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From Malls to Street Stalls – The Ten Best Places to go Shopping in Singapore



If you love shopping, then you have come to the right place. Singapore is a shopper’s paradise, with shopping malls galore and more brand names than you can imagine. For high street fashion and designer labels, your first stop should be Orchard Road, the highest concentration of shopping malls in the world.

 

If you are short on time, then your best bet for a one-stop shopping mall experience is ION Orchard. This eight storey mega-mall has an entrance directly from Orchard MRT Station and boasts one of the best food courts in town, in addition to many other restaurants. The shops cover everything from big designer brand names to high street favourites. Linked via underground walkways are both Wisma Atria, for more high street favourites, and Ngee Ann City for those big designer brands again. The Mandarin Gallery bucks the trend, housing several independent boutiques.

 

Away from Orchard, the best shopping malls are Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, home to several exclusive boutiques and jewellery shops, and VivoCity in the west, a huge mall with high street shops, two supermarkets, plenty of eating options and a multi-screen cinema.

 

For souvenirs, head to Pagoda Street in Chinatown where the street markets are brimming with ideas for gifts. Behind the street stalls, you’ll find a few shops with attractive ranges of antique furniture and lacquer ware. Little India is also worth heading to for silk sari material, Hindi music CDs, jewellery and other ethnic gifts. Haji Lane, one of Singapore’s best kept secrets is full of independent boutiques, while the Funan IT mall is where to head for electronics, with five floors of electronic shops to keep you occupied. 


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The Funan DigitaLife Mall is the place to head to for all your IT and electronic shopping needs. The mall is conveniently located for tourists in the City Hall area, close to Raffles City shopping mall and Boat/Clarke Quay. The mall's seven levels are crammed with technology shops selling everything from cameras to laptops, from MP3 players to printers. Be sure to shop around - there will be several stores selling the same product, and it is always worth asking if there are any special deals on at the time. Free wi-fi is available throughout the mall so you can test out your latest purchase before you leave the store. A Downtown Cash Refund counter within the mall provides instant tax refunds for tourists.

Local Expert tip: The best one-stop mall for all your IT and electronic needs.

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A wander through Little India will have you wondering whether you are in Delhi rather than Singapore. This most vibrant and colorful part of Singapore houses several spectacular temples and bustling shops selling everything from gold jewellery, to Hindi music CDs, cheap clothing and souvenirs. The restaurants of Race Course Road are popular with locals and visitors alike who flock here in search of a good quality curry. For an authentic Asian shopping experience, don't miss the fresh food market stalls of the Tekka Centre, while the Mustafa Centre offers 24-hour shopping of a vast array of goods - from perfume to electronics.

Local Expert tip: A vibrant and colourful part of Singapore in which to do some souvenir shopping.

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Haji lane is a narrow back alley in the heart of the Arab Quarter. Although it may not look like much at first glance, Haji Lane is in fact a hip and trendy shopping destination for young Singaporeans, who come here looking for cult labels and vintage clothing in the offbeat boutiques that line the lane. As day turns to night, seats from the small cafes, bars, and restaurants spill out into the street and neighbouring five-foot ways, encouraging the clientele to kick back with a mint tea or smoke a shisha.

Local Expert tip: A good source of vintage and locally designed clothing.

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Pagoda Street in Chinatown is the best place in Singapore to head to for souvenir shopping. Traditional heritage shophouses form a stunning backdrop to this pedestrianized street, which is lined either side with street market stalls. Try not to be put off by the abundance of 'Singapore is a FINE city' t-shirts, Merlion paper weights, or tacky Chinese dragon puppets; if you dig a little deeper, there are some great deals to be had. Behind the street stalls, you'll find several shops with attractive ranges of antique furniture and lacquer ware. Keep an eye out too for Chinese fans, elaborate chopstick sets, Mahjong sets, Chinese Tea and Feng Shui items such as three-legged frogs and laughing Buddhas.

Local Expert tip: Pagoda Street is the best place to head to in Singapore for souvenir shopping.

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Wisma Atria is a popular shopping mall in the middle of Orchard Road. This bustling mall offers up a good selection of high street favourites such as Gap, La Senza, Nine West and Sea Folly. Local shoe stores Charles & Keith and Pedro can both be found on level B1, while Japanese department store Isetan houses more local designers. The excellent Food Republic food court on the top floor offers a wide range of cheap local cuisine. Wisma Atria is linked via underground passageway to two other malls - ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City, and also to Orchard MRT station.

Local Expert tip: A good option for high street clothing stores. Food Republic on level 4 is great for a large selection of cheap local food.

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This enormous shopping mall in the center of Orchard Road comprises 110,450 square meters of shopping and restaurant space over seven levels. The mall is also known to locals as 'Takashimaya', thanks to its anchor tenant, the impressive Takashimaya Department Store which takes up 35,000 square meters of the retail space. Elsewhere within the mall you will find big designer names such as Tiffany, Cartier and Chanel, in addition to more wallet-friendly brands such as Zara, Ted Baker and Mango. Head here also for Asia's largest bookstore - Kinokuniya - and Japan's electronic giant, Best Denki. A range of restaurants allows for mid-shopping sustenance, or check out the fantastic food hall in the basement of the Takashimaya Department Store. Ngee Ann City is linked via underground walkway to Wisma Atria and ION Orchard malls - and also the Orchard MRT station.

Local Expert tip: A good option for designer goods, and home to Singapore's best bookshop.

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The Mandarin Gallery with over 100 small shops presents a more exclusive shopping experience than many of the other malls on Orchard Road. This boutique mall has managed to differentiate itself in a saturated market by focussing on independent designer boutiques, making a welcome change from the same-old high street and designer brand names which feature heavily in the other Orchard Road malls. Mandarin Gallery is also home to several popular restaurants, including breakfast favourite Wild Honey, wine & cheese haven Jones the Grocer and the immensely popular ramen hangout, Ippudo Ramen.

Local Expert tip: This mall stands out from the rest of the Orchard Road shopping malls by focussing on independent designer boutiques.

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VivoCity


One of Singapore's largest shopping malls, VivoCity is a one-stop retail and entertainment destination. High-street shops abound, from Ted Baker to Zara, from La Senza to Timberland. A large Toys R Us and several children's clothing stores will keep those with young families happy. In amongst the retail space, this lively mall also boasts two supermarkets, a multi-screen Golden Village cinema, a gym and several child-friendly amenities, such as play gyms. A choice of bars and restaurants includes open-air dining along the promenade with views over to Sentosa, and a large hawker centre style food court. VivoCity also forms a gateway to Sentosa, with the Sentosa boardwalk linking with the island across the water, and a monorail station upstairs.

Local Expert tip: One of Singapore's best one-stop retail and entertainment destinations. A great option for family shopping - with children's clothing stores, Toys R Us and a cinema.

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The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is an enormous luxury shopping mall boasting 800,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Head here for high-end luxury brands such as Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Herm?s and Miu Miu as well as high street favourites such as Guess, Miss Sixty and Banana Republic. One corridor leading from the casino presents a huge range of luxury jewellery and watch brands, clearly hoping to attract high rollers with their lucky winnings. If all that shopping builds up an appetite, then check out restaurants from the world's leading celebrity chefs such as Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali.

Local Expert tip: A great destination shopping experience, particularly for high-end goods, jewellery and designer brand names.

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ION Orchard is one of Singapore's biggest and most popular shopping malls. The mall is accessible directly from Orchard MRT Station and is also linked via underground walkways to several other Orchard Road malls, including Wisma Atria, Ngee Ann City, Wheelock Place and Tangs. From the ground floor up you will find all the big brand designer names, from Gucci to Prada, Diane von Furstenburg to Kate Spade. Descend through the floors to hunt down high street favourites such as TopShop, Zara, Mango and more. Basement level 4 is home to an excellent food court, dishing up some of Singapore's favorite dishes and elsewhere throughout the mall there are more eating options than you can ever hope to try.

Local Expert tip: If you are short on time, this mall is one of the best options in Singapore for a one-stop shopping strategy.

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Meet Marianne Rogerson

Marianne is a freelance travel writer, who has lived in Singapore for six years. She is the author of a travel guidebook to Singapore and has written about Singapore for a range of...  More About Marianne

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