Where to Stay in Singapore – 7 Best Areas and Handpicked Hotels
Planning a trip to Singapore soon? That’s amazing news! You must be searching for where to stay in Singapore right now, am I right? In all honesty, finding the perfect place to stay in this city-state is a real challenge. There are SO many good areas and accommodation options, all catering to different needs and budgets. But that’s why I’m here to help!
In this article, I have given you my hand-picked hotel recommendations, grouped by the 7 most popular tourist areas in Singapore. Whatever you may be looking for, you’ll surely find it here. That’s a promise!
Singapore is an amazing destination with unique neighbourhoods and LOTS of things to do. From the world-famous Marina Bay and the Colonial District to the culture-rich Chinatown and Little India, there are so many good places to set up here. And let’s not forget about Sentosa Island, of course!
Luxury hotels, resorts, hostels, apartments and villas – scroll down to find my complete list of recommendations!
Where is the best area to stay in Singapore by type of traveller
I know, I know, Singapore is divided into numerous iconic neighbourhoods. But which one of them is the BEST for you and your travel plans? It’s a hard choice, I must admit, but I’ve made everything easier for you by creating the list below. It will quickly help you decide where to stay depending on your travel style and budget:
- Where to stay in Singapore for the first time – Marina Bay or the Colonial District
- Where to stay in Singapore on a budget – Little India
- Where to stay in Singapore for luxury – Marina Bay
- Where to stay in Singapore for foodies – Chinatown
- Where to stay in Singapore for nightlife – Singapore River
- Where to stay in Singapore with kids – Sentosa Island
- Where to stay in Singapore for shopping – Orchard Road
- Where to stay in Singapore for couples – Singapore River
Now that everything’s a bit clearer for you, let’s dive right into it and find my best recommendations for the perfect stay in Singapore:
Ah, yes, how could I not begin this list with the world-famous Marina Bay? I’m sure you heard about the Marina Bay Sands hotel before, about the Gardens by the Bay, the Merlion Statue and the Botanic Gardens as well. They all have one thing in common (except the fact they’re pretty much iconic): they’re all located in the Marina Bay area!
Marina Bay is THE place to take a walk if you want to understand just how luxurious Singapore can be. I’m talking about sleek, modern architecture, fountains, iconic landmarks, amazing restaurants and bars – and more. There’s so much to do and see in Marina Bay, especially in the evening when everything is beautifully lit up! There’s the Singapore Flyer and the ArtScience Museum, as well as the Singapore River nearby. If you want to be close to the big sites, Marina Bay is the place to be! Plus, here’s a piece of insider info: most luxury hotels here offer striking views of the city and the bay – how awesome is that?
RELATED READ: By the way, if you want to learn more about the attractions here plus other fun stuff to do in Singapore, I recommend checking out my complete guide to the city.
Although the superb, award-winning Marina Bay Sands hotel complex with its Observation Deck and rooftop infinity pool is the most popular hotel in this area (and in all of Southeast Asia, if I think about it), it’s not your only option. Also, beware! The prices here can be a bit over the line and the entire area is quite luxurious per se, so please keep that in mind when choosing this area:
ICONIC. Marina Bay Sands
BIG SPLURGE #1: The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
BIG SPLURGE #2: Pan Pacific Singapore
BIG SPLURGE #3: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
APARTMENT. Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
Colonial District / Historic District
Although the Marina Bay area is nothing short of iconic, some of the most interesting attractions in Singapore are actually in the Colonial District, also known as the Historic District. This is the heart of the city or “Downtown” and it’s extremely well connected to all the other neighbourhoods in the city. If you choose the Colonial District for your stay in Singapore, you can rest assured that you’ll be within walking distance to a lot of the sites!
Some notable attractions here include the National Museum and National Gallery, Bugis Street Market, the iconic Raffles Hotel, Fort Canning Park, St. Andrew’s Cathedral and more. This area is also full of beautiful colonial buildings, amazing restaurants and interesting bars too. It’s absolutely impossible to get bored here! Plus, you’ll be within walking distance to the Quay area, Little India, Orchard Road and, of course, Marina Bay with its Gardens by the Bay!
Here are the best places to stay in the Colonial District:
BIG SPLURGE. InterContinental Singapore
LUXURY HOTEL. The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Somerset Bencoolen Singapore
BUDGET HOTEL. Summer View Hotel
APARTMENT. Heritage Collection on Seah
If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore for shopping, Orchard Road is YOUR place to stay! Orchard Road is the ultimate shopping destination in Singapore with more than 20 (!!!) interconnected mega shopping mall options. There are countless designer shops, high street brands and budget-friendly stalls where you can literally shop til you drop!
Orchard Road is also lined with some amazing luxury hotels, anything from modern to colonial-style, as well as Michelin-starred restaurants, cool cafes, rooftop bars and affordable food stalls. Staying in Orchard Road means you’ll be extremely well-connected to the rest of the city as well, as it’s MRT station is a great hub that takes you to all the most important attractions in the city such as Marina Bay Sands.
If you feel that Orchard Road is your neighbourhood, I recommend the hotels below:
BIG SPLURGE. Mandarin Orchard Singapore
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Royal Plaza on Scotts
MID-RANGE HOTEL. YOTEL Singapore Orchard Road
BUDGET HOTEL. Lloyd’s Inn
APARTMENT. Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard
Singapore River / The Quays
The Riverside area in Singapore, also known as the Quays is the nightclubbing heart of the city! So if during your trip to Singapore you want to dance the night away and enjoy a drink with a view, there’s no need to search further.
The three Quays of Singapore are located between the CBD (Central Business District) and the Colonial District. They’re connected by the Singapore River (hence the name) and they’re the main entertainment spot in the city. You’ll find lots of clubs, bars and late-night eateries here, as well as boutique hotels and apartments. One of the best things about this area is that you’ll only be a short walk away from the Downtown area, as well as Marina Bay Sands and Chinatown. And the rest of the areas are easily connected by the MRT system.
Here are the 3 quays explained below:
- Clarke Quay – the most popular of the three, both in terms of accommodation and the number of tourists wandering around. You’ll find it scattered with tons of restaurants, clubs and hotels;
- Boat Quay – posh and touristy, full of riverside restaurants and fancy bars;
- Robertson Quay – you won’t find the hustle and bustle of Clarke Quay here. Instead, this place is more laid-back but still has lots of world-class restaurants and wine bars.
If you’re interested in staying in the lively Quays (especially Clarke Quay), here are my hotel recommendations:
BIG SPLURGE. Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore
BOUTIQUE OPTION. PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering
MID-RANGE HOTEL. The Quay Hotel
BUDGET HOTEL. Champion Hotel City
HOSTEL. Vintage Inn @ Clarke Quay
APARTMENT. Cayden Riverfront Residences
Chinatowns are interesting all around the world, but the Chinatown in Singapore is simply so special! Chinatown consists of charming, narrow streets full of colourful temples, cafes, traditional eateries and michelin star street food stalls (especially on Ann Siang Rd), souvenir shops, and everything else in-between. Even if you don’t decide to stay here, taking a walk around Chinatown is a must!
And if you do decide to book a room here, except for a couple of luxury hotels, expect plenty of affordable accommodations such as capsule hotels and hostels, which is excellent if you’re looking for a budget deal in Singapore! Chinatown is probably one of Singapore’s most authentic neighbourhoods, with colourful, vibrant buildings and a rich history. You’ll find the Chinatown Night Market here, as well as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple and Thian Hock Keng Temple.
And here are the best hotels in Chinatown for all budgets:
BIG SPLURGE. Carlton City Hotel Singapore
BOUTIQUE HOTEL. Duxton Reserve Singapore, Autograph Collection
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Hotel Soloha @ Chinatown
BUDGET HOTEL. ST Signature Chinatown
HOSTEL. Wink Capsule Hostel @ Chinatown
Little India is located right near Kampong Glam and the Colonial District, which means it’s one of the best places to stay in Singapore if you want to be only a short walking distance away from all the important landmarks and attractions! Little India is a very special place full of temples, mosques, amazing street food courts selling traditional dishes (hint: search for the “banana leaf restaurants”!) and cute cafes. If you’re all about culture and delicious food, Little India in Singapore is for you!
In terms of accommodation, Little India is way more affordable than, let’s say, Orchard Road or Marina Bay Sands. You’ll find various boutique hotels, guesthouses and hostels here, catering for all needs and pockets. While you’re here, make sure you visit Serangoon Road and the Tekka Centre for some shopping and the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
So, in short, if you want to get away from glitzy, modern Singapore, Little India is your place to be. I recommend choosing from the hotels below:
LUXURY HOTEL. Wanderlust, The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood
MID-RANGE HOTEL. Citadines Rochor
BUDGET HOTEL. ST Signature Jalan Besar
HOSTEL. 7 Wonders Hostel @ Upper Dickson
SHORT-TERM HOTEL. ST Signature Jalan Besar
Universal Studios, theme parks, beaches, resorts and water sports… Wondering where to stay in Singapore with your family and children? You have scrolled to the right place! I left Sentosa Island for the end of my list because, even though it’s an immensely exciting place, it’s quite separate from Singapore island-city-state. Sentosa Island is a separate, teeny-weeny resort island with lots of activities for both adults and children alike.
This is where you’ll find Universal Studios Singapore, one of the main attractions on the island. There are also golf courses, artificial white sand beaches and fancy beach clubs, as well as theme parks and water sports. Resorts World Sentosa is where you’ll find, of course, lots of world-class resorts with amazing facilities as well as special rooms for families with children.
NOTE: It takes around 15-30 minutes to get from Singapore City to Sentosa Island. You can either walk across the pedestrian bridge (I do not recommend this though with the heat and humidity!), take the cable car or the Sentosa Express Monorail. Tip: the cable car is the most popular option for tourists, but the monorail is the most efficient. Either way, if you stay here you can rest assured that you won’t be too disconnected from Downtown at all!
Where to stay in Singapore - Other notable areas to consider
All 7 areas above are very popular among tourists for an excellent stay in Singapore, close to the main attractions and exciting activities. But there are other equally good neighbourhoods that are worth mentioning. Here are my honourable, underrated mentions:
- Bugis & Kampong Glam – Also known as “Arab Street”, Kampong Glam and Bugis are two tiny areas right near Little India, very central and excellent for their nightlife scene. While you’re in Kampong Glam, you can walk on Haji Lane and join a live concert, eat at the numerous restaurants or simply admire the street art pieces. Or visit Kwan Im Thong hood Cho Temple or Sultan Mosque! Here you’ll find a perfect mix of boutique hotels and budget hostels!
- Tiong Bahru – Located west of Chinatown, Tiong Bahru is a very cool, hip place with lots of art deco apartments and hotels in Singapore. I think this neighbourhood is a great choice if you want a laid-back area while still being close to the main attractions in the city.
- Bukit Timah – Luxurious, fancy and located right near Orchard Road – Bukit Timah caters for everyone looking for world-class hotels, restaurants and bars! It’s also a popular spot among business travellers and there are many things to do and see here.
- Changi Airport – Okay, spoiler alert: this is not just an airport, my friends. In fact, Changi Airport is an attraction per se and it’s considered to be one of the world’s best airports! Changi Airport area is outside of the city centre and it has nearby beaches, lots of amazing on-site restaurants and more. The accommodations are pretty varied as well and you can find something for every budget.
- Geylang – Truly underrated, Geylang is an awesome place to stay. This was once the Red Light District of Singapore, but things have turned around and Geylang is now a place to witness a more authentic side of the city. Plus, it’s scattered with budget-friendly accommodations!
- Civic District – Centrally located, the Civic District is notable thanks to its numerous museums and parks. It’s a popular place to stay for business tourists, but I also recommend it if you want to stay in the centre without paying a fortune for accommodation. You’ll be a quick walk away from Clarke Quay, Marina Bay and other popular areas in Singapore!
Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Orchard Road, Chinatown, Sentosa and more – there are SO many cool areas in this city, it was a challenge to only choose 7! This complete guide on Singapore accommodation contains everything you need to know about the best neighbourhoods in Singapore, as well as my hand-picked hotel recommendations, grouped by budget. I did everything I could to make your choice easier and I’m sure you’ll find this article useful.
If you’re heading to Singapore soon and want to read ALL about the best things to do and see there, I recommend checking out my dedicated post: Your Best Singapore Travel Guide
And if you want to discover more of Singapore, in this section you’ll find all my articles on this unique city.