Singapore Central Business district - Where to stay in Singapore

Where to Stay in Singapore (Inexpensive and Close to Attractions)

In Singapore, Travel Tips by Una BaufalaLeave a Comment

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Finding accommodation abroad nowadays is easy. Just open any of the online travel booking platforms, such as Booking, Agoda, Airbnb, HostelWorld, and make a booking. Pay at the accommodation or with your credit card. But, question is, where to stay? Which area is the best? If you’re currently planning a trip to Singapore, then this article is for you. Because here I’m gonna answer the question – where to stay in Singapore. Location of your hotel or hostel matters. It can make or break your trip.

Singapore is a tiny country a size of a city. It’s about 2/3 the size of New York, and approximately the size of Hamburg.

Yes, it’s not big and it’s easy to get around Singapore but still there are better and more easily accessible neighbourhoods for tourists, especially if you are coming only for a day or two.

Where to Stay in Singapore – Best Neighbourhoods

1. Overall Best Place to Stay in Singapore – Clarke Quay & Riverside

Clare Quay and the Riverside, Singapore

Clarke Quay and surrounding Riverside, also nearby Boat Quay, is an area in Central Singapore. It’s very close to main tourist hot spots, and is home to waterfront bars and excellent multi-cultural restaurants. This is why it’s the best area to stay in Singapore!

Clarke Quay also is a popular nightlife spot in Singapore.

Pros:

  • Location – very central;
  • Close to all main attractions of Singapore, close to Marina Bay and Central Business district;
  • Good for nightlife;
  • Easy metro access.

Cons:

  • Busy;
  • Hotels are on the expensive side.

Our Pick – Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore

Very good 5-star hotel in the heart of Clarke Quay, just a few steps from the MRT station. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool, a gym and a SPA centre, as well as a couple of restaurants and a bar.

Double room starts at 200 SGD. Check prices and availability.

RELATED: Top Things to Do in Singapore (+ Singapore Itinerary)

2. Runner-Up – Chinatown

Chinatown, Singapore

Chinatown is one of the historical neighbourhoods in Singapore. In Chinatown you’ll find traditional shophouses, Chinese medicine stores, and plenty of local eateries. Chinatown Street Market, one of the most popular places for cheap shopping in Singapore, is located in the heart of Chinatown.

Famous Chinatown food street, Smith street, is located very close to the street market.

One of the world’s cheapest Michelin restaurants, Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, is located in Chinatown.

There is a wide range of accommodation in Chinatown to suit all tastes – from cheap hostels to luxury 5 star hotels.

Pros:

  • Close to Downtown and Marina Bay – just a few minute (a couple of stops) ride away;
  • Offers cheaper dining options;
  • Cheap shopping heaven;
  • Close to metro. Chinatown MRT station is just a couple of minutes-walk away from the food street.

Cons:

  • Very busy and crowded.

Our Pick – Galaxy Pods @ Chinatown

Futuristic accommodation in the heart of Chinatown, very close to various attractions. Single and double capsules are available. Each capsule features air conditioning, USB charging ports, a reading light, a safe deposit box, and an AC socket. Double capsules also have a TV. Breakfast is included in the price.

Single pod starts at 40 SGD. Check prices and availability.

3. For Backpackers – Little India

Little India in Singapore

Little India – one of the historical neighbourhoods of Singapore. It’s Singapore’s Indian neighbourhood, and is home to Hindu temples, mosques and amazing traditional Indian eateries and restaurants.

Little India is a good place for shopping. Many supermarkets and minimarts there sell imported Indian goods. You’ll also find large malls in Little India. Mustafa Centre is a large, 24-hour shopping mall full of cheap electronics, clothes, accessories, etc. Sim Lim Square, a large electronics mall, is located very close to Little India.

Pros:

  • Vibrant and interesting;
  • Close to Downtown and Marina Bay – only a few stops away by metro;
  • Lots of shopping options;
  • Offers cheaper dining options;
  • Cheap hotels in Singapore.

Cons:

  • Crowded;
  • Not as clean as the rest of the city;
  • Unfortunately, it might not be the safest place for a solo female traveler, especially during the night.

Our Pick – The InnCrowd Backpackers’ Hostel, Singapore

A popular and cheap hotel in the heart of Little India, close to several popular tourist attractions. It’s just a couple of minute-walk away from the Rochor MRT station. A shared lounge and shared computers are available. Breakfast is included in the price.

Dorm bed starts at 18 SGD. Check prices and availability.

4. Best for City Views – Marina Bay and Central Business District

Central Business District, Singapore

The coolest area where to stay in Singapore, is Marina Bay and nearby Central Business District. Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer, Merlion park, light shows and fountain shows and many more popular attractions and landmarks are located in Marina Bay.

There are plenty of great hotels in Marina Bay and Central Business District, not just Marina Bay Sands, the most iconic landmark in Singapore and its most popular hotel.

Even though Marina Bay is the most popular area in Singapore overall it doesn’t feel too crowded.

The reason why Marina Bay and Central Business District is not on the top of my list is – it’s too expensive for most travelers. But if you can afford it, it’s definitely the best place to stay in Singapore!

Pros:

  • Very close to the main attractions;
  • Safe;
  • Beautiful and well-kept area;
  • Luxury hotels and fine dining;
  • Location – very central;
  • Easy metro access;
  • Nightlife.

Cons:

  • Expensive.

Our Pick – The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore

The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore is one of the best hotels in Singapore. It’s a beautiful 5-star hotel opposite the Marina Bay Sands hotel. The hotel boasts a pool with a beautiful view of Marina Bay Sands. There’s also a good gym and several dining options. La Brasserie is an excellent restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor waterfront dining.

Double room starts at 600 SGD. Check prices and availability.

Other great hotels with amazing city views: 10 Best Hotels in Singapore for Amazing Views.

5. Best for Budget Travelers – Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam, Singapore

Kampong Glam, Malay and Arab quarter, is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Singapore. It’s vibrant and is rich in history.

Despite it being an old quarter, now it’s surprisingly trendy and full of excellent cafes and restaurants, as well as fashionable shops. In Kampong Glam you’ll find restaurants that serve Middle Eastern food, carpet and fabric shops, as well as an impressive mosque (Sultan Mosque) and the Malay Cultural Centre.

It’s not only a good place for shopping but also for backpackers and budget travelers as there are several good budget hotels and hostels.

Pros:

  • Not far from Central Singapore – only a couple of stops away;
  • There are budget hotels and hostels;
  • Trendy shops and cafes;
  • Good for shopping;
  • Several popular landmarks and tourist attractions.

Cons:

  • Busy, lots of tourists.

Our Pick – Hotel 81 Heritage

A good, no-frills budget hotel in Kampong Glam. Rooms are air conditioned, and feature a private bathroom. Tea/coffee making facilities are also available.

Double room starts at 85 SGD. Check prices and availability.

6. Best for Shopping and Luxury Travelers – Orchard Road

Orchard Road, Singapore

Orchard road is a paradise for shoppers. There you’ll find countless designer stores, boutiques and posh malls.

This shopping heaven is located just a few stops (less than 10 minute-ride away) from the central part of Singapore and Marina Bay.

Pros:

  • Not far from the central part and Marina Bay;
  • Countless shops and malls;
  • Well-kept and beautiful area.

Cons:

  • Expensive;
  • Busy.

Our Pick – Royal Plaza on Scotts

A good 4-star hotel on Scotts Road, just a few minute-walk away from Orchard Road. The hotel boasts an outdoor pool, a fitness centre, and a restaurant. The closest metro station, Orchard, is just a few minute-walk away.

Double room starts at 205 SGD. Check prices and availability.

7. Best for a Beach Holiday – Sentosa

Sentosa island in Singapore

Relaxing on a beach in a busy city? Yes, it’s possible!

Well, technically Sentosa is not directly in Singapore, it’s an island resort off the coast of mainland Singapore. Getting there is easy – it’s connected to the mainland by road, pedestrian boardwalk, cable car and monorail (Sentosa Express).

Sentosa offers many fun attractions both for kids and adults. It’s home for amusement parks, a waterpark, museums, golf courses, and many more fun things to do. There are a few nice beaches on Sentosa island, as well.

Pros:

  • Away from hustle and bustle of the city;
  • You don’t have to go anywhere outside Singapore to relax on a beach;
  • Various fun attractions.

Cons:

  • Expensive accommodation;
  • Only a few less-expensive eateries and restaurants;
  • The Sentosa Express monorail and its stop is super crowded.

Our Pick – W Singapore – Sentosa Cove

This luxury 5-star hotel is like heaven on earth! The W Singapore – Sentosa Cove undoubtedly is one of the best 5 star hotels in Singapore!

The rooms in this hotel are modern and beautifully decorated. The hotel boasts a large 24-hour pool, spa and fitness centre. The hotel provides free, 2-way shuttle services between the hotel and mainland Singapore (Orchard Road, the Marina Bay Financial Centre and a few other stops). Breakfast is included in the price.

Double room starts at 520 SGD. Check prices and availability.

Other Neighbourhoods in Singapore

There are several other neighbourhoods in Singapore where a tourist can find an accommodation.

I have included two more good neighbourhoods to the list. The reason they are not in the top 7 is because they are located  farther away from the central part of Singapore than the others mentioned above.

However, it’s easy to get to the centre because of good metro access. They are just a few stops (around 20 min) away from Marina Bay.

8. Great for Budget Travelers – Geylang

Geylang, Singapore

Geylang – Singapore’s infamous red light district and one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Singapore. Besides the red light district there are pretty historical buildings, traditional shophouses and local restaurants.

Many local Chinese restaurants sell authentic frog dishes, such as frog porridge.

Geylang Serai Market, one of the largest markets in Singapore, is located in Geylang. On the first floor of Geylang Serai Market is a traditional wet market. In Geylang Serai Market you’ll also find clothes stores (mostly Muslim) and food court that sells traditional Malay food.

Pros:

  • Offers cheaper dining options;
  • Authentic food;
  • Budget hotels in Singapore;
  • Easy metro access;
  • Not so crowded.

Cons:

  • Not the best option for families with children;
  • Downtown a few stops away by metro (around 15 minutes).

Our Pick – Hotel 81 Premier Star

A good budget hotel in Geylang, a 10 minute-walk away from the nearest metro station (Aljunied). Rooms are air conditioned, and  feature a private bathroom.

Double room starts at 80 SGD. Check prices and availability.

9. Great for Budget Travelers and Backpackers – Kallang

Kallang, Singapore

Kallang is a residential area in Singapore. There are not so many hotels and hostels around there but it’s a good option for budget travelers.

Kallang is similar to Geylang. There you will see many historical buildings, traditional Chinese and Malay shophouses and plenty of local eateries.

Pros:

  • Not so crowded;
  • Authentic food;
  • Lower hotel prices;
  • Cheaper dining options.

Cons:

  • Downtown a few stops away by metro (around 12 minutes);
  • A bit boring, since there are no noteworthy sights and landmarks.

Our Pick – RedDoorz Hostel @ Kallang MRT

RedDoorz Hostel @ Kallang MRT (former Coziee Lodge) is located in Kallang, just a few minute walk away from the Kallang MRT station. It might not be cheapest hostel at times (prices vary from season to season) but it’s clean and cosy. There are dorm rooms with regular bunk beds, as well as rooms with kinda-capsules. Private rooms are also available. Simple breakfast is included in the price.

Dorm bed starts at 15 SGD. Check prices and availability.

More hotel recommendations: Best Hotels in Singapore for Amazing Views.

Have you been to Singapore? Where did you stay?

Una Baufala

Author: Una Baufala

Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.

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