In comparison to other Southeast Asian cities, Singapore is an expensive place to stay. Demand has lately outstripped availability, particularly in the higher price ranges, and it’s not unusual for almost everything to sell out during major events such as the Formula One race or some of the bigger conferences. Lower-cost hotels and hostels, on the other hand, remain cheap and accessible all year.
Singapore’s regulations prohibiting building late at night and early in the morning only apply to residential neighborhoods, not the city center. Late at night or early in the morning, you may expect to hear noisy piling from locations like the new Downtown MRT Line tunnels. Before making your final selection, keep this in mind and listen for any noisy construction activity near your hotel of choice; work is unlikely to halt simply because you want to sleep.
Unless you’re a die-hard Orchard Road shopper looking to maximize your time in the malls, the Riverside is arguably the finest location to stay in Singapore.
Little India, Bugis, Clarke Quay, and the East Coast are the most popular destinations for backpackers. A dorm bed at a backpacker hostel costs between $12 and $40.
Cheap hotels are concentrated in the areas of Geylang, Balestier, and Little India, where they cater mostly to customers who hire rooms by the hour. Rooms are often tiny and unprepossessing, but they are clean and include basic amenities like a shower and a television. Prices range from $15 for a few hours of “travel” to $40 for a full night’s stay.
Much of Singapore’s mid-range lodging is in older hotels that are fairly bland but practical, with a noteworthy concentration around the Singapore River’s western end. However, there has been a recent boom of “boutique” hotels in restored shophouses here and in Chinatown, which may be very affordable, with prices beginning at $100/night.
Singapore offers a broad range of high-end accommodations, including the world-famous Raffles Hotel. A room at a five-star hotel will often cost you upwards of $300 per night, which is still a fantastic bargain by most standards. Hotel costs vary a lot: a big conference may treble expenses, while significant reductions are frequently available on weekends during the off-peak season. The biggest hotel clusters can be located near Marina Bay (which is great for tourists) and Orchard Road (good for shopping).
Singapore housing is costly due to the high population density and lack of land, which pushes up real estate prices. As a consequence, you’ll often find rents comparable to those in New York and London.
Ascott, which also operates under the Somerset and Citadines brands in Singapore, is an example of an apartment hotel. Prices are comparable to hotels, but more costly than flats.
In most cases, a working visa is required to rent an apartment in Singapore. While over 80% of Singaporeans live in government-subsidized Housing Development Board (HDB) apartments, the availability of these flats for tourists is restricted, but JTC’s SHiFT program makes some accessible for $1700–2,800 per month.
Most foreigners, on the other hand, opt for private housing blocks known as condominiums, where a three-bedroom flat may cost anything from $3,200 per month in the suburbs to $20,000 for a top-of-the-line luxury one on Orchard Road. The majority of condominiums include amenities such as pools, gyms, tennis courts, parking, and 24-hour security. Due to the scarcity of studio and one-bedroom homes, most low-income individuals share an apartment with friends or coworkers, or just rent a single room. Bungalows, or landed homes, are very costly near the city center (rents are often in the tens of thousands of dollars), but they may be cheaper if you’re prepared to live outside of the city center — and keep in mind that you can travel across the country in 30 minutes.
Security deposits of one or two months are common, and for monthly rentals under $3,000, you must pay the agency a fee of two weeks each year of lease. Leases are typically for two years, with a one-year “diplomatic provision” allowing you to end it sooner. Singapore Expatriates is the country’s biggest real estate firm for expats, and its free ads are a popular place to look for roommates or flat mates. You could also go through the classified advertisements in your local newspaper.