Singapore is a very small place which actually makes it easy when deciding on a place to live. Location is everything but it depends on your criteria.
Some families choose to find a place smack bang on an MRT (train) line. This is particularly helpful if you don't intend on getting a car.
Some like being as close as possible to the action and the central business district.
Whilst others opt for being a bit further out, in the country. Yes there are plenty leafy locations in Singapore!
And then there are the breezy coastlines to consider too.
As a general guide here's where most expats tend to live:
1. East Coast
East Coast Park is a long stretch which is great for cyclists!
There are lots of lovely condos and landed properties around the Myer Road, Mountbatten and East Coast Road areas. You've also got East Coast Park on your doorstep and no end of restaurants, bars and shopping centres. If you're closer to the coast, or high up, you can also get a lovely breeze. Downside to the east coast is a lack of MRT stations. Most people use buses/taxis but these can be unreliable.
2. Sentosa Cove
Quayside in Sentosa Cove Village is where all the shops, restaurants and boats are located!
Many locals think Sentosa is miles away from everything but it's actually a very central, convenient location. It has a village, community feel, a lovely calm and leafy environment and there are lots of condos to choose from on both the North and South Coves.
Unlike other parts of Singapore, where you'll only get super high rise apartment blocks, Sentosa has more of a range with high rises as well as circa 6 storey condos. Landed properties exist but are expensive. There's a lovely beach nearby, plenty of restaurants, bars, supermarket, doctors, hairdressers. Basically everything you need is right there.
3. West Coast
Pasir Panjang Village on the West Coast has everything you need!
There are a mix of condos and landed properties on the west coast. Clementi Road, Pasir Panjang Road as well as South Buona Vista roads are all popular.
There's a fast freeway that connects the west coast with the city which can make getting to work an easier task. The West has a number of large shopping malls and is close to many international schools. It's also where the Science Centre, Jurong Bird Park and Jurong Water Park are located.
4. Holland Village
Holland Village has lots going on and can be noisy but also has plenty of quiet leafy roads
Holland Village is great for families. Close to the MRT station you have a number of landed properties on surprisingly quiet roads. You also have lots of condos on Tama Warna Road, Leedon Road and Farrer Road.
Chip Bee Gardens offers a lovely a strip of restaurants, cafes and services such as physiotherapist etc along with a great baking supplies shop!
Dempsey Hill is close by too which has a heap of restaurants there, a butcher as well as multiple furniture shops.
Holland Village shopping centre has everything you need inside: banks, coffee shops, supermarket, pharmacy and multiple services upstairs such as hairdressers and foot massage places. A number of bars and restaurants are located behind the shopping centre (photo above).
5. Robertson Quay
Rob Quay is a really lovely place to live
Super close to the city, many people love living in Rob Quay because it means they can walk to work. Being along the river, Robertson Quay has lots of paved walks and a range of restaurants to choose from. Much more homely and quieter than neighbouring Clarke Quay, Robinson Quay has a wide arrange of condos making it my preferred city location.
6. Orchard Road
The nightlife is in Orchard!
Obviously smack bang in the middle of the shopping district, the Orchard area can be noisy. But lots of people love it for it's convenience to the city and main shopping centres. There are lots of condos around 313Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut too. Condos tend to be smaller and pricier but everything you could ever need is right on your doorstep.
Newton Food Centre
A popular area just north of the city, Newton is leafy and close to a number of international schools. Cluster houses are quite common around this district as are high rise condos.
8. Bukit Timah
Get into the jungle in Bukit Timah!
BT is right in the countryside but still close enough to make a relatively easy commute to the city. There are absolutely stacks of playschools in this area and it is close to many international schools too.
Rents tend to be a bit cheaper than central and again, there are many places to choose from. You might even see wild monkeys and large lizards in the national parks and reservoirs around this area!