Singapore is both a city and small island nation. We’re willing to bet this technological, modern city is unlike anywhere you’ve ever been.
Don’t let Singapore’s costly reputation deter you from visiting. Here, you will see some of the coolest gardens and skyscrapers, and eat some of the best food on your South East Asian trip!
Each neighborhood in Singapore is distinct. This city is a melting pot of Asian cultures, which can be experienced throughout different areas. Choosing where to stay in Singapore can be confusing, with so many options and diverse neighborhoods.
You should choose where you stay in Singapore based which attractions, landmarks, and types of food you want to base yourself around.
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Singapore
- Top 3 Recommendations for Where to Stay in Singapore
- Singapore Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Singapore
- 1. Marina Bay Neighborhood -Where to Stay in Singapore for your first time
- 2. Little India Neighborhood – Where to stay in Singapore on a Budget
- 3. Clarke Quay Neighborhood – Where to stay in Singapore for Nightlife
- 4. Chinatown – Where to stay in one of Singapore for the Best Vibes
- 5. Sentosa Neighborhood – Where to stay in Singapore for Families
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Singapore
- Where to stay in Singapore for the first time: Marina Bay
- Where to stay in Singapore on a budget: Little India
- Best area to stay in Singapore for nightlife: Clarke Quay
- Coolest place to stay in Singapore: Chinatown
- Best neighbourhood in Singapore for families: Sentosa
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- See world-class exhibits and displays at the ArtScience Musem.
- Sip on a pint of artisanal beer at LeVel 33, the world’s highest microbrewery.
- Visit Merlion Park and see the famous Merlion (half-fish, half-lion) statue, a symbol of Singapore.
Top 3 Recommendations for Where to Stay in Singapore
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our top recommendations for places to stay in Singapore.
Best Hostel in Singapore: The Inn Crowd Backpackers Hostel 2
Enjoy the sights, sounds, and excitement of Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood by booking your stay at The Inn Crowd Backpackers Hostel 2. With free breakfast and free guided scooter tours of the city, The Inn Crowd Backpackers Hostel 2 is the best hostel in Singapore.
Best Hotel in Singapore: Studio M Hotel
Enjoy contemporary elegance on the Singapore Riverside at Studio M Hotel. These stylish and elegantly decorated lofts are the perfect relaxing hideaway in the Clarke Quay neighbourhood. Located within walking distance of Singapore’s trendy nightlife scene, the financial district, and all of the city’s top attractions, Studio M Hotel is the best hotel in Singapore.
Best Airbnb in Singapore: Attic Hideaway @ Heart of Town
Walking distance to Singapore’s hottest neighbourhoods and attractions, this clean and contemporary attic hideaway is the best Airbnb in Singapore. With modern amenities and a full kitchen, this one-bedroom condo comfortably sleeps up four people and is perfect for anyone looking for a place to stay in the heart of the city.
Make sure to check out our Airbnb post for a 35% discount!
Singapore Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Singapore
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Singapore is a modern and technologically advanced city-state located in Southeast Asia. Spread over 719 square kilometres, this small island nation is home to more than 5 million people who live throughout its ten districts. Each neighbourhood is distinct, offering visitors unique attractions, historical landmarks, and culinary delicacies.
Even if you’re only visiting for a few days, you’ll want to make time to visit at least three or four of these intriguing areas.
This Singapore neighborhood guide will not only break down the five best neighbourhoods but will share the must-see, can’t-miss attractions in each.
Starting in the north you have Little India, an eclectic and vibrant district. Home to incredible food, colourful buildings, and a myriad of cultural and religious attractions, you won’t want to miss the chance to explore Little India on your visit.
Heading south, pass through the Civic District and Clarke Quay, where you’ll find Singapore’s trendiest pubs, clubs and night spots. Continue on to Chinatown, home to restored shophouses and colourful hangouts. This district is popular with tourists and locals alike and is the perfect neighbourhood if you’re looking for great food and reasonable prices.
As you continue through the downtown core experience the extravagant and opulent Marina Bay. The place to see and be seen, Marina Bay is where you’ll find high-end hotels, designer shops, and the elaborate Garden by the Bay.
Finally, head as far south as you can to the island of Sentosa. Home to theme parks, beaches and lush gardens, Sentosa is a luxurious hideaway just a stone’s throw from the action.
Still confused about where to stay in Singapore? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; keep on reading!
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Singapore
Thanks to its small size and relatively flat terrain, getting around Singapore is easy.
Singapore is a very pedestrian-friendly city. Its main districts are outfitted with well-kept pavements and pedestrian crossing, making it simple and safe to explore on foot.
Alternatively, the city’s extensive public transit system is fast and efficient, allowing for easy movement from one place to the next. Regardless of where you choose to make your base, you’ll have no problems moving throughout the city’s districts with ease.
Each of Singapore’s districts offers something unique to visitors. Whether you’re looking for tropical beaches and luxurious food or trendy clubs and historical sites, Singapore has a neighbourhood perfectly suited to you. Keep reading to learn more about Singapore’s five best neighbourhoods and which might be the best for your stay.
Marina Bay is one of Singapore’s prettiest and most desirable neighbourhoods. Located in the centre of the city, Marina Bay overlaps with the Central Business District, the Civic Quarter, and trendy Clarke Quay, so you’re never far from the action. With its bright lights, skyscraping hotels and one-of-a-kind, jaw-dropping attractions, Marina Bay is a great neighbourhood to stay in for your first visit to Singapore.
Best accessed through the Circle MRT Line, getting to Marina Bay couldn’t be easier.
This neighbourhood is home to the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel (and it’s stunning infinity pool), a myriad of panoramic viewpoints, and the grand Garden by the Bay. Marina Bay is a great district great for anyone who wants to see the sites and relax in luxury.
Keep reading to see why we think Marina Bay is the best area in Singapore to stay for your first time.
Top Things to do in Marina Bay
– Take in the stunning views from the Sands Skypark, a platform perched 55 stories above the ground.
– Marvel at the indigenous flora and the towering mechanical trees that make up Garden by the Bay. Visit at night for an awesome 15-minute light and water show.
– See world-class exhibits and displays at the ArtScience Musem.
– Sip on a pint of artisanal beer at LeVel 33, the world’s highest microbrewery.
– Walk the Marina Bay Art Trail exploring the area’s best sites while seeing art and sculptures by world-renowned artists.
– Sip a Singapore Sling at KuDeTa as you enjoy unparalleled views of Marina Bay, Singapore and beyond.
– Visit Merlion Park and see the famous Merlion (half-fish, half-lion) statue, a symbol of Singapore.
– See a concert, dance performance or theatre production at the modern and unique Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Best Hostel in Marina Bay: The POD Boutique Capsule Hostel
Strategically located in the centre of the city, the POD Boutique Capsule Hostel is a short walk from Marina Bay and all of this district most amazing attractions.
Enjoy a free breakfast buffet, high-speed internet and a comfortable bed in your own safe, clean, and semi-private nook in the heart of Singapore.
Best Hotel in Marina Bay: Conrad Centennial Singapore
Just a stone’s throw from the action, the Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel is the epitome of style and luxury. This new and modern hotel offers guests world-class amenities, award-winning cuisine and an experience they won’t soon forget. Enjoy stunning views, a luxurious spa, and elegant and spacious rooms throughout your stay in Singapore.
Best AirBnB in Marina Bay: Urban Retreat with Instagramable Balcony
Just minutes from Marina Bay, Singapore’s most luxurious neighbourhood, enjoy spectacular views, comfortable surroundings, and modern amenities when you stay in this spacious and lavish condo suite.
Whether you’re a couple on vacation or in town for business, you won’t want to call anywhere else home during your time in Singapore.
Little India is – as the name suggests – a slice of India in Singapore. With a distinct identity and cultural flare, Little India is one of the most vibrant and attractive areas of the city. It is the district to visit if you’re looking for aromatic foods, inexpensive shopping, and an inimitable cultural and religious experience.
Well connected to Singapore’s central and outer borough, Little India is easily accessed by metro, yet still one of the best areas to stay in Singapore on a budget. The region itself is best explored on foot thanks to its tightly concentrated roads and meandering alleyways.
Little India is also a great place to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. This neighbourhood is home to a good range of mid-level to budget accommodation options. From Airbnb to hotels and hostels, come to Little India if you’re looking for a place to sleep that won’t break the bank.
Top Things to do in Little India
– Shop Serangoon Road, Little India’s main street.
– See the colourful, historic and iconic shophouses.
– Take a self-guided pub tour along Race Course Rd, enjoying the funky pubs and bars that line the way.
– Enjoy inexpensive and delicious food at one (or more) of Little India’s amazing food stalls.
– Shop an assortment of produce and local delicacies at Tekka Centre, Singapore’s largest indoor “wet” market.
– Wander through Little India Arcade, a narrow alley filled with Indian clothes accessories, goods and more.
– Visit Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore’s oldest and most important Hindu Temple, home to an intricately carved gopuram (statuary above the main door).
– Shop ‘til you drop at Mustafa Centre, one of Singapore’s only 24-hour shopping malls. With more than 75,000 items on offer, you’re bound to walk away with a trinket or two.
– Walk the Heritage Trail to learn all about Little India’s rich and vibrant history.
Best Hostel in Little India: The Inn Crowd Backpackers Hostel 2
Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and excitement of Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood by booking your stay at The Inn Crowd Backpackers Hostel 2.
From free breakfast to free guided scooter tours of the city, this hostel has everything you could possibly dream of to make your stay in Singapore simply amazing.
Best Hotel in Little India: Arcadia Hotel
Travellers looking for a modern retreat should look no further than the Arcadia Hotel. This boutique hotel combines contemporary amenities with historic quality and charm. Perfect for business or leisure travellers, the Arcadia hotel is close to shopping malls, transit stations, and a myriad of authentic and exotic food options.
Best AirBnB in Little India: 1BR RC Penthouse in the Lion City
Just steps from some of Little India’s best restaurants and most famous attractions, this one-bedroom penthouse is the perfect base for exploring the city. With a fully equipped kitchen, modern furniture, and air conditioning, this condo is perfect for couples looking to make new and lasting memories in Singapore.
If you’re looking to enjoy a few drinks, dance the night away and experience Singapore’s legendary nightlife scene, look no further than Clarke Quay. Part of the city’s riverside, Clarke Quay is the neighbourhood where you’ll find tourists and locals rubbing shoulders as they drink, dance, laugh and sing through all hours of the night.
Starting at the mouth of the river, Clarke Quay is home to a fun and vibrant atmosphere thanks to its funky pubs, world-class restaurants, trendy clubs, and bustling bars. Whether you’re looking for just a few drinks or for an all-night party, Clarke Quay is the place to be.
Below we have listed more of the top things to do in Singapore at night!
Top Things to do in Clarke Quay
– Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Clarke Quay and Singapore as you cruise along the river.
– See more than 1,300 artefacts from across Asia at the Asian Civilizations Museum.
– Take in panoramic 360-degree views from Singapore’s highest point at the 1-Altitude Viewing Gallery.
– Dance the night away at Attica, Singapore’s most popular club.
– Visit Hong San See Temple, a more than 100-year old Chinese temple located just a short walk from Clarke Quay.
– Chill out in one of the city’s best lounges at Bar Opiume, Asia’s first-ever prosecco and vodka bar.
– See the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian art at the National Art Gallery.
– Get your adrenaline pumping at G-Max Reverse Bungy, as reverse bungee jump at speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour.
Best Hostel in Clarke Quay: Bed and Dreams Inn @ Clarke Quay
Bed and Dreams Inn @ Clarke Quay is the ideal hostel for travellers looking to spend their nights enjoying Singapore’s vibrant and exciting nightlife scene. Walking distance to many of Singapore’s major attractions, you’ll feel like your at the centre of the action when you stay at the Bed and Dreams Inn.
Providing guests with fresh linens, free toiletries and a simple all-day breakfast, the Bed and Dreams Inn @ Clarke Bay is the perfect place to stay in Clarke Quay.
Best Hotel in Clarke Quay: Studio M Hotel
Enjoy contemporary elegance and style on the Singapore Riverside at Studio M Hotel. Each stylish loft is elegantly decorated and provides guests with the perfect relaxing hideaway in the heart of the city.
Unwind after a day of exploring by visiting the open-air gym, soaking in the jet pool or by enjoying the stunning views from your floor to ceiling bay windows. Perfect for business or leisure travellers, you’ll feel right at home in Singapore at Studio M Hotel.
Best AirBnB in Clarke Quay: Clarke Quay Riverfront
Overlooking Singapore’s Riverside, this one-bedroom flat is the perfect place to call home during your time in Singapore. This serene and modern living space is located in the heart of Clarke Quay, Singapore’s premier nightlife district. Enjoy trendy clubs and funky pubs, all within a short walk of this modern hideaway.
Chinatown, Singapore’s traditional Chinese quarter, is quickly becoming one of the city’s hottest neighbourhoods. Home to rustic eateries, traditional shophouses, and religious attractions, Chinatown is a neighbourhood where new and old seamlessly meet.
From museums and temples to street food and hipster flare, Chinatown has it all. We recommend you spend at least a day exploring this neighbourhood: wander the meandering streets and alleys; learn about Singapore’s urban development; and, pay homage to the gods by visiting Buddha Tooth Relic or Thian Keng Temples. There’s no shortage of things to see, do and experience in Chinatown.
Looking for cheap eats? Well, Chinatown is the place to be! Home to hawker centres, street stalls, and the Chinese Night Market, this neighbourhood is a must visit for anyone looking to sample traditional, modern and even Asian fusion fare.
Top Things to do in Chinatown
– Dance the night away on Club Street.
– Visit Singapore City Gallery and explore the history of Singapore’s urban development while viewing largescale models of the city and country.
– Stroll through Ann Siang Park and climb to one of the highest geographic points in Chinatown.
– Explore the shophouses, and shop the authentic tea and Chinese medicine shops.
– Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and see the 27-foot tall statue of Maitreya Buddha.
– Climb to the Pinnacle@Duxton Skybride and take in impressive views of the city from Singapore’s tallest housing project.
– Wander along Smith Street and enjoy the atmosphere and mouthwatering fare from the street stalls.
– Eat your way through the Chinese Night Market, sampling as many delicious delicacies as you can.
– Visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, which dates all the way back to 1820.
– Enjoy cheap but delicious eats at the Hawker Food Centre or the Chinatown complex – some of the best food deals in town.
Best Hostel in Chinatown: Wink Capsule Hostel
Style and technology collide at Wink Capsule Hostel in Singapore. Developed by travellers for travellers, Wink offers guests pod-style beds with sound resistant walls, free breakfast and high-speed internet, creating the perfect oasis in the city.
Enjoy soft-linens, a clean and comfortable atmosphere, and a location in Chinatown that can’t be beaten.
Best Hotel in Chinatown: Hotel Mono
Modern and cosy, Hotel Mono is a chic hideaway set in six historical shophouses. Recently renovated, Hotel Mono beautifully mixes minimalistic aesthetic with traditional Singapore style.
Designed for the discerning traveller, this boutique hotel is located in lively Chinatown, just minutes from some of Singapore’s top sights and attractions.
Best AirBnB in Chinatown: Attic Hideaway @ Heart of Town
Located just ten minutes city centre, you won’t want to say goodbye after your stay in this modern attic hideaway. Walking distance to Singapore’s hottest neighbourhoods and attractions, this clean and contemporary condo is perfect for couples on a romantic vacation or a traveller in town for business.
A small island off the south coast of Singapore, Sentosa is the place to stay if you’re travelling with children. With a myriad of attractions, activities and adventure, this island playground is action-packed and lots of fun for kids (and adults) of all ages.
With a wide range of transportation options, including footbridge, bus or cable car, it couldn’t be easier to get to Sentosa. We recommend you spend at least one day indulging in all this little island has to offer. With theme parks, museums, man-made beaches and animal attractions, there’s something for everyone and every interest in Sentosa.
Top Things to do in Sentosa
– Stand atop Tiger Sky Tower and take in the 360-degree views of Sentosa, Singapore and the southern islands from Asia’s tallest observation tower.
– Lounge on Siloso, Palawan or Tanjong, Sentosa’s amazing man-made white sand beaches.
– Indulge your inner child at Universal Studios Singapore and spend a day exploring the theme park’s seven zones of rides, attractions, fantasy and fun!
– Visit S.E.A. Aquarium and learn all about the ocean’s gentle giants at the world’s largest oceanarium.
– Snorkel with friendly fish and wade with manta rays at Adventure Cove Waterpark.
– Be amazed at the Crane Dance, the world’s largest animatronic that combines groundbreaking audio-visual technologies with light and water effects.
– Soar high in the air and ride the Cable Car.
– Golf at Singapore’s only public golf course.
– Learn all about Asia’s maritime and cultural heritage at the Maritime Experiential Museum.
Best Hostel in Sentosa: Tree in Lodge
Modern and environmentally friendly, Tree in Lodge is located outside of Sentosa in one of Singapore’s oldest neighbourhoods. Close to public transit routes, traditional shops, and hawker stands, Tree in Lodge is a like a breath of fresh air amongst the buzzing and bustling city. Offering dorm-style beds and non-toxic products, Tree in Lodge is the ideal hostel for the responsible and low-impact traveller.
Best Hotel in Sentosa: Costa Sands Resort Sentosa
Rest, relax and unwind after a day of fun and adventure at the Costa Sands Resort Sentosa. Just a short walk from the beach, Costa Sands Resort offers modern amenities with the comfort of home. Enjoy a deluxe room, or sleep in a Kampung Hut for a rustic and retro experience.
Best AirBnB in Sentosa: 1 Bedroom Villa with Private Pool
This one-bedroom villa, complete with a private pool, is a little slice of heaven not far from the city. With modern features and lush greenery, this Airbnb will have you feeling refreshed and relaxed after a long day of fun. This private villa is perfect for couples and families looking to make their base in Sentosa.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Singapore
Anyone backpacking in Southeast Asia have to include Singapore on their itinerary, and not just for the cheap flights. Visiting Singapore will be an enriching experience, and complete contrast to many cities you will experience in Asia. Hell, the world.
Get ready to see incredible architecture and sky-risers, eat delicious food, and visit the infamous Singapore gardens! We hope this neighborhood guide helps you choose where to stay in Singapore. If you still aren’t sure, remember, Marina Bay is our top pick for where to stay in Singapore for your first time, and Little India is a great option for where to stay in Singapore on a budget!
Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Singapore on a Budget – Maps, Itineraries, and Things To Do
- Is Singapore Safe?
- 20 Best Hostels in Singapore
- Backpacking Southeast Asia Travel Guide
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