Shopping is a common form of entertainment in Singapore and people from around love to lose themselves in the hunt for the perfect items. From traditional markets selling fish and produce, to high-end stores that rival the glitz and glam of Milan, there’s literally something for everyone. If you love shopping, eating and being papered, Singapore should be on the top of your list.
Orchard Road Shopping
Originally getting its name from the rows of nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards in the 1800s, Orchard Road is now a popular local and tourist destination for shopping and entertainment. Both sides of the road are lined with department stores, shopping malls, quaint boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, nightclubs, spas, beauty salons, and upscale hotels. It’s an excellent place for to spend the day shopping, eating, and people watching.
Singapore’s tallest vertical mall is Orchard Central, displaying an artistic exterior designed by local artist Matthew Ngui. Stores inside the mall are grouped by product offering to make it easy to find what you’re looking for. There is also the world’s tallest indoor rock-climbing wall and a garden rooftop terrace that’s open around the clock.
Saturday night on Orchard Road is a hot spot among tourist and locals alike with most stores staying open until 11:00 p.m.
Marina Bay Shopping
The aptly named, Marina Bay was artificially developed in the 1970s as a cleaver way of extending the downtown district. It’s located in the central south district and a living, entertaining, shopping, and working neighborhood for many local Singaporeans.
The walkway along Marina Bay accesses hotels, shops, malls, offices, restaurants and bars, all while offering an breathtaking view of Singapore’s skyline. Tourists are encouraged to visit the area with a special Tourist Privileges Card offering discounts at stores, restaurants, and beauty and health spas.
Visit http://www.marinasquare.com.sg for shopping hours (generally 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.) and more information.
The Chinese comprise roughly 75% of the population in Singapore and Chinatown is as lively as it was when the first immigrants arrived in the 19th century. Chinatown is located within Eu Tong Sen St, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. Shops are intertwined with tea houses, temples and medicine halls making Chinatown a true cultural shopping experience.
The stores of Chinatown come to life one month before the Chinese Lunar New Year (generally occurring in January or February) brimming with decorations, ornaments, fireworks, and red and gold bursting from every direction.
Clarke Quay & Riverside Shopping
The Singapore River is another excellent location for shopping among the busy professionals working in the business district. What was once a busy trading hub, now is dotted with towering business buildings, hotels, residential buildings, restaurants, museums and of course, shopping malls.
For a unique experience take a bum boat taxis up and down the river to shopping centers including Riverside Point, Clarke Quay, and Liang Court.
Little India Shopping
Walking through the maze of colorful textiles and listening to the Indian music pouring into the streets will make you feel like you’re in motherland India. Roughly 10% of Singapore’s population is Indian with most living in and around Little India located near Serangoon Road and Rochor Canal Road.
Whether you want to browse the local shops for spices, jewelry, brassware, or textiles or pop into a restaurant for some Tandori chicken, Little India should be high on your list.
When To Go
Singapore can be visited year round, but the peak season is from December to June with the busiest time beginning in mid-December and ending after the Chinese New Year, which is generally in January or February.
Singapore is hot and humid year round. Temperatures average around 88°F (31°C) and usually don’t fall below 73°F (23°C).
Getting There & Around
Singapore Changi Airport is the closest airport with convenient buses entering the city center.
Mid-range accommodations: $200-300
Bottle of beer: $15
- Bring your own toilet paper and flush after use – expect to be fined if you don’t.
- Ask permission to take photos of people, mosques or temples.
- Exchange money holding it with both hands.
- Liter, smoking in public areas, drop a cigarette end in the street, jaywalk, chew gum, or do drugs.
- Tip – it’s not customary and frowned upon by the government.
- Forget to keep your receipt of $100 or more for your entitled 7% GST (Goods & Services Tax) refund when you leave Singapore by air.
- Singapore is made up of 63 islands.
- Drinking tap water is safe in Singapore, but bottled water can be purchased at local supermarkets and grocers.
- The red on the Singapore flag represent brotherhood and equality, while the white represents purity and virtue. The crescent moon symbolizes a young growing nation and the five stars mean democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
Feature Image Credit: trioptikmal