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Where to stay in Singapore – a neighborhood guide

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Singapore has evolved from a chaotic but charming trading port into a hi-tech city-state. A hub of different cultures, each have settled in different districts of this Asian microcosm. Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam all have distinct flavors, while the areas around the Singapore River have their own unique feel, with space-age architecture. Nearby Pleasure Island Sentosa has beach resorts when you need a break from city life.

Myriam Ohlig & Monika Khaled

My Destination local expert on


Orchard Road


Orchard Road is lined with back-to-back shopping malls, each bigger and more bustling than the next. Designer clothes, electronics, make up, books and vintage stores are all found here, contained in futuristic structures along with a few older style malls. Singapore’s biggest highlights – its shopping and dining – are found in abundance here, and everything is extremely convenient to get to.


Hotels in Orchard Road


In Orchard Road, accommodation matches the contemporary feel of the shopping malls which line it. Many well-known luxury hotel brands have established themselves here, often with restaurants that are uniquely Singaporean in their superb quality.




Chinatown is Singapore’s most cultural area. It’s a gap in the skyscrapers where you are reminded that this is a south-east Asian nation with a fascinating history to match. Chinatown contains lovingly restored colonial shop fronts, lavishly decorated temples and buzzing rows of shops and timeworn shopping malls. Up against the constant renovation and upheaval of the old in Singapore, it’s so far managed to preserve its traditional spirit.


Hotels in Chinatown


Staying in Chinatown is your best bet for budget accommodation. It’s also some of the most authentic - the historic shophouses that line this district are often found renovated into small guesthouses and hostels.


Singapore River


The oldest part of Singapore, this was where the thriving port city first grew from. Colonial buildings sit side by side with super modern architecture. Clarke Quay is a shopping, eating and drinking district where restored shop houses are splashed with pastel colors, while hi-tech development Marina Bay houses Michelin starred restaurants and a casino.


Hotels around the Singapore River


Singapore River is home to the The Fullerton Hotel, a luxurious 5 star hotel that sits near the mouth of the Singapore River. Stay here or choose from a wide array of strikingly modern hotels, found in greatest abundance around the Marina Bay Sands complex.




City escape Sentosa is a playground for Singaporeans. Filled to the brim with bars, beaches and fun attractions, it’s really easy to get to - head to megamall Vivo city (on the Sentosa Express) and then stroll across the Boardwalk. If you feel like a leisurely journey there, use the cable car (from Harbor Front or Mount Faber) for a breathtaking view over the city. Sentosa Express is the most used transportation to Sentosa.


Hotels on Sentosa


Sentosa is best for a stay in a beach resort, of which there are plenty. Most notably, stay at Beach Villas, a hotel located next to the S. E. A. Aquarium. Its rooms feature huge glass panels that offer a glimpse into the depths of this underwater wonderland.