Singapore is one of the easiest Asian countries for expats to relocate, thanks to its diverse culture, safety, and modern amenities. That’s why there are so many thriving expat communities in Singapore. While it can be on the more expensive side, Singapore has proven time and again to have everything that relocators are looking for. Here are the top (in no particular order) most popular expat communities in Singapore.
This city is famous for an eclectic culture of cafes, eateries, wet markets, bookshops and more. As the city grows in popularity, development grows along the way, but the city still maintains its original charm. It has a retro feel that appeals to expats from all over the world. The flats have historical significance, with many built pre- and post-war, which are managed and governed by the city. Tiong Bahru was designed with interlocking streets in a horseshoe shape, with a community center in the middle. It’s the perfect destination for those looking for a city with a hip and artsy feel.
“Holland V,” as it is often called, is a favorite among expats for its mix of the quiet, calm residential life mixed with just enough entertainment to keep you on your toes. It’s not a party town by any means. In fact, it tends to quiet down by midnight. It’s more of a classy spot with a bohemian feel, full of restaurants featuring cuisines from all over the world, including those from Europe and the Americas, as well as several popular expat clubs to help you feel right at home.
Orchard Road is a busier area, known for being a hub for great shopping. It’s also full of hotels, nightclubs theaters and more. Although the cost of living can be especially high in this area, you have all the access to public transportation you can possibly need, and all of the entertainment and amenities to go along with it. Orchard Road is also home to Singapore’s Botanical Gardens. It is located at the fringe of the shopping district, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Think of Orchard Road as “The heart of Singapore,” which is its nickname.
For a different feel, maybe something with a little more space, Woodlands is a viable option. Of the many expat communities in Singapore, some choose this suburban area in the city-state’s northern region. The total population is about 243,000 people, and this is a great option for many expats who want to bring families along with them. There’s more space and the promise of a quieter lifestyle. You can find most types of housing here, including terrace houses and bungalows. There is also an American School for the large number of US families in the neighborhood.
If you’re looking for a more luxurious place to settle down, Tanglin is more likely for you. This leafy residential district is where you’ll find most of the embassies, along with large, beautiful homes and luxury hotels. You can access the Botanic Gardens and take your family along its paved trails and visit upscale shops, cocktail bars and restaurants all within the district. Tanglin also has some of the most luxurious spas in all of Singapore.
The Expat Communities in Singapore
Singapore is one of the world’s best expat destinations. For four years running, it has won the title of the best expat destination by the HSBC’s Expat Explorer report. That is, it’s the best destination if you can swing it with the price of living being what it is. You should realistically expect to spend $2,000 USD per month to maintain a basic lifestyle. If you decide to work while in Singapore, that may not be too difficult, since salaries in the city-state are higher on average than they are in most areas of the world.
The expat communities there are known to arrange and run clubs in their respective districts, in order to create close community bonds with plenty to see and do. People come from all over the world to settle as expats in Singapore, making for a multi-ethnic society. That means you are likely to find that your language is spoken by many, and English speaking is common. There are groups that offer advice and open discussions for moving to Singapore as well, and they are classified based on where you’re coming from. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a community and/or expat group that works for you!