Wondering where to live in Singapore? We give you the rundown on the city's hip 'hoods.
Singapore is a melting pot of diverse cultures, which means you can always expect something different in every neighbourhood. Whether you’re looking for a new place or planning to start a new life in our cosmo city, this neighbourhood guide has a good mix of trendy hotspots and charming heartlands. Read on to find out where to live in Singapore as we bring you the island’s coolest neighbourhoods.
Best neighbourhoods to live in Singapore
If you want to be in the thick of things, Orchard is where it’s at. The shopping stretch is home to a multitude of malls, cinemas, restaurants and bars at your disposal. Plus, you’re mere minutes from the CBD, thanks to three MRT stations in the area: Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut. While it might look like all concrete and no greenery, nearby places like Singapore Botanic Gardens and Emerald Hill offer the perfect respite from all that retail buzz.
Upper Bukit Timah
Singapore is a lot of things, but having an abundance of space isn’t one of them. With that being said, Upper Bukit Timah is one of the few neighbourhoods home to landed properties. We’re talking about semi-detached houses and multi-storey bungalows that offer a private pool, balcony, spacious backyard and if you’re lucky, rooftop views of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Not only that, but thanks to the Downtown Line, commuting to work is a breeze.
One of the quieter quays, residents here have easy access to party central aka Clarke Quay. You’re also close to the bustling CBD, though you still get to enjoy the serenity of Robertson Quay. It’s the best of both worlds, if you ask us. While people come for the posh condos, they end up staying for the vibrant dining scene. From restaurants to cafes to bars, the buzzing local culinary scene is right at your fingertips.
Holland Village has to be one of the best neighbourhoods to live in Singapore – ‘cos it has all the works. From cute cafes and buzzing watering holes to local and international eats and even beauty parlours, you don’t have to leave the vicinity for a relaxed weekend. The district offers a range of residential options, including HDB flats, condominium apartments and terraced houses at the quiet Chip Bee Gardens.
Time truly stands still in this heritage enclave. Living in this neighbourhood means you’ll have some of the island’s best cafes, restaurants and shops right in your own backyard. That’s not all! Visit the Tiong Bahru Market on a weekend morning and you’ll get a slice of local culture – let’s just say kaya toast and kopi are involved. Surrounded by towering condominium buildings and low-rise Art Deco flats, this ‘hood has the perfect blend of old and new.
Novena is easily overlooked with Orchard Road being just 10 minutes away. But we say this is a neat neighbourhood to settle down in if you want to be a stone’s throw away from places like Little India, Balestier and Newton Food Centre, which houses a bevy of stellar local eats under one roof (it also starred in Crazy Rich Asians!). Plus, Novena MRT station on the North-South Line gives you direct access to the Civic District, the CBD, and true-blue heartland ‘hoods of Singapore like Ang Mo Kio and Yishun.
The way of life is totally different in Singapore’s East Coast. Everything here is calmer and slower, so don’t expect gargantuan malls. Instead, you’ll be welcomed with storied shophouses at Joo Chiat, a slew of cafes at Siglap and an array of bars and eateries along East Coast Road. The only downside is that there are no MRT stations nearby at the moment (hey, it’s all part of the slow life movement). But, the numerous bus services and close access to ECP and PIE highways make up for it. Not convinced? You’ll be just a few minutes away from the pristine shores of East Coast Park.
Frequently visited by tourists and locals alike, this heritage enclave needs no introduction. From a trio of food courts (Hong Lim Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Food Centre and People’s Park Food Centre) to a dizzying array of Asian eateries, you’ll never go hungry here. For international flavours and great cocktails, you can easily make your way to trendy neighbouring areas like Ann Siang Hill, Club Street, Amoy Street, Duxton Hill and Keong Saik Road by foot.
So you’re all about the island life? Sentosa beckons! Sentosa Cove, the residential area, boasts mansions and condominium complexes with panoramic views of the South China Sea. Plus, the island is peppered with top-notch hotels, restaurants, beach clubs and pristine beaches – the fun truly never stops. For your daily essentials, there’s the waterfront shopping mall at Quayside Isle. But it’s worth mentioning that all this comes at a steep rental price, just so you know.
Here’s hoping our guide to the best neighbourhoods to live in Singapore will show you that house hunting is more of a fun adventure than a daunting experience!