Which neighborhood to stay in Singapore? | Singapore - LikeALocal Guide
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Which neighborhood to stay in Singapore?

(29 answers)
By Kalev Traveller November 17, 2016

Hi, I'm planning my trip to Singapore and looking for a place to stay. Which neighborhood would you recommend? Would prefer an area with more local vibes, good cafes & restaurants and good connection with public transportation.

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29 answers

Tiong Bahru =D Please give the hawker centers a shot. skip the restaurants!
Jeremy Local November 18, 2016
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Hi Kalev
Anywhere within walking distance to an mrt (subway) station will get you everywhere. Areas like outram, katong, serangoon, novena, bugis have good mrt & bus transport and local eating places and restaurants.
Feel free to ask more questions :)
Grace
Grace Local November 18, 2016
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I would suggest the Robertson Quay area. This is a nice area with restaurants and cafes but do note that the nearest metro station, Clarke Quay is about 600 to 700 metres away. But it is a nice walk along the Singapore river where it is a more vibrant area. I suggest you Google and find out more from previous visitors to this area. All the best.
Mun Hou Local November 18, 2016
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Hi! I read the answers before me and agree on Lavender and JooChiat area.
When are you scheduled to arrive in Singapore? We could bring you to some neighbourhood areas if that's what you really wanna do in Singapore. :)
Diana Local November 18, 2016
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Cool brunch/restaurant areas include Tiong Bahru, Chinatown, and Clark Quay. These are all at MRT train stops and public transport is really convenient. A little further away from town would be the East Coast area like Bedok and Marine Parade which have their own local hangouts/food places. Singapore is overall a really small city and well connected everywhere, i don't think you will find trouble moving from place to place quickly. :)
Tian Local November 18, 2016
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Areas I suggest are Little India, arab st area, Tiong Bahru, Tanjong pagar.
Every neighborhood has a hawker centre or coffee shop where you can sample local delicacies.
Orchard and telok blangah are more pricey and touristy.
niti Local November 18, 2016
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How long do you plan to stay in singapore?
Some places to consider are river valley, tiong bahru, telok blangah, little india, telok blangah.
Orchard is more touristy.
niti Local November 18, 2016
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I would choose Lavender area. It's an old estate (authentic local vibes) but at the same time booming with new hotels, cafes and restaurants. I see an increase in tourists staying in the area as well. It's along city fringe so Orchard road (shopping district) and museums are near and easy to get to with direct transports, approximately 10-15mins. . Singapore is small so you can easily walk to a lot of places like Bugis/ Arab Street, if you like walking but the hot weather may make it less than pleasant. The Lavender train station is along the east-west line so you don't have to change train to get to and from the airport (approximately 30mins), if you choose to travel by train.
Dawn Local November 18, 2016
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I would choose Lavender area. It's an old estate (authentic local vibes) but at the same time booming with new hotels, cafes and restaurants. I see an increase in tourists staying in the area as well. It's along city fringe so Orchard road (shopping district) and museums are near and easy to get to with direct transports, approximately 10-15mins. . Singapore is small so you can easily walk to town, if you like walking but the hot weather may make it less than pleasant. The Lavender train station is along the east-west line so you don't have to change train to get to and from the airport (approximately 30mins), if you choose to travel by train.
Dawn Local November 18, 2016
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Hey Kalev, awesome that you're visiting Singapore. Welcome in advance!

These are a couple of neighbourhoods - most areas have a MRT (metro) station nearby or buses that bring you to a station, so no worries about public transportation. Hawker centers are best places to taste local cuisine.
1) Bugis - great central area, near Haji Lane, home to some nice cafes and bars + some standalone local restaurants like prawn noodles, nasi padang, pratas, etc, as well as near Fu Lu Shou Food Center.
2) Tanjong Pagar *recommended* - home to famous Maxwell Food Center, Amoy Street Food Center & Tanjong Pagar Plaza Food Center (all these are hawker centers with tons of popular local food). Also hub of hip cafes, bars & pubs, being located between Tiong Bahru, the hip Keong Siak Street, Club Street, Duxton Hill, Amoy Street, etc. Loads of expats stay in the area due to it being part of the CBD and proximity to Raffles Place (another part of the CBD), but also keeps some of its local heritage areas with older HDBs and shophouses. Great to experience the best of both worlds really - modern & traditional Singapore. Walkable to Chinatown too.
3) Chinatown - good local food around the area, try Hong Lim Hawker Center & Chinatown Complex Food Center. Not as many cafes though, but good to experience Chinese culture.
4) Tiong Bahru - a little bit more out of the way as compared to the other areas, though also has some great cafes & restaurants. More local vibes vs the other 3 though.
Vanessa Local November 17, 2016
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Hi, Singapore is relatively small and easy to navigate to regardless of where you stay. Nevertheless, if you would like to stay near the city, there are several hotels along Orchard Road (shopping district) but they are quite expensive otherwise you may also look at hotels near city hall or marina square area such as mbs where there is an infinity pool. If you prefer nightlife, you can consider staying in novetel near clarke quay where there are many restaurants, pubs and cafes along the river. For something more local, you may stay in chinatown area where there are many cheap local food available. All the above are a stone throw away from the cbd. Hope this helps.
Zheng Local November 17, 2016
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There are loads good cafe restaurants in Telok Ayer and Tanjong Pagar. Both are accessible by MRT. You can feel local vibes everywhere in Singapore except Marina Bay Sands, Sentosa and Orchard Road.
Janti Local November 17, 2016
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Bugis would be good. There are 2 subway lines running through, lots of budget hotels as well as expensive ones if you fancy, and plenty of eateries as well as shopping in the area. Enjoy!
Hwee Jing Local November 17, 2016
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Hi Kalev! Very cool, I'm in Tallinn right NoW. Leaving for Helsinki tomorrow :) I personally like Tiong Bahru area, some find it a little gentrified but it still has local coffee shops and markets around. Tiong Bahru MRT is nearby. For locations closer to town, Chiantown and Little India are great options - - also way cheaper than Orchard / CBD :)
Xiu Wen Local November 17, 2016
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Awesome. Tallinn is not the best place to be with this weather, but hope u enjoy it :)
Kalev Traveller November 17, 2016
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Hi there, Singapore is very expensive (all aspects apart from delicious hawker food!), I would suggest you look at your budget and stay somewhere close (walking distance) to MRT station. The most touristy places with loads of night life and bars are around Robertson/Clarke Quay areas - but this is very touristy...... Bugis also thrives with activity and has pretty good local hawker centre, is walking distance to Arab Street area (famous Haji Lane with loads of bars, restaurants and cafes); it's 1.8km from Down Town area; I would suggest not to go too far East or West as it will take you forever to get into city centre (if thats where you want to be); Every residential area has a hawker centre and they all pretty good :) Hope this helps
Aska Local November 17, 2016
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Hi Kalev, welcome to Singapore! First of all, Singapore is small and connected so pretty much where you choose to stay is bound to have some local vibes, good cafes and restaurants served by public transport :)

You could consider accommodations around Bugis as that is close to many eateries and within walking distance to Haji Lane and Kampong Glam, etc. 2 happening places that are charming both in the day and night. The City Hall/Boat Quay area which overlooks the Singapore river is also another alternative. Plenty of food choices there :)
Clara Local November 17, 2016
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Singapore is quite small. Public transport easy accessable. Preferable you chose accomodation at central (Serangoon, Orchard, Bencoolen, Lavendar, Chinatown etc) of Singapore where you can access to most of the point of interest easily. Most of hotel/hostel is within 3-5 minute walk to a bus stop or metro.
Karen Local November 17, 2016
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Tiong Bahru is not bad! It has many cafes, but it is also a housing estate so you'll get the local vibe you're looking for. Go to Tiong Bahru market and food centre for local dishes :) It is also close to town (about a 10minute drive away)
Audrey Local November 17, 2016
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Generally, Singapore has good transportation connection to the town area. As per what the others suggested, toa payoh is the heartland area (residential) nearest to the town area. Depending on the type of accommodation you are looking at, toa payoh may not have hostels available. Novena area will give you an insight of the slightly more expensive local living will be like. Hope this helps!
Agnes Local November 17, 2016
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Toa Payoh's got a good balance of being in the heartlands and being 10mins away by public transport to the town area. Easy to get around anywhere via the Metro train or buses. There's a big Neighbourhood food centre within Toa Payoh as well with all the hawker fanfare (:
Azm Local November 17, 2016
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U can try the joochiat, katong area where there is a nice boutique hotel and many local delicacies and cafes to try out. The place also has a strong peranakan culture with shophouses with a unique facade that is extremely instagram-worthy.

There are also direct buses or reaily available taxis to bring u to orchard shopping district.
Tina Local November 17, 2016
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Basically anywhere in Singapore has a good public transportation connection so you don't have to worry about that. For a vibe that you described, I would recommend the Arab Street area where there's lots of hostels (I personally like fivefootway). You can also consider Chinatown, Keong Saik (Outram) area, Lavender, Clarke Quay and Little India.
Cornelia Local November 17, 2016
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Toa Payoh's got a good balance of being close to the heartlands, as well as being near to the town area. Pretty accessible to get around via public transport as well (:
Azm Local November 17, 2016
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Toa Payoh's got a place to stay?
Cornelia Local November 17, 2016
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stay in the arab quarter. there are numerous hostels in and around the area
sidney Local October 22, 2018
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Singapore is relatively safe. Depends on budget and area of interest.

Bugis, orchard road, toa payoh, bishan

Maybe somewhere near the metro (mrt). Do get the ezlink card. There is a tourist card/pass for travel.
Dionna Traveller September 25, 2018
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Hi, East Coast Road (ECP) is a perfect place to stay with direct buses connecting to the city(Suntec City), Esplanade, Orchard Road, Vivo City . There is no MRT connectivity though. There are 2 famous shopping malls near to East Coast Road named Parkway Parade & I12Katong . Also the area Katong is filled with many food courts and is famous for Laksa (Must Try Dish - Spicy Noodles) . You can find many locals dine-in the foodcourts @ Katong streets.
Bugis would be a good neighbourhood to stay in! :)
Xin Ci Local November 21, 2016
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Paya Lebar! It's convenient to the airport and to other parts of Singapore, yet it's also in the heartlands with lots of food options :)
Zoe Local November 19, 2016
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Depending on your budget, pick any hotel around Singapore National Library. It is surrounded by places that both locals and tourists enjoy. Yet not too congested and expensive as Orchard Road or Suntec City hotels. It is also walking distance to MRT stations. There is a good Hainanese chicken rice shop in Seah St.
Peggy Local November 19, 2016
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