By: Cher Tan
Singapore is an expensive city. Any backpacker or tourist arriving in Singapore after having done their rounds in Southeast Asia can attest to that. Gone are the little nooks and crannies housing backpacker digs so ubiquitous in Thailand and Indonesia; instead Singapore is dotted with mid-range to fancy 6-star hotels with prices to make even the most seasoned of travelers cringe. Being dubbed as a eating and shopping “paradise”, visitors to the city would definitely want more money left over to spend. What does one do in the face of such a dilemma? Luckily, budget beds DO exist in Singapore, if one looks hard enough.
This is a rather popular joint. Rates include a free breakfast; there is also a pool table and a 42” TV in the lounge if one would like to chill out after a day of sightseeing. Located in the Little India district, one would be right smack in the middle of the hustle and bustle which feels almost alien in sterile Singapore. 25A Perak Road, $22/night (dorm).
In case one does not feel like bunking in a hostel located in a crowded tourist spot, this would be a good choice. One would feel almost secluded here, a good 15-minutes walk from the vibrant Little India. It also offers single rooms at a reasonable price of $35/night if one prefers their own space. Twin, triple, and quad rooms are available for bigger groups as well. 624 Serangoon Road, $20/night (dorm).
Feeling Aussie? From Australia and want to feel like you never left? With dorms named after cities in Australia (“Perth”, “Brisbane”, “Melbourne”), this hostel has a good following. Having built up a respectable reputation as THE place to see and be seen, rooms are booked out quickly. The fact that it hosts live bands and is also a pub makes the experience just that bit more fun. Excellent if one enjoys a bit of social life. 101 Dunlop Street, $22/night (dorm).
Going at a few dollars more per night, this one is a little more fancy. Found a few minutes walk from Boat Quay (a popular entertainment and nightlife district), with rates inclusive of a free breakfast and round-the-clock web usage, maybe that extra bit of cash is worth it, after all. 33B Hong Kong Street, $26/night (dorm).
Situated in accessible Chinatown, this is extremely convenient, especially when it is right next to the subway station. With a choice of free coffee, tea, or hot chocolate all day, 24-hour web access and free local phone calls, this hostel seems to strive for the welcoming vibe of the “home away from home”. Who would not pay a little more per night for all that extra service? Especially ideal if one has local friends they have to reach – saves the hassle of emailing or going to a public phone any day. 66A Pagoda Street, $26/night (dorm).