Singapore is many things—efficient, pragmatic, forward-thinking. But romantic?
Let’s be realistic, this is a place where marriage proposals take the form of either BTO balloting sessions or flash mobs.
Trying to kindle the flames of love often costs a pretty penny, as anyone who’s ever balked at the price of a $25 cocktail can attest to.
But there is hope yet with these 17 cheap date ideas in Singapore that are budget-friendly and won’t elicit snores from your love interest.
There are off-the-beaten-path places to discover, affordable theatrical and cultural performances in Singapore and workshops that are free or extremely cheap.
Dine inexpensively at Cafe Melba (under $30)
This laidback, stylish and yet not overly-hipsterish cafe has a calm vibe that allows the whispering of sweet nothings. If anyone of you is kid-phobic, avoid the one at Goodmans Arts Centre on the weekends as it has a bouncy castle that attracts many kids. Head to the cosier outfit at Mediapolis instead.
The mains can get a little more expensive, but you can get yourself an all-day breakfast (choose from eggs florentine or caraway dark rye bread & avocado) with a flat white for under $30 per person.
Cafe Melba at Goodman Arts Centre
Address: Block N #01, 90 Goodman Rd, 56
Opening hours: 10 am to 10 pm from Mondays to Fridays. 8.30 am to 10 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cafe Melba at Mediapolis
Address: 1 Stars Avenue #03-01, 138507
Opening hours: 8 am to 10 pm daily
Have a 3-course set lunch at Saveur (under $27 per pax)
The Saveur restaurants are known for offering French and Italian cuisine at affordable prices. Their outlets has a simple yet industrial chic interior and their meals are sophisticated yet affordable. Go for lunch if you’re strict with the $30 budget. The 3-course set lunch costs $22.90++ and a 3-course set dinner goes for $29.90++.
Concetto by Saveur
Address: 2 Handy Road, #01-11/12, 229233
Opening hours: 12 pm to 10 pm daily
Saveur at Purvis Street
Address: 5 Purvis Street, #01-04, 188584
Opening hours: 12 pm to 9.30 pm daily
Saveur at Far East Plaza
Address: 14 Scotts Road, #01-07B Far East Plaza, 228213
Opening hours: 12 pm to 10 pm daily
Take couple wefies for Instagram at Kombi Rocks (lunch sets under $15 per pax)
That vintage aesthetic that Singaporean wedding photographers love so much is reproduced at Kombi Rocks, a diner with its own fleet of vintage cars and kombi vans. Their weekday lunch sets, mostly Thai and Chinese cuisines, are just $10 to $13, and their mains cost about $15 on average.
Address: 66 Yio Chu Kang Road
Opening hours: 11 am – 10 pm from Monday to Thursdays.
Watch a Singapore Symphony Opera concert ($15 to $28 per pax)
These take place mostly at the Esplanade Concert Hall or Victoria Concert Hall, with the cheapest tickets costing about $15 to $28. They even have some free concerts if you really don’t want to spend.
Have a laugh at Singapore’s comedy nights ($18 to $40 per pax)
There are quite a few regular comedy nights, including Comedy at Canvas ($27 to $40) and Comedy Masala at Hero’s ($18 to $25).
Couple night picnic while watching Ballet Under the Stars ($35)
A popular annual event at Fort Canning Park by the Singapore Dance Theatre. Hold hands under the stars and feel like you’re a cultured hipster couple. Tickets cost $35.
Go exploring at Wessex Estate (free!)
This area close to Portsdown Road is filled with colonial houses and home to Colbar, a former canteen that now serves as an unpretentious, almost rustic eatery.
Visit St John’s Island and Lazarus Island ($20 for a two-way ticket)
Pulau Ubin and Sentosa aren’t the only island getaways in Singapore. Buy a six pack of beer, pack a hammock into your backpack and hop on that ferry. Ferries operate every 2 hours, with the first ferry departing from Marina South Pier at 9am. Two-way tickets cost $20.
Hike up HSBC Tree Top Walk (free!)
We’ve all seen it in pictures, but many haven’t bothered to go there yet because it’s tricky to get to without a car. But look, isn’t it romantic to brave the hike up in MacRitchie with your beloved?
Take a stroll at Kranij Marshes (free!)
Wilder than Pulau Ubin, this freshwater marshland area also has a tower where you can get a view from a few floors up.
Cheap but spectacular paktor spot at Pinnacle @ Duxton ($5 to enter)
While this rooftop garden is technically residential, it’s also accessible by the public for $5, payable via Ez-link. The views are amazing and it’s usually fairly empty on weekdays.
Go up Mount Faber & then to Henderson Waves (free!)
This is Singapore’s classic paktor spot. You can also walk over to the distinctive Henderson Waves bridge, where there are some nice views. It’s also a popular place to snag some good shots for the gram.
Heart-to-heart talk at Changi Beach Park (free!)
Forget about East Coast Park with its screaming kids and barbecuing families. Changi Beach Park is more scenic, with its seaside boardwalk, and also more deserted.
Keppel Island Park (free)
This is both ulu and scenic, which is all you could ask for in a paktor spot.
Learn playwriting or origami at National Library Board’s workshops (often free)
NLB often organises free workshops at various library branches. Right now, they’ve got playwriting, crafts, songwriting and origami workshops.
Couple yoga at 3-month traditional hatha yoga course (free)
Nikam Guruji Yoga Kutir conduct classes all over Singapore, so you can choose a centre that’s convenient for both of you.
Learn a skill at Laneway Learning (around $20 per pax)
Try your hand at all sorts of workshops at Laneway Learning, their most recent ones being batik, watercolour, kombucha brewing, cyclic meditation and natural soap-making. Classes cost about $20.
What are your favourite ideas for dates in Singapore? Share them in the comments!