Where to Stay in Singapore: 10 Best Areas

Where to stay in Singapore: Best Areas and Neighborhoods

Whether you are visiting Singapore for a family holiday, business trip, or just enjoying a much-needed staycation, learning about a few essentials will go a long way. One important thing is to know the best areas to stay in Singapore for a traveler like you.

The city-state is in Southeast Asia, directly at the southern part of the Malay Peninsula. It was founded in 1965 but it was first a trading colony in the early 1800s. Since its independence, Singapore has become one of the world’s most affluent countries.

It has also become popular for travelers searching for a paradise with a perfect tropical climate, sensational shopping options, and tasty food. Singapore is a unique destination, especially because it is not only a city but a small nation as well. It is a modern island that loves technology, food, and art.

For several years now, Singapore is considered one of the most prosperous nations in the world. It is a financial hub that has excelled in urban planning. Today, Singapore serves as a wonderful example for developing countries.

If you are thinking about visiting, you will find that there are a lot of reasons why you should stay in Singapore, such as:

There is nonstop action in the city.

Singapore has a variety of thrills to offer, including close-up encounters with some rare creatures, such as in Night Safari, which is an award-winning attraction. It is a nocturnal zoo that allows you to view more than 2,500 animals from almost 150 different species.

Meanwhile, you can head to Sentosa by hopping on a cable car. It is a must-try for any visitor, especially if you do not want to miss the largest wind tunnel in the world made for skydiving indoors.

The island also presents rides that popular movies have inspired at the Universal Studios Singapore. Another choice is Mega Adventure, which is also renowned all over the globe for its very steep zip wire.

Singapore will satisfy every art and culture buff.

Singapore is home to numerous theaters, museums, and galleries. However, the city is mostly known for its street corners, shop-house walls, and sidewalks that are filled with art. All you need to do is to spend a day at the center of the city and you will see the inspiring work of local artists, particularly at the Civic District.

You can also head to the National Museum of Singapore, the National Gallery Singapore, or the Singapore Art Museum where you will discover paintings and other collections.

The National Gallery alone has more than 8,000 art pieces taken from the National Collection of Singapore. It has hosted several exhibitions in the past from highly praised artists, such as Martin Creed and Yayoi Kusama.

Meanwhile, if you are more interested in iconic street art, the top neighborhoods to visit are Bras Basah Bugis, Little India, and Tiong Bahru.

There are plenty of shopping options.

Whether you are a fashionista or a bargain hunter, you will be happy to know that Singapore is a shopper’s paradise. One of the recommended stops for those seeking some retail therapy is Orchard Road, which is the city’s top shopping belt. Another choice is the Far East Plaza where you can find bargain buys.

If you are shopping for items from internationally acclaimed brands, such as Marc Jacobs and Giorgio Armani, the city will not disappoint. There are huge retail stores that will certainly suit your taste.

On the other hand, if you are excited about the locally-made products in the Lion City, do not forget to visit Holland Village, which has become a recognized bohemian borough in Singapore.

Other areas in Singapore for shoppers are Jalan Merah Saga where you can find Ong Shunmugam and in North Bridge Road to explore the displays at Bynd Artisan, a bookbinding atelier.

Taste classic Singaporean dishes and other cuisines.

Singapore is a favorite destination of anyone who loves to eat. This foodie paradise is home to a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Beni that serves Japanese fusion dishes and Odette that features French cuisine.

The city also boasts assorted culinary landscape, which you can sample right at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. It is a spacious hawker center with more than 260 stalls.

Singapore is also where you can find the most affordable meal that garnered Michelin recognition, which is known as the Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice.

There are still a lot more to discover about the city, which you can only achieve if you stay in Singapore for at least a few days.

Experience the beauty of the green sanctuaries with its lush green spaces, a boisterous nightlife right at the Clarke Quay and Level Up, and even sporting events. You can find everything you are looking for in this small nation.

Check this post: Best things to do in Singapore

Where to Stay in Singapore: Best areas to stay in Singapore

One of the best things about visiting the city is that many neighborhoods in Singapore offer great accommodation and attractions that will truly make your stay more convenient than ever.

Whether you are searching for a place that offers cheap hostels or luxury hotels, here are the top areas in the city worth checking out:

1. Marina Bay, where to stay in Singapore for the first time

Family-friendly area to stay in Singapore, Marina Bay is a recommended neighborhood

If you are searching for a more family-friendly area to stay in Singapore, Marina Bay is a recommended neighborhood. It is in the Central Area of the city and is home to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which is famous for its boat-shaped rooftop with an infinity pool.

The Gardens by the Bay is also in the same vicinity and you can access both the hotel and the garden without checking in. However, you can only reach the observation deck of the hotel. You need to be a guest to enter the infinity pool.

Marina Bay is the perfect neighborhood for you if you want a place with water and surrounding skyscrapers. These two qualities alone make it a great place to stay in Singapore.

The area is simply one of the prettiest and the most desirable for tourists looking for a room where they can sleep at night.

Since it is at the center of all the city action, Marina Bay is surrounded by other important areas in the city. At the west, it overlaps the Central Business District while Clarke Quay is to its north and the Civic District is by the east.

Marina Bay is for you if you have limited time to stay in the city but be sure to prepare some cash because accommodation prices here are pretty steep.

If you are on a business trip or you have important activities at the Central Business District, which is nearby the area, Marina Bay is indeed a wonderful option.


2. Singapore River, great for nightlife

Where to Stay in Singapore: Best areas to stay in Singapore

If the main reason why you are visiting the city is its nightlife scene, Riverside is most probably the best area for you. It is the best part of Singapore for those who love to stay up until the break of dawn because it is where restaurants, nightclubs, and chic pubs are mostly situated.

Several years ago, locals used to see colonial shops and moored boats. Today, however, the area has been converted into a hip place, particularly around Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. Robertson Quay, which is west of Clarke Quay, is a little bit calmer and more relaxed with some monuments and architecture for you to take in.

It is easy to see why Riverside is one of the preferred neighborhoods in Singapore. Travelers, in particular, choose Clarke Quay because of its liveliness even late at night.

It is considered the city center of the nation and is located right across the Singapore River. If you want a place that overlooks the beautiful waters, you may want to consider this area.

One thing that you have to watch out here though is that it is densely packed, especially during the tourist season. Also, it is best to be prepared with some money since the nightspots here cater more to the wealthy and posh crowds.

Nevertheless, it is a great place to stay in Singapore simply because it makes most attractions just a few minutes away. Several sites are within walking distance from nightclubs to restaurants.

The crowd is usually comprised of 20 to 30-year-old locals and visitors but it is also welcoming to families.

This part of the state brings you plenty of options for accommodation, including midrange and luxury hotels. You can also find inns, such as the River City Inn and other budget selections.


2. Downtown, business area, pricey hotels, and walking distance to main attractions

Where to Stay in Singapore

In the Downtown or Financial District of the city, expect to see skyscrapers and other important buildings. You will also find a few heritage sites but giant structures are what dominate the area.

Like most city centers anywhere in the world, you have a little chance of staying here affordably. The downtown area is where you will see pricey hotels and other accommodation options. They may be well worth your money, particularly if you aim to see the city’s glamorous new façade.

During daytime, the area is typically filled with people on the go, as well as tourists strolling or going shopping. However, this place comes to life at night, especially if you happen to be here around 8 PM.

A light show starts right at the Marina Sands building, which is a structure that you will easily recognize because of its sci-fi look.

Merlion Park offers the best views for this specific show since it is in the opposite direction. The park is where you can find the iconic status of a half fish and half lion creature, which is known as the Merlion statue.

Also in the same area is the Sky Park, which sits on top of the Marina Sands, promising you amazing views.

The Supertree Grove situated at the Gardens by the Bay is an excellent place to visit as it offers futuristic trees that will spark your curiosity.

Boat Quay and Clarke Quay are within walking distance and the latter offers a few affordable options for accommodation.


4. Orchard Road, best place to stay in Singapore for shopping

Orchard Road is what you are searching for if you are in Singapore to shop

Orchard Road is what you are searching for if you are in Singapore to shop. It has beautifully manicured paths and a leisure stroll will take you to different shops, both local and internationally known.

Everyone who visits the island should at least drop by at Orchard Road for a day or two. Although this neighborhood is geared toward people who are in the city to shop at designer stores, it is also for every tourist no matter what they want to experience in Singapore.

You will find cafes, boutiques, and restaurants in Orchard Road and it is a great place to start if you are a luxury traveler.

Shopping here is exceptional because you can spend a few days without entering the same store twice. However, buying clothes and shoes is not the only thing you can do here.

Orchard Road is the place to be in Singapore for those who want to experience great food in the city. It is also within walking distance to the famed Botanical Gardens, as well as the Fort Canning Park, The National Orchid Garden, and the National Museum.

If you have time for a short taxi or subway ride, you can head to the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Chinatown’s Street Markets. Staying in this neighborhood is most recommended for luxury tourists because of the expensive hotels here.

However, it does not mean you cannot find affordable accommodation. There are also hostels in and around Orchard Road, as well as budget hotels and inns that families can afford.


5. Chinatown, where to stay in Singapore for foodies

Chinatown: recommended for accommodation if you are a foodie or you love small neighborhoods in Singapore

Staying in the neighborhoods in Singapore does not always mean you should spend a ton of money. For those who are on a budget, Chinatown is one of the best areas to explore. It is an ethnic enclave that you will find in the Central Area of the island within the Outram District.

You will immediately recognize the area because it bears many cultural elements from the Chinese. For several decades now, Chinatown has had a highly concentrated population with intriguing shop-houses and beautiful décor.

It is one of the favorite areas in Singapore for many reasons, including that it is full of life and has great food stalls. You will find a Michelin star restaurant in the area, which you can dine in for just a few bucks.

Food is great indeed and so is architecture, which is why Chinatown is a recommended place to look for accommodation if you are a foodie or you love small neighborhoods.

There are nearby attractions as well, which will make your stay even more enjoyable, such as the Clarke Quay, Fort Canning Park, and Raffles, which are all just a few minutes away. In this neighborhood do not miss the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum.

The hotels here are cheap and there are inns that are budget-friendly as well. Of course, you can also find luxury hotels in the area, but they are not as expensive as most other neighborhoods.


6. Little India, where to stay in Singapore on a budget

Little India is just by the east of the Singapore River

Chinatown is a great area for foodies but Little India is also another option. You can visit both ethnic districts, which will give you a glimpse of two different cultures.

Little India is just by the east of the Singapore River, which means it is directly across from Chinatown. Also, if you are in Kampong Glam, you can easily access Little India as well.

The neighborhood is undeniably striking as it represents the Indian community. You will immediately sense the vibe here with its vibrant culture and even the shopping experience.

If you are a foodie and you love to get involved in a little bit of culture as you journey through the city, this neighborhood is worth checking out.

Cheap hostels and budget hotels are in the area, as well as affordable luxury hotels. Pick a place that is situated to some hotspots such as the Sim Lim Square and the City Square Mall, since Little India is not centrally located, unlike other destinations.


7. Kampong Glam/Arab Street, comfortable neighborhood with affordable places to sleep and eat

Kampong Glam: comfortable neighborhood with affordable places to sleep and eat.

Just a few minutes of walking from Little India will take you to the Arab Street or Kampong Glam area. It is opposite the Rochor Canal and is yet another one of the neighborhoods in Singapore where you can find specific groups of people.

Arabs, as well as other Muslim traders, have their own shops in the city. You will find streets here that are named Arab Street, Baghdad Street, and Haji Lane among others.

If you want to take some pictures with a gorgeous backdrop, head to the Sultan Mosque and Bussorah Street.

The area may be quiet but the streets eventually come alive at night. Head to this neighborhood if you are looking for live music that will entertain you until you are ready to sleep.

Boutique hotels are a popular choice in this area and you can find several; budget to midrange options as well. If you are not concerned with the expenses, luxury hotels are also available.

Nevertheless, Kampong Glam is known to tourists searching for a comfortable neighborhood with affordable places to sleep and eat.


8. Bugis, good for sightseeing, shopping, and dining

Stay in Singapore: Bugis

Right below Kampong Glam, you will find Bugis, which has the same feel as the other neighborhood. It is nearby Bras Basah as well, but it is mostly known for the arts. The heritage district has museums and monuments that you can head to if you stay in this part of the nation.

Bugis is a redeveloped area, which is why it is a trendy place for tourists. You will find several options for transport, shopping, and dining.

You will like staying here for so many reasons, including the fact that the East West MRT Line that comes from the airport stops at Bugis. Therefore, you will find it convenient after a long flight.

There are hostels in this area that offer comfort and a little bit of luxury without the high price.

You will find many Singaporean hostels here adopting the pod-style bedding where you are in a capsule – much like a Japanese style of bedding. Pod-style can also mean having small walls and curtains around the bedroom to give you privacy.


9. Sentosa, where to stay in Singapore for families and enjoy the beach

Sentosa The island is for tourists and locals looking for recreational activities in Singapore

The island is for tourists and locals looking for recreational activities. It has beaches, as well as theme parks, which is why it is one of the neighborhoods in Singapore that thrill-seekers prefer.

You will find several attractions in and around Sentosa, such as the Tiger Sky Tower, Universal Studios Singapore, and the Singapore Butterfly and Insect Kingdom.

While in this neighborhood, drop by at the SEA Aquarium, which features one of the world’s biggest collections of aquatic animals.

It is clear that Sentosa is a top option to stay in Singapore for those who are traveling with kids and their families. However, it is also a favorite of amusement park junkies and those who want to get away from the noise of the city.

Staying on the island resort though comes at a price but you will get what you pay for. You will find branded, luxury hotels here and although infrequent, you will still discover a few trusted inns that will not cost you much.


10. Changi Airport, affordable accommodation and local vibe

Stay in Singapore: Changi airport

You may have heard about this airport being dubbed as one of the best in the world. Some tourists may end up spending overnight at the airport. Most of the area is residential and situated outside the center of Singapore.

It has white sandy beaches, spanning 20 km. You will also find famous restaurants in the area and the airport itself offers huge shops and even activities onsite.

If you are on a budget, this part of East Singapore should be on your list. You will find affordable accommodation options here and you will get an authentic local feel here.

Many people live in this part of the country, so it is a wonderful option for those who want to experience how Singaporeans are like.

Beach lovers will also find the Airport relaxing, as well as business travelers. It is nearby beaches and you can get to the Changi Airport in no time using local transport.

Additionally, good hawker stalls are a must try especially for seafood lovers.

Hotels are all around the area, aside from the Airport, and most of them offer great prices to stay in Singapore.


3 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Singapore: 10 Best Areas”

  1. We’re visiting friends over Christmas who live near the Botanical Gardens. I’m surprised at the cost of hotels and the quality shown from reviews. We’d like to explore the parks and cultural attractions and we are not interested in shopping. Do you recommend staying in Orchard area, or any other on the Western side of the city core, with a toddler?

  2. Would Changi Airport be a good option for people who want to stay on the beach but also travel to other districts during the day? Our top list is beach within walking distance, easy public transportation to the zoo, and easy transportation to Kampong Glam, Little India, and Orchard Street. We would probably consider Bugis if there was a hotel near a beach area but I don’t believe there is.

    • Hi Sarah. Beaches in that area, check Changi Beach Park to Pasir Ris Beach area, are pleasant, but if you are looking for the best beach experience in Singapore check Sentosa Island. If you can afford it (hotels in Sentosa are quite expensive) is the best place to enjoy the beach in Singapore.


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