One of the most popular neighborhoods for expats, Holland Village is a favorite because of its central location. Over the past 10 years, Tiong Bahru has seen a revival of young art stores and trendy restaurants that some call it the “Brooklyn of Singapore”. It's the perfect spot for a leisurely Sunday stroll in the equatorial heat, with a cup of 40 Hands coffee in hand. Or head to Tiong Bahru Market, one of the few wet markets that leave town to buy fresh meat and vegetables for dinner.
Holland Village is one of the most popular areas for expats due to its central location, close to downtown and Orchard areas, as well as the open space of the Singapore Botanical Garden and MacRitchie Reservoir. Although home to many families, Holland Village still has a very eclectic atmosphere with a variety of local and Western bars, shops, restaurants. Holland Village places you close to some very good schools and a wide range of accommodation options, including high-quality HDBs, condos, bungalows and townhomes, so you can choose the lifestyle that's right for you. Tanjong Pagar has many of the classic beauty shop windows that maintain Singapore's Malaysian heritage and give the city a sense of picturesque charm.
Keong Saik and Neil Roads, in the heart of the area, have become a nerve center of Singapore's growing food and cocktail culture. For those who have a generous relocation package or a little more space in their rental budget, Sentosa can be a beautiful high-end option. Known as Singapore's “tourist island”, Sentosa has homes right on the water, both in beautiful condominiums and even in some houses on land. If windy and quiet spaces, with the beach just outside the window, sound too good to pass up, Sentosa Island may be the right choice for you, but be prepared for the price.
Sentosa is a bit far from the attractions of Singapore's “mainland”, so you'll need to plan your trips to the grocery store at VivoCity shopping mall a little more carefully, but it's still quite easy to access both by car and on a special tram line that connects to the general system of MRT at Harbourfront Station. Geylang is a decidedly more local area, perhaps even more authentically Chinese than Chinatown. About 15 from the outskirts of town, to the east, Hawker centers and street stalls are much more common than a fancy cocktail bar in this part of town. But many appreciate the stark charm that accompanies the neighborhood that has traditionally been identified as Singapore's red light district.
That distinction is still valid today, but the area is safe and has a strong community feel, as well as greater access to nature along the (park walkway). Geylang has a good balance between being a little cheaper and still having quick access to downtown offices and restaurants. Geylang also offers a mix of HDB and condos, though condos in this part of town tend to be smaller, with fewer units and less extensive land. The East Coast is more traditionally known as a base of operations for families.
It's quieter and has more access to nature. Many housing complexes are located a short walk from Parque de la Costa Este, the long and narrow strip along the beach that offers lots of greenery and a great view of the ocean. Woodlands is located on the northern tip of the island, closer to Malaysia than the commercial houses of Chinatown. But the distance from the city means this is the place to stretch out.
On an island, space is very expensive, but Woodlands offers large, reasonably priced homes with green space. The area is home to a large community of American expatriates due to the familiar feel of the suburbs and the proximity to Singapore's American school. The Woodlands has many large shopping malls with restaurants, shops, and cinemas, so you can hardly miss downtown. And the elevated road to Johor Bahru in Malaysia means cheap shopping and fresh Hokkien Mee are never too far away.
Single expats and couples sometimes prefer Tanjong Pagar, a spot just outside the central business district known for its lively dining scene. Sentosa is best known for its luxury expat housing, while Woodlands is especially popular with American expats. One of the quietest docks, residents here have easy access to Party Central, also known as Clarke Quay. It's also close to bustling CBD, though you can still enjoy the serenity of Robertson Quay.
It's the best of both worlds, if you ask us. As people come around the elegant condos, they end up staying to enjoy the vibrant dining scene. From restaurants to cafes and bars, the lively local culinary scene is right at your fingertips. Holland Village has to be one of the best neighborhoods to live in Singapore, because it has everything you need.
From pretty cafes and lively watering holes to local and international restaurants and even beauty salons, you don't have to leave the surrounding area for a relaxing weekend. The district offers a variety of residential options, including HDB flats, condo apartments, and townhomes in peaceful Chip Bee Gardens. For those moving to Singapore with children, it is reassuring to know that in the same survey it was the first overall for “Little Expats”, which relies on the ease of making friends, learning and schooling. However, in the latest developments, the introduction of the Punggol Digital District will position Punggol as Singapore's mini Silicon Valley.
Braddell is ideal for anyone thinking of enrolling their children at the Australian International School or the French School of Singapore. There is a large community of expatriates, specifically Americans, due to the proximity of the American School of Singapore to the neighborhood. These demographics have a significant impact on the lives of expats in Singapore, bringing international energy and some familiarity: in a melting pot of cultures, you are likely to meet other people from your home country and also encounter diversity. To help you move your home search forward, we've put together a guide to Singapore's most desirable neighborhoods for expats.
Tanglin is located between Orchard and Holland Village, and is recognized as a prestigious area, one of the richest neighborhoods in Singapore. In addition, the Novena MRT Station on the North-South Line gives you direct access to Singapore's civic district, central business district, and true blue heart neighborhoods such as Ang Mo Kio and Yishun. Singapore is divided into several districts, and within them you can find some of the best neighborhoods for professionals, couples and families. For more than a year, Singapore has pursued a “zero COVID-19” strategy that stifled the spread of coronavirus through strict border controls, a mask mandate, mandatory social distancing and aggressive contact tracing.
This means you'll likely need international health insurance to access Singapore's excellent healthcare. To the west of central Singapore is Holland Village, which offers an authentic neighborhood feel and is home to many families. Areas such as Woodgrove, Woodlands and Sembawang are home to many American expatriate families due to the presence of Singapore American School. An increasing number of expats are choosing to live on the East Coast, as housing in the area is better value for money.