If you’re flying into Singapore straight from the US or Europe, it may at first feel like you have not traveled very far at all. On the surface, it is perhaps the most “non-Asian” of all Asian countries. The radio hosts speak English, the cab driver will insist that you wear your seatbelt, and prices are just as high as back home.

But dig a little beneath the surface and Singapore will reveal its charm, its diversity and its ethnic roots to you. Even though the island city-state of Singapore is quite small, it has many unique neighborhoods. It can feel like you are visiting several different countries and cultures just by walking between the different areas of Singapore.

From the lively and colorful Little India to the charming hipster-like Kampong Glam, to the enormous shopping malls along Orchard Road, the impressive posh Marina Bay, the nightlife of the Quays, the beautiful colonial buildings of the Historic District, and  the man-built entertainment hub Sentosa Island.

We first visited Singapore in 2002, on our way back home to Norway from Australia where we studied, and we immediately fell in love with this city/ country. We try to visit Singapore every time we are in Asia, which means almost every year, and we have stayed at a lot of different hotels all over the city and at different price ranges.

For a while now, we have been wanting to write more articles about Singapore, but things can change fast and we we did  want to just rely on past experiences. So booked a flight and spent a month in Singapore exploring the city like never before.

One of the results is this guide on where to stay in Singapore with all the little hotel gems that we were able to find. Here we reveal what we think are the best areas to stay in Singapore and why. For each area, we have listed our favorite hotels at any budget – Top-End, Mid-Range, and Budget.

Where To Stay In Singapore

Whether you are looking for that once in a lifetime luxury hotel, a small intimate boutique hotel, a value-for-money mid-range hotel or a budget guesthouse, Singapore has a comprehensive collection of them all.

You must be warned though, that Singapore is among the most expensive cities in Asia and has been dubbed the world’s most expensive city to live in for the fifth year in a row which also reflects on the hotel prices. That said, we will in this guide reveal some good value options for your money so no need to panic. 🙂

It is also the only city where we have experienced landing at the airport only to be told that the city’s hotels are all fully occupied and that there are no rooms available anywhere! Thankfully, it turned out to be a slight exaggeration but there was a huge dentist conference happening and every major hotel was full. We managed to find a place to stay in the end, but we had to pay far more than we had budgeted, and ever since we always book ahead when visiting Singapore.

The hotels recommended in this article are mostly places we have stayed at ourselves.  None of the hotels in this guide are paid placements or have sponsored our visit in any way.  If you book through any of our links, we earn a small commission, at no extra cost you. This helps keep our site going – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

We hope you find this guide helpful in choosing the best place to stay in Singapore.

Singapore’s 9 Best Areas To Stay In

1. Orchard Road (black)

Orchard Road Map

Orchard Road map – Click here for a larger version

Why stay in the Orchard Road area?

To sum it up in one word, you would stay here for the shopping! Orchard Road is home to what is arguably the worlds best upscale shopping. Along the wide Orchard Road enormous modern shopping malls line both sides of the street and if you can’t find what you are looking for here, chances are you will not find it anywhere in the world. From luxury fashion clothing brand to camera shops, Orchard is a shoppers dream destination.

Orchard Road Singapore

Orchard Road is lined with huge shopping malls, a shoppers Mekka!

But there is more to Orchard than just shopping, venture into the smaller side streets and you will discover plenty of cool bars and restaurants and a more relaxed atmosphere. There are cinema multiplexes inside the shopping malls and plenty of restaurants and cafes for that shopping break. The many food courts are particularly good value for money.

Emerald Street Singapore

The beautiful Emerald Hill Road, a side street to Orchard Road

If you are a book lover such as us, then do not miss a visit to the branch of Kinokuniya Book Store inside the Ngee Ann City Mall. It is the worlds largest bookstore, and I have spent more hours than I care to admit digging for treasures there.

Just north of Orchard Road, you can escape the city´s hustle and bustle in the green lung Istana Park, where you will also find the President´s Residence.

MRT lines very well connect the area, and you are never very far from the nearest station making it easy to get around the rest of the city from here.

Things to see and do around Orchard Road

Shopping, shopping, and some more shopping, as well as eating, are the main things to do in the Orchard Road area. It indeed is a shopping mecca!

  • ION Orchard Mall – Singapore´s top-notch mega mall. Check out its observation deck, ION Sky, on level 56 with an amazing view over the city.
  • Emerald Hill Road – Go for a walk and admire these beautiful heritage architecture buildings. There are also some popular and cozy bars in the old renovated shophouses near Orchard Road.
  • Cathay Gallery – The perfect museum for us film nerds! Old movie posters, local Singapore film history, and cameras.
  • Istana Park
  • Check out the many food courts in Orchard Road area; almost all the malls have one in the basement selling cheap, freshly cooked food from all over the world. Our two favorite food courts in Orchard are:
    • Takashimaya Food Village – At B2 in Takashimaya Department Store
    •  Food Republic – At level 4 in Wisma Atria

What’s the catch?

It does get busy, particularly on the weekends and holidays, and while there are plenty of cinemas, the nightlife is otherwise a little limited.

The hotel’s prices here are on the higher end. There are not that many hostels and cheap hotels for budget travelers in Orchard Road.

Where to stay in the Orchard Road area

There are plenty of quality hotels from the top international hotel chains in this area.

Top End

Shangri-La Hotel
The luxurious Shangri-La Hotel has a perfect location at the west end of Orchard Road, right in the middle of all the amazing shopping opportunities Singapore has to offer. With its world-class friendly service, this hotel truly makes you feel like a queen or king.

The hotel has an incredible six hectares of tropical gardens with a swimming pool, a pond with a small waterfall, orchids galore, and plenty of palm trees. There are three different wings to choose from. If you stay in one of the rooms in the bungalow villa styled oasis Garden Wing, it is like staying at a resort. The Tower Wing has newly renovated rooms each with a unique theme. The American president chose to stay at Shangri-La during the recent summit with North Korea’s leader.
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Mid Range

Lloyd´s Inn
We liked Lloyd´s a lot, and it is a good value for the money (including breakfast at the famous cafe Killiney Kopitiam or a nearby bakery). Lloyd´s is an excellent and clean minimalistic boutique hotel that has a real Zen vibe to it. All 34 rooms have some elements of nature, our room had an outdoor shower which we loved! Some rooms have big windows and even a terrace out to a green and lush garden. And some rooms even have a bathtub outside! Super cool! It is worth paying an extra SDG 20= US$ 15 for a room with a view of the garden.

Swimming pool at Lloyd´s Inn Singapore

The nice dipping pool at Lloyd´s Inn

The rooms are chic like taken out of an Ikea catalog and have everything you need.

Garden at Lloyd´s Inn Singapore

Lovely garden at Lloyd´s Inn

Lloyd´s is, located in a quiet area, so even if our room were facing the street, there was no noise, and we could sleep well.

You can easily walk to both the shopping in Orchard Road, as well as the Quays area. It is also close to a street called Killiney Road lined with cozy and cheap restaurants, everything from delicious Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian. We had both breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this street.

The hotel has a lovely outdoor relaxing area in the garden with sunbeds, a hammock, and cool rotting chairs. There is also dipping pool in the backyard.

Every afternoon the receptionist delivered cookies to our room, a nice extra little touch. 🙂
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Hotel Jen Orchardgateway
Oh boy, what a swimming pool! It is huge and located on the rooftop of the hotel with an excellent view over Singapore. And it is open until 23:00, so its the perfect place to enjoy a drink or a swim under the stars. ♥ it! There is a lifeguard on duty by the pool, and there are three pools including a children’s pool.

The location of Jen Orchardgateway Hotel is perfect, inside (the reception is on the 10th floor) of the Orchard Gateway Mall on Orchard Rd which also houses the MRT Somerset Station which is very convenient. You can just take the elevator down, and you are in the middle of all the restaurants and shops that Orchard Gateway, Orchard Central, and 313 Somerset have to offer. Right behind the hotel is a street called Killiney Rd lined with cozy and cheap restaurants, everything from delicious Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian.

The rooms are big, comfortable and modern, and extremely quiet, we could not hear anything neither from our neighbors or the cleaning staff in the morning. Fast and free internet. And the hotel even has a robot (!), Jena, which deliver room service food, etc. 🙂
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Hotel Jen Tanglin
The Hotel Jen Tanglin is an entirely new hotel. The rooms are compact and well laid out and have a cool vibe and design. A nice feature is the free Android phone in the room that you can bring with you and use for city maps, free calls, and other apps. The robot room service after midnight is neat and efficient.

The hotel has a great spacious swimming pool, gym and health spa. It has a walkway via the 2nd floor to the Tanglin Mall for shops and a great cheap food hall.
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The Quincy Hotel
This boutique hotel is a smart and well worth the money option close to Orchard Road (7-8 minute walk away) located on a quiet street. It has a swimming pool on the 12th floor with great views.

There are plenty of free perks at this hotel which makes it a good deal, like free drinks between 18 and 20, a free mini bar in the room that gets filled every day, and a snack drawer with chips and cookies. There is a complimentary breakfast buffet, as well as lunch and dinner buffets with a small sampling of sandwiches and dishes. You also get a phone that you can use for free in Singapore, hand for those Google Maps and other travel apps. An extra plus is the free laundry item each day.
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Goodwood Park Hotel
Staying at this hotels feels like slipping back in time, although parts of the hotel are newly renovated. The hotel dates back to 1900 and has elegant, spacious rooms, some with a balcony. The rooms are tranquil so you can easily have a good night sleep here. It has a perfect location close to both the Orchard Road and the metro station.

There are two swimming pools located on the ground floor. The Goodwood Park Hotel is a good value for your money.
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2. Colonial / Historic District (green)

Colonial Ciciv District Singapore Map

Historical district map – Click here for a larger version

Why stay in the Colonial/ Historic area?

This is our favorite area to stay in Singapore as it is very central and in the middle of the other areas of Singapore. You can easily walk to the bars and restaurants in the Quay area and Marina Bay and the delicious street food in Bugis & Kampong Glam area or Little India, and get to Orchard Road with all the great shopping.

Victoria Memory Hall Singapore

The stunning Victoria Memory Hall with a statue of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in the front, the founder of Singapore

The area has lots of beautiful architectural masterpieces and is a lovely area to go for a stroll. You can do some running or walk in the great Fort Canning Park, and this is the area where you will find most of the museums in Singapore.

So if you love museums and history and want to be within walking distance to the nightlife in Quays and Marina Bay area, as well as quickly get to Orchard Road, Little India, and Bugis / Kampong Glam area, this is where you should stay.

Historic district Singapore

Plenty of beautiful old colonial buildings in the colonial/ historic area of Singapore

The area has several MRT stations and two lines (from City Hall Station) which makes it easy to get to all over the rest of Singapore.

Things to see and do in Colonial/ Historic District

What’s the catch?

It is not an area with much action, it is a quiet area especially in the evening after 22:00. The accommodations are quite expensive here, and you will not find that many budgets or hostels options in this area.

Top End

Hotel Fort Canning
This stunning luxury hotel used to be a British military headquarters, and the building (from 1910) is beautiful! Located on a hill, the green and lush Fort Canning Park surrounds the hotel. You can just step out the door of the hotel to go for a walk, run or just lay down in the park to relax.

The swimming pools are lovely, although we unfortunately only got a few hours by the pool as it started raining. They also have a great spa.

The best part about the room (which is stunning too) is the big bathtub which we loved! And the free flow of wine and canapes in the relaxing area by the lobby each afternoon (18 – 19) is pretty sweet too. 🙂

There is a little bit of walking to get to the MRT station Dhoby Ghaut and the restaurants and shops, but not far, only about a 5-10 min walk.
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Raffles Hotel
Singapore’s most famous hotel, the iconic Raffles Hotel, is currently closed for renovation. It reopens during autumn of 2018. With its beautiful white colonial building, lush green garden, and historic bar no other hotel can match its historical nostalgia. A lot of celebrities have stayed at this hotel, like Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and  Michael Jackson. This is as old school luxury as you can get. We look forward to the reopening when the Raffles Hotel shines again in all its glory!

Mid Range

Rendezvous Hotel
With an excellent location just opposite the road from the Bencoolen MRT Station and in a side street from the National Museum of Singapore, the Rendezvous Hotel turned out to be a positive surprise for us.

It is a grand old hotel which must have been amazing when it was new and in its prime time. Now it is a bit dated, but an excellent value for your money with big spacious and clean rooms, and big bathrooms. They have upgraded the TVs, so we had a big flatscreen Samsung TV in our room.

There are several restaurants and cafes, as well as a 7-Eleven, in the basement of the hotel and a Foodrepublic foodcourt with lots of excellent and cheap food just opposite the road, which is very convenient.

It is easy to get to and from the Rendezvous hotel to Changi Airport as bus no. 36 stops right outside the hotel. Although the Rendezvous Hotel is not the newest in town, it offers good value in a great location. It even has a small swimming pool in a lovely little garden on the 3rd floor, as well as a nice gym.
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Swissotel The Stamford
The Swissotel The Stamford has a perfect location next to the Raffles City Market (connected at level 3 of the hotel) with lots of eateries. The MRT is just a few steps from the hotel (in the same building). We took the MRT from the airport and paid only S$4 for the both of us, and it took half an hour. Great deal!

The Bar Rouge on the 71st floor has a fantastic view and serves delicious cocktails. The breakfast and lunch buffet at the Cafe Swiss is excellent.

Although the hotel is in the middle of everything, the rooms are very quiet. The free Nespresso and TWG tea in the room is a nice bonus, and most of the rooms have balconies. Ask to get one of the newly refurbished rooms. The swimming pool is fantastic too.
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3. Marina Bay (blue)

Marina Bay Map

Marina Bay map – Click here for a larger version

If you continue further east along the river from the Quay area, you will get to the booming, modern and futuristic Marina Bay.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore

The spectacular light and music show in front of Marina Bay Sands every evening at 20:00 and 21:00, also at 22:00 Fridays and Saturdays (it is free to attend)

It is home to some of Singapore’s biggest landmarks and attractions like Marina Bay Sands (the big skyscraper shaped as a gigantic ship), the Merlion Statue (a mythical creature created by the tourism board of Singapore in the 1980s, a half fish, half lion), Gardens by the Bay (a breathtaking futuristic botanic garden with Supertrees like taken out of the movie Avatar), and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (an architectural masterpiece with theater performances and concerts).

Merlion Singapore

The Merlion Statue – a mythical creature, half fish and half lion, created by the tourism board of Singapore in the 1980s

Marina Bay

The Marina Bay area

If you don´t plan to stay in this area, a visit here is a must! Make sure to be at Gardens by the Bay at 19:45 or 20:45 when the Supertrees glows up and perform a spectacular light and music show. Also, the 15 min light and music show in front of the Marina Bay Sands is amazing and well worth to see. It is played every evening at 20:00 and 21:00, and also at 22:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Why stay in the Marina Bay area?

The hotels in this area have a great view of the bay and the city. You will find some of Singapore’s biggest and most luxurious hotels in Marina Bay. It is a beautiful area overlooking the harbor. This area is quite central, and you can easily walk to many of the top attractions Singapore has to offer.

Gardens by the Bay

The spectacular Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay

Things to see and do in Marina Bay

  • Gardens By The Bay – The ultra cool “Avatar trees” park and futuristic botanic gardens
  • Marina Bay Sands – A hotel and gigantic shopping mall. Check out its SkyPark Observation Deck with the most awesome infinity pool (the pool can unfortunately only be used by guests staying at the hotel)
  • The Merlion Statue – A mythical creature created by the tourism board of Singapore in the 1980s, a half fish, half lion
  • Helix Bridge – Great view of the Singapore skyline
  • ArtScience Museum – Looks like a giant white lotus, this museum connects art, media, design, technology, and science. They had a Marvel Studios exhibition when we visited.
  • Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

What’s the catch?

Marina Bay is a costly area, everything from hotels, food, to activities is in the upper end of the money scale. There are no budget or even mid-range accommodation options here.

Top End

Marina Bay Sands
With its iconic shape of a ship and the fact that you can see it from all over Singapore, Marina Bay Sands must be Singapore’s most easily recognizable hotel. It has everything that one would expect from a 5-star accommodation. The rooms are nice and spacious and spotless, but it is the infinity pool that is the real star of this hotel. The view from this pool at the 54th floor is AMAZING!!

There are so much to do at this hotel that you don´t have to leave it, its got a huge mall with casino, water ride, several restaurants, a club, bar, yep, everything you need basically!  Staying at the Marina Bay Sands is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget.
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The Fullerton Bay Hotel
The Fullerton Bay Hotel offers pure luxury with a great location right by the river. The pool is terrific and the staff friendly and professional and always on hand with cool and wet face towels, iced water, lychee lollies, and chilled fruit.

Apart from the high price, this is very close to the perfect hotel. Everything from the lovely rainfall shower in the bathroom, to the bathrobes (I love hotel bathrobes!) which is the softest and fluffiest I have ever tried! The breakfast is superb ( try the pancakes!). A visit to the rooftop Lantern bar for a glass of champagne and a view of the Marina is a must!
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4. The Quays – Clarke, Robertson & Boat (turquoise)

The Quays Singapore Map

The Quays map – Click here for a larger version

Connected by the Singapore river and occupying roughly the are in-between the old Colonial District and the Central Business District lies Clark, Robertson and Boat Quay.

Once the heart of commercial trade along the river and an important trading station for ships coming into the harbor, the Quays gradually lost its importance, and by the late 80s, the area consisted of old abandoned warehouses.

Today, the area has transformed itself into an entertainment center with a myriad of bars, tourists shops, microbreweries, restaurants, and nightclubs lining the river on both sides, as well as the smaller side streets.

Why Stay around The Quays?

The Quays is the nightlife center of Singapore, so if you are looking to stay in an area with plenty of options for dining and late night partying then this is an excellent choice. A little tip is to explore the side streets to find the best restaurants.

Marina Bay and Chinatown are both within walking distance of the Quays. With the Clarke Quay and Fort Canning Park MRT stations nearby, it is easy to reach other parts of Singapore as well.

Things to see and do in The Quays area

  • Boat Quay – This is the closest area to the old harbor, and is declared a conservation area by the government of Singapore. It is packed with upscale bars (a bit touristy), shops and waterside restaurants.
  • Clarke Quay – The second colonial governor in Singapore was named Clarke and has given this area of the harbor its name. Being the most popular are of the Quay it has lots of slick bars, clubs, and restaurants.
  • Robertson Quay – This area of the harbor was once storage buildings, but now you will find bars and members-only party places here. It has a bit more sophisticated and calm vibe than the other two Quays, with more wining and dining places than party places.
  • Asian Civilisation Museum – Asia’s most comprehensive collection of Asian treasures, it is well worth a visit. They had an exhibition about Angkor in Cambodia when we visited, and it was fantastic!
  • Cavenagh Bridge – A Beautiful bridge that was made in Scotland and reassembled in Singapore in 1869

What’s the catch?

It’s fun for an evening out, but the menu-clutching touts that are continually trying to usher you into their riverside restaurants, and the over-the-top colorfully designed nightclubs can get a bit much. Not that many cultural attractions in this area.

Where to stay in the Quays

Top End

Fullerton Hotel
The Fullerton is widely regarded as Singapore’s most exclusive hotel. Located in an old building that used to be Singapore´s general post office, the Fullerton Hotel is a grand and majestic hotel that oozes classic 5-star luxury. The rooms are elegant and beautiful, but the real diamond at this hotel is the 25 m long terrace pool. The hotel has excellent views over the Marina Bay. The Italian rooftop restaurant and bar is well worth a visit even if you are not staying here. The views are amazing!
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Swissotel Merchant Court
Love the big swimming pool at the Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel in Clarke Quay. It even has a waterfall. The free mobile phone in our room was a nice touch; we could call back home and use for Google maps and so on. Close to MRT and within walking distance to both Chinatown and of course the Quay area.
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Mid Range

Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Although Park Hotel has Clarke Quay in its name, it is really located at Robertson Quay. Not that it matters much since all the Quays (Robertson, Clarke, and Boat) are located just next to each other along the riverside.

The hotel itself is a little dated, but it is one of the most affordable options in the Quays area as most hotels here are costly. The rooms are clean and have everything you need. The swimming pool is excellent, quite big and has lots of sunbeds. There is a full-service bar/ restaurant at the swimming pool where we ordered lunch and drinks. Overall we had a very comfortable stay at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, and we had a lovely view of the river from our room.
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Somerset Liang Court Singapore
Whereas most hotel rooms in Singapore are small, the Somerset Liang Court is an apartment-hotel perfect for families or more extended stays. The apartments are spacious and have a kitchenette and a washing machine. Fort Canning Park MRT station is just across the road, and the Liang Court shopping mall is just below the hotel. The pool is lovely too. Somerset is excellent value for the money.
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M Social 
The M Social Hotel has a great location only 5 minutes walk to the MRT and in a vibrant neighborhood with plenty of bars and restaurants around the hotel. It is within walking distance to both Orchard Road and Clark Quay. Lovely swimming pool and they even have a robot called Aura that makes you omelet and eggs at breakfast. 🙂  It is close to one of the hop-on/hop-off bus stops. WiFi is good with an average of 6.5 Mbps.
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Budget

BEAT. Capsules @ Boat Quay
Also called The Port by Quarters Hostel, this is a neat little hostel where you sleep in bunk beds almost like capsules. You get free wifi, free breakfast, there is aircon, and the best of all is the location – right at the marina and Boat Quay. It is right where the action is with plenty of restaurants and bars. Each guest gets a private locker, but have to share bathrooms. There are also female-only dorms. In your capsule, you get under-bed storage, a folding workstation, several power points, and a privacy screen that you can pull down. Great value for your money!
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5. Bugis & Kampong Glam (purple)

Bugis & Kampong Glam Map

Bugis & Kampong Glam map – Click here for larger version

Bugis and Kampong Glam also referred to as Arab Street, is a mix of the Islamic and hipster chic cafes and restaurants. It is the place to head to for third-wave cafes, cool boutiques, hip and trendy cafes and restaurants, and cool street arts.

The streets of Kampong Glam, especially Haji Lane, really comes alive at evenings with live music gigs and a bustling nightlife.

Bugis & Kampong Glam has lots of excellent restaurants, both Malaysian, Italian, Mexican, Vietnamese and Chinese, at all price ranges. So plenty to choose from, and Little India is just a short walk away.

Just north of Kampong Glam is the hip and cool street Jalan Besar where old architecture meets new hip, and cool hipster Singapore. This is an up-and-coming area part of the Lavender District. Head here for nice artisan cafes and coffee houses.

Why stay in the Bugis & Kampong Glam area?

Sultan Mosque Singapore

Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam

This area has some of the most beautiful boutique hotels in Singapore with a perfect mix of budget, mid-range, and top-notch luxury hotels.

If you are looking to save money and want to sleep and eat cheap, then you should stay in Bugis & Kampong Glam area, or if you enjoy nice, smart cafes and cool small shops. 🙂

The area has MRT Bugis Station and one of Singapore’s biggest bus terminals, the Queen Street Bus Terminal.

Things to see and do in Bugis & Kampong Glam

  • Sultan Mosque – Singapore’s largest mosque
  • Malay Heritage Centre Museum – This area was the seat of the royal family of Malaysia, back when Singapore was a part of Malaysia. The beautiful palace was built for the last sultan of Singapore and is now a museum.
  • Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Buddhist Temple
  • Bugis Street Market
  • Haji Lane – a tiny lane decorated with street murals and packed with cool small shops, restaurants, and cafes
  • The Projector cinema – one of Singapore few independent cinemas

What’s the catch?

A little bit far away from the center of the city (25 min by MRT to Orchard), and since it is popular in the evening, it can be a struggle getting a taxi.

Top End

Hotel Naumi
This beautiful small boutique hotel is filled with designer furniture and art from big international names making the hotel super chic. It has a lovely infinity pool on the rooftop and an excellent Indian restaurant, Table by Rang Mahal, on the ground floor by the lobby.

Free mini bar and coffee (Nespresso machine in the room) is a welcome bonus; the minibar is filled every day with juices, sodas, and water. The view from the top floor pool and bar “Cloud 9” is fantastic!

Naumi Hotel has a great location, close to shops, museums, MRT and Marina Bay area. The neighboring street, Purvis Street, has lots of nice restaurants at all price levels, we ate there many times and loved it! Check out the JTSN Mexican Restaurant and the Thai restaurant Jai Thai which were the two we particularly liked.

There is, however, a big BUT about the Naumi Hotel: It lays just next to the grand old Raffles Hotel that is under renovation and causes some noise especially at the swimming pool area at the rooftop. They say that the renovated Raffles Hotel will reopen around mid-2018, but it did not seem finished at all when we stayed at Naumi Hotel in June 2018.
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Andaz Singapore – a concept by Hyatt
A brand new hotel and a rising star! The rooms are enormous with impressive views of the city. The rooftop infinity pool at 25th floor is fantastic with breathtaking views. The mini bar with snacks and soft drinks are free. The hotel has several restaurants which all serve delicious food.
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Mid Range

Hotel G
This modern, fresh, and trendy hotel has a perfect location in the middle of Bugis with Bencoolen MRT station right around the corner. From Hotel G you can easily walk to the museum area, the shopping in Orchard Road, as well as Little India.

The standard rooms are a bit small, so we upgraded to a slightly bigger room to fit all our luggage, and our room size was good. The hotel is modern, chic and cool interior wise, and excellent value for the money..

It has two restaurants at ground floor, and if you are coming to the hotel with the MRT or bus, you must walk through one f the restaurants, the Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar, to get to the elevator and take it up to level 2 to get to the lobby. If you come by taxi as we did, the taxi drives through the parking center to level 2. We loved the 25 Degrees Burger & Liquor Bar, and ate there three times! 🙂 You HAVE to try their burgers!

The only drawback to this hotel, in our opinion, is that it does not have a swimming pool (there is a gym). Other than that we loved it!
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Hotel NuVe Heritage
Set in a lovely white old building, the Hotel NuVe Heritage hotel is just a 3min walk from City Hall MRT Station and a 5-min walk from Bugis MRT Station. So a very convenient location. The rooms are beautiful and come with complimentary minibar and dolce gusto coffee machine. And the rooms have a bathtub, yay! 🙂 Good value for your money, but the rooms are not the biggest and the breakfast choice, not the best so consider getting just the room with no breakfast included and eat at a nearby cafe instead.
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Budget

The Pod – Boutique Capsule Hostel
This modern hostel has dorm rooms that sleep around 11 people. It is clean, and you get a screen that you can roll down for privacy. You can choose between male/female only room or a mix. There are shared bathrooms with excellent showers with good hot water pressure. The free coffee machine, laundry service, and breakfast is a plus, as well as the free wifi.
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6. Chinatown (red)

chinatown map

Chinatown map – Click here for a larger version

Chinatown lays in the shadow of the ever expanding Business District with its tall skyscrapers packed with offices. The houses in Chinatown is must lower, more like three to four stories tall, and many of them have been beautifully preserved.

Chinese Temple Chinatown Singapore

The lovely Thian Hock Keng Temple in Chinatown

Although Chinatown has some nice and beautiful temples, it lacks the big attractions and sights, but the delicious food found in this part of the city is a big enough reason to both stay and at least visit this area of Singapore. You can find everything from cheap hawker food to top-notch fancy restaurants serving food from all over the world. Head to Ann Siang Rd and Club Street in the evening for a splendid meal and a drink or two at one of the many lovely rooftop bars.

Why stay in the Chinatown area?

If you stay in Chinatown, you are in the middle of the action with great eateries, pubs, bars, and nightlife. Lots of things to see by wandering the streets like several beautiful temples. Chinatown is the most authentic and atmospheric area with old Chinese medicine shops and hawker food places.

Plenty of different accommodation options to choose from, from high priced top end to budget hostels.

Chinatown is the perfect area to stay in for backpackers seeking cheap accommodation, business travelers working in the nearby Central Business District (CBD), and those who want to see cultural sights and the roots of Singapore.

Street art Chinatown Singapore

Stunning street art in Chinatown – Thian Hock Keng Mural By Yip Yew Chong

Several MRT stations (Chinatown Station, Telok Ayer Station, Outram Park Station, Tanjong Pagar Station, and Raffles Place Station) make this area a great place to stay in when it comes to getting around the city quickly.

Things to see and do in Chinatown

What’s the catch?

It can be a crowded and noisy area, especially in the evenings and weekends when lots of tourists head to Chinatown for the nightlife.

Top End

Parkroyal On Pickering
The Parkroyal On Pickering Hotel is the grandest hotel in Chinatown, with a very convenient location right beside the MRT Chinatown Station.

Even though it is a big 5-star hotel, it is Eco-friendly, and we loved the complimentary water in glass bottles (which were refilled every day) saving nature from even more plastic bottles. The pens in the room are made of bamboo, and there are lots of green plants and trees everywhere in and outside the hotel.

We were blown away by the fresh and earthy architecture of the hotel. The walkway to our room was open air, so cool! We also loved the infinity swimming pool with a fantastic view of Singapore and the beautiful hanging gardens at the hotel. There is also an excellent gym by the pool. The wifi is stable and fast. Their restaurant Lime serves excellent Asian and Western food, and the breakfast was the best we had in Singapore, it contains just everything you can imagine.

There is a mall next door with several excellent restaurants, bakeries, cafes, a supermarket, and shops. Can’t wait to revisit this hotel!
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Oasia Hotel Downtown by Far East Hospitality
Located just outside of Chinatown, Oasia Hotel is a relatively new hotel (opened in 2016) with a lovely architecture that stands out from far away with its plant arrangements on the facade. It has a great location next to the Tanjong Pagar MRT station, Maxwell Hawker Center, Chinatown, and downtown area. Room and pool are lovely.
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Mid Range

AMOY by Far East Hospitality
Ranked as no. Three on TripAdvisor after the posh luxury 5-star hotels the Fullerton Bay Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel, this is excellent value for your money. AMOY has a very unique location, where you walk through a historical Chinese temple to get to the hotel. It has a super cool design; everything inspired from old China like the custom-made opium beds.

Although it is a 4-star hotel, the bathrooms have rainfall shower (Espens favorite!), they have several western TV stations available as well as fast wifi. And a FREE minibar! Yay! 🙂 There are lots of bars and restaurants close to the hotel. There is a mobile phone in the room that you can bring with you containing maps, a web browser, overview of attractions and gives you the ability to make free calls locally.

The MRT Telok Ayer Station is located just over the road from the hotel, making getting around the city and to all the attractions a breeze. You can easily walk to the river and Boat and Clarke Quays.

The hotel sadly doesn´t have a swimming pool, but the rooms are super cool. You get free limo airport transportation(!) and breakfast at the neighboring cafe Dean and DeLuca.
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Budget

CUBE – Boutique Capsule Hotel @ Chinatown
The Cube is such good value! The dorms are new and modern with luxurious and comfortable beds, pillows and bedding. The dorm and cube are very clean, and so are the bathrooms. The bathrooms are big with toilet, sink, and shower in the same room, so you have lots of privacy and don´t have to change room to go to the toilet before showering. There is fast WiFi in the cubes and public areas. Excellent buffet breakfast is containing fried noodles, boiled eggs, toast and cut watermelon, coffee, tea, and water. All in all, this is a fantastic dorm/capsule hotel.
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Adler Hostel
The lobby at this charming hostel ooze of old Chinese history and is full of Chinese antiques. The dorms are air-con, have wifi, and comfortable beds with curtains that you can close for privacy. Everyone gets their private storage. They even have some king-size dorm beds for couples. Female-only dorms are available. Free water, tea, and coffee all day long. They have however stopped serving complimentary breakfast, but there are plenty of cozy cafes and restaurants nearby.
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7. Little India (yellow)

Little India Map

Little India map – Click here for a larger version

Little India is a lively, vibrant ethnic district located north of the Singapore River.

While the area is predominantly Indian, Mosques and churches stand side by side with Hindu temples and the posters for the latest Bollywood blockbusters.

Head to Serangoon Road to experience Little India’s colorful shops selling textiles, cheap fashions, spices, and bargain electronics. Spice racks on display fill the air with mouth-watering smells, and the eateries along Serangoon Road serve up a mix of Indian, Chinese and Arabian cousins. Whether you are looking for a tasty, cheap curry served on a banana leaf South Indian style or an upscale dining experience Little India rarely disappoints.

In the evening the streets fill up, the colorful street light come on, and Little India becomes a lively place popular with both locals and visitors. Little India is as close to India you are going to get without actually going to India.

Why stay in Little India?

Many of Singapore’s best guesthouses and hostels are found here making it a popular destination for budget travelers, but there are also some excellent mid-range boutique hotels available here.

Little India is the place to stay if you are looking for cheap accommodation options, and eating delicious Indian food.

Whereas parts of Singapore can feel a bit “sterile,” Little India is an excellent place to stay if you want to escape the modern shopping malls and experience Singapore’s ethnic roots.

Little India’s two MRT stations (Little India Station and Rochor Station) also make it a convenient base from which to explore the rest of the city, only 15 min to the city center.

Things to see and do in Little India

  • Tekka Centre – Explore the lively market stalls of Tekka Centre
  • Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple – Visit the colorful Hindu temple, Singapore’s oldest and most famous Hindu temple. There are several other temples in this area too
  • Eat, eat, and eat some more – Little India is a foodies dream destination!
  • Mustafa Centre – Little India’s landmark shopping center is old, packed and simply unmissable

What’s the catch?

Little India can get extremely packed and noisy, especially on Sunday evenings when all the Indian foreign workers have their day off. Nightlife is a little limited and ends early.

Top End

One Farrer Hotel & Spa
We were taken by surprise when entering the One Farrer Hotel for check-in as we had not expected this kind of big, modern, comfortable and posh hotel in Little India! We loved this hotel from the moment we stepped into the lobby, and it is such an excellent value for your money as it is cheap compared to other 5-star hotels in Singapore. The service is also fantastic.

One Farrer Hotel is located next to Farrer Park MRT station and is only a short walk from the big shopping center Mustafa Centre that is open 24/7 and is quite an experience. The hotel has a fantastic view over Singapore all the way to Marina Bay from the upper levels. The huge swimming pool on the 3rd floor is bliss with plenty of sunbeds and sitting groups as well as a bar and cafe with delicious hamburgers. The gym is huge, almost as big as a gym center, also located on the 3rd floor.

The mini bar in the room is free, yay! 🙂 We got a free room upgrade (don´t know why it was our lucky day I guess) and our club room was terrific. To conclude how we felt about our stay at the One Farrer: We did not want to leave!
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Mid Range

Wanderlust Boutique Hotel
The Wanderlust Boutique Hotel is an excellent value for your money. This little boutique hotel has super cool themed rooms. The rooms all have different sizes, designs and some have bathtubs. Their rooftop garden is a chilled area to relax in and has a Jacuzzi decorated with rainbow colored lightning and small elephants. The food at the ground floor restaurant is delicious, but there is also plenty of street food alternative around the hotel. You get a portable phone which will allow you to use Google map on your way around Singapore, very handy! The hotel is right around the corner from the Jalan Besar MRT station.
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Village Hotel Albert Court by Far East Hospitality
We stayed at this hotel for the first time in 2002, and have kept coming back over and over again since then.  It has a feel of the colonial-era over it, located in an old white shophouse. The rooms are basic but large, comfortable and classically decorated, with solid wooden furniture. Around the corner is our favorite Indian restaurant with the best Nan bread I have ever had.
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Budget

Dream Lodge Hostel
If you are looking for affordable hostel accommodation, then this is perfect – clean, tidy and quiet. The dorms have single and double beds for couples, all with a curtain for some privacy. You get a lockable locker that easily fits a backpack. There are plenty of (shared) bathrooms which are kept spotlessly clean. There is a kitchen area downstairs, and a supermarket close by, plus several cafes and restaurants. The closest MRT Station is about a 10-minute walk away.
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8. Tiong Bahru (brown)

Thiong Bahru Map

Thiong Bahru map – Click here for a larger version

Thiong Bahru, the area west of Chinatown and the Quay, consists of low-rising houses and was Singapore´s first public-housing area. Now the area has become trendy with lots of hip boutiques, cool bars, and cafes, and some of Singapore´s best bakeries selling delicious cakes and pastries.

Books Actually Singapore

Check out the super cool independent bookstore BooksActually.

Thiong Bahru´s art deco apartments are popular among expats from Europe, USA, and Australia. It also houses Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, an excellent market selling delicious street food upstairs.

Thiong Bahru Market Singapore

Thiong Bahru Market & Food Centre

Why stay in the Tiong Bahru area?

Tiong Bahru is a quiet but hip residential area, so stay here if you want to be a bit away from the touristy hustle and bustle. You will find lots of hip and relaxed cafes here, as well as several great bars and boutiques. It is perfect for longer stays.

The Tiong Baru is the area surrounding the MRT Station Tiong Bahru (the green East-West Line) and is only a three-stop away from Raffles Place (in the middle of the historic/ colonial area).

Things to see and do in Tiong Bahru

  • To Market, or Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre – Newly renovated (May 2017) this is a great place to indulge in delicious mouth-watering hawker food. Opening hours: 08:00 – very late. Wet market downstairs and hawker center upstairs. Check out the cozy cafe and bakery Tiong Bahru Bakery close to the market, with delicious small pastries by a Frenchman.
  • Books Actually – Being book buffs, we love this fresh and independent bookstore. Opening hours: 10:00 – 20:00 Tuesdays – Saturdays, to 18:00 on Mondays and Sundays.

What’s the catch?

There are not many sights of attractions in this area, so you will have to take the MRT, taxi or walk to get to the main attractions of Singapore.

Top End

Wangz Hotel
This super cool cylinder shaped boutique hotel consist of 41 rooms. The rooms are modern and nicely decorated. There is a free minibar in the rooms (refilled every day), and there is a rooftop bar and lounge where you can buy drinks and enjoy the view. This is also where the excellent breakfast is served, including eggs cooked to your preference and delicious croissants and pastries as well as cereal, yogurt, juices, coffees and hot and cold platters. If you want to try a traditional Singapore breakfast, check out Sam Yat (a few steps from the hotel) that serves kaya butter toast, soft boiled eggs, and kopi for S$4.50.

Wangz Hotel is just a short walking distance from the hip and trendy hipster hangouts Tiong Bahru with the excellent hawker market Tiong Bahru Market. You get a complimentary Handy-phone that you can take with you and use for local calls, maps and so on. From the hotel, there is only a 10-min walk (or take the free hotel shuttle) to MRT Outram Park Station where you can take the metro to anywhere in Singapore.
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Mid Range

Hotel Nostalgia
Hotel Nostalgia is a lovely and cozy little hotel. It has a small rooftop swimming pool where you can relax in the sun. It has a perfect location close to a lot of great cafes, one with a Michelin Star, and Tiong Bahru Market where you can have delicious hawker food and fresh fruits. The Tiong Bahru MRT Station is only a 5 min walk away. Excellent value for the money, although the rooms are a bit small.
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Budget

COO Bistro & Boutique Hostel
COO is a stylish and modern boutique hostel with a great location within walking distance to Tiong Bahru market and restaurants, cafes and Chinatown, and a 15-minutes walk from the Outram Park MRT Station. It is spotless and the bunk beds all come with a private built-in spacious locker with a digital lock. You also get a complimentary simple continental breakfast (all you can eat). The rooms have 6-8 beds, with a curtain you can close around your bed. The hostel has a lovely balcony, self-serve laundry, and several bathrooms.
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9. Sentosa Island (pink)

sentosa map

Sentosa Island map – Click here for a larger version

Sentosa Island is a favorite resort island just outside of downtown Singapore.

Beach Sentosa Island Singapore

Sentosa Island in Singapore

Developed as an entertainment center, the small island Sentosa is packed full of activities and experiences to keep you busy. There are two golf courses, a couple of Casinos, several theme parks including Universal Studios Singapore and SEA Aquarium, along with boardwalk cafes, restaurants, and a 2 km long human-made white sand beach. You will never have a dull moment at Sentosa!

You can quickly get to and from Sentosa with the cable car, the monorail Sentosa Express, or by walking over the nice pedestrian bridge (a 10 min walk), all from HarbourFront Station (purple North East Line and orange Circle Line).

Why stay on Sentosa Island?

If you want to combine Singapore’s big city sight-seeing with some beach time, then Sentosa is the place. The beach and all the entertainment offered here makes Sentosa popular among families traveling with children, as well as golfers (Yep, there is a golf track here).

You will find some top-notch resorts on Sentosa Island, and this is the perfect place to stay for families with kids.

Things to see and do on Sentosa Island

What’s the catch?

It’s a bit out of the way if you’re in Singapore to explore the city and its sights and attractions. You can’t exactly pop into your hotel room for a rest in-between excursions.

The entire island feels like a theme park made for tourists, and it lacks character. It gets busy at weekends and on public holidays with lots of queues and wait-time. There are only top end resorts on Sentosa, no budget or even mid-range accommodation options.

Top End

Capella Singapore
With two swimming pool set in a green and lush garden, the Capella Singapore is the perfect getaway luxury retreat to relax and unwind. You can even opt for the pool villa with a private pool. Everything about this hotel is just perfect. Located on the top of a little hill, Capella Hotel is surrounded by trees, flowers, and grass. You can´t see any other hotels or buildings, but you can catch a glimpse of Singapore on the horizon. The food, service, and atmosphere is fantastic! If you can bear to leave the hotel, the beach is just a five-minute walk away.
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Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa
This resort hotel is enormous with an even more gigantic swimming pool (with an adult only area) set in a lovely garden. The hotel also has a Kids Zone where the kids can play. This hotel is excellent for families! Ask for a sea view room which has a lovely balcony where you can sit, and enjoy the fantastic view. The cable car entrance is just next to the hotel and free buses run outside to get you around the island.
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Resorts World Sentosa – Beach Villas
The private villas here are just gorgeous! Love the private jacuzzi in front of each villa. The resort is located 8 minutes from the beach by foot and has a fantastic view over the sea. The pool is stunning, surrounded by green trees which gives you a jungle feeling. The Beach Villas are located within Resorts World Sentosa, which houses Universal Studios Singapore, the S.E.A. Aquarium, and Adventure Cove Waterpark. So everything is within a short walk.
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The End

There you have it, a guide to all our favorite areas and hotels in Singapore. Singapore is an expensive city, both when it comes to accommodation, food, and transport, especially when compared to its neighboring Asian countries, but worth it as it is a great city with lots to things to see and do!

Hopefully, you now know a little bit more about the city’s different areas and deciding where to stay in Singapore has become a little easier.

We plan on expanding and improving this guide continuously so; please let us know if you have any suggestions and tips in the comment area below. Thanks!

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Where to stay in Singapore     Where to stay in Singapore

Where to stay in Singapore     Where to stay in Singapore

Have you been to Singapore or are you planning on going there? What kind of hotels and area do you like to stay at? Do you have any tips on other hotels and areas that we should include in this where to stay in Singapore guide? Please leave a comment in the comment area below; we would love to hear from you! If you find this article useful, please share it on social media. Thanks a million! 🙂