Shopping Singapore

Shopping in Singapore

By Mia Russell

One of the world’s best shopping destinations, Singapore is a shopaholic’s heaven! The bustling city offers everything from electronics to clothing at affordable prices. The variety is mind-boggling, and you can indulge in luxury brands on Orchard Road or find ethnic treasures at one of the many craft markets. There’s something around every corner.

Shopping in Singapore is so much more than just buying things. It’s a showcase for the multicultural diversity within the city and the different worlds in which retail and heritage meet. From the vibrant Tanglin Mall Bazaar packed with vintage treasures to the sleek international flagship stores along Orchard Road, you’ll be immersed in the rich dichotomy that this incredible city-state is famous for.

Best Places for Shopping in Singapore

Singapore is a shopper’s paradise with an unimaginable array of places to shop. From the bustling markets on Pagoda Street in Chinatown to the world of electronics at Funan IT mall, here are some of the best places to shop in Singapore.

1. Orchard Road

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Home to mega malls, designer boutiques, and local and international department stores, Orchard Road is the most famous spot for shopping in Singapore. Dating back to the early 1830s, Orchard Road began as an unnamed road lined with nutmeg plantations, fruit orchards, and pepper farms. The first department store, TANGS, was built on Orchard Road in 1958, and today, the bustling boulevard is now a retail and dining paradise.

Begin your retail adventure at TANGS, one of Singapore’s oldest department stores. Designed in an Eastern style to homage to the Forbidden City, TANGS is stocked with Asian collectibles, unique souvenirs, and international brands.

In stark contrast, the ION Orchard is one of the city’s most dazzling shopping complexes. Boasting over eight levels of brand stores, restaurants, and an art gallery, the famously futuristic-looking mall is one of the most popular places to shop. You’ll find high-end brand stores like Gucci and Prada and specialist stores like The Grande Whisky Collection. The ION Art Gallery hosts local and international exhibitions, and the Far East Plaza is a bargain hunter’s utopia.

Another great retail haven along Orchard Road is the massive Far East Plaza. The plaza is famous for being the best spot in town to get Asian brands of apparel, accessories, and footwear at discounted prices.

Top tip: If you have limited time, Orchard Road is your best bet for one-stop shopping.

2. Marina Bay

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One of Singapore’s most glamorous locales, Marina Bay is home to several malls such as Raffles City and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands that promise an unforgettable shopping experience. From trendy boutiques and international brand stores to state-of-the-art electronics, Marina Bay is one of Singapore’s top retail spots.

Take a break from shopping and head up to the SkyPark Deck on the top of the Marina Bay Sands. Based on the 57th floor, this popular spot offers the most incredible views of the city, Marina Bay, and the busy Singapore Strait.

Take a guided tour and learn about Singapore's history and enjoy a dip in the hotel’s famous infinity pool that seemingly floats over the city. Use your pass to enjoy a free drink from the CÉ LA VI SkyBar as you soak up the unbelievable views.

3. Chinatown

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Singapore’s Chinatown is renowned for being one of the most fascinating and vibrant places to shop in the city. Home to bustling markets, quaint spice shops, and colorful arts and crafts stalls, Chinatown is the best place to buy spices, unique gifts, antique Asian treasures, and souvenirs.

Make your first stop at Ann Siang Road. Named after the wealthy businessman, Chia Ann Siang, the road is lined with rows of beautifully restored and brightly colored shophouses that blend the district’s rich history with trendy shopping and dining options.

4. Little India

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Colorful, vibrant, and buzzing with energy, Little India is a maze of winding lanes lined with quaint shops selling rich sari fabrics, aromatic spices, beautiful flower garlands, and antique jewelry. The Mustafa Centre is the main mall in the district and is famous for being one of the best places in the city to shop in bulk for the lowest prices. You’ll find everything from electronics to fabrics and souvenirs and it’s also open 24 hours, 7 days a week, so you can shop until you drop at all hours of the day.

Other good places to explore in Little India include Serangoon Road and its many little side street shops, and the Little India Arcade.

Take a break from shopping and visit the Indian Heritage Centre to learn about the rich history of India and South Asia. Located in the heart of the Little India Heritage District, the museum has themed galleries displaying a wonderful array of artifacts and objects relating to Indian and South Asian heritage.

5. VivoCity

Situated on the HarbourFront, VivoCity is Singapore’s largest shopping mall and is hailed as the ultimate shopping, entertainment, and lifestyle destination. Boasting over a million square feet of retail space, this megamall is jam-packed with an array of brand-name stores from Chanel to Marks & Spencer, and everything in between.

VivoCity is more than just shopping – it’s also home to four food courts, a wading pool, an amphitheater, and the world’s largest cinema. There is also an open-air playground on the second floor and a rooftop sky park for the kids to burn off some energy.

6. Haji Lane

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If it's quirky boutiques and trendy designer stores you’re looking for, make your way to Haji Lane. Renowned for being one of the best street shopping places in Singapore, the famous narrow street in this Arab Quarter is lined with quaint vintage stores and chic boutiques.

From vintage cameras and stylish apparel, you’ll find a spectacular range of unique items, gifts, and souvenirs. Some of the top spots on Haji Lane include Fabulous Fads, Dulcet Fig, and Tangers.

7. Clarke Quay

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Clarke Quay is a beautiful riverside quay that is home to a clutch of historic warehouses that have been transformed into glamourous shops, fancy waterfront restaurants, and sleek nightclubs. Home to designer boutiques and high-end brand stores from around the world, Clarke Quay is the best place to splurge on shopping. Top shopping spots range from Central Clarke Quay, Riverside Point, and Great World City.

8. IMM

Singapore’s largest outlet mall, IMM in Jurong is a bargain hunter’s paradise! Home to over 80 outlets offering up to 80% discount all year round. You’ll find big brand apparel names like COACH, DKNY, and Sacoor, as well as local labels like Charles & Keith. The mall also has several home décor and furniture stores for all your interior designing needs.

9. Tanglin Mall Bazaar

Vintage lovers and retro nuts will love the Tanglin Mall Bazaar on Tanglin Road which is packed with second-hand apparel and accessories, nostalgic CDs and vinyl, and other quirky items. There is also a fantastic food court with a wide range of delicious fare.

10. City Plaza

One of the oldest malls in Singapore, City Plaza is a budget bazaar for locals and tourists alike. Five floors are full of stores selling clothing, accessories, electronics, makeup, and footwear with some of the most popular shops including Whitefiction, PEONY Collection, and the Power Photo Store.

Top Tips for Shopping in Singapore

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  • If you are planning a trip to Singapore with the sole aim of shopping, head to the city between May to July for the Great Singapore Sale. You’ll find massive discounts and fantastic bargains.
  • If you have limited time for shopping, choose a spot with many shops or malls to get everything under one roof to save time.
  • Look out for shops that have ‘GST Refund’ or ‘Tax-Free Shopping’ signs – keep all your receipts and claim back the tax when you get home.
  • If you are buying large appliances or electronic items, make sure to check that your purchase has an international warranty.
  • Shop with your own recyclable bags and help save the environment.
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