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Woman in Katong; image used for HSBC Singapore's global neighbourhoods article page

Singapore's most popular neighbourhoods for expat living

Do you want to live in a quaint walk-up, a house near the beach overlooking the water, or stay at a high-rise condo close to your office? The options are endless for most expats working in Singapore. Deciding where you should stay in your new country/region is one of the most important parts of a relocation journey, but it can be daunting, especially with the many different choices available in the market. We've narrowed down the most popular neighbourhoods for expats in Singapore to help with your home search.

Orchard and the city

Orchard road sign.

Orchard Road

The Orchard Road area offers easy access to the retail hustle and bustle of the stretch's shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and health and beauty services. Despite the activity and density, many of the surrounding neighbourhoods just around the corner are surprisingly quiet and leafy.


Tanglin is a prestigious area that is home to many embassies. Properties vary from large houses with luscious gardens to low-rise condominiums and newer, taller condos. The popular Dempsey Hill area offers an eclectic mix of cafés, restaurants, furniture shops and art galleries for you to spend many an afternoon exploring.

River Valley

River Valley is a popular area situated between Orchard Road to the north and the Singapore River to the south, with a large concentration of modern high-rise condominiums and some conservation houses.

Holland Village

An expat favourite, Holland Village is known for being a foodie haven as it has a good selection of restaurants, and a multitude of cafés and bars. It's also close to several popular schools such as Henry Park Primary School and ACS (International) Singapore.

Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan

Robertson Quay and Mohammed Sultan Road are areas popular with singles and young couples who want to be close to the CBD and enjoy the nightlife and dining scene along the Singapore River. Robertson Quay boasts swanky new condominiums with lovely river views, and is situated further from the noisier parts of Clarke Quay where many bars are located.


Train tracks and trees.

Central Bukit Timah

This established residential area stretches from just beyond Newton Circus to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It is home to many condominiums of varying ages and landed properties, perfect if you have a larger family and need a bigger space. It is also where many renowned schools like Nanyang Primary School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School and the Swiss School in Singapore are situated.

Novena/Newton Circus

Not far from Orchard, and home to a good mix of landed properties and high-rise condos are Novena and Newton Circus. The latter is famous for its namesake hawker centre, which offers delicious local eats like carrot cake, Hokkien mee and barbecued seafood.


Popular with families from the nearby French School and Australian International School, this laidback residential area offers condominiums and spacious family houses, many even coming with gardens of their own.


Thomson Road is a stone's throw away from the green corridor of MacRitchie Reservoir, as well as some of the best garden centres in Singapore, extending right up to Yishun and Sembawang. It's also near the Singapore Polo Club, where you or your children can take horseriding classes.


Not far from Thomson and Bishan is Braddell, another established residential area with some excellent choices for landed properties with gardens.



Expats choose Woodlands for its big, reasonably priced family houses and for its proximity to the Singapore American School. Not surprisingly, there is a large American expat community living in the neighbourhood.



Residents tend to hang on to their properties tightly here, though you can still find good deals on the greatly sought-after traditional black-and-white houses. The area comprises part of Upper Thomson and includes the Lower Seletar Reservoir. The general Seletar vibe is one that imbues a slower pace of life, perfect if you prefer a more chilled out way of living.


View of Joo Chiat in Singapore.


Katong and Joo Chiat are favoured by expats who are keen to experience local Peranakan culture, although these colourful neighbourhoods also boast large malls such as Parkway Parade and Katong I12.

East Coast

The East Coast area runs from Kallang for 18 kilometres (approximately 11.18 miles) to Loyang and Changi Airport, and has long been popular with expats for its spacious and breezy condominiums and houses. If you love going to the beach or doing water sports, East Coast is also the perfect place for you, with the sea right at your doorstep.

Siglap, Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris

These popular East Coast neighbourhoods offer more affordable housing options than the main East Coast stretch. Choose from apartments and townhouses to spacious, detached bungalows, all within neighbourhoods that boast their own malls and a great variety of amenities.



Sentosa island has some of the most exclusive (and expensive) homes in Singapore - some of which directly face the sea. Residents of Sentosa Cove also have access to a golf course, excellent restaurants at Quayside, recreational opportunities and the ONE°15 Marina.

Faber Park

Faber Park has a spacious, suburban feel and a large, friendly expat community. The area's benefits include easy access to the AYE/CTE expressways, as well as VivoCity and HarbourFront malls for shopping.


View of sun and beach.

Upper Bukit Timah

Just beyond Central Bukit Timah, this area has a large selection of good value condominiums and semi-detached houses, along with several shopping centres and F&B options in the area. The PIE and BKE expressways are also easily accessible for those with cars.

As seen in Reproduced with permission.

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