A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Kuala Lumpur vs. Singapore for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a diverse, colorful, and historic city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Singapore

Singapore is a diverse, colorful, and glitzy city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Petronas Twin Towers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

You'll generally find more things to do in Singapore than Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is bigger than Kuala Lumpur, and it also has more attractions and activities for travelers. Singapore is better known for its music, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Kuala Lumpur is more popular for its museums and nightlife. Kuala Lumpur is well known for its blend of cultures and cuisines, its mix of modern and colonial, and its bustling neighborhoods with markets and restaurants. Singapore is well known for its blend of cultures, its lush gardens, and its clean streets. Also, Singapore is famous for Merlion Park Waterfront.

How is Kuala Lumpur different from Singapore?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit destination for its sights and museums. Also, Singapore is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its museums and history.

You'll find many recognizable landmarks that put Kuala Lumpur on the map. The most notable landmark in the city is the famed Petronas Twin Towers, but other popular sights include Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur Tower, and the National Museum.

Many visitors head to Singapore specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The mix of cultures and unique history have led to museums and landmarks that mix historic and modern. The Merlion statue in Merlion Park has become a symbol of the city. For an educational experience, head to the Asian Civilizations Museum, and to see colonial architecture check out Fort Canning Park.


Is the Food Better in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Foodies will find both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore both to be amazing destinations.

Eat your way through Kuala Lumpur, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. The food is influenced by the populations that live here and you'll find a lot of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors. Spicy curries and noodle dishes are very common. Street food is also a mainstay in this city and it's an experience to wander the market streets and sample dishes from the different vendors.

For foodies, Singapore is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. From local dives to five star restaurants, the city's food scene is all about diversity. Make sure you try Hainanese chicken rice, chili crab, and Hokkien prawn mee.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Nightlife?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Kuala Lumpur is notable for its evening party scene. Also, Singapore is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife.

Kuala Lumpur has plenty to do after the sun goes down. Rooftop bars and lounges are popular hangout spots after the sun sets. For classy pubs and clubs head to the Golden Triangle district, but if drinking and partying isn't your thing, the city's night markets are not to be missed.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Singapore. It's all about the glitzy nightclubs and exclusive cocktail bars. Head to Clarke Quay, Marina Bay Sands, or one of the many rooftop bars to experience the best of Singapore's nightlife. Do keep in mind that the city has a high alcohol tax, and strict rules around drinking in public places during certain hours.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Music?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for live music. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a live music destination.

Singapore is known as a music capital around the world. As a globalized city, you'll find almost any type of music here. Popular music venues include Timbre, Zouk, and the Crazy Elephant.

Kuala Lumpur is not a live music destination.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Resorts?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for its luxury resorts. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a resort destination.

Vacationers flock to Singapore for its luxury resorts. From sleek high rises with rooftop pools to family-friendly resorts with kid oriented activities, this city has it all. Popular resorts include Oasia Resort Sentosa, Dusit Thani Laguna, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Kuala Lumpur is not a resort destination.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is not a good area for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Most people don't go snorkeling in Singapore. The best place to snorkel in the area is Pulau Hantu.

Kuala Lumpur is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Beaches?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a good destination for its beaches. However, Kuala Lumpur is not a beach destination.

Singapore offers a nice beach destination. You'll find most of the area's best beaches on Sentosa Island. There's a 2 kilometer long artificial beach that is split into Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Tanjong Beach.

Kuala Lumpur is not a beach destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Shoppers can find a variety of amazing stores in both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Kuala Lumpur. The city is filled with shopping malls, and a big appeal of shopping in this city is the very affordable prices. Some of the most popular shopping malls are Suria KLCC at the base of the Petronas Towers as well as the malls in the Bukit Bintang/Jalan Imbi areas.

The abundance of shops in Singapore make it a world-class shopping destination. You'll find tons of malls along Orchard Road, but for a more eclectic shopping experience head to the Chinatown Street Market.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Families?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Singapore is very family-friendly. With places like Sentosa and Universal Studios, there really is no shortage of activities for kids. There's also a zoo, an aquarium, and bird park, and many kid-friendly museums.

Kuala Lumpur is a very kid-friendly city. This family-friendly city includes a surprising number of opportunities to experience wildlife. There's an aquarium, petting zoos, and places to see the wild monkeys. There are also large playgrounds including one by the Petronas Towers. Kids will also enjoy exploring the Botanical Gardens, Butterfly Park, and the Forest Eco Park.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Couples?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for romance. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

Singapore is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. The city has stunning hotels, amazing restaurants, and plenty of fun activities that are perfect for couples.

Couples visit Kuala Lumpur frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. This city has diverse restaurants and a number of luxury hotels at affordable prices. For couples who enjoy romance on a budget, this is a good city.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Singapore. Many backpackers use this city as a starting or ending point for their Southeast Asian backpacking trip. It's modern and glamourous, but still has plenty of backpacker-friendly and budget-friendly options.

Kuala Lumpur is a great city to visit for backpackers. This is a popular stop for backpackers on the Southeast Asia circuit. It's modern and comfortable but also affordable and diverse. The city has a number of affordable hostels, but it also has a more laid back and authentic vibe than you'll find in many other Southeast Asian cities. The city also isn't as touristy as some other cities, so the people are down to Earth and helpful without being jaded by all of the vacationers.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Students?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are amazing destinations for students.

Kuala Lumpur is a very popular place to visit for students. It's affordability, diversity, and dynamic atmosphere make this a great city for international students.

Many students frequent Singapore. As such a diverse city, you'll find plenty of international students as well as expats to hang out with.

Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Visitors will find amazing public transit in both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

With a huge network, the transit system in Kuala Lumpur can get you around easily. The system is relatively easy to navigate with most signs in English. There are buses, a monorail, light rail transit and commuter trains.

Visitors in Singapore can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. There is the MRT subway system as well as buses that travel all over the city.


Is Kuala Lumpur or Singapore a more walkable city?

Kuala Lumpur
Singapore

Singapore is a world-class destination for its walkability. Also, Kuala Lumpur is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its high level of walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Singapore. It's possible to walk in most areas in the city center. There are also park connectors that are nice for taking a stroll or going for a run.

Kuala Lumpur is a very walkable city. Traffic can be congested, but there are many wide sidewalks and pedestrian areas around town. The River of Life waterfront area offers nice paths that connect many tourist areas.

For even more information, also check out Is Kuala Lumpur Worth Visiting? and Is Singapore Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur?

How long in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Singapore than in Kuala Lumpur. Usually, 1-5 days is a good amount of time for Kuala Lumpur, and 2-7 days is enough time in Singapore.

Families should spend more time in Singapore than Kuala Lumpur. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Singapore, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Singapore than Kuala Lumpur. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Singapore that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Singapore than Kuala Lumpur if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Singapore.


  • How many days in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore? Ideal Length of Stay
    Kuala Lumpur 1-5 
    Singapore 2-7

One day in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

In Singapore, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this diverse city offers. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Singapore is a fun place to experience. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

People visit Kuala Lumpur because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

In Singapore, many people enjoy the nightlife and live music that this global big city offers. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

A week in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Kuala Lumpur is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Singapore is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. It's also a relaxing resort destination. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to Malaysia, The Best G Adventures Tours to Malaysia, The Best Cultural Tours in Singapore, and The Best Budget Tours to Singapore.


Which place is cheaper, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Kuala Lumpur is $62, while the average daily cost in Singapore is $152. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kuala Lumpur $36
    Singapore $98
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kuala Lumpur $72
    Singapore $196
Compare Hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

Looking for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Kuala Lumpur


Hotels in Singapore


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Kuala Lumpur Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $6.45
    Singapore $10
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.16
  • Metro Ride (for Two)
    $0.68
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.16
  • Taxi From Airport
    $19
  • Bus from Airport
    $1.69
  • Train & Boat to Pulau Ketam
    $2.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kuala Lumpur

Also for Kuala Lumpur, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Kuala Lumpur Shared Attraction Transfers: $11
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer KLIA1/KLIA2: $13
  • Private Kuala Lumpur Airport Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Private airport transfer KLIA to Kuala Lumpur city : $16
  • Airport Transfer Mpv Private From KLIA, KLIA2 : $17
  • PVT Arrival Transfer<>KLIA 1/2 to Kuala Lumpur: $17
  • Kuala Lumpur Hotel to Airport Transfer: $18
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Transfer : $18
  • Kuala Lumpur Airport Transfer to Kuala Lumpur City: $18
  • Kuala Lumpur City to Kuala Lumpur International Airport Transfer: $18
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport Departure Transfer : $18
  • Private: Kuala Lumpur International Airport Arrival Transfer: $18

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Singapore

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Singapore:


  • Taxi to Airport
    $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Singapore

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Singapore:

  • Wondrous Wildlife @ River Wonders + Roundtrip Transfers: $73
  • Try find better than us! Airport Transfer service in Singapore HTL-APT (SIN): $44
  • Starry Night Singapore Tour + Roundtrip Transfers: $93
  • Universal Studios Entry Ticket & Hotel Transfer: $154
  • Universal Studios 1-Day Pass with 1-Way Transfer: $96
  • Night Safari with Tram Ride and Hotel Transfer: $169
  • Night Safari Ticket, Tram Ride, & Return Transfer: $104
  • Marina Bay Sands & Gardens By The Bay & Transfer: $143
  • Half-Day City Tour with Hotel Transfer: $35
  • City Transfer to Airport/Seaport Terminal: $59
  • City Transfer to Airport/Seaport Terminal: $61
  • Changi Airport to/from Hotel Private Transfer: $56

Is it cheaper to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Prices for flights to both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $15
    Singapore $28
Typical Food Prices in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dinner at Ding Tai Fung
    $8.44
  • Roti Bread
    $0.21
  • Food Court Lunch
    $3.04
  • Dinner at Indian Restaurant (for Two)
    $4.54

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • ARAS Restaurant at KL Tower Buffet Dinner: $29
  • Nightlife Street Food Tour with 6 Tastings: $43
  • Malaysian Culture and Street Food Tour : $44
  • Sambal Streets Kuala Lumpur Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $49
  • Street Food Tour with 15+ Tastings: $50
  • From Kuala Selangor Fireflies Tour with Dinner: $54
  • Cultural Night Tour with Dinner: $55
  • Best Local Food Tour by Night at Kuala Lumpur : $55
  • Kuala Lumpur Food Tour: $59
  • Malaysia Cooking Classes: $60
  • Kuala Lumpur by Night and Malaysian Food Tour: $62
  • Petaling Street Heritage Food Tour: $63

Typical Food Prices in Singapore

Some typical examples of dining costs in Singapore are as follows:


  • Breakfast
    $4.52
  • Sugarcane Juice
    $1.48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Singapore

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Singapore.

  • Secrets of Singapore Kick Scooter Tour with Dinner: $47
  • Secrets of Singapore Kick Scooter Tour with Dinner: $48
  • Guided Hawker Culture & Street Food Tour at Night: $65
  • Local Hawker Food Tour with Tastings: $65
  • Marina Bay Sands Yacht Cruise with Dinner: $68
  • Hawker Culture Food Tour and Sightseeing: $71
  • Eat Snap Katong Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Eat and Snap in Chinatown Walking Food Tour: $72
  • Small Group: Michelin and Local Hawker Food Tour: $73
  • Private Korean Cooking Class in Balmoral Road: $74
  • Singapore Bike and Bites Food Tour: $75
  • Zebra Urban Safari Bicycle Tour with Local Dinner and Drinks: $76

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kuala Lumpur $13
    Singapore $32
Typical Entertainment Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Kuala Lumpur's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • KL Tower Admission (for Two)
    $9.49
  • Canopy Walk at FRIM Forest Reserve
    $1.05

Tours and Activities in Kuala Lumpur

For Kuala Lumpur, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • KL Tower Admission E-Ticket with Options: $3.98
  • Malaysia: KL Tower Entry Ticket: $4.65
  • Alive 3D Art Gallery Admission Ticket: $7.67
  • Zoo Negara Instant Entry E-Ticket: $8.18
  • Aquaria KLCC Entry Ticket: $9.95
  • KL Tower Observation Deck Entry Ticket: $11
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $12
  • Kuala Lumpur's Cultural Highlights and Landmarks: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Berjaya Times Square Theme Park Entry Ticket: $13
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $13
  • KL Tower Admission Ticket: $13
  • Suburbs and Batu Caves Half-Day Tour: $13

Tours and Activities in Singapore

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Singapore are as follows:

  • Singapore Family Explorers Cultural and Natural Wonders Tour: $275
  • #16Hrs Melaka Highlights Van Tour from Singapore w' Tour Guide: $136
  • #17or19 Hrs Kuala Lumpur Van Tour from Singapore w' Tour Guide: $152
  • 1-way Singapore hotel pickup (Batam private tour guests only): $120
  • 2-4 days in Singapore Guided Tour Pass: $125
  • 3 Ethnic Neighborhoods & UNESCO Street Food / Cultural Experience: $150
  • 3-Hour Marina Bay Best Spots Walking Tour: $68
  • 3-Hour Private Bike Tour Singapore: $201
  • 6-Hours Singapore Tour in Private Car or Minibus with Driver: $236
  • Airzone Admission Ticket: $22
  • ArtScience Museum Admission Ticket: $23
  • Artoholic A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.20

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kuala Lumpur $6.25
    Singapore $27
Typical Alcohol Prices in Kuala Lumpur

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Kuala Lumpur are as follows:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $9.49

Sample the Local Flavors in Singapore

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Singapore:

  • Party Singapore Bespoke Pub Crawl: $19
  • Tour of Tiger Brewery in Singapore: $21
  • Singapore Pub Crawl - Party like a Local: $26
  • Little India Pub Crawl: $26
  • Halloween Horror Nightlife PartySingapore Bespoke Pub Crawl: $37
  • LeVeL33 Rooftop Brewery Tour & Craft Beer Tasting: $74


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, we can see that Singapore is more expensive. And not only is Kuala Lumpur much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Kuala Lumpur would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Kuala Lumpur and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Singapore would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Singapore than you might in Kuala Lumpur.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Kuala Lumpur Expensive? and Is Singapore Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?

Singapore has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Kuala Lumpur. When comparing the sizes of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.