Even though Singapore is famed for its luxurious five-star hotels, it is possible to find budget accommodation around the city. Singapore’s cheap hotels range from dorm rooms in backpacker hostels, to quirky boutique hotels to international affordable chain hotel options such as the Ibis and the Novotel.


Traditionally, backpacker and affordable accommodation options are found clustered around the Little India area, where several cheap yet attractive hotels can be found. With its cheap restaurants, internet cafes and the excellent Tekka Market, Little India makes for a sensible choice of location for the budget conscious traveller. The excellent MRT (subway/underground) system means that you can be in other parts of the city within minutes.


One of the most popular ‘no frills’ options in Singapore is the Hangout @ Mount Emily.  This trendy hostel is in the ideal location between budget Little India and glitzy Orchard Road, and provides hip, modern accommodation for the budget conscious traveller, with a choice of single or shared air-conditioned rooms.


Little India is also home to the quirky Wanderlust Hotel, famed for its ‘industrial glam’ interior and bizarrely-themed rooms, and also to the equally popular and atmospheric Perak Hotel. Nearby, the Prince of Wales pub and hostel is an old-time favourite with backpackers, with its hostel dorm rooms above the lively pub, which offers live music, pool tables, cheap beer and inexpensive Australian-style counter meals.


Chinatown is another haven for cheap accommodation choices, including boutique hotel Berjaya, and the more low-cost option Inn at Temple Street.  Business travellers looking for reliable no frills accommodation should check out the Park View Hotel, the Ibis on Bencoolen Street or the Novotel in Clarke Quay. 


The Prince of Wales Backpacker hostel combines fun pub and backpacker hostel. The downstairs pub boasts live music, cheap beer and cocktails and affordable Australian bar meals, pool table and five big screen sports TVs. Upstairs, mixed dorms and three private rooms all offer air-conditioning, free wi-fi and claims to have the first anti-bed bug mattresses in any hostel in Asia. A free breakfast of fruit, tea/coffee, eggs, toast and marmalade/marmite is included in all rates. Other facilities include free lockers and a washing machine and dryer. A second branch of The Prince of Wales Backpacker hostel and pub is located at Boat Quay.

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The Inn at Temple Street provides basic budget accommodation in the very heart of Chinatown. Housed within five restored heritage shophouses, all rooms are ensuite, with air-conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities, TVs, personal fridges and Wi-Fi (chargeable). There are plenty of eating and drinking options within a short walk from the hotel – from the cheap and cheerful street stalls of Smith Street and the Maxwell Road food court, to the more swanky bars and restaurants of Club Street and Duxton Hill. Chinatown MRT station is a two-minute walk from the hotel, easily and cheaply connecting you to the rest of Singapore.

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The boutique Berjaya Hotel is housed within a row of heritage shophouses and is located on the edge of Chinatown. It provides a good option for those looking for affordable accommodation in Singapore. The 49 rooms are divided into Studio, Deluxe and Suite, with all rooms providing private bathrooms, air-conditioning, cable TV, mini bar and in-room Wi-Fi (chargeable). The Café L'Operatta serves European Bistro cuisine while the Lobby Lounge is open for cocktails and other beverages. The location of the Berjaya is excellent for dining out – Duxton Hill is just on its doorstep, with its wealth of eating and drinking options, while the rest of Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar MRT station are just a short walk away. The CBD, the Quays and Orchard Road are all a quick taxi ride away.

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The Albert Court Village hotel is a popular budget hotel in Singapore, aimed predominantly at budget business travellers. The hotels 210 rooms and suites are set within a row of pre-war heritage shophouses. Several dining options are available, including the Albert Café, serving a selection of local and international dishes,; the Kookaburra Restaurant & Gastrobar, and the Shish Mahal North Indian & Nepalese restaurant. The Albert Court Village is centrally located on the edge of Little India, towards the Bugis and Colonial District areas, meaning there are several varied dining options within a short walk. Bugis MRT (subway/underground) station is around a 15 minute walk, while the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus service to City Hall MRT station at 30-minute intervals during morning peak hours.

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The Park View Hotel is one of Singapore's most popular hotels with business travellers looking for a budget option. All rooms benefit from air-conditioning, cable TV, coffee & tea-making facilities, in-room internet, telephone and refrigerator. There are three categories of rooms to choose from – Standard, Superior and Deluxe, and it is worth noting that Standard rooms have no window, while Deluxe rooms are available as doubles or triples. Breakfast is included with all rooms in the onsite Art Gallery restaurant. The Park View Hotel is located on Beach Road, a short walk from the Arab Quarter, which has several bars and restaurants to choose from. A slightly longer walk will bring you to the Colonial District and Raffles Hotel.

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Budget business hotel chain ibis is a good safe bet for those looking for a reliable, no frills accommodation option in Singapore. The ibis Singapore on Bencoolen comprises 538 rooms, divided into Queen, Twin and Single, with in-room amenities including safety deposit box, direct dial telephone, cable TV, work desk and tea/coffee making facilities. Taste restaurant serves international and local dishes from 12noon to 10.30pm, and is open for buffet breakfast daily. Le Bar is open 24 hours for drinks and cocktails. The hotel is centrally located close to Bugis and the Colonial District areas, and a short walk to Little India. Bugis MRT (subway/underground) station is just a 10 minute walk. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

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Business hotel chain Novotel is a good safe bet for those looking for a reliable accommodation option in Singapore, without the luxurious trimmings of the city's five star hotels. All rooms at the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay are equipped with high speed Wi-Fi/broadband internet, Cable TV, pivoting work station, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel boasts three restaurants: SQAURE offers international cuisine with a local twist, served from interactive live cooking stations, Moghul Mahal concentrates on Northern Indian cuisine, while Dragon Phoenix dishes up Cantonese dishes. Le Bar Rouge is open 10am to 12midnight for drinks and refreshments, while snacks and beverages are also available beside the hotel swimming pool. The Novotel's proximity to the Central Business District and the Singapore River make it ideal for business and sightseeing stays alike, while nightlife emporium Clarke Quay is just on the doorstep, which will appeal to nightowls.

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Perak hotel in Little India is one of Singapore's most popular cheap hotels, and one of the most atmospheric hotels in the budget range. This small boutique guest house has 35 ensuite rooms and is housed in a row of traditional heritage shophouses, providing plenty of character. Choose from singles, doubles, twins or triples. All rooms have air-conditioning and color TVs, telephones and electronic safes. Free WI-FI is available in the lobby. The Perak Hotel is ideally located in Little India, an area not only full of ethnic character but also home to many cheap restaurants, internet cafes and the excellent Tekka Market. A short MRT (subway/underground) ride connects you quickly and conveniently with the rest of Singapore.

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The Wanderlust Hotel in Little India boasts 29 rooms, each the work of a different designer, and boasting its own theme. The 'industrial glam' lobby, with its vintage barber chairs and recycled furniture set the theme for the quirky design that infiltrates the four floors of the hotel. The rainbow coloured corridor of level 2 leads to the 'Pantone' rooms, each rendered in a single hue, be it pink, yellow or violet and featuring neon lighting. Level 3 provides a stark contrast, its black corridor leading to white washed rooms all inspired by origami and Pop Art. But it is the whimsical loft rooms of the fourth floor where the imagination really runs wild – the Typewriter room, for example, features a giant typewriter, while your companion in the Tree room is a friendly tree monster!

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The Hangout at Mt. Emily is one of Singapore's most popular budget accommodation options. This trendy hostel is in the ideal location between budget Little India and glitzy Orchard Road, and provides hip, modern accommodation for the budget conscious traveller, with a choice of single or shared air-conditioned rooms with ensuite bathrooms. 'Zonk Out' shared rooms are available as 'Gals only', 'Guys only' or unisex, while private rooms are available in doubles, triples, quads or quins. Common facilities include the 'Veg out' lounge, featuring a television, magazines and pool table, along with complimentary tea and coffee, plus a microwave, while six PCs and free wi-fi makes staying in touch with loved ones easy. The Patio and Rooftop Terrace allow for al-fresco lounging. Other useful facilities include a laundry room and ironing facilities, and luggage storage lockers.

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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne