New Babylon Travel

Where to Stay in Singapore – Our Favorite Areas And Places

Singapore is a remarkable city-state. From the first time we stepped off the plane at Changi Airport, we were impressed. It is the hub of Southeast Asia and a city like no other in the world. Its glimmering skyscrapers and modern architecture have become a symbol of luxurious stopovers on long-distance flights.

But this place is so much more than a stopover destination. We recommend you stay in Singapore for a while and take in all the cool attractions like the Singapore City Gallery, Gardens by the Bay, and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, just to name a few. Although the city is only small, its culture and sightseeing opportunities really pack a punch.

Singapore just has so much to do. The real question is, where should you stay in Singapore to see everything? You want to be conveniently located for sightseeing. With so many luxury hotels on offer, there’s no wonder you’re stuck for choice.

In this guide, we’ll help you decide where to stay in Singapore. The city is divided into 28 districts, each flaunting an individual culture and atmosphere. We’ve narrowed it down to the top four, with budget, mid-range, and luxury hotel recommendations for each. Let’s get stuck in.

Best places to stay in singapore

Why you should listen to us

We love Singapore, having visited twice to date. We also understand the importance of finding accommodation options that genuinely reflect your travel style. Who doesn’t want to maximize their itinerary and have the best experience possible? Travel is for everyone, and finding the best areas to stay in Singapore is best approached from an individualized perspective.

Before we get started with all our official recommendations, we’ll link the property where we stayed in Singapore and some quickfire recommendations from travelers to travelers. This way, you can have our most unfiltered and straight-talking advice first. Skip straight to that if you’re in a rush.

Arab Street, Singapore.

Where To Stay in Singapore

Singapore is a wonderful place to visit. It has shopping malls, delicious food, and a slick public transport system for navigating tourist sights like Universal Studios Singapore, Bugis Street Market, and the Malay Heritage Centre. Small but mighty, Singapore is a clever network of culture and entertainment.

With Singapore and its neighborhoods fully introduced, it’s time to jump into our guide. We’ll cover everything from the best luxury hotels to craft shops in downtown Singapore and the neighborhood with World War II history. Here’s what you need to know about choosing where to stay in Singapore.

The iconic Raffles Hotel, one of the best boutique hotels in Singapore.

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Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall in singapore

Where We Stayed: Jen Singapore Orchard Getaway by Shangri-La

Jen Singapore Orchard Getaway by Shangri-La is a 4-star property on Orchard Road. This modern hotel’s real “show-stopping” feature is its huge outdoor pool, perched on a rooftop with a gorgeous infinity view of Singapore’s cityscape. If you want somewhere with an aesthetic view and outdoor pool, Jen Singapore Orchard Getaway gets our vote every time.

The guestrooms are modern, with large windows for natural lighting and some boasting special views. We liked the facilities, too, which included a fitness center, onsite restaurants, and meeting rooms. It’s easily one of the best luxury hotels in Singapore.

1. Orchard Road: Our Recommendation

Orchard Road Neighbourhood in Singapore

Orchard Road is the home of retail and skyline views. The neighborhood flaunts over 50 luxury fashion stores with nearly 24-hour retail activity. Its shopping streets really come to life after dark, illuminated by brightly-colored billboard adverts and windows full of discounts and fashion displays. The neighborhood also has plenty of luxury hotels, all an easy walk away from some light retail therapy.

You can enjoy food courts and traditional dishes at places like the Newton Food Centre when you aren’t shopping. It’s where to stay in Singapore if you want a shopping and foodie paradise.

Orchard Road is the social butterfly of Singapore’s neighborhoods. It is a fun place to shop, indulge, and embrace a busy atmosphere of tourists and residents.

Newton food Center near Orchard Road singapore

Pros and Cons of Orchard Road


Great for shopping
Busy and fun atmosphere
A great selection of Singapore’s best luxury hotels


A crowded atmosphere
More of a focus on retail and hospitality than on historical culture
Less suited to budget travelers

Highlights of Staying in Orchard Road

Orchard Road is such a social butterfly and a real “feel good” base for you to stay in Singapore. If you’re a shopaholic or just like a buzzy atmosphere, it’s definitely up your street.

See the Art Deco and Chinese Baroque architecture on the colorful Emerald Hill
Walk the short distance to the National Museum of Singapore
Enjoy traditional cuisines at Newton Food Centre
Treat yourself to a new outfit as a souvenir from Singapore

National Museum of Singapore

Best Places to Stay in Orchard Road

This neighborhood stretches from the Orchard Towers shopping center to Fort Canning Park. The northwestern end of the road is best suited to those who want a condensed jackpot of shopping centers, while the southeastern end is a little quieter and has more green space.

When it comes to Singapore, hotels are always pretty impressive. However, this neighborhood definitely attracts the best of them. Here are its top accommodation options for each budget level.

Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

Four Seasons Hotel in singapore
Photo by Ken Seet / Four Seasons

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is located on a shaded boulevard in Orchard Road. It offers a mix of elegant rooms, all featuring spacious en suites with bathtubs.

There’s a 24-hour gym, outdoor pool, and in-house spa – Four Seasons Hotel Singapore definitely keeps up the chain’s high-caliber reputation. When you want to explore the surrounding area, you’re within easy walking distance of shopping malls and luxury stores.

Mid-Range: Jen Singapore Orchard Getaway by Shangri-La

Jen Singapore Orchard Getaway by Shangri-La’s best feature is its gorgeous rooftop pool overlooking the Singapore skyline. This hotel offers beautiful views and modern rooms at great value for money, so it made our list.

You can also enjoy a gym onsite and a restaurant for an easy meal or two. This was our choice when visiting, and we can personally recommend it.

Budget: Arena eSports Hotel @ Orchard

The reviews are a little harsh on Arena eSports Hotel @ Orchard, but overall the property ranks as “pleasant”, which many find a good swap for its steal-worthy prices.

This hotel has trendy interior designs with neon lighting and comfortable rooms. It’s easily the most budget area to stay in the area.

2. Marina Bay: First-Time Visitors

Marina Bay area in Singapore

Marina Bay is the most luxurious place you can choose to stay in Singapore. The Marina Bay area is futuristic and glitzy, full of luxury hotels with sought-after ocean views. If you want to truly embrace staying on a modern island, Marina Bay is the neighborhood to choose. This is where the skyscrapers and bright lights sit.

You can walk the esplanade, test your bottle on the Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel, or enjoy night-time art exhibitions and luxury dinners.

Marina Bay is the place to stay in Singapore if you want to experience the city’s glamor first-hand. With its after-dark architecture lit up and reflecting on the water, It is the most mesmerizing place to stay in Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Pros and Cons of Marina Bay


Beautiful architecture
Picturesque water views
Plenty of around-the-clock entertainment


Steeper prices
Attracts lots of crowds
Less authentic and traditional culture

Highlights of staying in Marina Bay

This is an upscale neighborhood that is totally Hollywood-worthy. You’ve probably already seen pictures of Marina Bay’s iconic layout, especially the skyscraper of Marina Bay Sands.

Watch the nightly lights and water show
Visit the boutique Red Dot Design Museum
Watch a show or visit an art exhibit at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
Walk through Gardens by the Bay
Ride the Singapore Flyer Ferris Wheel

Red Dot Design Museum in the Marina Bay Area Of Singapore

Best Places to Stay in Marina Bay

As its name suggests, the neighborhood sits around an inlet bay from the Singapore Strait. The bay is connected by a network of bridges, some of which, like the Helix Bridge, are pedestrian-friendly.

You can stay all around Marina Bay, including in luxury hotels like the Marina Bay Sands. Most hotels come with water views, and you are within walking distance of all the main tourist attractions. If you want to jump on the metro, the city hall station is nearby.

Luxury: Marina Bay Sands Singapore

A private pool at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in singapore

Marina Bay Sands Singapore is one of the city’s most notable landmarks. If you want the most iconic place to stay in the city, this is it. The beautiful three-legged skyscraper is more like a monument than a luxury hotel. You see it all over social media, and it’s become synonymous with the city itself.

Guests get a daily buffet breakfast, a rooftop outdoor pool, and expansive water views from most rooms. This is one of Singapore’s most impressive hotels.

Mid-Range: The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is a 5-star hotel with mid-range prices in the Marina neighborhood of Singapore—what more could you want? Out of all the mid-range hotels in Singapore, this is the one where you get the most luxury for your buck.

Rooms ooze classic grandeur, and guests will have access to an outdoor infinity pool, spa, and fitness center. It’s the perfect place to unwind in the hectic city center. Certain rooms even include part-inclusive packages, like dining credit.

Budget: Hipstercity Hostel

Hipstercity Hostel is one of the leading cheap hotels in the marina area. The two-star property is trendy and chic, making it the perfect place to stay for a budget hotel experience.

Depending on your travel preferences, you can choose between a mixture of dormitory rooms. Each bed comes with a USB and power socket, and safes are available in each room. It gets our vote as the best budget hotel in Singapore.

The shared spaces are equally impressive, especially for those wanting to save money on eating out. You’ve got access to a comfortable lounge with a TV and a kitchen, where you can whip up culinary storms using grocery-bought goods that are easier on the pocket. And on the days you don’t feel like cooking, there’s also an American breakfast each morning.

3. Little India: Street Culture

Best Places to stay in Little India Singapore

Little India is the polar opposite of the two other neighborhoods mentioned so far. Instead of being polished and full of skyscrapers, you’ve got vibrancy and authentic Indian cuisine and culture. Expect brightly painted buildings, open markets selling garlands, silk, and gold jewelry, and a calendar full of cultural events like Deepavali.

You can sample traditional dishes, shop at markets, and learn more about Indian heritage in Singapore. The neighborhood is wonderful to explore on foot, and it’s only a 20-minute ride away from Marina Bay via public transport.

It’s where you should stay in Singapore if you want to find culture and traditions that spill out onto the streets rather than hide underneath skyscrapers. It’s unapologetically outgoing.

Boutique hotel in Little India Singapore

Pros and Cons of Little India


A fun sense of street culture
The neighborhood wears traditions and heritage on its sleeve, while the rest of Singapore can seem more culturally guarded
It’s still within easy commuting distance from Marina Bay


It can get hectic, especially on market days
It’s a little off the usual tourist trail
You’ll have to use the public transport system to get to other areas

Highlights of Staying in Little India

Little India is excellent fun and the epitome of culture and tradition when staying in Singapore. You won’t find anywhere better to experience Indian heritage in the city.

Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and see the colorful deities
Admire the architecture at the Former House of Tan Teng Niah
Learn about the Indian diaspora at the Singapore Visitor Centre
Sample delicious dishes at restaurants around the neighborhood

Tekka center in Little India Singapore

Best Places to Stay in Little India

This neighborhood is pretty condensed into a rough square shape. The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is at the northern end of the neighborhood, and the Rochor River and main roads mark the southern boundary.

Everything is within walking distance, so it doesn’t matter too much where you stay. Just keep in mind that the central road (Serangoon Road) and the southern boundary can cause more noise pollution.

Luxury: The Vagabond Club, Singapore, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

The Vagabond Club Hotel Singapore

The Vagabond Club, Singapore, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is a gorgeous 4-star hotel on the outskirts of Little India, roughly a 15-minute walk from the center of the neighborhood. So, why the slight compromise on location?

This district is much better for mid-priced hotels and lacks any serious luxury contenders. For the sake of a short walk, we’d really recommend considering staying in its outskirts and experiencing the more traditional luxury of The Vagabond Club.

This French-inspired boutique hotel is a classic place to stay in Singapore. It even features its own elegant whiskey bar and a Pan-Asian restaurant. In the evening, you can catch jazz performances and a mix of cocktails and spirits on the drinks menu. It has that timeless luxury that just had to earn a place on this list.

Mid-Range: Citadines Rochor Singapore

Citadines Rochor Singapore is everything you could want from a mid-range hotel in Little India. This is an aparthotel offering air-conditioned units that sleep 1-3 people. These self-catered apartments are ideal for anyone wanting the luxury of privacy and the benefit of your own kitchen to save on those expensive restaurant bills.

Every apartment offers a microwave, fridge, and kettle. Some offer full kitchens, which we recommend splurging on.

Citadines Rochor Singapore also has a shared lounge if you’re feeling sociable. There’s also an outdoor pool, which is a nice, luxurious touch and a way to unwind in central Singapore.

Budget: 7 Wonders Hostel

7 Wonders Hostel is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a pleasant base on a budget. You get a shared kitchen, saving you money on eating out – as tempting as the neighborhood’s cuisine can be. The accommodation comes in the form of spacious dormitory rooms, with bunk beds featuring privacy curtains for extra privacy.

You’ll meet tons of new people at 7 Wonders Hotel, which is ideal for solo travelers and budget travelers. A nice touch is that you can book family rooms directly.

Hostel living undoubtedly means some compromises. However, as a general rule, this is a really fun budget hotel to cut back on pennies in Singapore. You’re also really centrally located for sightseeing in Little India, which is a huge plus.

4. Clarke Quay: Singapore’s Colonial District

Clarke Quay Singapore

Clarke Quay offers water views that are a bit more authentic than the glitzy Marina Bay area. This historic neighborhood still has colonial-style architecture and was actually founded in 1819, when the river-side locale made it a hub of warehouses. It was named after the second Governor of Singapore, Sir Andrew Clarke.

The Singapore River curves through the island’s southern half, eventually emerging into the Singapore Strait. Clarke Quay sits sandwiched between Fort Canning Park and the Singapore River’s banks—an architecturally beautiful neighborhood with a complex history surrounded by nature.

Clarke Quay is where to stay in Singapore if you want to immerse yourself in its Colonial District and experience water views without the mania of more popular districts.

Pros and Cons of Clarke Quay


Beautiful river views
Colonial history and architecture
Proximity to inner-city sightseeing, just with a less touristy base


You aren’t within immediate walking distance of tourist attractions
Still quite touristy and attracts heavy crowds
Hotels can be pretty expensive

Highlights of Staying in Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is an exciting mix of colonial and futuristic architecture. The Singapore River has long been a symbol of development through trade and transport, and this legacy continues today. Nowadays, Clarke Quay is favored for its beautiful water views outside of more popular Singapore districts.

Enjoy the neighborhood’s surprisingly flamboyant waterfront nightlife
Take a scenic river cruise and embrace your proximity to the Singapore River
Tour Battle Box, an underground bunker used in World War II.
See the statue of Sir Stamford Raffles – after whom the Raffles Hotel is named

Clarke Quay Singapore Colonial Buildings

Best Places to Stay in Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a relatively small neighborhood shaped as a rough square between the boundaries of Eu Tong Sen Street and the Chin Swee Tunnel. Its northeast boundary stops short at River Valley Road, just under Fort Canning Park, and it sits entirely along a short section of the Singapore River.

It doesn’t matter where in the neighborhood you stay. We’d just be mindful of noise pollution from the larger roads and the nightlife around the river bank.

Luxury: Heritage Collection on Boat Quay

Heritage Collection on Boat Quay is a beautiful property just outside the main Clarke Quay neighborhood. Crossing just over the South Bridge Road boundary gives you access to this luxe property, which is a tiny compromise for anyone wanting genuine luxury near Clarke Quay.

The aparthotel provides modern units, including Raffles Loft, an apartment for two with a private balcony and a Singapore River view. Each apartment includes a kitchenette, washing machine, comfortable living area, and double bed. It oozes luxury by emphasizing “home away from home” comforts.

The reviews speak for themselves with Heritage Collection on Boat Quay – people are raving about this property.

Mid-Range: Paradox Singapore Merchant Court at Clarke Quay

Paradox Singapore Merchant Court offers more traditional luxury for a mid-range price in Clarke Quay. This chic hotel has sleek and spacious guest rooms. You can choose from king or twin rooms or upgrade to suites, which include kitchenettes or balconies.

The hotel is situated right in the heart of the neighborhood, just a short stroll from Read Bridge and the banks of the Singapore River. It offers a sophisticated base if you want a mid range hotel in central Clarke Quay.

Aside from sleek rooms, guests access a business center, ballroom, and onsite meeting rooms. While for more play than work, you’ve got a fitness center, outdoor pool with waterslides, and onsite restaurants. Paradox Singapore Merchant Court is like a little tardis; the hotel has so many facilities to offer.

Budget: BEAT Capsule Hostel @ Boat Quay

BEAT Capsule Hostel @ Boat Quay is a budget-friendly 2-star hostel just a 10-minute walk along the riverbank from Clarke Quay’s center. The hostel has an industrial aesthetic and is a trendy adults-only property in Singapore.

It is a fun place to stay, offering quirky capsules with curtains for privacy, charging facilities, and lights for each bed. You can choose between mixed and female-only dormitories, and you get access to a shared lounge for extra socializing. There’s a communal kitchen for cooking budget-friendly meals, and you get a free daily breakfast.

BEAT Capsule Hostel is set in a cool area with a downtown vibe. It is just a few steps from the beautiful Singapore River and an easy walk from all of the neighborhood’s waterfront nightlife. If you want to stay on a budget while enjoying Clarke Quay and Singapore’s social scene, the BEAT Capsule Hotel is perfect.

Temple Street in singapore

FAQs: Visiting Singapore

Singapore is an inspirational place to visit. The cityscape is best experienced from an outdoor swimming pool at one of the city’s boutique hotels or through a scenic walk through attractions like Gardens by the Bay. There’s culture and sightseeing at every corner; make sure you stop in Singapore for at least a few days to see it all.

Before you rush off to start booking your dream hotel, let’s review some consolidating FAQs. Here’s what you should know.

What area of Singapore is best to stay in?

Marina Bay is best if you want a luxurious experience of Singapore, while Orchard Road is the best choice for shopping and cityscape views.

Where should I stay in Singapore first time?

Marina Bay’s architecture and iconic landmarks make it a sought-after place for first-time visitors.

What is the nicest part of Singapore?

Clarke Quay is a pretty neighborhood in Singapore. It’s set along the Singapore River and has easy access to parkland green space.

How many days in Singapore is enough?

Two to three days is enough to see the best of Singapore. You’ll have time to see the marina and all the main attractions, like the Gardens of the Bay, with additional flexibility for things like day trips to Little India.

Universal Studios Singapore

Where Not to Stay in Singapore

Singapore has no “no go” areas. It’s a remarkably safe destination with incredibly low levels of crime.

When it comes to choosing where not to stay in Singapore, it’s mostly a question of practicality and seeking the most fun atmosphere. For instance, we’d caution you against staying near Changi Airport if you want easy access to sightseeing.

Geylang and Jalan Kukoh are considered lower-income or higher-crime areas and experience some elements of poverty. While neither are “no go” areas, you may wish to avoid these to play it extra safe. And neither are particularly good areas to stay in Singapore if you want a practical base to go sightseeing either.

Stick to the classic neighborhoods, like Clarke Quay or Little India.

Geography of the Region

Rooftop pool overlooking Singapore

With its 28 districts, Singapore covers a mere 719.1km squared. It is roughly the same size as Chicago but with double Chicago’s population. Condensed culture is the name of the game, and that’s what makes deciding where to stay in Singapore so fascinating. So much can change just from crossing a street – the city really has diversity down to a fine art.

The airport is in eastern Singapore, the main central business district is along the south coast, and the smaller Seletar Airport is on the north coast. Most of the main tourist neighborhoods are clustered around the south coast.

Tomas Stamford Raffles monument singapore

We couldn’t give all the best neighborhoods a place in this guide, so there are a few extra places you may wish to research. Chinatown is a beautiful place to stay, with delicious restaurants, the Chinatown Heritage Centre, shopping streets, and Chinese medicine shops. And Sentosa Island is another notable mention. Sentosa Island is set further away from the central action but has a great location for beautiful beaches and theme parks – a good choice for anyone wanting to let their hair down. You should also check out Arab Street and Club Street for amazing world-class restaurants.

When traveling to Singapore, always do as much research as possible, as so much of the city gets overlooked. If you need more inspiration, check out our ultimate three-day itinerary.

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