The Best Areas To Stay In Singapore For First Time Visitors: A Comprehensive Guide

A stunning panoramic view of a vibrant city skyline at dusk featuring diverse faces, hair styles, and outfits.

Planning a trip to Singapore and unsure of where to stay? Each neighborhood in this stunning city-state offers its own unique charm, from the dazzling views at Marina Bay to the bustling shops along Orchard Road.

This comprehensive guide will help you navigate through the best areas for first-time visitors, providing helpful tips on accommodationslocal attractions, and ways to get around.

Ready? Let’s uncover your perfect spot in The Lion City!

Key Takeaways

  • Marina Bay is a great area to stay in Singapore for first – time visitors, with its stunning views and proximity to Chinatown and the Central Business District.
  • Clarke Quay and Singapore River offer a lively nightlife scene and plenty of dining options.
  • Orchard Road is perfect for shopping enthusiasts, with over 5,000 shops and a vibrant entertainment district.
  • The Colonial/District Civic area provides a glimpse into Singapore’s history and offers easy access to other popular neighborhoods.
  • Chinatown is a must – visit area known for its affordable accommodations, cheap eats, and rich cultural heritage.
  • Bugis is a vibrant spot with exciting shopping malls, delicious restaurants, and bustling market stalls.
  • Little India immerses visitors in Indian culture through its traditional cuisine, temples, spice shops, flower vendors, and budget-friendly accommodations.
  • Sentosa Island offers stunning beaches, thrilling theme parks like Universal Studios Singapore, world-class golf courses,and breathtaking views from cable cars.
  • Kampong Glam/Arab Street showcases Islamic culture with mosques,mid – eastern restaurants/markets,galleries & Lavender MRT station makes it convenient for exploring other areas
  • Jurong provides easy access to popular tourist destinations in the southwest region while offering various accommodation choices.
  1. Marina Bay attracts many first – time visitors due to its fun activities like visiting the world’s largest infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands.
  2. Bugis Street is known for being an unforgettable shopping experience with trendy fashion items as well as mouth-watering local delicacies at food courts.
  3. Kampong Glam/Arab Street stands out as the center of Singapore’s Islamic community and offers unique experiences through colorful streets filled with textile stores selling carpets/spices/handicrafts/middle eastern restaurants.
  4. Jurong offers easy access to popular tourist destinations in the southwest region of Singapore

Overview of the Best Areas to Stay in Singapore for First-Time Visitors

A stunning panoramic view of the Marina Bay skyline at sunset with a bustling atmosphere.

Marina Bay, Clarke Quay and Singapore River, Orchard Road, Colonial/District Civic, Chinatown, Bugis, Little India, Sentosa Island, Kampong Glam/Arab Street, and Jurong are some of the best areas to stay in Singapore for first-time visitors.

Marina Bay

A stunning night view of Marina Bay showcasing the iconic skyline and bustling city lights.

Marina Bay is a top spot in Singapore. It pulls in many first-time visitors who love the sights and sounds. This place brims with fun things to do every day. You can see all of it from the world’s largest infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands, a luxury hotel.

The area is also near Chinatown and the Central Business District (CBD). Budget travelers will find good places to stay in here too. For people on business trips, Marina Bay is great.

Many big finance offices are based here.

Clarke Quay and Singapore River

A vibrant and lively cityscape photo of the Singapore River at night.

Clarke Quay and Singapore River are hotspots in Singapore. They are popular, trendy areas for tourists. The area sits next to the residential part of River Valley and is known as “The Quays.” This spot is famous for its nightlife scene.

Many people like to stay here when they visit Singapore. It’s great if you enjoy nights out. The heart of Clarke Quay is the lively Singapore River. This river gives life to many night events around this place.

You will find a lot of places to eat at Clarke Quay and along the Singapore River. Cafes, restaurants, and bars fill up this fun zone. You get good food, drinks, music, dance, everything in one place! So there won’t be any dull moments here.

Orchard Road

A stylish couple walks hand in hand down Orchard Road, amidst a bustling cityscape.

Orchard Road brings joy to people who love shopping. It holds more than 5,000 shops and is a delight for anyone looking for retail therapy. Picture yourself walking down its beautifully manicured streets.

The area serves as a world-class fashion hub.

You’ll find the best in high-end boutiques and dining here. Orchard road gives you the full lifestyle experience as it’s also an entertainment district. The two-kilometer strip is busy day and night with people drawn to this tourist hotspot.

For your stay in Singapore, consider the luxurious accommodations on Orchard Road. This place has one of the highest amounts of shopping malls anywhere on earth! With all this excitement, you will always have something fun to do.

Colonial/District Civic

A diverse group of people explore historical buildings and cultural attractions in the Colonial District.

The Colonial/District Civic area is an important historical district in Singapore, often referred to as the birthplace of modern Singapore. This neighborhood is known for its iconic heritage buildings and cultural attractions.

You’ll find a mix of history and architecture, with museums, forts, and quays to explore. If you’re interested in learning about Singapore’s past, this is the perfect place to stay.

The Colonial District offers a unique glimpse into the city’s colonial era and showcases its rich heritage through its well-preserved buildings and fascinating exhibits. When staying here, you’ll be surrounded by the charm of old-world architecture while being close to major landmarks like Raffles Hotel and Fort Canning Park.

In addition to its historical significance, the Colonial/District Civic area also provides easy access to other popular neighborhoods in Singapore. You can take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Singapore River or explore nearby Chinatown and Little India for a taste of local culture.


A vibrant Chinatown street at night, captured with a high-quality camera, showcasing the bustling atmosphere and cultural richness.

Chinatown in Singapore is a must-visit area for first-time visitors. Conveniently located close to Marina Bay, Chinatown offers budget-friendly accommodation options. It’s known for its cheap eats and affordable meals, making it a great place to dine without breaking the bank.

What sets Chinatown apart is its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere. You can explore the Chinese culture that Singapore is famous for, with traditional shops selling everything from herbal remedies to beautiful silk garments.

Don’t forget to check out the colorful temples and historic buildings that add to the charm of this neighborhood.

In Chinatown, you’ll get a real sense of Singapore’s history and diversity. Soak up the bustling streets, try delicious street food like dim sum or bak kut teh (pork rib soup), and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this fascinating district.


A vibrant street market with diverse stalls and traditional souvenirs is captured in a crystal clear photograph.

Bugis is a famous spot for tourists visiting Singapore. This vibrant area is known for its exciting shopping mallsdelicious restaurants, and bustling market stalls. When you visit Bugis Street, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a wide range of food options and dining experiences to choose from.

The area is conveniently located near an interchange MRT station, making it easy to explore other parts of the city. Whether you’re looking to shop till you drop or try local cuisine, Bugis has something for everyone.

It’s a cultural hub where you can immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Singapore.

With its rich history and diverse offerings, Bugis Street provides an unforgettable shopping experience. You can browse through trendy fashion items, unique accessories, and traditional souvenirs at the market stalls.

If shopping isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Bugis also boasts a variety of mouth-watering local delicacies at its food courts and restaurants. From flavorful street food to authentic dishes from different cuisines, there’s no shortage of dining options in this vibrant neighborhood.

Overall,Vibrant and bustling,Bugis offers an array of activities for every traveler.From exploring the numerous tourist attractions in the area to enjoying the lively ambiance while savoring delicious food,Bugis is definitely worth adding to your itinerary when visiting Singapore.This cultural hub truly captures the essence of this dynamic city,and it won’t disappoint those seeking memorable experiences.So head on over to Bugis,a place where history meets modernity,and discover all that it has to offer.


Experience Vibrant Shopping,

Little India

A diverse group of people enjoy a traditional Indian dance performance in the lively streets of Little India.

Little India is a vibrant and colorful street in Singapore that is known for its rich cultural heritage. It is an ethnic neighborhood and a cultural district where you can immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Indian culture.

As you walk along the streets of Little India, you’ll be greeted with the aroma of traditional cuisine from the many eateries lining the area. Don’t forget to visit one of the Hindu temples that are scattered throughout Little India, such as Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple or Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple.

If you’re looking to experience a sensory delight, head over to the spice shops and flower vendors that add bursts of color and fragrance to this bustling neighborhood.

In addition to its cultural offerings, Little India is also conveniently located near important landmarks in Singapore. The Marina Bay area, home to iconic attractions like Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, is just a 40-minute walk away from Little India.

If you’re interested in exploring other neighborhoods with their own unique charm, Chinatown and Kampong Glam are within walking distance as well. Along your journey through these streets, keep an eye out for stunning street art that adds even more vibrancy to this already lively neighborhood.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is one of the best areas to stay in Singapore, especially for first-time visitors. This beautiful island, accessible via a bridge from the main Singapore island, offers a plethora of attractions and activities.

One of the main highlights of Sentosa Island is its stunning beaches. You can spend your days lounging on the sandy shores, soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal-clear waters.

In addition to its beaches, Sentosa Island also boasts an array of theme parks that are perfect for thrill-seekers and families alike. From Universal Studios Singapore to Adventure Cove Waterpark, there’s something for everyone.

Golf enthusiasts will also be delighted by Sentosa Island’s world-class golf courses.

For those seeking breathtaking views, don’t miss out on taking a ride on Sentosa’s famous cable cars. These cable cars provide panoramic views of not only Sentosa Island but also the surrounding area.

Kampong Glam/Arab Street

Kampong Glam/Arab Street is a historical district located in the heart of Singapore. It is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and is considered a cultural hub and heritage site.

This vibrant area attracts tourists with its architectural beauty, landmarks, and rich Islamic community.

As part of Kampong Glam, Arab Street stands out as the center of Singapore’s Islamic community. It is home to many mosques, traditional shops, and Middle Eastern restaurants. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere by exploring the colorful streets filled with unique shops selling textiles, carpets, spices, and handicrafts.

One of the highlights of Kampong Glam/Arab Street is Sultan Mosque. This iconic landmark not only serves as a place for worship but also offers visitors an insight into Islamic culture and history in Singapore.

The neighborhood is also known for its arts scene, with various art galleries showcasing local talent.


Jurong, located in the southwest region of Singapore, is a fantastic area for first-time visitors. It offers easy access to popular tourist destinations and has a reputation for its great selection of restaurants.

As part of the West Region of Singapore, Jurong provides plenty of attractions and activities to keep tourists entertained. It has a diverse history and plays an important role in Singapore’s industrial estate.

Whether you’re looking to explore historical sites or indulge in local cuisine, Jurong is a vibrant neighborhood that offers it all.

In Jurong, you’ll find a variety of eateries serving up delicious food from different cultures. From traditional Singaporean dishes to international cuisines, there’s something for every palate.

How to Get Around Singapore for Tourists

A diverse group of tourists riding the MRT in Singapore's bustling transportation system.

Getting around Singapore as a tourist is easy thanks to its efficient and accessible transportation system. The best way to navigate the city is by utilizing the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and public bus network.

These options allow you to reach every corner of the island quickly and conveniently. It’s recommended to avoid renting a car, as traffic can be congested, and parking is expensive.

To make your travel even more convenient, consider getting the Singapore Tourist Pass. This pass provides unlimited rides on public buses, MRT, and LRT trains with a special EZ-link card.

With this pass in hand, you won’t have to worry about buying separate tickets or calculating fares each time you ride.

Make sure to grab detailed maps of Singapore’s transportation system to help you plan your routes effectively. Whether you’re heading to popular attractions like Marina Bay or exploring hidden gems in local neighborhoods, Singapore’s public transportation will get you there smoothly and affordably.

So hop on an MRT train or catch a bus – it’s the best way for tourists like yourself to get around this vibrant city!

TRAVEL GUIDE: 3 perfect days in SINGAPORE

Top Reasons to Stay in Each Area

A couple enjoying a romantic picnic amidst the bustling atmosphere of Gardens by the Bay.

Marina Bay is a popular area to stay in Singapore because it has a stunning skyline and many tourist attractions. You can visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands, where you can enjoy the rooftop pool and take in breathtaking views of the city.

The Gardens by the Bay is also located here, with beautiful gardens and futuristic Supertrees that light up at night. Clarke Quay and Singapore River are great areas for those who want a vibrant atmosphere.

You can explore the colorful Clarke Quay district with its lively nightlife scene, or take a river cruise along the Singapore River to see historic landmarks like Merlion Park. Orchard Road is known as Singapore’s shopping paradise, with luxury malls offering endless shopping options.

Colonial/District Civic is perfect for history buffs, with its well-preserved colonial architecture and important landmarks like Raffles Hotel.

Chinatown is a must-visit area for those interested in Chinese culture. Here you’ll find traditional shophouses selling souvenirs and delicious street food stalls serving up local delicacies.

Little India offers a glimpse into Indian culture with its vibrant colors, aromatic spices, and bustling streets filled with shops selling traditional clothes and accessories. Bugis is another trendy neighborhood known for its hip cafes, cool boutiques, and colorful street art murals.

Sentosa Island is great for beach lovers as it offers beautiful sandy beaches along with attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and S.E.A Aquarium.

Kampong Glam/Arab Street gives you an opportunity to explore Malay heritage neighborhoods filled with historic buildings such as Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) along Arab Street which sells textiles & Persian carpets while Haji Lane features indie boutiques & Middle Eastern eats nearby Malabar Muslim Jama-Ath Mosque serves South Asian community.

Jurong boasts of some amazing green spaces including Jurong Bird Park which displays species from around world while Japanese Garden showcases pagodas alongside ponds & stone bridges apart from this zoo,zoo,zoo Nanyang Technological University Museum, & Singapore Discovery Centre are also worth visiting.

Where to Stay in Singapore: Best Areas Travel Guide

Accommodation Options in Each Area

A vibrant beach scene with colorful umbrellas, lounge chairs, and people enjoying the sunny atmosphere.

Find the best hostels, hotels/Airbnbs, and resorts in each area to suit your budget and preferences.

Where to stay in SINGAPORE?

Best Hostels

Looking for affordable lodging options in Singapore? Look no further! Here are some of the best hostels in the city that are perfect for first-time visitors. These fun and social accommodations will ensure you have an amazing stay without breaking the bank.

For budget travelers and backpackers, there are plenty of recommended hostels to choose from. If you’re a digital nomad looking for a comfortable place to work and meet like-minded people, Singapore has got you covered too.

One highly recommended hostel is Century Service World in Chinatown, which offers budget-friendly accommodation with a more intimate atmosphere. Another great option is River City Inn, perfect for those who prefer a cozy environment during their stay.

So why not make your trip to Singapore even more memorable by staying at one of these fantastic hostels? You’ll get to enjoy all the comforts of home while connecting with fellow travelers from around the world.

Best Hotels/Airbnbs

When choosing the best hotels or Airbnbs in Singapore, it’s important to consider your budget and preferences. In Marina Bay, you can find luxury hotels with stunning views of the city skyline.

Clarke Quay and Singapore River offer a range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to cozy Airbnb apartments near the vibrant nightlife scene. Orchard Road is known for its shopping malls and high-end hotels, perfect for those who love to shop.

If you prefer a more cultural experience, Chinatown and Little India have charming heritage shophouses that have been converted into unique accommodations. Bugis is another great area with affordable hotel options that are close to both shopping centers and cultural attractions.

Sentosa Island offers luxurious beachfront resorts where you can relax and enjoy various entertainment activities.

For a taste of history, Colonial/District Civic has elegant colonial-style hotels that reflect Singapore’s rich heritage. Kampong Glam/Arab Street is known for its vibrant atmosphere and trendy boutique hotels with chic designs.

Jurong, on the other hand, provides family-friendly accommodation options near popular attractions like Jurong Bird Park.

Best Resorts

If you’re looking for the best resorts in Singapore, you have a few options to choose from. In the Orchard Road area, you can find luxurious accommodations like Four Seasons and Shangri-La.

These resorts offer top-notch amenities and services to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. For those who prefer beachfront locations, Sentosa Island is a great choice. You can find beautiful resort options with stunning views of the ocean.

When staying at these resorts, you’ll have access to various facilities such as pools, spas, and restaurants. Whether you want a relaxing spa retreat or a luxury beachside experience, there are resorts in Singapore that cater to different preferences.

In addition to the mentioned areas above, it’s worth noting that some other parts of Singapore may also offer resort accommodations suitable for your needs. While specific information on the best resorts in all areas is not provided in this guide, exploring Kampong Glam/Arab Street or Marina Bay might present additional options for those seeking high-end stays with excellent service.

Top Things to Do in Each Area

A diverse group of friends enjoying a picnic in the lush greenery of Gardens by the Bay.

Marina Bay offers plenty of things to do for first-time visitors. You can explore the iconic Marina Bay Sands complex and enjoy panoramic views from the observation deck. Don’t miss the light and water show at Gardens by the Bay, a stunning display of lights, music, and dancing fountains.

Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade or go on a river cruise to see Singapore’s skyline from a different perspective. If you’re looking for unique shopping experiences, head to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands or visit Suntec City Mall.

Chinatown is another area with lots of attractions. Explore its colorful streets and visit ornate temples like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Dive into history at Chinatown Heritage Centre where you can learn about Singapore’s early Chinese immigrants.

Shopaholics will love wandering through Chinatown’s street markets, offering an array of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories. And when it comes to food, don’t miss out on trying some authentic hawker fare at Maxwell Food Centre or Chinatown Complex Food Centre.

In Bugis, art enthusiasts can spend hours browsing through galleries in Bras Basah Complex or exploring contemporary art spaces like National Museum of Singapore and Gillman Barracks.

Get lost in Bugis Street Market where you’ll find affordable fashion items and trendy accessories. For some relaxation time amidst nature, visit nearby Kampong Glam/Arab Street area with its charming hipster cafes and traditional Malay architecture.

Head over to Sentosa Island for fun-filled activities such as Universal Studios Singapore for thrilling rides and entertainment shows suitable for all ages. Adventure seekers can try indoor skydiving at iFly Singapore or zip-lining through lush greenery in Mega Adventure Park.

Beach lovers will enjoy soaking up the sun in Siloso Beach or Palawan Beach while thrill-seekers can take part in water sports like kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.

No matter which area you choose to stay in, Singapore has something unique and exciting to offer. From stunning views, cultural experiences, shopping delights, and thrilling activities, you’ll definitely find plenty of things to do during your visit.

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Each Area

The photo depicts a delicious and diverse spread of cuisines from different regions, captured with excellent quality.

In Marina Bay, you can enjoy a delicious meal with a stunning view. One highly recommended place to eat is P.S Café Petit, known for its great food and beautiful ambiance. Another restaurant to try is Artichoke, which offers unique Middle Eastern dishes.

If you’re in Clarke Quay and Singapore River, there are plenty of dining options available. You can savor local cuisine at the hawker stalls or enjoy a variety of international cuisines from the many restaurants along the river.

Orchard Road is not just for shopping; it’s also a food lover’s paradise. Here, you’ll find numerous restaurants serving different types of cuisine. Be sure to try some local dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice and laksa.

When in Chinatown, don’t miss out on trying traditional Chinese food. From dim sum to roasted meats, there are many eateries that offer authentic dining experiences.

Bugis offers a mix of old and new flavors. You can explore trendy cafes and street food stalls offering delightful snacks like kaya toast and teh tarik.

In Little India, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture while enjoying Indian cuisine. There are plenty of curry houses and sweet shops where you can indulge in flavorful dishes like butter chicken or masala dosa.

Sentosa Island has an array of dining options catering to various tastes. Whether you prefer seafood by the beach or fine dining with panoramic views, there’s something for everyone here.

Kampong Glam/Arab Street is famous for its Arab heritage and delicious Middle Eastern fare. Try some authentic kebabs or hummus at one of the many Arabic restaurants in this area.

For those staying in Jurong, be sure to check out Jurong East Hawker Centre for affordable yet tasty local eats such as Hokkien mee or rojak salad.

No matter which district you choose to stay in Singapore, there will always be fantastic places to eat and drink. So get ready to indulge in the diverse culinary scene that this city has to offer!

Budget-Friendly Options

A diverse group of friends enjoy a picnic in a park.

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation options in Singapore, there are a few choices that won’t break the bank. Wanderlust, The Unlimited is a great budget-friendly choice.

It offers comfortable rooms at reasonable prices, allowing you to save money without compromising on quality. Another option is Siloso Beach Resort on Sentosa Island. This resort provides a wallet-friendly stay with its low-cost accommodations and convenient location near the beach.

When it comes to exploring Singapore on a budget, it’s important to remember that transportation and meals can also add up quickly. On average, visitors should expect to spend around $50 to $60 USD per day for these expenses alone.

While Sentosa Island may not have many cheap places to stay overnight, it’s still worth visiting for the day as there are plenty of affordable activities and attractions to enjoy.

By choosing budget-friendly options like Wanderlust or Siloso Beach Resort and being mindful of your overall spending, you can make your trip to Singapore both cost-effective and enjoyable.

Family-Friendly Options

A vibrant playground filled with children playing on slides and swings.

Chinatown is a great area for families visiting Singapore. It offers affordable accommodation options that are suitable for families on a budget. In Chinatown, you can find plenty of cheap eats, making it a perfect choice for families looking to save money on dining.

Additionally, Sentosa Island is another popular destination among families. It’s known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere, providing a relaxing vacation spot for the whole family.

Lastly, Little India is also a budget-friendly option for accommodation in Singapore, offering affordable lodging choices and cheap food options that cater to families.

In Chinatown and Sentosa Island, there are many family-friendly attractions to explore as well. From cultural landmarks to interactive museums and theme parks, these areas offer something enjoyable for both kids and adults alike.

Families will have no shortage of fun activities to do together while staying in these neighborhoods.

Remember to consider these family-friendly options when choosing the best area to stay in Singapore with your loved ones! Whether you’re looking for affordability or entertainment suitable for all ages, Chinatown, Sentosa Island, and Little India have got you covered.

Final Thoughts and Travel Tips for Choosing the Best Area to Stay in Singapore

A vibrant nighttime cityscape photo of Marina Bay featuring a diverse range of people and outfits.

When choosing the best area to stay in Singapore for the first time, consider factors like proximity to attractionstransportation options, and your budgetMarina Bay, Clarke Quay, Orchard Road, Chinatown, and Kampong Glam are all great options with unique experiences.

Don’t forget to check out our recommended accommodation and dining options in each area. Happy exploring!


A diverse group of tourists explores the vibrant streets of Chinatown at night, captured in a detailed, captivating photograph.

So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to the best areas to stay in Singapore for first-time visitors. Whether you’re into shopping, sightseeing, or experiencing vibrant cultural neighborhoods, Singapore has something for everyone.

From Marina Bay’s stunning views to Chinatown’s budget-friendly options and Kampong Glam’s colorful streets, you’ll be sure to find the perfect area that suits your travel preferences.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to this amazing city-state!


1. What are the best areas to stay in Singapore for first-time visitors?

Some of the best areas to stay in Singapore for first-time visitors include Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, Chinatown, and Sentosa Island.

2. Is it expensive to stay in these areas?

Yes, these areas can be more expensive compared to other parts of Singapore due to their central locations and proximity to tourist attractions.

3. Are there hotels available for different budgets in these areas?

Yes, there are hotels available for different budgets in these areas. From luxury accommodations to budget-friendly options and hostels, there is a range of choices available.

4. Which area is recommended for those who enjoy shopping and entertainment?

Orchard Road is highly recommended for those who enjoy shopping and entertainment as it is famous for its numerous malls, shops, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

5. Which area is ideal for beach lovers?

Sentosa Island is an ideal area for beach lovers as it offers beautiful sandy beaches and various water activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports.

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