WHERE TO STAY IN Singapore
Deciding where to stay in Singapore can seem like a difficult task for first-time visitors. However, on an island that measures 50 kilometres (31 miles) from one end to another, you can travel easily and cheaply at any time of day or night. To help you what to do in Singapore, we have compiled a neighbourhood guide, and below we have listed the best hotels in each price bracket in the neighbourhood.
If you click on the pictures it will take you to Agoda's website where you can check the price and availability.
QUAYS / CIVIC DISTRICT
Here at the Singapore River is where it all began, you will find the Quays (pronounced "keys") and the Civic District which are the closest areas to Marina Bay.
Characteristics: The Civic District and the Quays are at the very core of Singapore and are best known for its important government buildings such as the Supreme Court, Central Fire Station and National Library. You can also find fascinating museums, protected parks and memorial spaces.
Transport: This is where you are right in the middle of everything and can take any bus or any MRT to anywhere in Singapore!
Pros: From the Civic District take a bumboat ride on the Singapore River, and visit the Quays - our beloved nightlife district and tourist hotspot, with buzzing bars, eclectic eateries and iconic clubs spread across Robertson Quay, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay.
Cons: If you are not into nightlife this area might not be the right one for you to stay.
Hotels in Chinatown offer some of the best value possible in Singapore. You can choose from a wide price range, starting from backpacker hostels to midrange to high-end and luxury accommodations.
Characteristics: Once an enclave for Singapore’s Chinese immigrant population, the Chinatown of today is popular for its blend of old and new, with historic temples and traditional medicinal halls sitting alongside hip bars and trendy lifestyle shops. A large part of Chinatown has been declared national heritage sites officially designated for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Transport: As with almost every district, public transport is in walking distance.
Pros: Chinatown is great for hopping around the city. Outram Park and Chinatown MRT are connected with a total of three different MRT lines taking you from one end to the other end of Singapore!
Cons: Chinatown is one of the most touristy districts. This means you will have always many people on the streets.
Hotels in Little India are all scattered around one of Singapore’s most vibrant ethnic neighbourhood, located just a few MRT stops away from the city centre.
Characteristics: Although home to mostly permanent Indian residents, this truly is an area for everybody! Can you imagine that Little India once had a racecourse, cattle herders and brick kilns? But while these places and people are gone, time stands still in pockets of this historic district. Old-school trades sit next to newer businesses: flower-garland vendors, modern eateries, boutique hotels, as well as arts groups.
Transport: Like everywhere in Singapore, Little India too, has a great connection to 3 different MRT station and is very close to the city centre.
Pros: This area is a heaven for shopping. The 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries, or take your pick from open-air Tekka Centre, goldsmith shops and sari stores. All in one place!
Cons: When you stay in this vibrant district during traditional Indian festivals, beware of the crowds!
With the many choices of hotels in Bugis and Kampong Glam, you get the best of both worlds – location wise. There is something for everyone - from lavish luxury five-star hotels to some smaller boutique hotels that are more budget-friendly.
Characteristics: Some say Kampong Glam really is glam (Singlish for glamorous). The area has a broad blend of history, culture and a trendy lifestyle scene. Explore the many side streets of this culturally vibrant district and discover all the small details that Kampong Glam has to offer.
Transport: You can reach Bugis MRT easily by foot and can take the many buses going everywhere in Singapore. You can even board the cross-border busses here for a day in Malaysia.
Pros: Bugis and Kampong Glam in itself have lots to discover for one day and you are very central to many major sightseeing places in Singapore
Cons: At times you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all the little shop owners trying to sell you their goods.
Marina Bay is the prettiest and most desirable (but also expensive) place to stay in Singapore. The stunning architecture of the glass-front office towers, stylish hotels and colonial buildings make the most iconic cityscape that we all love!
Characteristics: Be amazed by the collection of architectural icons that build the famous skyline, or brag about having seen some of the best views in the world from SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands Hotel, designed by no less than the renowned architect Moshe Safdie.
Transport: Excellent subway connections for hopping around town.
Pros: Marina Bay Area gives you the modern city vibe and is walking distance to major attractions and things to do. You will get numerous famous restaurants and bars in Singapore’s most iconic cityscape.
Cons: Most people would love to stay in a bay-facing five-star hotel, but shouldn't underestimate the prices for rooms. This means you will not get many budget hotels and it will not give you a real ‘local’ Singaporean atmosphere.
Tiong Bahru is a housing estate located within the Bukit Merah Area, in the central area of Singapore. Although a very hip neighbourhood, you cannot find many hotels in this area.
Characteristics: Tiong Bahru is the oldest housing estate in Singapore, and when you visit this charming community, you’ll immediately notice a mix of old and new. While many older residents have lived in the shophouses and flats here for many decades, the younger generation comes here for the local delights, shops, and culture.
Transport: Tiong Bahru is one MRT stop away from Outram Park, hence, very close to Chinatown.
Pros: If you want to avoid the touristic crowds, Tiong Bahru is a great place to stay and also to visit. Here you will find the very famous Tiong Bahru Bakery and one of the most interesting architectures.
Cons: It is rather quiet and further away from Central Singapore.
Orchard Road is truly world famous as a shopping destination in Asia. You will find most hotels from budget-friendly to high-end luxury right here!
Characteristics: When you stay in the Orchard Road area, you will be conveniently located near the heart of the city on a lively and attractive street. The Bukit Timah area is a particularly interesting location with high land value. The best part of staying here in this area is that you are a right in the middle of some of the best shopping in the world, on Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping and entertainment hub.
Transport: Orchard Road is quite long, not only will you have several MRT stations around the area but you have bus stops galore.
Pros: Orchard Road is the island's most-visited shopping destination for a "shop till you drop" experience. However, you can also find leisure amenities and fine-dining options, beauty salons, cafes - in short, just about everything you might be looking for on a stay in Singapore.
Cons: If you are looking for more cultural and historical exposure, you might need to consider a different area.
Sentosa Island is a man-made island that was built for fun and recreation. It is located within 15 minutes from the central business and shopping districts. In fact, many locals use Sentosa for a "staycation".
Characteristics: The many attractions on offer at Sentosa include the Resorts World, Universal Studios Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, and one of the largest collections of aquatic animals in the world, SEA Aquarium.
Transport: You can reach Sentosa by "Grab" or taxi to get to and from the island. An alternative is the Sentosa Express, a free shuttle train from Vivo City shopping mall to the island.
Pros: You can stay in a beach resort but still be close to the city. It is perfect for families with dozens of attractions for all ages. Do you fancy a day at the beach which is clean and pretty? Visit Sentosa! Not only for a lazy day on the beach but Sentosa offers an abundance of green areas for a nice stroll.
Cons: Getting to the mainland can be very time-consuming, particularly at night. There are no real shopping possibilities or historical landmarks in Sentosa.