There’s practically something for every shopper in Singapore. For the latest fashion trends, check out Orchard Road – Singapore’s famous shopping street – or take your pick from the diverse international brands that can be found in the Marina Bay Area. If you’re looking for more cultural finds, dive into the districts of Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown to discover a treasure trove of ethnic products, jewellery, textiles, antiques and more.
If you’re looking for unique buys, shopping enclaves are also sprouting in some of the city’s less touristy areas, where you will find independent boutiques selling an assortment of interesting products.
The name of this quaint and historical district originates from the Gelam Tree, which once grew abundantly in the area. Kampong Glam was gazetted as a conservation area in 1989, and most of the original architecture has since been restored. Rows of conserved shophouses painted in vibrant colours now line the streets, and many of them are occupied by trendy design and IT firms, restaurants, caterers, art galleries, and craft and curios shops.
Haji Lane, which was once an empty street of pre-war shophouses, has been given a new lease of life by local designers and young entrepreneurs who have set up their quaint boutiques proffering fashionable wear and products boasting made-in-Singapore designs.
On Arab Street, there are textile shops that have been in business since the 1950s. You’ll find bales of silk, batik, lace, organza and other materials here, where customisation and tailoring services are also available. You’ll also find sandalwood, prayer beads, book stands used specifically for the Quran known as ‘rehal’, wooden toothbrushes and other unique wares that cater to the Muslim community.
See more of Kampong Glam
Spanning almost 2.2km, Orchard Road is a swanky, one-way boulevard flanked by distinctive and iconic shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. The iconic shopping belt offers nearly 800,000 sq m of retail, dining and entertainment options to please any taste or budget - from opulent brands to high street fashion, and exclusive restaurants to fast food joints.
Check out these malls along Orchard Road: ION Orchard, Knightsbridge, H&M Orchard, Orchard Central and 313@Somerset
Chinatown is Singapore’s largest historic district, nestled close to the bustling business hub. It is now made up of exotic pre-war shop houses, home to merchants who have been hawking the same wares for years – bales of fine silk, traditional handicrafts, and gold and jade jewellery.
Many shopping centres can also be found in Chinatown. These malls not only sell a wide selection of Chinese products but also offer affordable electronic goods, textiles and discounted cosmetics and clothes. For a shopping experience that blends traditional Chinese heritage with contemporary offerings, the Chinatown stretch is a must-visit on your trip to Singapore.
Find out more about Chinatown
Little India is one of the most vibrant and culturally authentic districts of Singapore. Many of olden-day trades can still be found by its roadsides, alleys and back lanes. Fortune-tellers and their parrots, flower vendors selling garlands of jasmine, kachang puteh (roasted nuts) sellers on pushcarts and street-side newspaper vendors.
Amid the pungent fragrances of spices and blooms is Serangoon Road and its inner lanes. Here, look out for stalls selling Ayurvedic massage oils, gold, incense and fabrics in a variety of textures.
No trip to Little India is complete without an all-night shopping spree at the 24-hour emporium, Mustafa Centre. Despite its modest exterior, Mustafa Centre is a treasure trove of household knick-knacks, decorative items, foodstuff, Indian spices, apparel and textiles, electronic items and more–at some of the lowest fixed prices in Singapore.
Find out more about Little India
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands®
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands® is one of Singapore’s largest luxury shopping malls with a refreshing mix of international brands, emerging labels and new concepts. Located in the heart of the Central Business District, this eye-catching shopping destination features a contemporary and open design, offering breathtaking views of the Marina Bay skyline.
Other innovative concepts here include Singapore’s first skating rink within a mall, as well as a canal where you can take a relaxing boat ride through the retail belt in one of the many beautifully crafted sampans.
See The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands®