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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Singapore (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Marina Bay, Singapore


Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Singapore (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: For those contemplating a move to Singapore without a specific locale in mind, embarking on a look-see or exploratory journey to explore various expat havens can provide invaluable insights. Here are some top suggestions for places to explore while scouting out Singapore.

Taking a Look-See trip to Singapore is an essential step for anyone considering relocating to this vibrant city-state. Such a trip allows potential expats to explore different neighborhoods, get a feel for the local lifestyle, and assess the practicalities of living in Singapore. It's an opportunity to envision your daily life, from commuting to work to enjoying leisure activities, and to determine if the city aligns with your personal and professional goals. A well-planned Look-See trip can provide invaluable insights and help make an informed decision about moving to one of Asia's most dynamic hubs.

Recommended Itineraries

When planning a Look-See trip to Singapore, it's important to tailor your itinerary to the length of your stay. For a 10-day trip, focus on the central regions and a few key neighborhoods known for expat communities, such as Orchard, Holland Village, and the East Coast. If you have 20 days, you can explore these areas more thoroughly and extend your visit to include the heartlands like Tampines and Ang Mo Kio, as well as the western region, including Jurong and Clementi. This will give you a comprehensive overview of both the bustling city life and the more laid-back residential areas.

Orchard

Orchard Road is synonymous with luxury living and shopping in Singapore. This iconic area is a favorite among expats for its central location, high-end condominiums, and accessibility to international schools. With a bustling cosmopolitan vibe, Orchard is perfect for those who enjoy being in the heart of the action. The cost of living here is on the higher end, but it offers unparalleled convenience and a vibrant lifestyle.

Travel Tip: While in Orchard, visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a serene escape from the city's hustle. Don't miss dining at the famous Wild Honey for a taste of their international breakfast menu.

Holland Village

Holland Village, often referred to as "Holland V," is a favorite among expats for its bohemian charm and blend of local and international flavors. This neighborhood offers a more relaxed pace of life compared to the city center, with a variety of dining options, bars, and boutique shops. The cost of living is moderate, and the area is well-connected to the rest of the city, making it ideal for families and singles alike.

Travel Tip: Check out the Holland Village Market & Food Centre for a range of local dishes. The Sunday pop-up markets are also a great place to find unique artisanal goods.

East Coast

The East Coast of Singapore is known for its laid-back lifestyle, beachside activities, and a mix of traditional Peranakan shop houses and modern apartments. Areas like Katong and Siglap are popular with expats who prefer a quieter residential setting, yet still want access to good schools, eateries, and recreational facilities. The cost of living here is generally more affordable than in the city center, and the East Coast Park provides a great outdoor space for families and sports enthusiasts.

Travel Tip: Sample the famous Katong Laksa at 328 Katong Laksa and take a leisurely stroll along the East Coast Park for a picturesque view of the coastline.

Tampines and Ang Mo Kio

Tampines and Ang Mo Kio are representative of Singapore's heartlands, offering a more authentic local experience. These residential towns are self-sufficient with shopping malls, parks, and community facilities. The cost of living is lower, and the areas are well-connected by public transport. They are ideal for expats looking for a suburban lifestyle with all the conveniences of city living.

Travel Tip: Visit the Tampines Eco Green, an eco-friendly park with rich biodiversity, or explore the Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West for a relaxing afternoon amidst nature.

Jurong and Clementi

Jurong and Clementi are located in the western region of Singapore and have seen significant development in recent years. Jurong is set to become the second Central Business District, while Clementi remains a popular residential area for families and professionals. Both offer a mix of housing options, from HDB flats to private condominiums, and have a lower cost of living compared to the central areas. These neighborhoods are great for those seeking a balance between urban amenities and a peaceful environment.

Travel Tip: Explore the Jurong Lake Gardens for a tranquil retreat or visit the Clementi Market & Food Centre for a variety of local hawker delights.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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