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the non-native dream: expat neighborhoods around singapore


C:\Users\Jenna\Downloads\shutterstock_157554158.jpgMoving away from your home country can be scary, but it’s helpful to remember that in most nations, there will be expats just like you who have made the leap to living in a completely different environment. In the best places, these fellow expats are welcoming and enthusiastic about newcomers, and they have built up a thriving expat community perfect for exploring a new country and culture fun and safely.

Singapore is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable places for expats to call their new home. The unbelievably delicious foods, interesting traditions, and unfamiliar history of Singapore make for excellent adventures, and the proximity of the country to the rest of Southeast Asia makes it a hub for all sorts of Eastern travels. However, though Singapore is small, it is dense with urban and rural environments, and it can be difficult to decide where to set up camp. Here are the best expat neighborhoods Singapore has to offer; filled with friendly faces and lively entertainment, living in these areas definitely won’t disappoint.

Orchard Road District

Orchard Road is like the Times Square of Singapore — the absolute center of everything the city has to offer. This street is more than a mile long, and boasts more than a square mile of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. A veritable playground for adults with money to spend, Orchard Road is a cosmopolitan dream.

There are plenty of advantages to living in the middle of it all. Right on your doorstep are excellent shopping and dining opportunities — which are perfect for showing off to visiting friends and family — and you won’t have to travel far for entertainment like theaters and clubs. However, this area of the city can be loud and busy, so it might not be an ideal neighborhood for families or retirees.

Tanglin District

Considered by locals to be one of the more prestigious areas to live in the city, Tanglin is where most countries’ embassies are located in Singapore, so you won’t be the only non-native on the block. Still containing valuable restaurants and shopping opportunities, Tanglin is a much quieter region of the big city. Plus, Tanglin is full of high culture, with plenty of art galleries, and it is nearby Singapore’s famous Botanic Gardens. Properties range in size from huge mansions to economical condos, so there is much to see; before you commit to a house or apartment, be sure to fly to Singapore a few times to explore the different areas.

Holland Village

C:\Users\Jenna\Downloads\shutterstock_133328108.jpgComparable to Greenwich Village or SoHo in Manhattan, this neighborhood has a bohemian vibe. While there is a large and popular shopping center in the area, shops here are more likely to be vintage or filled with eclectic knick knacks, and restaurants are more down-to-Earth. You’ll get a larger dose of unique Singaporean culture in this region than the previous two, but you’ll be surrounded by expats as well.

Central Bukit Timah

Some people like the hustle and bustle of the city — but not all the time. Residential areas on the outskirts of downtown provide proximity to desirable regions like Holland Village and Orchard Road without the noise and activity right outside one’s window. Central Bukit Timah offers this suburban feel. This neighborhood is green and full of parks while providing easy access to the shopping and nightlife in the central city. You won’t have to fight the crowds to get to your front door, but you won’t have to drive for hours for a fun night out, either.


Even farther from civilizations, the Woodlands are desirable for the neighborhood’s cheap, large properties and even more suburban feel. Plenty of expat families find themselves here for the country’s best American expat school, the Singapore American School, as well as comforting, basic attractions, like restaurants and movie theaters. With the wealth of Americans living in this neighborhood, many expats find they easily forget they’re living outside their homeland.

Sentosa Island

However, if you really want to get away from it all, you might look into property in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Singapore. Many homes on Sentosa Island are directly adjacent to the crystal blue sea, which make for simply stunning views. A world famous golf course, the country’s largest shopping mall, and other high-class attractions surround Sentosa Island, providing inhabitants with unending pleasure.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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