Where to stay in Singapore - Best Areas And Hotels For 2023

Helping you find the best accommodation in Singapore. Here's the complete guide to the best areas to stay in Singapore with hotel recommendations.

Where to stay in Singapore - a view of the Marina Sand Bay at sunset

Singapore is one of the most popular destinations in Asia, known for its blend of cultures, delicious food, and stunning architecture. Singapore is also one of the most expensive destinations in the world, so whether you're planning a romantic itinerary, a family vacation, or a solo trip, finding the right accommodation can make or break your experience.

If you're not sure where to stay in Singapore, don't worry, in this complete accommodation guide, we'll give you an overview of the best areas to stay in Singapore, depending on your budget, interests, and travel style

Stay in the heart of the city and indulge in luxury hotels near Marina Bay which is the ideal location for first time visitors.

For culture and food you will want to stay in either Little India or Chinatown which offer a mix of culture and great food with plenty of shopping options for Singapore souvenirs. You'll find clean and great budget hotels.

Shoppers will want to stay as close as possible to Orchard Street, while museum and attraction lovers should aim for the Civic District.

As you can already tell, Singapore has plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets and travel styles. You can easily find 5-star luxury hotels here with exclusive clubrooms, as well as guest houses, budget hotels and affordable hostels.

The best part? All areas in Singapore are within easy reach thanks to the city's efficient and affordable public transportation system, including metro stations located just a short walk away from hotels. Let me help you find the perfect place to stay in Singapore that fits your unique travel needs.

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Where to stay in Singapore Summary
❤️ Best Area for first-timers: Marina Bay
💎 Best luxury 5* hotel: Marina Bay Sands
🏨 Best mid-range hotel: Riverside Hotel Robertson Quay
🛏️ Best budget hotel: Dream Lodge

Tips for selecting the best accommodation in Singapore

Choosing where to stay in Singapore is easy from the perspective that you are just a few metro stations away from all main attractions. Compared to other cities in Southeast Asia, Singapore is on the pricier end, but you will be able to find a range of accommodation options to suit your budget. There are exclusive luxury hotels in Singapore, but also mid-range luxury hotels which offer preferential clubroom options with drinks and afternoon tea included.

For affordable hotels and budget travellers, popular choices include Chinatown and the iconic Bugis area which offer vastly different experiences in terms of cuisine and architecture, with the nearby Arab street and Haji lane being particular favourites.

Cory enjoying Beautiful views of the skytree in Singapore

If you're looking for a tropical escape, there's no better option than Sentosa island, a resort-style space with panoramic views, beautiful beaches, and enough activities and theme parks to keep you and your family busy.

Marina Bay and Orchard Road are the pinnacles of modern Singapore with fine dining, luxury malls, and the tourist attractions that make this city so iconic. Stay here for the most inviting boutique hotels. Business travellers will stay close to Raffles Place, which forms the nucleus of Singapore’s Financial District (also referred to as the CBD, or Central Business District), located south of the mouth of the Singapore River.

With so many attractions in Singapore, it's easy to see why this island city-state attracts countless tourists eager to enjoy great accommodation, superb food and awesome weather.

Marina Bay, best place to stay in Singapore as a first timer

Marina Bay Sands Singapore itinerary

For first-time visitors to Singapore, Marina Bay is the ideal place to stay. It boasts close proximity to all the main attractions, the best shopping malls, and quick access to public transport. Many of the best luxury hotels are located here, and it's easy to see why. While hotel prices may be on the higher side, the rewards are plentiful. The Marina Bay Sands complex, Michelin Star restaurants, hawker centres and top attractions like Gardens by the Bay and the Merlion, are all just a few steps away.

Staying in Marina Bay provides an unforgettable experience, with the iconic Singapore skyline surrounding you. You'll have easy access to luxury dining options and swanky bars. For instance, you can visit the Sky Park Observation Deck, located right next to the world's largest infinity pool. Each night, you can also enjoy spectacular light and laser shows held at Gardens of the Bay and Marina Bay Sands.

Aside from its luxurious offerings, Marina Bay is also perfectly located for visiting the main tourist attractions in Singapore, such as the Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, and the Merlion statue. The light show on the bay is breathtaking, and overlooking this area provides a nightly spectacle of light and music. You can even take a leisurely walk to the buzzing nightlife hub of Clarke Quay or easily access the central Civic District, where most of the city's museums are located.

One of the most iconic hotels in the world, Marina Bay Sands, can be found in this area. Celebrities flock to Singapore to stay at the hotel, making it the swankiest and most glitzy place to be. You'll enjoy complimentary breakfast and incredible views over the city, but it does come at a cost. Surrounding the hotel are some of the best luxury hotels and world-class restaurants, making it the perfect place to splurge. Marina Bay is the best place to stay in Singapore for first-time visitors, as you'll get to take in all the wonders the city has to offer.

Best places to stay in Marina Bay

Orchard Road, the best area to stay for shopping

Singapore Orchard Road

If you're looking for a world-class shopping experience in Singapore, you can't beat staying near Orchard Road. This area has some of the best shopping malls in Southeast Asia, with a vast selection of attractive shops to explore. There are plenty of affordable luxury hotels, as well as stunning boutique hotels that cater to various budgets.

Once you set foot on Orchard Road, you'll know you've arrived at shopping paradise. With its charming boutiques, gorgeous malls, and cinema plexes, there's no place quite like it in the world. Along the side streets, you'll also find plenty of restaurants and coffee shops to keep you fuelled as you explore the miles of shopping options available.

The ION Orchard Mall is the crown jewel of this road, complete with an incredible view over the city from its 56th-floor observation deck. For a cultural fix, check out the Cathay Gallery, where you can delve into Singaporean history, old film posters, and cameras. With so much to see and do right at your doorstep, it's no surprise that this is a popular area to stay in Singapore for shopping enthusiasts.

Orchard Road is a very busy area, hence best suited for the energetic visitor who wants to be on the go at all times. If shopping is your idea of relaxation, then you'll love staying here. You'll mostly find luxury hotels here, with very few mid-range options and almost no budget hostels.

To save money, head to some of the food stalls located in the malls for delicious bites and bubble tea. After dark, Orchard Road is mostly a cinema and restaurant area in terms of entertainment.

Best places to Stay In Orchard Road

Clarke Quay, best area to stay in Singapore for nightlife

Singapore River Cruise

As a night owl seeking a vibrant and exciting experience of Singapore after dark, Clarke Quay is the perfect place to stay. This central location is home to many cocktail bars, fun clubs, and glamorous establishments, making it a great spot for modern nightlife. You'll be within walking distance of the Singapore River, the Singapore city gallery, and the National Museum, all while being just a stone's throw away from the bustling central business district.

If you're looking to dance the night away, Clarke Quay is party central, home to Singapore's most famous nightclubs, bars, and microbreweries. And if you're a foodie, you're in luck - this area has a surprising number of dining options, including Balinese, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Vietnamese cuisine, with happy hour and lunch deals for budget-friendly options.

Michelin star restaurant as part of a great Singapore itinerare

Clarke Quay is also a perfect location to visit tourist spots near Marina Bay, and to enjoy river cruises or take a river taxi on the Singapore River. And with Zouk, a Southeast Asian and US nightclub institution, located in Clarke Quay, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience.

While you won't find many budget hotels in the area, there are some affordable luxury and mid-range hotels available. However, as a rather touristy area, it can get crowded at night, so keep that in mind.

Best places To Stay In Clarke Quay

Sentosa, best area to stay for families

Sentosa island Singapore itinerary

Sentosa island is a popular resort which offers plenty of options for both mid-range and luxury family hotels, as well as a range of exciting activities to keep the whole family entertained. From world-renowned attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and the SEA Aquarium, to relaxing beaches and golf courses, Sentosa Island has everything you need to entertain your family. And if you're looking to save money on attractions, be sure to book your tickets to Universal Studios in advance.

With its stunning beaches and world-class attractions, Sentosa Island is the perfect destination for families seeking a resort-style holiday. And while the island may be a bit of a distance from the mainland, there's plenty to see and do here without venturing beyond the island's borders. Your family hotel will be conveniently located near all the major attractions, including Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, and Resorts World Sentosa. There are so many theme parks and rides to enjoy and to get to Sentosa island you'll need to get an exciting cable car that takes you above water and treetops and even through a building.

Sentosa Island is a great place to stay in Singapore if you want access to the best beaches or to the S.E.A. Aquarium, one of the biggest oceanariums in the world. There are plenty of luxury hotels here but you'll be able to find mid-range hotels as well for you and your family.

While Sentosa Island may not offer the most authentic Singaporean cuisine, it does provide a range of high-quality dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. And with its resort-like atmosphere and abundance of family-friendly activities, you're sure to have a fun and memorable holiday here. Just be sure to pack your swimsuit and sunscreen!

Best places To Stay In Sentosa

Chinatown, best place to stay for Culture And Food

Chinatown streets in Singapore

If you're a budget traveller who wants to experience Singapore's authentic food and souvenir stalls, then Chinatown is the perfect location for you. The area is lively, bustling, and full of energy, providing a taste of old-fashioned Singapore. You'll be close to Chinatown and Outram Park stations, making it easy to access other attractions in the city.

Chinatown is renowned for its Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, as well as the Chinatown Heritage Center, a museum that showcases Chinese culture in Singapore. However, it's the area's street food scene that attracts the most visitors, with plenty of stalls selling delicious food that every foodie traveller should try. You can also explore many shops and authentic tea houses, making it an ideal place for food lovers.

As a busy and vibrant district, Chinatown is a significant tourist hub in Singapore, making it an excellent place for buying souvenirs. There are plenty of unique shops, including a Tintin store next to traditional Chinese medicine shops. If you enjoy temples, colourful shop-houses, affordable food, and want to be in the heart of the backpacker community, then Chinatown is the place to stay, as you'll find many budget hotels in the area.

The night markets are another major attraction, and Chinatown is within walking distance of the iconic Raffles Hotel and Clarke Quay, so the fun doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down. However, one of the main disadvantages of Chinatown is that it's a popular tourist spot, so it can get crowded at times. Nevertheless, this is also part of its charm, making it a lively district that is enjoyable throughout your stay in Singapore.

Best places To Stay In Chinatown

Little India, where to stay in Singapore for Indian culture

Little India in Singapore

If you're looking for an immersive Indian cultural experience, a vibrant atmosphere, and delicious food, Little India is the perfect area for you to stay in Singapore. This neighbourhood is a colourful and authentic cultural enclave where you can find the perfect budget hotel or boutique hotels bursting with vibrancy and joy.

Little India is a foodie's paradise, and you'll be spoiled for choice with the vast array of authentic Indian restaurants to choose from at reasonable prices. Little India is also steeped in tradition and history, with beautiful temples like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple to explore, as well as the Mustafa Centre for bargain shopping. You can take a short walk to the nearby Bugis area, which is home to several museums and historical sites.

While the area can get quite crowded during holidays and festivals, Little India is an excellent choice for backpackers looking for a budget hotel. You should expect traditional architecture rather than luxury skyscrapers in the area. There is a wealth of accommodation options in Little India, but you'll main find guest houses, budget hotels and some mid-range options. Don't expect luxury here.

If you stay in Little India, I recommend that you select a hotel close to the Farrer Park MRT Station to ensure quick and easy access to other areas and attractions around Singapore.

Best places To Stay In Little India

Bugis & Kampong Glam, the best place to stay for art lovers

Woman on bike discovering Singapore itinerary

Travellers looking for a vibrant, youthful atmosphere with great vegan food and trendy shops, Bugis & Kampong Glam is the place to stay in Singapore. This area is perfect for mid-range travellers seeking affordable luxury or mid-range hotels.

You'll be amazed by the 19th-century shophouses that have been transformed into textile shops and restaurants. Make sure to visit the Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre for a glimpse into the area's history.

Bugis & Kampong Glam is a neighbourhood of contrasts, blending seamlessly together to offer a unique experience. Kampong Glam, also known as the 'Arab Quarter,' is a dream come true for those who love bazaars and Middle Eastern cuisine, with a mix of street food and sit-down restaurants. The famous Haji Lane, a favourite among hipsters, offers an array of boutiques, vintage stores, music bars, vegan restaurants, hip cafés, and juice bars. Kampong Glam's youthful vibe is highly addictive, and you'll be able to spot the Sultan Mosque from this area.

On the other hand, Bugis is full of malls, a popular street market, and luxury dining options, complementing the more traditional Kampong Glam. This area is also walking distance from Little India, offering the best of both worlds.

However, Bugis & Kampong Glam is a bit further from the tourist spots of Singapore, meaning you may find yourself on the MRT more than expected, especially if you're planning to explore Marina Bay. Taxis are also fewer, especially at night, and the nightlife scene around Kampong Glam is small. While this area is fantastic for all-around travellers, it's not the best choice for those seeking the most luxurious hotels.

Best places To Stay In Bugis & Kampong Glam

Civic District, best area for history and museums

Cory enjoying the courtyard at Raffles Singapore

The Civic District is the perfect spot for museum and art gallery enthusiasts, as well as those who enjoy high-end shopping and dining. The area is packed with historical and cultural gems, such as the National Museum, and is also home to luxury accommodation and boutique hotels.

Enjoy easy access to Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, and Marina Bay Sands, as most attractions are within walking distance of your hotel. You can easily get around the city using the main bus routes and MRT lines, and take in the wide streets, large green spaces, and architecturally impressive buildings that the Civic District has to offer.

However, be aware that the Civic District is not particularly budget-friendly, and dining options tend to be more upscale. If you're a foodie looking for traditional eats, you may want to explore other parts of the city. But, if you're looking for a central location and great transportation links, the Civic District is a perfect choice for your stay in Singapore.

Don't miss enjoying a gorgeous afternoon tea at Raffles Singapore. It is one of the top hotel recommendations to stay in Singapore, as it is considered an institution full of history, where many celebrities and notable figures came to stay throughout the years.

Best places To Stay In Civic District

Great, you know now where to stay in Singapore and which of the best hotels to pick to suit your budget and travel interests. You're going to love Singapore so much, and come back with the best memories. Have fun and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which part of Singapore is best to stay?

    For most first time visitors, the Marina Bay Area is the best place to stay as it is close to most attractions and the public transport is outstanding.

  • Is 3 days enough to visit Singapore?

    For a first timer, 3 days in Singapore is just about enough time to visit the main highlights, see top attractions, shop in Orchard Road and enjoy fantastic food at hawker centres.

  • What is the safest area to stay in Singapore?

    The safest area in Singapore is the modern Marina Bay Area. Singapore is one of the safest and cleanest cities in the world, with a very low crime rate. Both citizens and visitors feel safe in Singapore.

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This was a really interesting post, thanks for sharing your travel experience.