Where To Stay In Singapore: The Ultimate Guide

published by Bren

Last updated: December 13, 2023

Singapore is a gem.

It’s easy to get around, cheap flights in and out every day, and the food is some of the best in the world (seriously, I spent 80% of my time eating).

I’d say this is one of the best countries to visit as a family – endless activities, no need to worry about scams or traveller’s diarrhoea, and most tourist attractions are kid-friendly too.

Not to mention – this might be the safest destination on the planet. No exaggeration – it’s not uncommon to see expensive bikes just left outside stores with no padlock. People often leave their phones on the tables at restaurants when they go to the bathroom. Crime here is punished with a severe stick, so it almost never happens. If safety is at the top of your list for a family vacation, this is the spot.

It’s also great no matter what you’re looking for. Family vacation, great, but even as a solo backpacker or a few friends looking for a party, I believe you’ll find it hugely fulfilling too. 

The question is, where to stay in Singapore?

As small as the country is, it’s divided into some pretty unique neighbourhoods, all with their own quirks and attractions. Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered. 

Map of Singapore

Singapore is incredibly small and easy to navigate around, and its public transport system is a dream compared to many Asian cities.

This means the question of where to stay in Singapore is not a huuuge decision, as you can visit all other areas of the country pretty easily anyway.

However, it’s always nice to have things you like on your doorstep, and especially in the Singapore heat there will be days you don’t want to venture too far anyway.

Below I’ve broken down the eight main areas in Singapore that are top choices for visitors. I’ll give you a brief run-down on what to expect from each, plus some accommodation options to suit every style and budget.

I’ve suggested a few different accommodation options for each of these main areas, with something to suit every budget.

1. Marina Bay

Let’s kick this off with one of Singapore’s most famous areas – Marina Bay.

You’ll probably be familiar with the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which is even more stunning in real life. Don’t worry, there are a lot of cheaper, more basic places to stay! This area of town is super fancy, packed with luxe hotels and shiny floors.

It’s popular among tourists for several reasons, the main one being The Gardens by The Bay. For anyone unfamiliar, this is a little wonderland of tropical plants, towering structures and an amazing atmosphere.

This haven is a complete contrast to the strips of skyscrapers and expensive bars and restaurants that line the water.

If you like your cities buzzing with the finer things in life, this is the area for you. Couples will enjoy the expansive dining options and the sight-seeing that there is to do here.

Marina Bay, Singapore Accommodation

There are lots of shopping opportunities here, as well as great nightlife and fantastic food.

Some of Marina Bay is a world away from other Asian cities, like hectic Bangkok, and it can take some time to adjust.

If you look closely, however, you’ll find little local food places tucked down side streets, and canteens packed with locals enjoying ‘Kaya Toast’ – delicious coconut butter sandwiched between bread and topped with pandan or eggs.

Where to stay in Marina Bay?

Pan Pacific Singapore is the ideal spot for anyone after a slice of luxury!

This hotel is perfectly located in the centre of Marina Bay, meaning that you’re a stone’s throw from the main attractions, restaurants and bars. The rooms here are designed with comfort in mind, but are also very sleek. Relax by the outdoor pool and wind down in style.

Get the best rate here.

For the backpackers and budget travellers – there aren’t many cheap options available in this area! If you’re on a budget, try staying just outside Marina Bay in nearby Orchard Road, or maybe the CBD. Some suggestions below – keep reading!

2. Orchard Road

The ideal location for anyone who enjoys shopping, Orchard Road is home to a variety of accommodation options.

Picture a long street, stretched out with malls, cafes and a whole lot of tourists.

I loved this area for its friendliness and familiarity! Arriving in a new place can be overwhelming and, although you want to embrace the local culture, you sometimes need to camp out in a Starbucks for an hour.

Orchard Road, Singapore accommodation

Orchard Road is packed with local boutiques, international chains and fine dining spots.

This area of Singapore is bigger than it looks, so wear comfy shoes and spend the day hunting down bargains. It’s very easy to reach from most other areas of Singapore, so you can still take a day-trip here if you choose to stay elsewhere. There are small patches of greenery along this strip of retail heaven if you need a break.

If you’re travelling as a family, this is an ideal spot! There’s plenty of child-friendly entertainment, huge air-conditioned malls if you need a breather from the heat and all the comforts of home if you’re struggling. This area isn’t really angled towards solo travellers as the main activity is shopping, but it’s still a fun place to enjoy.

Where to stay in Orchard Road?

For the budget traveller

Lloyd’s Inn is the perfect place for anyone wishing to explore Orchard Road.

Its location is ideal, and the inn itself is very stylish. It feels more like a quirky Aribnb than a budget hotel. Forget grungy dorms and cluttered rooms – this place is all about minimalism! The space is nice and quiet, so is better suited to couples or friends travelling together. If you like clean lines, a European-vibe and calm garden areas, head here.

Best rates here.

For the high roller

Stay at the Goodwood Park Hotel.

Set in an old colonial style building with mega-spacious rooms, this might be the nicest hotel in the Orchard Road area. The pool is huge, making it the perfect place to come back to after a day of shopping! Goodwood is located near to Orchard Road without being in the busy, noisy nearby area. You get the best of both worlds with this luxe gem.

Best rates here.

3. Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is one of the best places to visit if you’re after something a bit lively. This is Singapore’s hub of nightlife, late-night dining and great music.

The docks here are packed with mismatched buildings that have been redeveloped as trendy bars and clubs. The architecture itself is beautiful, and you can easily spend a whole day just wandering around the Riverside area.

There are some beautiful, quiet areas if you want to get away from the thrum of the city. Make your way up to the nearby For Canning Park and take in the incredible views. Spend the evenings immersing yourself in its nightlife and fun atmosphere.

Clarke Quay Bars

If you fancy a night out, work your way around quirky old buildings, bar-hopping and making the most of the buzz.  This tends to be a pretty touristy area, but that’s definitely not a bad thing!

Solo travellers are pretty much guaranteed a good stay here, as there are plenty of places to meet new people.

Where to stay in Clarke Quay?

For the backpacker

River City Inn is great for any travellers who want a dorm room without having to lower their standards.

The rooms come in a variety of sizes, and are all nicely decorated and homely. If you’re planning to stay around the Clarke Quay area, this hostel is in the perfect location for you!

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller

Champion Hotel City is a great choice for anyone travelling through Singapore on a budget.

This hotel is just the right level of chic without breaking the bank. If you fancy being close to Clarke Quay, book a stay here and relax into a blend of relaxation and excitement. Quirky decor and a rooftop views await you!

Best rates here.

For the high roller

Stay at Park Regis Singapore. This hotel is one of the most well-known on the island and offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury, and is an ideal location for those wanting to explore nearby Riverside. Bag yourself a spacious room with amazing views, a huge swimming pool and impeccable customer service.

Best rates here.

4. The CBD

The Central Business District (CBD) is one of the cooler places to stay in Singapore, and is packed with expats and 20-somethings living abroad. While ‘the CBD’ technically covers many areas of Singapore, it’s mainly used to refer to the central zone just south of the river. It is often referred to simply as ‘The City’, due to the buzz of business and activity going on here.

This area of Singapore is home to dazzling skyscrapers, hawker-food markets and amazing little cocktail bars. Grabbing a Singapore Sling at Raffles Bar is something well worth adding to your travel-checklist – when in Rome, after all…

CBD Singapore, Singapore accommodation

There are some little parts of this region that are total contradictions of themselves – tiny, colonial-era buildings squeezed next to huge, shimmering towers of commerce. You’ll be walking between mirrored shards of banks and businesses when a temple will randomly pop up. I love Singapore for its order, as well as its ability to surprise.

The CBD is great for couples and group travellers, but it can be a little tricky to meet new people if you’re travelling alone. Those travelling with young children may feel a little out of place in the business-zone of Singapore, despite being very much welcome. Foodies will love the huge outdoor canteens and cheap food options!

Where to stay in Singapore CBD?

For the backpacker

Wink @ McCallum Street is a good choice. It’s slightly closer to the Chinatown side, but is still in a great location for anyone wanting to visit the CBD. You’re close to some amazing foodie havens, and the hostel itself is a lovely place to hang out. Stay here as a solo traveller and find plenty of new friends.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller

ST Signature Tanjong Pagar is within walking distance of the CBD area in Singapore, and offers everything a traveller could dream of. Clean rooms, friendly staff and great WiFi! This is a great place for anyone new to the world of hostels, as the rooms are all welcoming and spacious.

Best rates here.

For the high roller

 The Fullerton Hotel offers the best of the best.

Imagine stunning views across The City, a ginormous pool to relax in alongside the hub of sky-rises and, incredibly, an indoor pool surrounding the lobby steps – with Koi Carp in it. See what I mean?! The best of the best.

Best rates here.

5. Chinatown

As with most countries, Chinatown is one of the cheaper and quirkier places to stay. It’s within a short distance from other touristy areas (although, everything in Singapore is!) and is packed full of things to do. I loved this area for its eclectic mix of architecture – it’s both old and new; traditional and modern.

There are lots of temples here that you can visit, often cornering streets of colourful-but-weathered buildings and newer coffee shops. Temple Street is the main section of Chinatown, and is lined with beautiful architecture and historic sites merged with modern attractions. Kitschy cafes make the perfect people-watching spots. 

Chinatown Singapore, Singapore accommodation

This is a fantastic area to visit and stay if you have small children – there is always something new to distract yourself with, and simply walking around becomes a fun activity in itself. If you’re travelling alone, take your time exploring the various sites of worship, from Buddhist temples to mosques.

Where to stay in Chinatown?

For the backpacker

The Bohemian is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to meet people without splashing the cash.

It’s near to public transport links, meaning you can easily zip your way around if you’re on a bit of a tight schedule. The dorms are roomy and light, and there’s great WiFi connection throughout the hostel. This is a great accommodation choice for solo travellers.

Best rates here.

For the budget traveller

Stay at Galaxy Pods.

This is a pod/capsule hotel with a fun design, it will feel like you’re sleeping in a spaceship. Perfectly located if you’re wanting to spend time (eating, of course!) in Chinatown, and don’t have a huge budget.

Best rates here.

For the high roller

Stay at PARKROYAL Collection.

This is one of a series of luxury hotels in Singapore, with this particular location designed like something out of Avatar.

A beautifully designed green building with a futuristic touch, the services and quality of this hotel are second to none. It has an entire wellness floor with gyms and pools, a garden walk above the city, and a fantastic Asian restuarant to serve you any time of day. Decadence mixed with style – you won’t be disappointed.

Best rates here.

6. Little India

Little India Singapore, Singapore accommodation

Little India is normally one of the first places I head to in a new city. The food, for one, is incredible. But I also love the general vibe of colour and fun and celebration that these areas bring. Singapore’s Little India is no different – streets lined with vibrant buildings, steam clouds scented with all the spices you can imagine and constant smiles.

This is the perfect area to stay for any type of traveller. Solo adventurers will find friendliness on every corner; children will be entertained by the endless lights and  lanterns. This area of Singapore can feel a little bit touristy, but the food is delicious and authentic. Spend your days here wandering around street markets, ducking in and out of temples and indulging in chai tea.

Where to stay in Little India?

For the backpacker

Little India is a fun and friendly place to visit, and 7 Wonders is a great spot to keep you in the centre of the action. offers just that in their hostel. The beds are comfy, you’re in an amazing location and the price is very reasonable! There are lockers to ensure security, and a nice chill-out area to meet other travellers. Best rates here.

For the high roller

One Farrer Hotel and Spa is right in the mix, but is a world away from the busy streets and lovable mayhem of Little India. If you like huge pools, in-house spa treatments and marble floors, this is the place for you. Every little detail has been carefully thought through, making this a beautiful place to escape and relax, while still immersing yourself in all that Singapore has to offer. Best rates here.

7. Sentosa Island

This little island is nestled just off the southern tip of Singapore. While Singapore isn’t usually viewed as a beach getaway, this island is perfect for lazy days. Hop across from mainland on a boat, or take the cable car over and enjoy the amazing views.

Panorama of Sentosa Island, Singapore accommodation

This island is the perfect place for anyone seeking a bit more fun! Spend your days here at the Butterfly and Insect Kingdom, SEA Aquarium and Universal Studios Singapore. There’s a small entrance fee to the island, so go for a long weekend and make the most of it.

Sentosa Island is great for families with small children, as there are plenty of attractions. The beaches here also make a lovely place to hang out and relax, making this an ideal destination for any sun-seeking couples. Nip over after a stay in the nearby CBD of mainland and wind down…

Where to stay on Sentosa Island?

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort is the best place for anyone looking to live in luxury on this Singaporean island.

Opt for your own private pool for those days when you can’t quite be bothered to walk to the nearby beach. This 5-star resort offers the best of everything, so get ready for a whole lot of pampering at their in-house spa.

Best rates here.

Budget travellers: Sentosa isn’t a great option for those on a budget. Try stay in one of the other areas and make Sentosa a day trip.

8. Arab Quarter

Another lovely gem in Singapore’s rich cultural tapestry, the Muslim quarter is a great place to visit. Packed with local charm and quirky buildings, the Arab Quarter is the place to visit for great food. Any European will be overwhelmed by the choice of cafes and hipster brunch spots – cafe culture here is way bigger than many areas of Asia.

Get some clothes tailor-made and explore the fabric stalls. This is a wonderful place for anyone into textiles and art! It’s full of boutiques and corner shops crammed with hidden treasures. Head here as a solo traveller and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, taking in the sights, smells and beautiful sounds from local mosques. If you’re wondering where to stay in Singapore for a bit of hipster love, this is the spot.

Arab Street, Singapore accommodation

This is a fantastic place to take small children, or travel alone. Hostels are available, but there are also world-class hotel resorts for those who enjoy the finer things in life. It’s also known as Bugis neighbourhood and has great transport links to other areas of Singapore.

Where to stay in the Arab Quarter?

For the backpacker

Backpackers who are tight on money should book a stay at Bluewater Pods. It’s a short walk from Arab Street so you’ll be in a great location to explore, with lots of nice cafes and restaurants nearby. The decor is bright and cheerful, which makes a nice change from gloomy dorms! Best rates here.

For the high roller

Stay at Andaz by Hyatt Singapore.

This hotel is everything you’d expect from a top-end 5-star hotel – spotless, sleek and classy. With a great on-site restaurant and nearby eateries to enjoy, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The rooms are BIG and light, giving you an amazing view of all that Singapore has to offer. Not to mention the huge pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and just a few minutes from the buzz of the Arab Quarter.

You won’t be disappointed. Best rates here.

Enjoy Singapore!


Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, Featured Image

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