Tourist attractions in Singapore: Where locals can get a better deal (plus a look at other cities)

The National Museum of Singapore (NMS), as photographed on 15 May 2014. Special discounts should be offered to Singaporeans at all tourist attractions, reader Thomas Richard Prakasam wrote in the Straits Times Forum on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The National Museum of Singapore (NMS), as photographed on 15 May 2014. Special discounts should be offered to Singaporeans at all tourist attractions, reader Thomas Richard Prakasam wrote in the Straits Times Forum on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Special discounts should be offered to Singaporeans at all tourist attractions, reader Thomas Richard Prakasam wrote in the Straits Times Forum on Monday.

While tourists and Singaporeans alike pay the same rates for attractions like Universal Studios, Singapore Flyer and the newly-opened Madame Tussauds, there are places where locals get a better deal.

From April to October this year, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) also had a string of promotions for Singaporeans with its Rediscover programme.

If you missed those however, here are a few other places to check out:

Singapore

Museums - Free admission

Museums under the National Heritage Board are free for Singaporeans and permanent residents. These include the National Museum of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum, Peranakan Museum and the Singapore Philatelic Museum.

Adult tourists pay $6 for the National Museum, Peranakan Museum and the Philatelic Museum. The Asian Civilisations museum charges $8.

Entry charges may apply for special exhibitions "to help cover costs and ensure sustainability", the National Heritage Board states on its website. However, the Board will offer free admission to these exhibitions for citizens and PRs who are students, teachers, senior citizens, fulll-time national servicemen and children under six.

Gardens by the Bay - Discount for local residents

The Gardens charge local residents a preferential rate of $12 for one conservatory. Senior citizens above 60 and children aged between three and 12, pay $8. They pay $20 for a ticket to two conservatories. The senior citizen rate is $15 and the child rate $12.

The standard rate for tourists is $28 for adults and $15 for children.

Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Safari - discount for senior citizens

Senior citizens (Singaporean and PR) aged 60 and above have a special admission rate of $12 for the Zoo and River Safari. They can get Night Safari tickets for $16.

Adults pay between $25 and $39, and there is a discounted rate of $16 to $25 for children aged between three and 12.

Senior also get a discounted ticket of $10 at the Jurong Bird Park. Adult tickets are $25.

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Admission is free for all, tourists or locals, at Singapore's oldest gardens. The National Orchid Gardens within the Gardens charge $5.

Attractions  Citizens & permanent residents Tourists
 Museums  Adults           Seniors (≥ 60)  Children  Adults         Seniors    Students 
 National Museum of Singapore  Free        $6  $3  $3
 Asian Civilisations Museum  $8   $4   $4
 Peranakan Museum  $6  $3  $3
 Singapore Philatelic Museum  $6   $5   $5
 Other attractions  Adults  Seniors   Children  (3-12 years)  Adults  Seniors    Children
 Gardens by the Bay - one conservatory  $12  $8  $8  NA  NA
 Gardens by the Bay - two conservatories  $20  $15  $12  $28  $15
 Singapore Zoo  $28  $12  $18  $28  $18
 River Safari  $25  $12  $16  $25  $16
 Night Safari  $39  $16  $25  $39  $25

*Please refer to the respective attraction websites for more information. Museum admission rates can be found here.

Cities around the world do give local residents discounts at their attractions. For example, Malaysians get a 70 per cent discount when they visit the viewing gallery of the Petronas Twin towers.

See how they stack up against Singapore:

Malaysia

Quite a few attractions in Malaysia offer discounts to holders of MyKad, Malaysia's identity card. Locals pay only RM25 (S$9.70) compared to RM80 to visit the viewing gallery at the Petronas Twin Towers, children pay RM12, a more than 50 per cent discount on the full price of RM30.

Sunway Lagoon in Kuala Lumpur charges Malaysians adults RM90 and children RM65; Tourists pay RM120 (adult) and RM90 (children).

A Legoland combo ticket for entry to the theme park and water park is RM150 for Malaysians and RM175 at full price.

Hong Kong

OceanPark gives Hong Kong residents free entry on their birthdays, and it is also free for people with disabilities. Senior citizens rates for attractions like OceanPark and Ngong Ping 360 are limited to residents.

New York

There are preferential rates for the military and veterans at attractions like the Bronx Zoo and 9/11 Memorial. Students also get discounts at the 9/11 Memorial, and some museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rome

There is a long list of exemptions for visitors to the Colosseum in Rome, including a reduced ticket price (7.50 euros or S$12, full price is 12 euros) for European Union citizens aged between 18 and 25. It is free for school groups from EU schools, and students specialising in architecture, archeology, arts and related disciplines.

The Vatican museums are at half price (8 euros) for young people between six and 18, students, priests, and pilgrims.

Sources: Websites of National Heritage Board, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Gardens by the Bay, NParks, Singapore Tourism Board, nycgo.com, Hong Kong Tourism Board and all other attractions mentioned

chuimin@sph.com.sg