Best Places and Neighbourhoods to Live in Singapore
Singapore is one of the most prosperous and livable cities in Asia. Known for its clean streets, high standard of living, and low crime rate, it is a popular destination for expats, tourists, and locals alike. But with so many neighbourhoods to choose from, it can take time to know where to call home.
This article will look closely at Singapore’s best places to live. From bustling central districts to quiet residential areas, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a place to raise a family, start a business, or live the good life, we’ll help you find the perfect neighbourhood.
Best places to live in Singapore
Orchard Road (District 9)
Orchard Road, Singapore’s primary shopping and entertainment district, is located within District 9, a tree-lined avenue studded with high-end retailers, upscale shops, and hotels. Despite being the city’s commercial centre, it also provides exclusive housing alternatives for residents.
Towering apartment and condo buildings can be found here, providing ultra-high-end living. This core floor space is expensive, particularly in the Core Central Region.
In 2017, a luxurious penthouse in the Sculptura Ardmore complex was sold for a reported S$60 million, though the exact details of the transaction were kept confidential. The Sculptura Ardmore is a 36-story building with 34 units, and the penthouse occupies the top two floors, featuring its cantilevered private pool. Other nearby luxury complexes offer a similar level of opulence, but with price tags ranging from S$30 million and above.
Tanjong Pagar (District 2)
This central district appeals to affluent single professionals and couples who prefer to reside in the city’s heart. The neighbourhood has undergone extensive redevelopment to accommodate the demand and now boasts stunning structures with various residential options. It is also conveniently within walking distance of the central business district (CBD).
The condo buildings in this area typically feature amenities such as pools and gyms and are situated in prime locations to offer breathtaking views of the city skyline.
The area is also home to classic shophouse-style buildings, a type of architecture widely associated with Singapore. Shophouses are narrow in front but deep in design and date back to the 18th century. Many have been demolished to accommodate new developments, but those remaining offer a touch of local charm and cultural appeal. Although not commonly used as modern housing options, shophouses add a unique historical aspect to the neighbourhood.
East Coast (Districts 15 and 16)
This sought-after neighbourhood, located away from the bustling city centre, offers a range of apartments with stunning views of the sea or river and a diverse array of activities and dining options. From the lush East Coast Park, perfect for outdoor recreation such as cycling, rollerblading, canoeing, and windsurfing, to the top-notch amenities at the Laguna Golf Course and East Coast Tennis Center, this area is rich in fun and engaging activities.
Some highly regarded international schools are located about 45 minutes away via school bus, with some accessible via a bike commute. This picturesque area is popular among expatriate families seeking a more tranquil lifestyle surrounded by open spaces. Although it’s slightly outside the city, this location provides a cost-effective option for those looking for more space and a peaceful environment.
Marina Bay (District 1)
Marina Bay is one of the most sought-after and exclusive areas for expatriates to live in Singapore. It boasts a beautiful design, an alluring charm, and a sprawling green space open to the public.
The area is widely recognised for hosting the Singapore Grand Prix, a street circuit race near Marina Bay. It is also the site of numerous special events, including fireworks displays, New Year’s celebrations, and art exhibitions.
The flagship development in the area is Marina One, which offers mixed-use, including residential. It comprises apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms and penthouse suites, all situated in the city’s heart. Marina One is connected to four MRT lines, making it easy to travel around Singapore, and it features a pool, gym, and private dining rooms. Additionally, residents can enjoy breathtaking views of the sea and gardens.
Woodlands (District 25)
Woodlands, located in the northern region of Singapore, is a neighbourhood that is particularly popular among American expatriates due to its proximity to the Singapore American School. It serves as the central hub for the region, providing easy access to essential amenities. While a commute to the Central Business District is necessary for those who work there (approximately 12 miles away), Woodlands is a great place to raise a family.
The neighbourhood boasts large houses with ample green space, providing a peaceful escape from the busy city centre. As one of the fastest-growing areas in Singapore, Woodlands has evolved significantly from its early days as a predominantly rural area filled with rubber plantations and farms.
Sentosa (District 4)
Sentosa, an island in Singapore, is known for being a resort destination, with its Universal Studios theme park, golf club, beaches, and other attractions. However, it also offers high-end living away from the city centre, making it an ideal residential option for those seeking a peaceful lifestyle. The island is accessible by car or using the tram connecting to the MRT system. However, it does require a commute from the mainland.
During the peak tourist season, the island can get busy with visitors, but it provides a close-knit community feel for permanent residents. Luxury accommodations are abundant in the area, offering exceptional sea views and easy access to the nearest beach. Options range from striking condos to substantial waterfront homes.
This island is a hub of endless entertainment options. From its casinos to its world-renowned performances at the Festive Theatre, diverse dining and drinking establishments, indoor skydiving experience, and historically significant Fort Siloso, boredom is never an option.
Tiong Bahru (District 3)
Tiong Bahru is a historic housing estate in Singapore, characterised by its unique interlocking building design. The houses are arranged in a horseshoe shape around the community centre and offer low-rise living, making it an appealing option for those who prefer not to live in high-rise apartments. The apartments in Tiong Bahru are stylish and heritage-rich, featuring Art Deco design, and many have been restored into beautiful modern homes. The area provides a peaceful retreat from the bustling city centre.
Investment and interest have flowed into this area, known for its trendy cafes, boutiques, and dining options, as well as its bustling market and convenient transportation to the central business district. It has become a preferred location for expatriate families, particularly those with young kids.
Holland Village (District 10)
This neighbourhood is a top choice for expatriates, offering a bohemian atmosphere with leafy streets filled with various homes, from large family houses to condominiums and apartments, as well as gated communities. With its proximity to the Botanical Gardens and just minutes from the shopping, dining, and nightlife hub of Orchard Road, Holland Village has a central location with a friendly community vibe. Many families are drawn to the area for its proximity to top schools, green spaces, art galleries, and unique shops.
Holland Village attracts residents and expatriates at night as a dining and entertainment destination. Known as “Holland V” among its young and stylish visitors, the area has plenty of housing options to fit any lifestyle.
Best neighbourhoods in Singapore
Changi is an excellent option for those who prefer a more traditional living environment. The area boasts old Singaporean-style buildings spread out, offering a sense of privacy. Although it’s still busy, the pace is slower than in other places. Business travellers need not worry, as the East Coast is home to some of Singapore’s biggest companies and is conveniently located near Changi Airport and the Changi Business District.
Bukit Timah is a culturally diverse neighbourhood where you can hear various languages spoken as you walk through the streets. This small area boasts a vast array of cuisines and cultures, making it a place where everyone can feel at home. Additionally, Bukit Timah is known for its lush greenery and is one of the greenest areas in Singapore. If you choose to reside here, you’ll have easy access to the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens for peaceful walks whenever you desire.
Robertson Quay is an excellent place for you if you’re a foodie. It offers a wide range of dining options, from quaint cafes to gourmet restaurants, and if more is needed, Clarke Quay, a bustling hub of dining and entertainment, is just a stone’s throw away.
This picturesque neighbourhood, situated along the Singapore River, has come a long way since its days as a swamp. Its rich history dates back to the late 1800s when European and Chinese settlers made it their home and workplace. Today, the area continues to thrive and is a bustling hub of activity.
Balestier is an ideal destination for those seeking the traditional side of Singapore. Its streets are dotted with authentic local eateries offering a taste of the city’s rich culinary history. Despite its classic feel, Balestier is conveniently located near both the business and entertainment hubs of the city, with easy access to modern bars, restaurants, and shopping centres.
This area is popular among young travellers and expatriates, boasting a bustling pace of life that may not be suitable for those looking for a more relaxed evening atmosphere. Nevertheless, Balestier remains a prime spot to experience the diverse subcultures that make up this vibrant city-state.
Outram Park is the perfect place to stay if you want to experience the convergence of Singapore’s different cultures. It’s where old Singapore meets the modern, the East meets the West, and all the cultures in the city’s melting pot come together. The streets are dotted with skyscrapers on one side and old wooden buildings on the other, creating a unique blend of old and new.
Outram Park offers a diverse range of shops and restaurants that cater to every taste, serving local dishes and European classics. Outram Park is the ideal location for business travellers who want to be close to the Central Business District and have access to the city’s authentic experiences.
If you enjoy being ahead of the curve and discovering hidden gems, Hougang might be your ideal neighbourhood. Known as one of the up-and-coming areas in Singapore, Hougang is a peaceful residential area that is gaining popularity with each new unique restaurant, boutique, and street vendor that opens up. Already known for its family-friendly amenities, such as schools, Hougang quickly evolves from a suburban neighbourhood to a trendy and desirable destination.
Best Places and Neighbourhood to Live in Singapore – Conclusion
Singapore is a remarkable city with a rich cultural heritage and a modern, cosmopolitan outlook. Whether you’re looking for a bustling city centre, a peaceful residential area, or something in between, a Singapore neighbourhood is perfect. So if you’re considering a move to this fantastic city, we hope this article has given you some helpful information and inspiration. With its high standard of living, low crime rate, and friendly people, Singapore is one of the best places to call home.