Areas and Suburbs in Singapore

Where do expats live in Singapore?

Although it’s not the largest destination, choosing an area or suburb in Singapore to call home can nonetheless be a daunting task, and the best neighbourhood for one person may not be ideal for another.

An expat's decision on where to live will depend on their lifestyle priorities, family situation, the location of their workplace and personal preferences.

The city-state is divided into 28 districts which can be grouped into five main areas: Central, East, North, North-East and West.


Central Region

Singapore_from_Bay_East_Gardens.jpg

The central area is situated toward the south of the island. This large area includes the main business district as well as several popular residential areas, such as Bukit Timah and Bukit Merah. 

The area provides easy access to amenities like shopping, entertainment and restaurants. There are also a number of excellent international schools in the area, not to mention excellent public transport access.

Housing is predominantly found in high-rise condos and apartments, some of which are serviced or fully furnished, that tend to come with shared amenities, like pools and gyms. Pricing varies from reasonable to very upmarket, but this is generally considered to be the most expensive area in Singapore.

Pros: The city affords a cosmopolitan lifestyle and great access to almost everything.

Cons: Housing is more costly than accommodation found outside the hub. High noise levels from traffic and ongoing construction work can also have an impact on general living conditions, although this is less true of the outlying suburbs.


North Region

Although the north is considered to be far from the city, in truth it's only about 15 miles (25km) away and be easily accessed via car, MRT or bus. One can actually see Malaysia from the Woodlands district and there is a causeway bridge that connects the two countries. Areas such as Woodgrove, Woodlands and Sembawang are home to many American expat families due to the presence of the Singapore American School.

The area is lush with greenery and features golf courses, plant nurseries and reservoirs.

Pros: A very green area with estate-type living conditions. 

Cons: The area is relatively far from the city, and doesn't offer much in the way of nightlife.


East Region

Jurong_Gardens_Singapore.jpg

The eastern area of the island includes the districts of Bedok, Pasir Ris, Tampines and Changi.

The Changi International Airport is situated here, and its neighbourhoods claim a character that marries old and new. The area has a diverse population but many residents work in airline-related industries. There is excellent access to amenities, restaurants, schools and shops.  

Pros: Not far from the city. Residents have a coastal lifestyle, with beach facilities and many parks. Condominiums are larger and less expensive than in the city, and retain a sense of community.

Cons: Not many places to go out for a drink, although there are a number of excellent eateries in the area to make up for it.


West Region

The western area includes Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi and Jurong. The neighbourhoods in this greater space vary widely but are generally densely populated and have excellent amenities.

Choa Chu Kang offers lots of outdoor activities with a number of parks as well as recreational and sports venues. On the other hand, Jurong claims large industrial and residential areas and a golf course.

Pros: Rentals are more affordable and this is a great area for families, with properties that include gardens.

Cons: Commute to Central Region can be long.


North-East Region

Serangoon_Road_Singapore.jpgExpats looking to settle in Singapore's northeast area are often attracted to Serangoon, which is home to the Australian International School Singapore and the French School of Singapore.

Terrace homes, semi-detached houses and bungalows can all be found here, and there are also plenty of places to shop, dine out and enjoy the outdoors.

Pros: There are some good housing estates in the area, and there are lots of good places to eat out.

Cons: Rental prices can be expensive.

Pierre Cilliers Our Expat Expert

I am a South African who moved to Singapore at the end of July 2011. I lived in South Africa until coming here, and have been fortunate to have travelled the world extensively. This is my first stint living abroad. I enjoy cooking for friends, travel, music and movies. My new hobby is to keep a blog where I share life in Singapore and my experiences while living in South Africa.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

Get a quote from Aetna International

Cigna_logo_300.png

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global