If you are a shopaholic, or know someone who is, then a trip to Singapore is the best thing for you. Singapore is known as a shopper’s paradise and with good reason. This one tiny island City/State has more shopping malls and street markets than you can see in any other city in the world. You’ll find it all in Singapore – top designer brands, high street fashion, street fashion, and street markets where you can bargain for everything. Orchard Road in Singapore has the greatest concentration of shopping malls in the world, and it’s
1. Everything Indian – Little India
The streets of Little India bustle with shops selling everything from cheap Indian readymade garments, gold jewelry, Hindi music CDs, costume jewelry and souvenirs by the dozens. The fresh food markets at Tekka Center offer the most authentic Asian shopping in Singapore experience you’ll experience. Mustafa Centre is a top-of-the-line 24-hour retail paradise in Little India, selling a vast array of goods, from perfume to electronics. Want some lip-smacking curry? Head out to any of Little India’s street vendors or restaurants.
2. Haji Lane
Haji lane doesn’t look like much at first glance, but get in, anyway. This non-descript back alley in Singapore’s Arab Quarter is actually a very trendy shopping spot for the young and young-at-heart. Here you’ll find vintage clothes, cult labels and fun stuff at the many unique boutiques that line the street. Towards evening, chairs and tables are set outside the many cafes, bars and restaurants, a la France. Sit back, smoke a shisha pipe, drink sweet mint tea or the thick, sweet Arabic coffee and ponder on life. That’s Haji Lane for you, one of the best places for shopping in Singapore.
3. Pagoda Street
Chinatown’s Pagoda Street is your best bet for souvenir shopping, especially if you’re looking for Chinese fans, beautifully-carved chopstick sets, Merlion paperweights and more. Chinatown’s streets are lined with colorful market stalls on either side, with the traditional heritage shophouses forming a stunning backdrop. Ignore the tacky souvenirs and explore deeper, and you’ll find some great deals like antique furniture and genuine lacquer ware. If you’ve always wanted a carved chess or a Mahjong set, or Chinese Tea, or Feng Shui three-legged frogs and laughing Buddhas, come to Pagoda Street.
4. Wisma Atria
Wisma Atria is a bustling mall in Orchard Road, where you can pick up some high street fashion from brands such as La Senza, Nine West, Gap and Sea Folly. Wisma Atria has local stores as well, such as the excellent shoe store Charles & Keith and Pedro, and the Japanese department store Isetan. Be sure to taste some of the excellent local cuisine at the Food Republic food court on the top floor. If you’re not too tired, use the underground passageway to visit the ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City as well.
5. Ngee Ann City
Ngee Ann City is a huge mall containing seven levels of shopping and eating outlets, right in the center of Orchard Road. Known locally as ‘Takashimaya’ owing to the enormous Takashimaya Department Store, Ngee Ann City is home to big designer names. If you have the money to drop, then you’ve got Tiffany, Cartier, and Chanel here. If you care a bit more for your funds, then wallet-friendly brands such as Zara, Ted Baker and Mango are also present. The mall also contains Asia’s largest bookstore, Kinokuniya, and Best Denki, Japan’s electronics giant. When you get hungry, there’s a bevy of excellent restaurants, plus a great food hall in Takashimaya Department Store’s basement.
6. Mandarin Gallery
The Mandarin Gallery has over 100 small independent designer boutique shops, aimed at the individualistic shopper who’s not swayed by big brand names. Here you’ll find excellent clothes, shoes and handmade items created by boutique owners. When you are in need of a bite, head to Wild Honey for gourmet food; Jones the Grocer for some wine & cheese; and Ippudo Ramen for some ramen noodles.
VivoCity is a shopping and entertainment extravaganza rolled into one. This lively mall boasts of a multi-screen Golden Village cinema, two supermarkets, a gym and play areas for children, apart from a number of high fashion brand outlets. Open-air dining and drinking options along the Sentosa-overlooking promenade and hawker-stalls in the food court will take care of your hunger pangs. If you’ve got kids, do visit the extra-large Toys R Us and children’s clothing stores.
8. The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
This enormous luxury shopping mall is home to high-end luxury brands such as Cartier, Burberry, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Hermes and Miu Miu. If you’re a high street fan, be happy as the mall contains Guess, Miss Sixty and Banana Republic stores as well. There’s also a large range of luxury jewelry and watch brands in a corridor leading from the Marina Bay Sands Casino. Hungry and still got money to spend? Head out to restaurants run celebrity chefs such as Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali.
9. ION Orchard
One of Singapore’s most popular and probably the largest shopping mall, ION Orchard has all the big brand designer names you could want, namely Gucci, Prada, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade and others. In lower levels you’ll find high street favorites such as Zara, Mango, TopShop and others. When the hunger pangs hit you, head to the food court in basement level 4.
10. Funan DigitaLife Mall
If you’re looking for IT and electronic goods, Funan DigitaLife Mall is your haven. The mall has seven levels crammed with hi-tech, ranging from cameras to headsets to smartphones to laptops, MP3 players and printers. Check the pricing for an item at several shops before you decide to purchase. Guess what? Funan DigitaLife Mall offers free Wi-Fi connectivity as well, so you can test your hi-tech product before buying it!
The best part about Singapore’s shopping scene is that most of the malls on Orchard Road are linked via underground walkways. Several have entrances that open directly from Orchard MRT Station as well. In fact, it’s all so efficient and inter-connected; you can do all your shopping on foot on Orchard Road, without having to rely on any other transport.