The best place to stay in Singapore for first timers (2024)

Looking for the best place to stay in Singapore for first timers? Discover the best hotels in Singapore in Marina Bay, Little India and more.

Best place to stay in Singapore for first timers

Singapore is a fascinating city-state full of colonial history and some of the best food on earth! If you’re planning a trip there and wondering where to stay in Singapore, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we will explore all the districts of Singapore, with all their different histories, foods, and cultures.

We’ll look at what each area has to offer, as well as a variety of places for you to stay that will guarantee an unforgettable trip to Singapore.

Let’s dig in!

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Best place to stay in Singapore for first timers

Colonial District


Why stay in Colonial District

  • Stunning gardens to explore
  • Some of the city’s best traditional architecture
  • Lots of great bars and shopping

Orchard Road

Orchid Road

Why stay on Orchard Road

  • The best place to shop in the city
  • A vibrant, colourful district
  • Fantastic youthful atmosphere

Marina Bay

Marina Sands

Why stay in Marina Bay

  • The best modern architecture in the city
  • Stunning ocean views
  • Luxury hotels and spas


Why stay in Chinatown

  • The best Chinese food outside China
  • Great street food to enjoy
  • Stunning Chinese architecture

Little India

Little India

Why stay in Little India

  • Amazing quality traditional Indian food
  • Stunning old buildings to explore
  • A vibrant area to lose yourself in

The Quays

Clark Quay

Why stay in The Quays

  • Beautiful sea and city views
  • A peaceful area to explore
  • Ideal for ocean-lovers

Sentosa Island


Why stay in Sentosa Island

  • An incredible luxury island
  • White sandy beaches all around
  • Home to the best hotels in Singapore



Why stay in Bugis

  • A blend of shopping, bars, and food
  • Fantastic, varied cuisine
  • The city’s best nightlife district

Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam

Why stay in Kampong Glam

  • A fascinating traditional district
  • Full of local Muslim history
  • Beautiful old architecture to explore

How to find the best Singapore hotels

One thing that makes Singapore such an ideal travel destination is its size.

No matter where you choose to stay, everything else is within easy travel distance. That means you can stay somewhere within your means and never worry about being out-of-the-way.

That said, if you’re a solo traveler you’ll probably want to be somewhere that has everything you need, like Orchard Road or Bugis.

If you’re a couple or a family, and you want somewhere a little more relaxes, Sentosa Island is perfect for you.


Where to stay in Colonial District

Old colonial buildings 

This area is the cultural and architectural hub of the city. It’s where all the best galleries and museums are, as well as the old colonial architecture.

The old parliament buildings are here, and there’s no better place to wander and take in the sights.

Pros and cons of staying in Colonial District

The best architecture in SingaporeNot much food and shopping to enjoy
The arts and culture hub with great museumsNot so exciting if you’re not into history

Best hotels in Colonial District

Luxury – Swissotel The Stamford

This incredible hotel is surrounded by amazing local greenery and an historical park. The rooms are the height of beauty and luxury.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Hotel Fort Canning

The rooms at this hotel are beautifully decorated and spacious. Their views cover the entire city skyline. The Quays are nearby, and each one offers nightlife and dining options for days.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – The Quay Hotel

The rooms in this hotel are light and bright, decorated with care and providing the best views of the cityscape. The restaurant is fantastic, offering an American-style breakfast every morning.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Photo by Denisbin

Where to stay on Orchard Road

An amazing shopping paradise

If you love shopping, there’s no better place in Singapore. Possibly no better place on earth! What Oxford Road is to Europe, Orchard Road is to Asia.

It’s got a great vibe and atmosphere, and you can lose endless hours shopping here.

Pros and cons of staying on Orchard Road

Best shopping area in all of Asia!Little to love if you don’t want to shop
You can lose hours enjoying the atmosphere alonePretty boring for families with children

Best hotels on Orchard Road

Luxury – Concorde Hotel Singapore

This hotel sits on the Orchard Road shopping paradise, has its own outdoor pool, and each room has a huge TV to enjoy! You’ll be in the height of luxury and comfort here, and the range of dining options are amazing.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – ZEN Rooms Orchard

Every room has its own balcony. A fantastic breakfast is served every morning. You’re within arm’s reach of the best shopping in Asia.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – 1br Cosy Somerset

This lovely Orchard apartment is perfect for young couples looking to be in the heart of Singapore. If you love shopping, everything is just downstairs for you to enjoy and explore! The apartment also has a well-equipped kitchen!

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Where to stay in Marina Bay

Home to Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands Hotel

The fanciest and most modern area of Singapore is home to all its most impressive towers and skyscrapers, including the incredible Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Walking this area after visiting the Colonial District feels like entering a different world.

Pros and cons of staying in Marina Bay

A stunning area of modern architectureNot much history to enjoy here
The most vibrant and colourful area of SingaporeCan become overly busy

Best hotels in Marina Bay

Luxury –  Marina Bay Sands

Perhaps the most famous hotel in Singapore, this incredible, beautiful, extravagant building stands proud against the ocean as a statement of Singapore’s luxury.

Its rooms are massive, its food is of award-winning quality, and its aesthetic marries traditional Chinese with modern – almost sci-fi style. From your room you get a view of the city ahead of you and the ocean behind you.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

With a spa, infinity pool and views of the marina, there’s no better place to enjoy and take in beauty of Singapore.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Amara

A delicious full English breakfast greets you every morning, and your comfy bed soothes you to sleep every night. This hotel is bright and cheerful, ideal if you’re a young travelling couple.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Marina Sands

Where to stay in Chinatown

A vibrant historic district

Chinatowns are always fun. They provide you with real authentic Chinese cuisine – both in the form of street food and quality restaurants.

They also use traditional Chinese architecture to totally transform a city district. Great place to explore!

Pros and cons of staying in Chinatown

Perfect if you love Chinese culture and foodLimited shopping to enjoy
One of the most unique areas of SingaporeNot much range of culture

Best hotels in Chinatown

Luxury – The Scarlet Singapore

This hotel is the height of Chinatown luxury. Its beds are enormous and the comfiest in Singapore. You also have a gym and laundry free to use! The décor perfectly blends with the style of Chinatown.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Hotel 1888 Collection

This minimalist Chinatown hotel is a great space to relax, with amazing restaurants at your doorstep. The rooms are cosy and quiet.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Backpackers’ Inn Chinatown

Although it’s advertised for backpackers, this Chinatown accommodation offers excellent private double rooms that are ideal for young couples. You get a spacious room with a big TV to relax with, and you’re in the heart of Chinatown.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com


Where to stay in Little India

Where you’ll find the best restaurants

Similar to Chinatown, Little India uses traditional Indian architecture and food to create a dynamic and unique district of Singapore.

Here you’ll get the best Indian cuisine in Asia, outside of India itself.

Pros and cons of staying in Little India

Amazing Indian food!Not much variety of cuisine here
Beautiful Indian architecture with loads of coloursNot much to like if you don’t love Indian food

Best hotels in Little India

Luxury – Park Hotel Farrer Park

This stunning hotel is just around the corner from streets upon streets of the best Indian restaurants outside of India. The hotel itself also has a private indoor swimming pool.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Village Hotel Albert Court

The rooms of this Little India hotel are adorned with lovely artwork bursting with colour. The high beds are comfy and soothing. The windows let in all the natural light you need.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Hilton Garden Inn Singapore

This lovely hotel has its own rooftop pool and a gym where you can keep fit while on holiday. There’s a huge range of cuisines on offer at their restaurant.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Little India

Where to stay in The Quays

With the best views in the city

The smell of the sea, the views of both the open water on one side and the cityscape on the other.

This area is both calm and vibrant. Nothing gives you that holiday feel like walking the quays at night.

Pros and cons of staying in The Quays

Beautiful views of ocean and cityNot a lot of food culture to enjoy
A vibrant, electric atmosphereNo history to be explored here

Best hotels in The Quays

Luxury – Park Hotel Clarke Quay

At this hotel you have a swimming pool and a fitness centre that are all yours to use through the day. High windows in the rooms also give an amazing view of the city.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Novotel Clarke Quay

City views abound at this gorgeous hotel. Staying here also means being at the edge of the best shopping, bars, and nightlife.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Furama City Centre

The modern décor at this swanky hotel boasts a very cool vibe. It’s American pop-art meets modern lines and angles. Something very unique. Plus, there’s a fantastic pool to enjoy!

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Clark Quay
Photo by Yuan

Where to stay on Sentosa Island

The best white sandy beaches

This is the best place if you’re a couple or a family looking for a quiet getaway.

It’s still got easy access to the city proper, but it has its own white sandy beaches and is far more quiet and spacious than the rest of Singapore.

Pros and cons of staying on Sentosa Island

Calm, quiet atmosphere, perfect for couplesNot much bustle and excitement to be enjoyed
Beautiful white sandy beachesCan feel a little isolated

Best hotels on Sentosa Island

Luxury – Resorts World Sentosa – Equarius Hotel

At this hotel, the absolute height of luxury, you’re treated to the best spa treatments in Singapore, as well as a gym and a huge outdoor pool. The beds use Egyptian cotton sheets and the rooms are the most beautiful you’ll ever stay in.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Le Meridien Sentosa

This hotel is nestled amongst stunning gardens and features a phenomenal luxury pool, as well as a fantastically-equipped fitness centre. You’re also within reach of beaches and theme parks!

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove

The rooms at this hotel have an absolutely stunning décor and are spacious enough to fit a small house inside. It’s the absolute height of comfort, to say the least.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com


Where to stay in Bugis

Great shopping, restaurants, and nightlife

Bugis is a totally perfect mix of everything you want from Singapore.

It has fantastic Indian and Chinese restaurants, a vibrant shopping area, and really great pubs and clubs to discover. The total package.

Pros and cons of staying in Bugis

Fantastic shopping, clubbing, and diningNot many museums and galleries to explore
A mix of everything you want on holidayNo relaxing areas to chill in

Best hotels in Bugis

Luxury – 30 Bencoolen

This fantastic hotel has a rooftop pool and a really great in-house restaurant. You’re getting an awful lot of luxury at this hotel.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – XY Hotel Bugis

The XY Hotel Bugis is all about modern neon-soaked décor. It will remind you why you’ve come to Singapore, and it’s ideal if you’re looking for nightlife.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Hotel Bencoolen

This hotel is situated in the perfect location if you’re looking for a mix of excellent food, bars, and shopping. Whatever the time of day, the best entertainment is on your doorstep.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Photo by Scott Hughes

Where to stay in Kampong Glam

The city’s Malay-Muslim quarter

The district with the deepest history, long predating the British rule of Singapore.

This area used to be home to the city’s old aristocracy, so it has some of the most incredible traditional architecture in the city!

Pros and cons of staying in Kampong Glam

The best local history to exploreNot much to enjoy if you don’t love local history
Stunning old architecture to photographNot much of a range of cuisine and shopping

Best hotels in Kampong Glam

Luxury – ZEN Premium Kampong Glam

This premium hotel is ideal if you’re a young couple looking for somewhere comfy and quiet to stay as you explore the city. It has all the comfort you need to feel at home.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Mid-range – Hotel Clover 33 Jalan Sultan

Traditional decor and lovely ambience in a great location. This hotel is all about real comfort to settle you into the Singapore lifestyle.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Budget – Space Pod

This is the absolute best choice if you’re looking for a unique sleeping experience with a futuristic vibe! The space capsules have air con and flat screen, and they’re big enough so you won’t feel claustrophobic.

Plus, it’s a great location as you explore the city.

Check the latest prices at Booking.com

Haji Lane

Things to do in Singapore

Singapore blends the old and the new so well.

One of the best traditional things to do – which is also cheap and gives you the chance to sample all the best food – is eat at a Hawker Centre. These are outdoor food courts where you can taste the best street food in Singapore.

There’s also the spectacular Laser and Light show by the iconic Merlion Statues, and some of the world’s best shopping on Orchard Lane.

Singapore is a small city perfectly suited to an intense holiday where you can do almost anything.

Read next: 10 totally free things to do in Singapore

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  1. Thank you and you really provide a great list and as per budget. It is really categorized well. I have an experience of staying in Little India and you really presented things in a same way. Again great effort

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