Where to stay in Singapore! A guide to the most diverse neighborhoods, famous attractions, and best hotels for every budget.
Singapore is a relatively small country, but what it lacks for in size it makes up for in, well, basically everything else. When it comes to where to stay in Singapore, there is no shortage of both budget-friendly and over-the-top luxurious hotels to choose from.
There are so many things about Singapore that make it an amazing destination to visit.
For starters, the cultural mix of diverse ethnicities means it has one of the best, if not the best, food scenes in the world. Not only this, but the country is super clean and there is a butterfly garden in the airport. Sign me up.
Exploring Singapore's many distinct neighborhoods is part of the fun of visiting this Asian city. So, come with a big appetite and let's dive right into what makes Singapore one of the top places to see (and taste) in Asia.
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Where to Stay in Singapore: The Best Neighborhoods
Let's be honest, there really isn't any other place in the world quite like Singapore.
Singapore is a little island nation in Asia. It is both a city and a country at the same time and has a population of about 5.6 million people. Visiting Singapore should be on everyone's bucket list because of its world class attractions and unique culture.
Singapore is widely known as one of the most diverse places in the world. People of Chinese, Malay, and Indian backgrounds all call Singapore home. With them comes their food, and with that comes a mixture of exciting cultures blending together to make up the vibrant neighborhoods of Singapore.
Aside from all of that, you also have the super rich. Some people in Singapore are richer than rich.
I dragged my husband to see Crazy Rich Asians with me, which is set around Singapore's ultra rich socialites. His one takeaway from the movie was that we're not that type of crazy rich Asians (my husband and I are both part Filipino and also part not that crazy rich).
That amount of wealth comes with extravagant and over the top neighborhoods, full of award winning restaurants and purely luxurious hotels.
Picking the best Singapore neighborhood to stay in while visiting the Asian city state is dependent on the vacation you're after and the type of budget you're willing to play with. Let's dive in!
If retail therapy is your type of vacation, Orchard Road is the best area to stay in Singapore for just that. This neighborhood is home to the most amount of malls, shopping center, and stores in the country.
Singapore takes their shopping malls seriously and many are amazing sights to see on their own. Just a warning, you may or may not burn a hole through your wallet after shopping at over 20 malls in the Orchard Road area.
Orchard Road has other famous attractions as well. Head over to the ION Sky Observatory to get panoramic views of the area, or take a stroll on Emerald Hill Road to see Singapore from another time period.
Chinese architecture from the early 1900s makes this road a perfect place to snap a few photos before heading back to the mall. Orchard Road has some of the best Singapore hotels because this neighborhood is full of shopping and entertainment.
When all that shopping leaves you hungry, find yourself at Haidilao Hot Pot @313, where you can cook your own meal right at your dinner table for a fun and interactive dining experience.
Where to Stay in Orchard Road
Orchard Rendezvous Hotel - A wallet-friendly hotel in an expensive part of town. The Orchard Rendezvous Hotel is located in an ideal spot near many of the Orchard Road shopping malls.
This hotel offers guest rooms with tropical and Asian influences in its decor. There are also seven dining options and a rooftop swimming pool with wonderful views of the neighborhood. Even though this is a budget-friendly hotel, it still has a whole lot of style and character.
Royal Plaza on Scotts - A mid-range hotel option with a luxury feel. This Orchard Road accommodation is perfect for those who don't want to be too far from the world class shopping destination.
A stunning, newly renovated lobby welcomes guests and all guest rooms are contemporary in a style that is vibrant and colorful. There is a 24-hour fitness center, business center, and a swimming pool in the hotel.
Staying at the Royal Plaza on Scotts is a good bang for your buck, you'll almost feel like you've paid for a luxury experience at this hotel stay without shelling out as much cash.
The St. Regis Singapore - Even in a country where there are so many top tier hotels, there's still a way to take it up a notch. If you have the money to live like a high roller at this Orchard Road hotel, you'll have access to chauffeured Bentleys and around the clock butlers.
There is a tranquil spa and indoor tennis courts as well and guests can choose between three onsite dining options. Guest rooms are immaculately designed with soaking tubs, rainfall showers, and Bose surround sound systems.
Staying at The St. Regis Singapore is truly staying in the lap of luxury.
Tiong Bahru is an old part of Singapore and one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city state. It has a mix of historical importance with it being one of the oldest Singapore neighborhoods, but it has an equal sense of modernity with its popular cafes, galleries, and restaurants.
Stroll through the more laid back side of Tiong Bahru and admire the architecture of this neighborhood.
Built in the 1930s, many of the housing blocks in this Singapore neighborhood were designed with the then famous art deco style. Quite a few of these buildings still stand today and are a unique part of Singapore's history.
While you're walking around the neighborhood, try to spot as many murals as you can since Tiong Bahru has a bunch.
Food markets are an attraction on their own throughout Singapore, so whenever you see one, go in. Tiong Bahru is where you can find the Tiong Bahru Market. Walk through the vendors and sample something new to get a taste of what this neighborhood is all about.
If you're randomly craving some Greek food while in the middle of Asia, you're in luck. Bakalaki Greek Taverna is one of the favorite restaurants in the area. Por Kee Eating House 1996 is a popular Chinese restaurant in Tiong Bahru. Choose to dine outside for some great people watching while enjoying your meal.
Where to Stay in Tiong Bahru
Thad's Boutique Hostel - A vibrant and social hostel in Tiong Bahru, Thad's caters to the adventurous crowd who don't mind sleeping in close quarters with others. Bathrooms are shared and lockers are available to store personal items.
Thad's Boutique Hostel is a stylishly designed accommodation and it won't break the bank if you stay at this Singapore hostel. There is also a restaurant and bar on the property and guests have access to a laundry facility and a shared kitchen.
Nostalgia Hotel - A centrally located mid-range hotel in Tiong Bahru. Nostalgia Hotel is ideal for those who want a bit more elegance in a hotel stay, but still within a reasonable price range.
The hotel is decorated with an ode to Singapore's colonial times. Some guest rooms are a little tight, but its great location will make up for it. The Nostalgia Hotel has a bar and restaurant onsite. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and terrace for all guests to enjoy.
WANGZ Hotel - An upscale accommodation in Tiong Bahru, the round exterior of the building is a unique feature of this hotel. Each guest room is designed with modern finishes and bright colors.
The rooms have floor to ceiling windows, which frame stunning views of the area. The private bathrooms feature rain showers and each guest room comes with a complimentary smart phone to use.
The hotel itself has a rooftop restaurant that serves meals throughout the day, as well as a bar for a refreshing drink after a long day of explorations. Guests also have access to a 24-hour fitness center with state of the art equipment.
This hotel is perfect for those who want to be near plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as have a luxurious and relaxing stay in Singapore.
Why come to Chinatown? Come for the food, but stay for all the other cultural attractions in this Singapore neighborhood.
Chinatown is home to some of the most important Chinese history in Singapore. Stop by the Chinese Heritage Center to get a better understanding of how and why so many people from China traveled to Singapore and made it their home.
For more history, visit the NUS Baba House. This house is a cultural representation of the Peranakans, a mixed cultural group of Chinese and Straits Malay. Within this house is furniture and decor typical of a traditional Peranakans house.
Now for the food.
Hawker centers are the place to be, and luckily, Chinatown has a lot of them. You can definitely find some seriously good (and cheap) eats at many of Singapore's hawker centers. Find some delicious meals at the Maxwell Road Hawker Centre. For traditional Singaporean dishes, chow down at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh Chinatown Point.
Where to Stay in Chinatown
The Southbridge Hotel - A wallet-friendly hotel option in Chinatown. Some of the guest rooms can feel a little on the smaller side, but the hotel makes up for it by being in the center of all the Chinatown attractions.
Each guest room comes with standard amenities, along with a complimentary smart phone to use during your visit. There is a Cuban restaurant on site (yes, even though you're in Chinatown), and a bar as well. The hotel also has a fitness center for guests to use.
The Scarlet Singapore - The Scarlet doesn't hold back on bold interior design. This is a mid-range hotel option in Chinatown but feels more upscale than anything.
It is housed in a pre-war shop in the heart of Chinatown and the lobby of the hotel is full of colors and textures, which spills into each guest room. The rooms offer standard amenities, and one very unique one, a pillow menu.
This hotel is perfect for those who want a stylish hotel while still not shelling out a ton of money for a top luxury hotel choice. There is a rooftop restaurant, bar, and fitness center available at the hotels as well. It is located close to Chinatown's shopping and delicious dining option.
Six Senses Duxton - A top notch hotel in Chinatown, Six Senses Duxton oozes with elegance. The hotel has a beautiful lobby, all guest rooms are designed with contemporary finishes, and the decor is modern with traditional Singaporean touches.
There's also a restaurant on the property, an airport shuttle, and the hotel offers many activities for guests to enjoy, including movie nights and bike tours. Stay at the Six Senses Duxton to experience the culture of Singapore and Chinatown, all rolled into one beautiful hotel.
Little India is a relatively small neighborhood that packs a big punch when it comes to cultural attractions. People from India have been settling in Singapore for years and they have brought many aspects of their native culture to its shores.
This makes for a uniquely diverse area of Singapore that is filled with temples and religious sites. Visit the famous Hindu temple, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. It also happens to be the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore.
Built in the late 1800s is the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, another attraction in the area. If you've walked around and seen enough temples in the area, be sure to check out the Mustafa Centre. It is a mall in the heart of Little India which is open 24-hours a day.
If you are deciding where to stay in Singapore and you're working with a small budget, Little India is the place to choose.
Aside from religious temples, Little India has a lot of low budget hotels and food options. Get ready for some authentic Indian food at Komala Vilas Restaurant and Khansama Tandoori Restaurant. Tekka Centre is a great hawker market in Little India.
Where to Stay Little India
Broadway Hotel - A centrally located hotel in Little India with guest rooms that are standard and have minimal decor. A personal safe is available in the rooms and laundry is available in the hotel.
Although there isn't much to the guest rooms, the location of this hotel is prime. The Broadway Hotel is directly across the street from the Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour mall. There is a restaurant located within the hotel and plenty of diverse eateries and attractions just steps from the hotel.
This is one of the cheap hotels in Singapore and a good bang for your buck.
Park 22 Hotel Little India - A small hotel in the heart of Little India. The most noticeable thing about this hotel? Almost all of the decor is in black and white.
Stay at this hotel if you're looking for a relatively standard accommodation and don't mind a warm or colorful interior. The Park 22 Hotel is walking distance to many of Little India's attractions, including the Mustafa Centre.
One Farrer Hotel - A more upscale hotel accommodation in the vibrant Little India neighborhood. This hotel has a modern and sleek interior design throughout the whole property. Guest rooms are bright and airy and the hotel offers unique amenities, including a stunning swimming pool and oversized jacuzzi to enjoy.
The hotel has five different dining options, a business center, and a fitness center. One Farrer Hotel is located right next to the sights of Little India and close to public transportation.
This hotel is a top pick when deciding where to stay in Singapore because of its luxurious amenities at a lower price.
Marina Bay simply can't be missed on a trip to Singapore, because it is without a doubt one of the most famous Singapore neighborhoods to visit.
Marina Bay has a little bit of everything for everyone and is considered the best place to stay in Singapore for a first time visitor. If you're looking for a luxurious experience, there's plenty of it to go around.
This exciting part of the city is home to the top hotels in Singapore, including one of the most recognizable hotels in the country, and even the world. The Marina Bay Sands is a luxurious hotel with the world's largest infinity pool (which I'm sure you've seen on Instagram).
Visit Gardens by the Bay to be blown away by towering vertical gardens, some reaching as tall at a 16 story building. For some retail therapy, find designer stores at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
If you're looking for food in Marina Bay, look no further than Lau Pa Sat. It is one of the most famous food markets in all of Singapore and open 24-hours a day, for all you night owls.
Upscale dining is a big thing in Marina Bay and world renowned chefs have staked a claim in this area. CUT by Wolfgang Puck is an expensive steakhouse located in the Marina Bay Sands and worth a taste if you have the budget.
Where to Stay in Marina Bay
Marina Mandarin - In a neighborhood of Singapore where luxury is abundant, even a budget hotel like Marina Mandarin will make you feel like you're staying somewhere luxurious.
Guest rooms at this hotel take advantage of its prime location with rooms that have floor to ceiling windows and wonderful views of Singapore. All guest rooms are spacious and bright.
The hotel itself has world class amenities. For those who want to take a dip in the pool, try out the Marina Mandarin's mineral water pool. There are various restaurants and lounges to enjoy as well, including a seafood buffet.
Special events like live musical performances and art galleries often occur here too. Stay at the Marina Mandarin on a smaller budget, without skipping out on luxurious amenities.
Pan Pacific Singapore - Only in Marina Bay would a 5-star hotel be considered a mid-range accommodation. This stunningly beautiful hotel in the heart of this popular Singapore neighborhood provides guest rooms that are elegant and amenities that are top of the line.
There are six different dining options to choose from, including casual to fine dining establishments. The Pan Pacific Singapore also has a pool, cabanas, and two tennis courts on property.
For those who want some pampering after a day of exploring Singapore, this hotel has an award winning spa.
Marina Bay Sands - Quite possibly the most popular hotel in Singapore. Marina Bay Sands is one of the best, if not the best, hotel to choose when deciding where to stay in Singapore.
Everything about this hotel is luxurious. For starters, its rooftop infinity pool is the largest in the world, so there's that. Guest rooms are contemporary and have amazing views of Singapore through floor to ceiling windows.
Staying at this hotel will make you feel like you're staying in a truly unique property, which is exactly what the Marina Bay Sands is.
You'll never go hungry while staying at the Marina Bay Sands because it has a whopping 20 different dining options. Many of the hotel's restaurants are anchored by celebrity chefs, including Wolfgang Puck and Gordon Ramsay.
A casino and nightclub are located within the hotel as well, and childcare services are available for an extra charge so that parents can spend some time on their own.
The Marina Bay Sands is one of the best hotels in Singapore. Even if you're not staying at this hotel, it is one of the top places to visit while in Singapore and shouldn't be missed.
How to Get Around Singapore
When it comes to getting around Singapore, public transportation is a top choice. There are a few modes of public transportation to choose from and each are relatively easy to use and navigate.
The most popular mode of transportation is the train. Singapore's train system is run by the MRT, which stands for the Mass Transit System. The MRT is extensive throughout Singapore and stops at many local attractions.
Visitors can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, which is ideal for traveling around the city. Tourists can choose from a one day pass for S$10, a two pass for S$16, or a three day pass for S$20.
Another way of getting around Singapore is by bus. The bus system runs throughout Singapore and gives locals and visitors a chance to see the different neighborhoods while going from one stop to the next. Visitors can use the same Singapore Tourist Pass on the bus and MRT.
Taxis are also widely available throughout Singapore. Aside from hotels and malls, taxis can be hailed from the street. It is a nice way of getting around Singapore, but of course will be more expensive than public transportation.
Aside from all these forms of transportation, walking can offer some of the best experiences. If you can, walk around the neighborhoods of Singapore as much as possible to get a true feel of all the city has to offer.
Top 10 Sights to See in Singapore
Singapore is a world class destination, and like other world class destinations, it comes with tons of exciting sights to see. Visiting Singapore is thrilling because it's a city full of diverse cultures and amazing cuisine.
Here are some of the best Singapore tourist spots to see while in town.
Clarke Quay is a beautiful waterfront section of Singapore that is known for its restaurants and nightlife. This area is popular among locals and tourists for its exciting variety of cuisine, bars, and nightclubs.
It is located along the Singapore River and there are many boat tours that can be accessed from Clarke Quay. Aside from nightlife, explore Clarke Quay's immediate surrounding area to visit the Asian Civilizations Museum and Hong San See Temple.
The Singapore Flyer is an exciting way to see Singapore from high above. It is the largest ferris wheel in Asia and offers panoramic views of the city.
Experience the Singapore Flyer both during the day and at night for equally beautiful views. While taking a ride on this ferris wheel, the FLYER 360+ will teach you about the history of Singapore and many of the city's attractions and culture.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is one of the most popular outdoor spaces in all of Singapore. It is a large park that consists of three spaces, Bay East Garden, Bay South Garden, and Bay Central Garden.
You'll soon find out that beautifully designed and landscaped gardens are some of the most picturesque spots in all of Singapore.
There is also the famous Supertree Grove & OCBC Skyway, where towering trees provide shade during the day and light up at night. A conservatory flower dome, cloud forest, and art sculptures are also popular sights at Gardens by the Bay.
Universal Studios Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is a major theme park that provides tons of fun for the whole family. Visitors can go on thrilling rides and travel through themed sections of the park.
Like other Universal Studios locations around the world, this one has plenty of roller coasters for adults and smaller rides for children.
Universal Studios has many attractions based on pop culture and movies. The theme park is open 365 days of the year and has special events for holidays and seasonal experiences.
Get away from the center of the city and escape to Sentosa, Singapore's beach playground. Visit Palawan Beach for a day of relaxation on the sand and in the water.
Sentosa is an area to bring the whole family. There is something for everyone at this resort island, including adventure outings and fine dining establishments. There is a lot of fun attractions on Sentosa for families with children, including the Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island.
The ArtScience Museum is one of the most well known architectural masterpieces in Singapore. The exterior of the building is in the same shape of a blooming flower and is one of the most photographed attractions in the area.
Exhibits at the ArtScience Museum allow visitors to learn more about technology, art, media, and science. It is one of the most visited spots in Singapore and a sight to not miss out on.
National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is one of the most important museums and attractions in the city. It is the oldest museum in Singapore having been open since 1887, and houses some of the best artifacts of the country's history.
A visit to the National Museum of Singapore will take people through the city state's rich and complex history. Museum exhibits showcase the early times of Singapore when it was still a colony and how it has become the modern nation it is today.
Lau Pa Sat Market
Food markets should be high on anyone's list when traveling to Singapore. And which one should be at the top? The Lau Pa Sat Market.
The food market is located in the Central Area of Singapore and is one of the most visited hawker centers in Singapore. The market has been around since the 1800s and has always held an important place in Singapore's history.
Make sure you come hungry and ready to try an array of amazing food at this market. You can find everything from Indian Curry to Japanese cuisine, and, of course, traditional Singaporean dishes.
Merlion Park is one of the many beautiful outdoor spaces throughout Singapore. More importantly, it is home to one of the most important statues in the area, the Merlion. This mythical creature is part lion and part fish.
The statue is also a fountain and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Singapore. In case you didn't know already, the Merlion is the mascot of Singapore. Aside from seeing the statue, visit Merlion Park for beautiful views of Marina Bay or hop on a boat to Clarke Quay.
A trip to the Night Safari is one of the most unique experiences in terms of visiting zoos around the world. The Night Safari is Singapore's nocturnal zoo. It features over 1,000 animals who are awake at night, something that isn't often highlighted in a typical zoo.
The Night Safari really comes to life once the sun goes down. It is perfect for night owls (literally, and figuratively) and gives visitors a fun and educational glimpse into the world of animals they may not usually see at regular zoos.
3 Best Day Trips from Singapore
Singapore is one of the most important destinations in all of Asia. Even though there's enough to see in Singapore to keep you occupied for a long time, sometimes it's exciting to get out of the main city for a little while.
There are many local destinations that are perfect day trips from the center of Singapore. So, when you have extra time and want to change up the scene, travel to one of these locations for a totally new experience in Southeast Asia.
Pulau Ubin is an island area north of mainland Singapore. It is the perfect place to experience nature and a Singapore of the past since this area is reminiscent of Singapore in the 1960s. It is easily accessible by bumboat from the Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
This island has a lot of unique Asian charm. Traditional kampongs, which are old houses of Singapore, are a popular sight to see in Pulau Ubin. The island is rich with tropical rainforests and it has tons of wildlife to see.
Tropical plants and flowers, as well as local birds, are widely seen throughout the island.
Recommended Experience: Pulau Ubin Mangrove Kayak Adventure from Singapore
Take a quick boat ride out of Singapore and head over to neighboring Indonesia. Bintan Island is a popular destination in this island nation. The island is full of both Indonesian and Dutch history.
There are areas that are a bit off-the-beaten-path and other fully developed parts with resorts and golf courses. Visit the area of Lagoi for a beach side resort atmosphere.
The area has become a world class destination for sports, including triathlons and golfing tournaments and there are many top tier hotels in this area on the island.
Make sure to also visit the Chinese village of Senggarang. Bintan Island also has outstanding fresh seafood because it is surrounded by water. Head over to Sebung Village for some mouth watering seafood cuisine.
Just a little less than one hour away from Singapore is Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Johor Bahru is the capital city of the state of Johor. This day trip destination is a full city on its own and offers plenty of sights and attractions to see.
The top destinations in this city are diverse and unique, it has everything from a royal palace to a Hello Kitty theme park.
One of the most important places to visit is the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque. Malaysia has a large Muslim population and this mosque is an example of one of the many beautiful mosques throughout the country. Another well visited religious site is The Old Temple of Johor Bahru.
If you're looking for family fun, it can be found at LEGOLAND Malaysia.
This destination has a little bit of everything and is perfect for a day trip from Singapore.
What to Pack for Singapore
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