It's official! Singapore is one of the cheapest cities to visit for a holiday!
It's an affordable day-trip away!
Where will you be heading for your next cheap city break? What about Singapore?
For those of us who frequently grouse over the cost of living in Singapore, the words “cheap” and “Singapore” don’t quite seem to go together.
But if you’re here for just a little while, Singapore may prove to be quite the value-for-money stopover, if a recent piece of research is to be believed.
According to data collated in August and released this week by travel insurance specialist Columbus Direct, Singapore has ranked 8th for being one of the “cheapest cities to spend 24 hours”.
A total of 55 popular destinations around the world were included in the research.
Unsurprisingly, of the top 10 cheapest cities to explore, eight are located in Asia. Delhi, India leads the way, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
Seoul took the 4th spot, with Taipei and Shanghai trailing behind. The cheapest city in Europe to visit for 24 hours is Prague in the Czech Republic, which came in 7th position.
The findings were based upon factors such as the cost of a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, the number of cheap and free attractions, the availability of cheap grub, the cost of beer and the price of taxi rides, among others.
If you’re surprised by Singapore’s ranking, there’s a reason to be.
After all, our tiny island has consistently ranked as the most expensive city in the world for several years, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit.
However, it could be our abundance of relatively wallet-friendly hawker eats (where a complete meal can be gotten for under $5) and availability of free attractions (Gardens by The Bay and Botanic Gardens come to mind) that played a part pushing Singapore up the index.
The survey also didn’t take into account the cost of hotel stays, with a four-star hotel stay here costing about $155 per night and five-star hotels at about $315 a night, according to Booking.com.
Based on what we can see from the survey results, cities like Phuket, Guangzhou and Shenzhen which ranked lower (and more expensive) than Singapore may have received a downgrade due to the lack of affordable day trip options and a number of cheap eats, which at first glance seems surprising.
But we realised that the data was taken from travel review site TripAdvisor, which would predictably have more of a Western and English-speaking following. TripAdvisor also appears to omit street food options, thereby skewing the results. When we searched for cheap eats in Shenzhen on TripAdvisor, a sad listing of bars, cafes and foreign fast food restaurants popped up. Go figure.
For the record, of the 55 cities profiled, Miami is the least affordable, with Hong Kong (#50), Pattaya (#52) Los Angeles (#53) and Las Vegas (#54) among the bottom-ranking.
The full findings are available here.