Singapore's expat communities tend to live in neighborhoods, such as Tiong Bahru, nicknamed Singapore's Brooklyn because of its artistic side, and Holland Village, a well-connected district that houses houses, which may seem rare in a country where 80% of people live in high-rise government apartments. When it comes to living in Singapore, Sentosa Island has some of the most exclusive homes in Singapore, some of which face directly to the sea. Many expats who live here feel that it has the best neighborhood feel, made up of people from all over the world and a rather unique lifestyle. Sometimes it's difficult to take a taxi outside the island, but if you work in the financial district it's very convenient.
Sentosa Cove residents also have access to a golf course, great restaurants, and a host of recreational activities. On the doorstep of Sentosa is VivoCity, one of Singapore's largest shopping malls. One of the most popular neighborhoods for expats, Holland Village is a favorite because of its central location. It is conveniently located near Orchard and the city center, along with the Singapore Botanical Garden and MacRitchie Reservoir.
Even though many families live in the area, Holland Village still feels very diverse and has a lot to offer when it comes to restaurants, bars and shops. Tiong Bahru is one of Singapore's oldest residential areas. With a unique style, the houses here are intertwined in a way that looks like a horseshoe from a bird's eye view. In the center of the horseshoe is the community center.
Tiong Bahru has low-rise buildings, making it ideal for those who don't like the idea of living in a skyscraper. In addition, some apartments are still in the original elegant Art Deco style, while others have been restored in beautiful modern spaces. The area is known for its quieter, quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, which can be a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the city center. That's not to say there isn't much to see or do here.
Tiong Bahru has many trendy cafes and cafes, restaurants and boutiques, along with a popular wet market and convenient commuting connections. Many expatriate families like to live in the area, especially if their children are still very young. Located right in the heart of downtown, this district is where many high-income people choose to call home. In fact, Tanjong Pagar is so close to the main Central Business District (CBD) that you can reach it on foot in no time.
The area has undergone a massive refurbishment to keep up with demand, and there are some impressive housing options available. Most of the condo blocks here come with swimming pools, gym, and stunning skyline views. Does the idea of living in a quiet area with the sea breeze and the beach just outside sound ideal? If so, Sentosa Island is probably the place for you, if you can afford it. For those who have a bit to splurge on renting, Sentosa is easily one of the best high-end options in Singapore.
This “tourist island” allows you to live directly on the water, either in a nice condominium or in a country house. Even though it's a little more resort-like than other areas on this list, you still have that sense of neighborhood and sense of community. Sentosa is one of the furthest areas of central Singapore, which means you'll need to plan your trips to the supermarket. Still, it's easy to get there by car or tram.
Did we mention that it houses a golf course? Another area that is far from the hustle and bustle of the city center is the ever-popular East Coast. Here you'll find plenty of apartments to choose from, offering beautiful river or sea views, along with an abundance of restaurants and activities. Considered more of a family base of operations, the area is close to nature and is more relaxed. The park's trails provide a safe space for cycling and skating, although the quieter streets also allow cycling to work or school.
Located in the northern region of Singapore, Woodlands is popular with expats who want to raise their families outside of the city center. It's especially popular with American expats, as it's close to Singapore's American school and it has that suburban feel. If you are looking for a place where your children can enjoy Halloween like they do at home, Woodlands is the ideal place for you. Here you can find large houses with gardens at a reasonable price, which is an ideal alternative to apartment living if you have children.
As one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Singapore, The Woodlands has enough shopping spots, restaurants and cinemas in its large shopping malls to keep you busy. 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.
This is probably one of the most popular neighborhoods among expats moving to Singapore. The area has excellent restaurants, cafes, and shops. There is an MRT station nearby, making it easy to get to the Botanical Garden and Orchard Road. If you're moving to Singapore and hope to live in a prestigious area, then Tanglin is for you.
There are many embassies here and various types of properties available, not just skyscrapers. Orchard Road and the Ayer Rajah Highway (AYE) are easily accessible from here. River Valley is another popular spot between Orchard Road and the river. Here you can find high-rise condos, as well as some conservation houses.
Restaurants, cafes and other amenities are just a short walk away. You're also well-connected by public transportation, while Fort Canning Park is just around the corner. The standard of living available in this city is notoriously high and the health facilities are second to none. Singapore has a very low crime rate and the streets are safe, even in the middle of the night.
There's no shortage of expat groups and clubs all over the city, so, no matter what your nationality, you can always be sure to find fellow expats somewhere in the city. Expats will find that good quality healthcare is available in Singapore, regardless of health insurance. Even for those who don't have access to the city-state's subsidized system, healthcare in Singapore remains reasonably priced as long as expats are insured. A comprehensive expat health insurance plan will ensure that your healthcare needs are met without having to pay for them out of pocket.
The East Coast area stretches from Kallang for 18 kilometers (approximately 11.18 miles) to Loyang and Changi airports, and has been popular with expats for its spacious and windy condos and homes. According to expats who have chosen to establish a new life in this Asian dragon, Singapore is at its best. There is a large community of expatriates, specifically Americans, due to the proximity of the American School of Singapore to the neighborhood. If you live in Sentosa Cove, you'll have access to the golf course, restaurants and there are a number of leisure activities to enjoy on the weekend.
Many families choose to live here, thanks to its proximity to some of the best schools and open green spaces. This is a large and varied residential area, which has increased in popularity as a place to live in Singapore for expats. Expats like living in Woodlands because of its large family homes at reasonable prices and its proximity to the American School of Singapore. We've narrowed down the most popular neighborhoods for expats in Singapore to help you with your housing search.
Here are some of the best places for expats to live, chosen for their personality, amenities, location and budget. . .