Where to stay in Singapore: a guide for every budget and traveller

Whether it’s your main holiday destination or a stopover on a long-haul flight, the vibrant city-state of Singapore is a delightfully easy place to visit. Compact, safe and convenient to get around via public transport, you'll love how much you'll be able to see and do here. One way to decide where to stay in Singapore is by the activities or facilities you’d like to have on your doorstep.

Singapore may be a small place, but this doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise when it comes to finding accommodation that suits your needs, tastes or budget. Here you’ll find everything from backpackers to luxury hotels, boutique hotels and tropical resorts. We look at some of the best places to stay in Singapore whether you’re a family on a budget, travelling by yourself, or hoping to indulge in a little luxury.   


Orchard Road 

Best for: keen shoppers 

It’s no secret that Singapore has some fantastic shopping so, if that’s why you’re here, you’ll want to base yourself near Orchard Road. Alongside the 20 shopping malls that make up this impressive precinct, you’ll find many different types of accommodation.  

Luxury brands like Marriot and Hilton provide a fabulous five-star experience, or try the Shangri-La for a romantic getaway. There are also cheaper accommodation options available for budget-conscious travellers, and those wanting to save the serious spending for the shops. The YMCA provides affordable accommodation including family rooms and has an outdoor swimming pool.  

The shops are open until 10pm or later but at some stage you might want to stop for something to eat and thankfully Singapore’s famous shopping precinct also offers world-class dining. Once again, you’ll be spoilt for choice with everything from hawker stalls to Michelin-star restaurants and they’re all delicious. 


The Orchard Gateway shopping complex and overhead bridge on Orchard Road


Marina Bay 

Best for: luxury accommodation 

If you’re in the market for a luxury stay in Singapore, then Marina Bay is the place for you. Here you’ll find Singapore’s best hotels with Marina Bay Sands one of the most famous. It's also one of its most recognisable buildings; its three towers are topped by a 340-metre-long skyway which also features an infinity pool with incredible views of the city. Even if you’re not planning to stay here it’s worth a visit to check out ‘The Shoppes’ which include over 170 luxury boutiques like the floating Louis Vuitton Island Maison. 

Marina Bay is also a popular place to stay thanks to its proximity to the Gardens by the Bay nature park. More than just a botanic garden, this central city oasis features huge art sculptures, a Cloud Forest, and a Supertree Observatory. You could easily spend an afternoon here exploring all the attractions

The iconic Raffles Hotel is also nearby, offering old-world glamour and the height of refined luxury. Staying here is a must-do experience but even if it doesn’t quite fit the budget, you could still call in at the historic Long Bar and sample a famous Singapore Sling. 

Clarke Quay 

Best for: Nightlife 

One of the liveliest spots in the city, Clarke Quay is ideal if you’re after a fun night out or you’re a solo traveller keen to meet new people. Home to some of Singapore’s best clubs and bars, and a popular venue for late night dining, you can spend an evening sampling the waterside restaurants and enjoying live music. There’s a range of hotel options by the river, which are ideal if you want to be central to all the action.  

The historical riverside quay is also an interesting place to visit by day. Staying here, you’ll be close to key sights such as the Asian Civilisations Museum, the statues of Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles and Fort Canning Park. A boat tour along the Singapore River is a relaxing way to take in the sights.  

Clarke Quay



Best for: food and culture 

Chinatown is a popular place to visit with its lively markets, fascinating temples and delicious eateries and you'll also find some great places to stay. Cheaper options include backpackers or why not try out a capsule hotel? If you haven’t experienced this before, a capsule hotel is perfect if you’re on a budget and don’t need much more than a bed. Your bed is enclosed in a ‘pod’ which provides a surprisingly cosy and comfortable, if somewhat basic, place to sleep. You can also get pods for couples. 

A short walk to the CBD with easy access to the MRT (Singapore’s rail network) and a 20-minute shuttle from Changi Airport, staying in Chinatown is a good way to immerse yourself in Singapore’s culture and see the sights. 


Little India 

Best for: food and culture 

Across from Chinatown, and a place to come to enjoy the friendly bustle, brightly painted shophouses and tasty street food, is Little India. Staying here you’ll have easy access to the street markets and temples. It’s a good place to simply wander the streets, soak up the atmosphere and check out all the wonderful dining options. Foodies will love it. 

Little India is popular with backpackers and has good options for budget hotels. If you have a little more to spend then you’ll also find five-star resorts like the One Farrer Hotel and Intercontinental close by, featuring swimming pools and fitness centres. 

 Market in Little India, Singapore


Arab Quarter 

Best for: culture and shopping 

A stay in the Arab Quarter provides another opportunity to experience the diverse culture of Singapore. Home to the Muslim community and one of the first places in Singapore to be inhabited, the Arab Quarter spans Kampong Glam and Kampong Bugis. Visitors come here for the Sultan Mosque, trendy cafes and to browse the Arab Street shops which sell a fabulous array of fabrics, rugs and perfumes. 

The pace in the Arab Quarter is a little slower than Chinatown or Little India and it’s best for luxury and boutique hotels.  


Sentosa Island 

Best for: beach time, theme parks, families 

If you’re ready for a break from city life, have kids in need of some serious fun, or would just like to unwind on a beach for a while, Sentosa Island is where you need to head. Yes, that’s right – there’s a beach. 

The island resort sits off the southern coast of Singapore and getting there couldn’t be easier. You can reach Sentosa from the city via car, train, bus, cable car, by bike or on foot. It’s a 20-minute taxi ride from Changi Airport or if you’re on a budget, the subway is a cheaper option and still only a 35-minute journey. 

You’ll find five-star luxury resorts aplenty on Sentosa Island but there are some more budget-friendly places and it’s all very family-orientated. With Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove Waterpark and the Aquarium all within walking distance or a free monorail ride of each other, it’s basically a giant playground for big as well as little kids. If theme parks aren’t your thing, check out the day spas or relax at one of the bars or fine dining restaurants.  

Palewan Beach, Sentosa

How long should I stay in Singapore? 

A four- to five -day stay in Singapore gives you time to explore its fascinating history and culture, enjoy some shopping, and relax. One of the big advantages of Singapore as a travel destination is its size; nothing is very far away so you’ll be able to tick off your sightseeing list and still come away feeling refreshed.  

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