Singapore is widely regarded as a shopper’s heaven. Apart from eating, Singaporeans do love to shop. This is evident in the number of retail shops made available, the choices are endless. To most, Orchard Road is often hailed as the best shopping strip. But there are more than meets the eye when it comes to shopping in Singapore. The choices go beyond Orchard Road. The good news is, we have a comprehensive list of some of Singapore best shopping experience and we are sharing this with you in our Singapore Shopping Guide.
But before we start, below are some shopping tips if you are traveling to Singapore.
Singapore Shopping Tips
- Most malls have ‘Tourist Specials’ – this is when you pay a visit to the mall’s information counter, show your passport and given a Tourist booklet, loaded with coupons, discounts vouchers and more!
- If you are thinking about shop hopping, most places around Singapore only takes less than 15 minutes to get to. Taxi rides tend to be within the $5 to $10 range. Otherwise, there is always the LRT
- The best time to shop in Singapore is during ‘The Great Singapore Sale’, which runs during June, July and early August.
- While there are many international brands in Singapore, they do have impressive selections of local designer labels selling amazing clothing.
- While it is so much better now, finding bigger sizes can still be tricky in Singapore. If you are a size 12 (AU, UK) / 10 (US) / 42 (EU) and bigger, your choices will be very limited. This also goes for men, their XL is usually an M- L at best.
- Similar to height and shoe size. If you are tall ( 5’10 and above for men, 5’6 and above for women) – forget about buying pants here. If your shoe size is above (10 for men and 8 for women) you will struggle with sizes, even with international brands.
- There is always a solution if you still want to get something special from Singapore. Bespoke clothing and shoes of course! Just make sure you have enough time to fit and refit.
- Singapore is pretty developed and is perceived to be way ahead of its other Asian counterpart. While that may be true, don’t for once think you won’t get scammed here while shopping!
- It is best to exercise the same level of caution when shopping here as you would other Asian countries. Especially when it comes to buying electronic goods and branded item. Always make sure items are genuine and check credit card transactions. If you think the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Which lead to this last tip;
- In my personal opinion, Singapore isn’t exactly cheap’ for shopping. In fact, I find shopping in Australia to be much cheaper. Even a bargain isn’t exactly a bargain compared to other Asian shopping destinations such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, Jakarta & Kuala Lumpur. Prices are more similar to Tokyo. That said, compared to Australia, Singapore has so much more choices, making shopping very, very exciting.
So, that’s out of the way, lets begin!
The Luxury Shopping
To those who like to shop for luxury items in sheer indulgence, there are plenty of such options in Singapore. If ION Orchard is not posh enough for you, and you would like to experience the most luxurious high-end retail that Singapore has to offer, then be sure to visit Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road or The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Collectively, these two malls are lined with the worlds best luxury brands, not just international, also local. Even if you are not going to buy anything, the malls itself has such grandeur, it’s worth a trip just for a look.
If you do have to pick one, go with The Shoppe. While Mandarin Gallery is posh, The Shoppes is just over the top posh with great brands, indoor canals (yes… I said it..), high-end eateries, rooftop bars.. the list goes on!
Best for : Luxury brands you cannot pronounce, such as Bottega Vanetta, Audemars Piguet, Bvlgari, Clé de Peau Beauté and many many expensive but amazing restaurants.
The Market Goods
There are not as many markets in Singapore, but the ones they have are quite good. Bear in mind, they are not as huge as other Asian markets. Markets such as Bugis Street Market, Tekka Market and Chinatown Street Market are good for souvenirs and street food, summer clothing and cool toys. While I have never purchased any clothing here, I certainly come here often for the food and drinks. It is nice to wander around the Bugis market and the surrounding area with the right hand holding a cup of fresh Sugarcane juice and ‘apam balik‘ on my left.
Best for: Singaporean Food and Singapore souvenirs
There are so many malls in Singapore. You can spend days wandering around Orchard Road and still not covered all the retail outlets. The awesome thing is, the Malls doesn’t just stop at Orchard Road, you can find them everywhere!
If you start with Orchard Road, you should not miss ION Orchard. This mall is not all good looks and no substance. This futuristic looking mall is a great place to start with over 300 retail shops ranging from mid-range (H&M , Uniqlo) to luxury brands (Prada , LV) and plenty of dining options here (with Australia’s own Luke Mangan headlining the Rooftop Salt Grill & Sky Bar).
What makes ION Orchard so awesome is, on top of shopping and dining, ION Orchard has an Art Gallery, Exhibition Center and the best of all, a Skydeck where you can catch a breathtaking view of Singapore city.
You will be spoilt for choice in Singapore , if you prefer mid-range retail. There’s Vivocity Mall, Bugis Junction, and the Suntec City Mall , to name a few. These malls have a great range of mid-range brand retail outlets such as Nike, Superdry , Etude House and department stores such as Tangs and BHG.
For bargain hunters out there, worry not, there are also malls that catered to products at bargain prices, Far East Plaza and Lucky Plaza are the place to be. Here you will mostly find tailors, street fashion and cheap Kawaii style clothing. You know.. the hip looking clothes you see Singaporean teenagers wear? Yep, them.
Best for: Your mid-range brands, fast fashion clothing, and accessories.
The 24 Hour Shopping
Yes, it is possible to drag your butt out of the bed at 2 am and go shopping in Singapore. You simply must pay Mustafa Centre a visit. This place has come a looong way. When I first came here when I was a kid, this center was a one building lot supermarket. Fast forward to now, they have literally occupied the whole street where you can walk from one street end to another in the mall. Mustafa centers have close to 300,000 items on display, ranging from food, Expensive watch, cheap shoes, gold all the way to money changing services.
If you are looking to purchase electronic goods but find places like Lucky Plaza or Sim Lim Square to be a little dodgy, try this place. This place is always busy but it is the best place to experience the true Singaporean experience. You just have to give this place a try.
Best for: Electronics, Watches, Personal Care Products, Jewelry pieces, Perfumes and Currency Exchange.
The Factory Outlets
To those who do not believe in paying full price for anything, the good news is, there are several factory outlet stores for you in Singapore! the IMM plaza is Singapore’s largest factory outlets with over 90 brands, discounted under one roof. If you are looking for a premium brand outlet here you can find Juicy Couture, Coach, Furla, Guess and Kate Spade outlet. This mall, however, is located at Jurong East. You will need to train or taxi it from CBD. If IMM does not tickle your fancy, Velocity @ Novena Square is great for discounted sports brand. Velocity is a dedicated sports mall with both outlet and non-outlet retail shops here such as Adidas, New Balance, and Sketchers. If you are looking for activewear or a good pair of runners, you ought to find something that fits here. Changi City Points is also another factory outlet mall with a good range of brands, such as Lacoste, Clarks, Sunglass Hut and Samsonite. Finally, there’s the Anchorpoint mall. With outlet brands such as Billabong, Charles & Keith and Cotton On.
Best for: Sports brands (Nike, Adidas, Puma)
The Local Brands
Singapore shopping is not complete if you don’t check out their selections of local brands. From clothing, accessories to skincare, they are all crafted with care. Try Sifr Aromatics for perfume, Ong Shunmugam for beautiful dresses and Naiise for an impressive collection of local designers all under one roof. If you prefer something more hipster, spend your afternoon at Haji Lane. This area is not just awesome to explore, it is also home to many local boutiques and op-shops at reasonable prices.
Best for: one-off custom, something with local flair to it and indie brands
The Food Shopper
if you think Japan is the only country which has a food ‘ level’, you are sadly mistaken. If you love food exploring, food shopping and food tasting – you can do so in Singapore malls! The best few includes, I-Setan and Takashimaya . The food is nicely displayed and packed for you to take home or eat in the eating area provided. You will find great selections of international brands as well as local. Also, options for organic and non -organic ingredients.
Best for : Sushi, baked goods, fruits and local food