taoist temple next to a tiny park) has some good cafes and restaurants including the budget Lotus Cafe. Porta Porta Restaurant on Stanley Street and Aoili on Boon Tat Street offer inventive and authentic Italian and French food (the set lunches are modestly priced at around S$20 to $30). If you want organic vegetarian food, two doors from Aioli is Yogi Hub.More authentic than Chinatown is Little India, but ignore the infamous Komala Villas Restaurant (now serving poor quality Indian vegetarian food in a bad atmosphere) and head for Sri Saktivillas Restaurant on Cuff Road for fantastic food at cheap prices. On the next street - Upper Dickson Road - is Kulfi Bar where you will find some of the creamiest Indian ice-cream in an amazing variety of flavours (the colours and tastes of the beetroot and pistachio are unforgettable.)Fort Canning Park (not far from Orchard Road) and the Botanical Gardens offer green and pleasant distractions. See the Spice Garden at Fort Canning and the Orchid Gardens at the Botanical Gardens.On Hill Street is the charming Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator. It has a circular design, a marvellous atmosphere and is a national treasure. And for a taste of a more authentic Singapore life, head to the heartlands of Toa Payoh, Tampines or Clementi. Among the Housing Development Boad apartment blocks you will find shops, food centres and coffee shops with economy prices and a genuine local flavour.
If you need a quick bite when you are shopping on Orchard Road, you can't do better than head for the basement of Takashimaya. Dishes from all over Southeast and East Asia, and elsewhere, at street hawker prices. It can get busy but it all adds to the atmosphere.
Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road
We stayed there a couple of years ago and it was fantastic. Small and humble and a room costs around £35 / night. It's right in the heart of Little India.
Across the road is a big food court which offers pretty much anything that's local. Tonnes of fruit, stacks of "popiah" which are like roll-it-yourself spring rolls, gallons of fresh juices...don't let the grubby appearance of the places put you off. My girlfriend was very particular about food but even she was amazed by the loveliness of the hawker stalls. There are beautiful temples within two minutes' walk, and for nerdy techno freaks like me, Sim Lim Square is 5 minutes away if you want to buy yourself an iPod, camera or computer...enjoy!
The Changi Village is a modern, chic hotel and is one of the most affordable luxury hotels in Singapore. We managed to get a double room in August for £55 a night, booked on the hotel’s website.
Although it’s not in the centre of town, it is near a beach and ideal for early morning flights from the nearby airport.
Brunch and as much champagne as you can drink - eat 12 courses of foie gras and drink 2 bottles of champagne before 2pm on a Sunday. I think it only costs about $100sg.
Raffles Hotel (but they might have stopped the free flow champagne part -grrrr) or the Fullerton Hotel (where they definitely still do the free flow champagne part.)
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