Singapore is one of the most futuristic and magical cities in the world, so it’s no surprise to learn that it’s one of the most visited destinations in Southeast Asia.
Famous for its towering skyscrapers, delicious street food, and cleanliness, you’ll find endless things to do here. Singapore is one of the greenest, and yet most densely populated cities in the world, and it has a lot to offer.
However, deciding where to stay in Singapore isn’t easy as there are so many incredible neighborhoods to choose from.
To help you make your decision, this guide is going to go through the best locations to stay in Singapore, and what each one has to offer. Let’s dive straight in!
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
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Overview of Where to Stay in Singapore
Singapore (or the Republic of Singapore) is technically an island country, or city-state as many people like to call it.
Situated on the tip of the Malay Peninsula, this city is often a starting point for many backpacking trips around Southeast Asia. You can easily travel overland into Malaysia, catch a ferry over to Indonesia, or fly to a variety of other Asian countries.
Covering 728 sq km (281 sq miles), and home to a population of nearly 6 million, Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
Under the old postcode system, the city is officially split into 28 districts, which are then further split into areas.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore, you’re in for a hard decision! Before you make a decision, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration, namely your budget, the attractions you’d like to be close to, and public transport links.
Let’s start with the latter, as you’ll have no problems getting around the city no matter where you decide to stay! Singapore has one of the most efficient transport systems in the world, consisting of the MRT (metro system), public buses, rideshare services, public ferries, and taxis.
There’s even a Singapore Tourist Pass that you can purchase, which allows unlimited travel for 1-3 days, depending on which one you choose.
The next thing to note about Singapore is that it’s one of the most expensive cities you’ll ever visit, so it’s important to choose your area and accommodation wisely.
Lastly, there are tons of fantastic tourist attractions in the city. The majority of them are located in Downtown Singapore, so near the area of Marina Bay and Chinatown.
If you’re short of time and can’t read the full article right now, then you can take a look at this table instead. It details the best areas in Singapore to stay in and gives you a quick idea of what each one has to offer.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Marina Bay||First-timers, sightseeing, luxury stays, scenery||Marina Bay Sands||More hotels in Marina Bay|
|Orchard Road||Shopping, sightseeing, luxury stays, food||JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La||More hotels in Orchard Road|
|Chinatown||Food, culture, history, budget-friendly||PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering||More hotels in Chinatown|
|Clarke Quay||Nightlife, sightseeing, location, scenery||Park Regis Singapore||More hotels in Clarke Quay|
|Little India||Budget-friendly, culture, food, atmosphere||Wanderlust, The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood||More hotels in Little India|
|Lavender||Atmosphere, budget-friendly, food, history||The Vagabond Club A Tribute Portfolio Hotel Singapore||More hotels in Lavender|
|Sentosa Island||Families, theme parks, beaches, sightseeing||Village Hotel Sentosa by Far East Hospitality||More hotels in Sentosa Island|
Best Areas to Stay in Singapore
Now, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the best places to stay in Singapore, and what each one has to offer.
As I mentioned before, deciding where to stay in Singapore can often feel impossible as there’s a huge variety of accommodation options. If it’s your first time in the city, you’re likely to feel very overwhelmed, but I’m here to help!
I’ve created this guide based on my personal experience of visiting Singapore and have done some extra research to help find you the best areas. This will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision!
1. Marina Bay – Best place to stay in Singapore for first-timers
If it’s your first time in the city, then Marina Bay is undoubtedly one of the best areas to stay in Singapore.
Boasting a huge variety of attractions, plenty of foodie locations, and jaw-dropping views, it’s no wonder that so many people decide to stay in this part of the city.
The main reason to stay in Marina Bay is simply the attractions, as many of Singapore’s most popular tourist spots are within walking distance. That includes the ArtScience Museum, the Singapore Flyer, and the iconic Merlion Statue.
The area is also home to the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel and its stunning rooftop infinity pool. It’s undoubtedly one of the most amazing hotels in Singapore with a rooftop pool so if you’re looking for the best views in the city, make sure to book a night or two to get access to the pool.
Marina Bay is one of the most desirable areas in the city, and for that reason, accommodation can get booked up months in advance.
However, if you’re on a budget and you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Marina Bay is predominately made up of 5* hotels, but you might find the odd 4* hotel just on the outskirts. Either way, you’re going to be paying premium prices to stay here.
It’s not only the accommodation that’s expensive in this area, but the restaurants and shopping malls are also pretty pricey. That being said, if you don’t mind splashing the cash, then Marina Bay is one of the best places to stay in Singapore!
Pros and cons of staying in Marina Bay
- You’ll be close to many of the city’s major attractions
- Marina Bay is an extremely walkable area and there are plenty of public transport links
- There are no budget-friendly hotels in this area
- Restaurants in this area can be especially pricey
The best places to stay in Marina Bay
LUXURY – Marina Bay Sands
This is the most iconic hotel in Singapore and is famous for its unique shape, rooftop infinity pool, and huge variety of restaurants; there are 20 of them! Many of the rooms also offer panoramic views of the city skyline and the bay.
MID-RANGE – Citadines Raffles Place Singapore
With an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a sun terrace, this place has a lot to offer. It’s also one of the only hotels near Marina Bay that’s not a 5* establishment.
2. Orchard Road – Best area to stay in Singapore for shopping
Orchard Road is one of the most famous roads in Singapore, and it’s got quite a history. It dates back to the early 1830s when it was an unnamed road full of pepper farms, nutmeg plantations, and fruit orchards (hence the name).
Today, it’s a hustling boulevard that’s home to a variety of dining options and offers easy access to some of the city’s tourist attractions. This includes Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Istana, and Emerald Hill.
However, Orchard Road is most famous for its shopping opportunities. In fact, its first department store ‘House of Tangs’ was set up here in 1958.
This iconic department store is still around today but is known as TANGS instead. This should be your first stop if you’re looking to shop ‘til you drop!
Some of the other fantastic shopping spots in the area include ION Orchard, Far East Plaza, Mandarin Gallery, and Design Orchard. If you’re a keen shopper, then Orchard Road is one of the best locations to stay in Singapore!
Just keep in mind that there aren’t many budget-friendly hotels in this area, and the ones that are cheaper tend to sell out in advance.
Orchard Road also tends to get very busy, so it won’t offer a ‘relaxing stay’, especially on weekends or during the holidays.
Pros and cons of staying on Orchard Road
- A huge variety of shopping opportunities
- Plenty of things to do in the area
- Limited budget accommodation
- This area of Singapore can get incredibly busy, especially on the weekend
The best places to stay on Orchard Road
LUXURY – Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
This gorgeous hotel is just a few steps away from Orchard Road and is known for its beautiful suites, fantastic facilities, and great location. With two swimming pools, an on-site spa, and several dining options, this place has a lot to offer.
MID-RANGE – JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La
This 4* hotel is one of the best options if you’re looking to stay on Orchard Road with its awesome facilities and gorgeous suites; many of which offer city views. There’s even an infinity pool and rooftop terrace where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Singapore!
BUDGET – Lloyd’s Inn
Lloyd’s Inn is one of the only budget-friendly properties in the area, and it’s situated in a quiet area just off Orchard Road. With a rooftop terrace, a swimming pool, and a garden deck, it’s one of the best options you’ll find if you’re looking to cut costs.
3. Chinatown – Best place to stay in Singapore for foodies
Whether you’re traveling on a budget or you’re looking to splash the cash, Chinatown has something for everyone.
There are a variety of accommodation options in this area ranging from 5* hotels to hostels, so you won’t have to worry about finding somewhere that suits you.
Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Singapore for so many reasons, but its location is a huge selling factor.
Neighboring the area of Marina Bay, and relatively close to Clarke Quay, Little India, and Orchard Road, Chinatown is a great location for exploring the city.
One of the draws to Chinatown is its iconic food scene, and this is one of the main reasons that I’d recommend you stay here.
Offering a variety of hawker centers, street food, authentic restaurants, and the iconic Chinese Night Market, you won’t be short of dining options. Many of these offer extremely cheap meals which is perfect for anyone traveling on a budget.
Chinatown is also one of the most cultural neighborhoods in the city, and you’ll find plenty of museums, temples, and historic shophouses here.
Still not convinced? There are lots of awesome rooftop bars in this neighborhood where you’ll be treated to fantastic city views. So if you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore, then make sure you check this area out!
Pros and cons of staying in Chinatown
- One of the best foodie destinations in Singapore
- Wide variety of accommodation options for every budget
- Chinatown can get very crowded, especially during the weekends
- It’s a very noisy area at times so might not be suitable for families with little ones
The best places to stay in Chinatown
LUXURY – PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering
This is one of the most spectacular hotels you’ll find in Singapore with its exterior covered in plants, and its interior being modern and beautifully designed. There’s a dedicated wellness floor and a rooftop lounge that offers insane views of the city skyline.
Boasting a huge vertical garden, two swimming pools, and a variety of facilities, Oasia Hotel Downtown is a fantastic option if you’re looking to stay in Chinatown. The rooms are also gorgeous and there’s a rooftop area too.
BUDGET – ST Signature Tanjong Pagar
This adults-only hotel offers a variety of cabin-style options; some with a shared bathroom and some with an ensuite. During your stay, you can benefit from an on-site bar, restaurant, a shared lounge, and a shared kitchen.
4. Clarke Quay – Best area to stay in Singapore for nightlife
If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore and you’re looking to party, then I’d recommend the Clarke Quay neighborhood.
This area is situated right next to the Singapore River, and you’ll be close to the popular areas of Chinatown and Marina Bay.
Clarke Quay is home to a huge variety of funky bars, quirky pubs, and lively nightclubs, so there’s something for everyone here.
Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, try some of the city’s local beers, or have a quiet drink, you’ve got so many options. Some of the most popular spots include Yin Bar Singapore, Level Up, and Stickies & Keng Cheow.
You can also take a boat tour up the Singapore River, and you’ll get to see plenty of the city’s landmarks along the way.
Pros and cons of staying in Clarke Quay
- One of the best places to stay in Singapore for nightlife
- You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, pubs, and bars in this area
- There aren’t as many attractions here compared to other areas of Singapore
- Hotel prices can be expensive due to its great location
The best places to stay in Clarke Quay
Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center, this luxury hotel has so much to offer. There’s also a spa and wellness center at the hotel, and you’ll be in a great location for exploring the city.
MID-RANGE – Park Regis Singapore
Park Regis Singapore is just a short walk from Clarke Quay MRT Station. With an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center, this is a great option if you’re looking to stay in this neighborhood.
BUDGET – The Quay Hotel
The Quay Hotel is set in a heritage building and offers modern rooms for a great price! Not only is it close to plenty of tourist attractions, but this hotel also has an on-site restaurant and a rooftop garden that offers panoramic views of the city.
5. Little India – Best place to stay in Singapore on a budget
If you’re looking to cut costs, then Little India is one of the best areas in Singapore to stay! As the name suggests, this part of the city is an ethnic district that’s centered around the Indian community.
Little India is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Singapore and is home to endless vendors, temples & mosques, and boutique hotels.
You’ve also got the 24-hour Mustafa Centre which is a quirky shopping mall, and wandering around this place is an experience in itself.
As I just mentioned, this area is one of the best options in the city if you’re looking for cheap accommodation. There are plenty of choices, but many of them do get booked up in advance.
Aside from the budget-friendly accommodation options, Little India is also known for its delicious food, and there’s plenty of it! Boasting a variety of street food options, authentic eateries, and fine-dining restaurants, you won’t be short of choices here.
Little India is also home to the Tekka Centre, which is Singapore’s largest indoor wet market. It’s one of the most popular hawker centers in the city and for good reason, as there’s a huge variety of food options, and the majority of them are extremely cheap.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore, then Little India is a fantastic option! If you manage to time your visit with the Deepavali (or Diwali as it’s often known), then even better, as the atmosphere at this time of year is incredible.
Pros and cons of staying in Little India
- Plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options
- Tons of delicious food options
- There aren’t many opportunities for nightlife in Little India
- This neighborhood can get extremely busy and noisy, especially on Sundays
The best places to stay in Little India
This gorgeous hotel boasts an Indian colonial design with custom-made chandeliers, exclusive wallpaper, and bespoke furniture. Trust me, you won’t find a more beautiful hotel in this area of Singapore.
MID-RANGE – Wanderlust, The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood
This hotel is set in a 1920s Art Deco style building and offers a variety of accommodation options ranging from Deluxe rooms to Studio lofts. Not only will you be close to two MRT Stations, but the rooms are beautifully designed.
BUDGET – Aqueen Heritage Hotel Little India
Offering air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi, and a 24-hour front desk, this hotel is a great option if you’re looking to cut costs. You’ll also be just a short walk from Little India MRT Station.
6. Lavender – Best area to stay in Singapore for a ‘hip neighborhood’
Lavender isn’t often thought of when people are deciding where to stay in Singapore, but it’s one of the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Nestled between the vibrant neighborhood of Little India and the scenic Singapore River, it’s a great base if you’re looking to explore the city.
In fact, some parts of Little India are actually located within Lavender. This district is also home to Jalan Besar and Kampong Glam, so has lots to offer.
Combining a mix of old and new, Lavender is one of the best locations to stay in Singapore. Home to a variety of historic buildings, cultural attractions, and authentic eateries, this area of the city has something for everyone.
You’ll also have a variety of hipster cafes, quaint brunch spots, and quirky bars to choose from.
Another great thing about Lavender is that you’ll find plenty of budget-friendly accommodation here. However, if you’re looking for luxury stays, then you won’t have a lot of options.
As you can see, this neighborhood has a lot to offer, and you’ll easily be able to access the more ‘touristy’ areas of the city via the metro system.
Pros and cons of staying in Lavender
- Plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options
- It’s a great district for culture, as parts of Little India are located here
- You won’t find many ‘luxury stays’ in Lavender
- It can get very busy depending on where you’re staying
The best places to stay in Lavender
The Vagabond Club is a Parisian-inspired hotel that offers a whisky bar, an on-site restaurant, a terrace area, and a 24-hour front desk. The rooms here are also beautiful and you’ll be in a great spot for exploring the local area.
MID-RANGE – Hotel NuVe Urbane
Hotel NuVe Urbane is another fantastic hotel in Lavender, and its got a swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, a bar, and free WiFi. There are plenty of rooms to choose from but the NuVe Suite offers the most space.
This Holiday Inn is a great option if you’re looking for low-cost accommodation in Lavender. Not only is Little India within walking distance, but other popular areas like Orchard Road can be reached in just 10 minutes by taking the MRT.
7. Sentosa Island – Best place to stay in Singapore for families
When talking about where to stay in Singapore, you can’t miss Sentosa Island! Connected to the rest of Singapore via a road and boardwalk, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Boasting pristine beaches, lush forests, and endless tourist attractions, you won’t run out of things to do here. This makes it one of the best places to stay in Singapore for sightseeing and attraction purposes!
For starters, this is where the famous Universal Studios is found, and you could easily spend a day or two just exploring this theme park.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore and you’re after an escape, or you’re traveling with little ones, then Sentosa is one of the best areas in the city.
Pros and cons of staying on Sentosa Island
- Home to the famous Universal Studios
- It’s a nice escape from the city life
- There are no budget-friendly accommodation options on Sentosa Island
- You won’t encounter much culture here
The best places to stay on Sentosa Island
LUXURY – Capella Singapore
There’s no shortage of luxury options in Sentosa, but Capella Singapore is one of the most highly rated. With three swimming pools, an award-winning spa, and an on-site bar and restaurant, this place has a lot to offer.
MID-RANGE – Village Hotel Sentosa by Far East Hospitality
This gorgeous hotel is located near plenty of awesome attractions, including Wings of Time and Adventure Cove Waterpark. Boasting beautiful sea-view rooms, fantastic facilities, and a great location, this is one of the best options in Sentosa,
BUDGET – Ibis Budget Singapore Mount Faber
This hotel isn’t located on Sentosa Island, but it’s one of the closest budget-friendly options to the island. It’s just a 10-minute taxi ride from Sentosa and Universal Studios, and the rooms are very reasonable.
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