Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia that was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. Since its independence in 1965, it has become one of the world's most prosperous countries and boasts one of the world's busiest ports. Despite its small size, Singapore is home to a diverse population of over 5 million people, many of which speak English, making this a great vacation destination.
Upwards of 20 million tourists visit Singapore every year for its world-class galleries, beautiful parks and gardens, excellent international and local cuisine, and of course, shopping. It's surprising that they can get all these great activities into such a tiny sovereign state that measures less than 300 square miles.
Shopping in Singapore is a fun and easy experience, as the city offers a wide variety of shopping options. From high-end luxury brands to local boutiques and street markets, shoppers can find almost anything they are looking for in Singapore.
There are several well-known shopping districts in Singapore, such as Orchard Road, Chinatown, and Little India. Orchard Road is especially popular with tourists, as it is home to many international designer stores, malls, and hotels. Chinatown is a great place to find bargains on electronics, clothes, and souvenirs, while Little India is known for its spices, gold jewelry, and saris.
In addition to the main shopping areas, there are also several night markets that operate in different parts of the city. These markets are a great place to find cheap eats and unique gifts, and they are usually very lively and fun to explore.
Before you hit up all the stops in this Singapore shopping guide, make sure your hands are free to carry all your new purchases. Head to a Bounce luggage locker and store your bags safely while you embark on an unforgettable shopping spree. Now, here are all our recommendations for the shopping places you need to visit:
Marina Bay and Marina Bay Sands
The picturesque Marina Bay is home to some of the most popular shopping in town. Flanked by the impressive Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which houses a high-end hotel luxury shopping mall. It's the perfect destination if you have some serious cash to spend. Otherwise, you can spend hours browsing through the impressive collections of clothing from iconic brands like Prada, Cartier, Chanel, and Bottega Veneta. Even if you can't pull the trigger, it can be nice to immerse yourself in such lavish goods.
You'll find Marina Bay Sands in the central business district of Singapore. In addition to high-end shops, the area of Marina Bay, which is one of the best places to stay in Singapore, has a Sky Park with open-air movies, exciting restaurants, and stunning green spaces set right on the water. Marina Bay Shopping Centre is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm and is accessible from the MRT at Marina Bay Station or by bus.
Orchard street shopping is a one-of-a-kind experience with tons of shopping destinations spread along it. Highlights of the two-mile section of road include Paragon and Ion Orchard.
Head to Paragon for more designer stores mixed with budget-friendly ones and casual restaurants in a modern setting. The mall is open from 10 am to 10 pm and offers you six full floors for your shopping pleasure and over 200 shops in their retail space. It's safe to say that Paragon has something that will appeal to everyone.
Also on Orchard Road, Ion Orchard is one of the best shopping malls in Singapore. Ion Orchard is connected to the Orchard MRT station and Orchard Boulevard MRT station on the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) system. It is also within walking distance of several major bus stops. Here, you'll find a variety of shops, from luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada to more affordable brands such as H&M and Uniqlo. The mall also has a wide range of food and beverage outlets, from fast-food chains such as McDonald's and KFC to fine dining restaurants such as Crystal Jade and TungLok Signatures.
Far East Plaza
Though not as big as Orchard Road, Far East Plaza still offers a great variety of shopping and dining options. Located at the intersection of Orchard Road and Orchard Boulevard, the mall is easily accessible on foot from Orchard Ion.
Some of the popular stores in Far East Plaza include Uniqlo, H&M, Zara, Sephora, and Forever 21. For those looking for affordable Korean beauty products, Watsons and Guardian are also located in this mall. For a quick bite, there are plenty of food options available here too. In all, there are over 600 outlets in this mall and that should quickly give you an idea of its overall size.
Suntec City Mall
Suntec City Mall is a large shopping mall located in the Marina Centre area of Singapore. It is one of the most popular malls in Singapore and is known for its wide range of shops and restaurants. The mall has been divided into four zones – the Waterfront, the Galleria, the Forum, and the Atrium. The Waterfront zone is home to some of the best shops and Suntec City has a convention centre and office buildings in addition to the shopping options.
You'll find many recognizable brands here like Adidas, H&M, Birkenstock, LUSH, and Levi's. Suntec City Mall is the ideal spot for those in the market for well-known mid-range brands. Shop here when you visit Singapore anytime from 10 am to 10 pm.
Bugis Street Market
Bugis Street Market is one of the most popular markets in Singapore. It is located in the Bugis district and is known for its cheap and good quality products. It is also a great place to find unique items that you won't find anywhere else. There are many stalls selling clothes, accessories, souvenirs, and food. The market is open from Monday to Sunday and boasts over 800 stalls.
Bugis Street is the place for some of the best street food in Singapore, so make sure you head here on an empty stomach. You'll also be glad that your hands are free as most visitors to this market walk away with loads of stuff. This is truly a paradise for bargain hunters with most clothing items and other goods priced under $10. This is cheap shopping at its best!
Chinatown Street Market
In most cities, Chinatown is an experience not to be missed, and Singapore is no different. At the Chinatown Street Market, you can shop for souvenirs, clothes, electronics, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The lively main street market is located along Pagoda Street and Temple Street and is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. This is definitely one of the best night markets in town.
To get the most out of your experience here, you should know that bargaining is expected, and part of the fun! Many of the stallholders don't speak much English, so it helps to know a few key phrases in Chinese. Chinatown is also a great place to eat, with hawker stalls selling everything from fried noodles to fresh seafood. Be sure to try the famous chili crab!
Little India Arcade
Little India is one of the most vibrant and colorful districts in Singapore, known for its rich Indian culture and heritage. The Little India Arcade is a popular shopping destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a wide range of Indian spices, textiles, jewelry, and other merchandise.
If you're looking to get a taste of Indian culture, the Little India Arcade is the perfect place to start. From delicious Indian cuisine to traditional spices and beautiful saris, there's something for everyone at this unique shopping destination.
Less than ten minutes on foot from the Little India Arcade, the Mustafa Centre is another great shopping centre in Singapore. It's a 24-hour shopping mall located in Little India, Singapore. The retail complex is known for its wide range of merchandise, including electronics, gold, jewelry, and textiles. The centre is named after its founder, Mushtaq Ahmed. He started the business as a small shop selling watches and clocks in Little India in 1971. The business soon expanded, and by 1974, the Mustafa Centre had grown into a four-story building.
Today, the Mustafa Centre is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The centre attracts shoppers from all over the world with its wide range of merchandise and 24-hour operation. If you need a retail fix in the early morning hours, this is the place to go.
Arab Street is one of the most vibrant and colorful areas in Singapore. This historic street is lined with beautiful heritage buildings, quaint shops, and delicious eateries. It's the perfect place to wander and explore, and you're sure to find something unique and interesting around every corner.
As for Arab Street shopping, you'll find a wide variety of shops selling everything from traditional handicrafts to modern fashion and accessories. Bargaining is expected, so be sure to haggle for the best price.
When you need a break from shopping, there are plenty of great places to eat on Arab Street. From Indian and Malay cuisine to international fare, there's something to suit every taste. There are also several cafes and bars serving up refreshing drinks and snacks.
Haji Lane is the place to go in Singapore for tons of cute vintage stores. The vibe on this trendy street in the Kampong Glam neighborhood is definitely charming and quirky. With tons of street art and graffiti on display, quirky boutique stores, and interesting architecture, Haji Lane is a must-visit for every tourist, whether you're into shopping or not. The buildings themselves used to be old shophouses and the atmosphere is comparable to the one you'd find in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan.
Katong Square Lifestyle and Vintage Market
Katong Square Lifestyle and Vintage Market is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. The market features a wide variety of stalls selling vintage clothes, accessories, housewares, and much more. There is also a food court where you can find a variety of local and international cuisine. Katong Square Lifestyle is open every day from 10 am to 10 pm and offers a modern and boutique shopping experience paired with the square's eclectic vintage market.
If you're someone who enjoys combing through stalls for hidden treasures, then a trip to one of Singapore's best flea markets is in order. Theives' Market on Sungei Road is the best, and in fact, the oldest in town. This is not a fancy experience by a long shot, but if you want to shop like a local, this is a necessary stop. Expect items that need a little fixing up and piles of clothing spread out everywhere. But, if you're of the belief that the thrill is in the hunt, you might just find something worth buying. This market is open every day from 1 pm to 7 pm, so it should be easy to work into your plans.
The Great Singapore Sale
Although not technically a specific shopping destination, The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is an annual shopping event that takes place for about a month, typically from early June to early July. It's one of the biggest and most anticipated sale periods in Singapore, during which many retailers offer discounts of up to 70% off on merchandise. If you can, try to time your visit with this.
The GSS was first introduced in 1994 as a way to boost retail sales and promote shopping in Singapore. Since then, it has become one of the most eagerly awaited events on the Singaporean calendar. Every year, shoppers flock to the city in search of great deals and bargains. It's a great opportunity for shoppers to stock up on essentials or to splurge on items that they have been eyeing for a while. It is also a good time for businesses to promote their products and services.
From the vintage stores of Haji Lane to the countless expansive shopping malls and markets, it's obvious that Singapore is an exciting shopping destination. Regardless of your preferred type of retail therapy, you're going to find it here. Luxury stores abound, mid-range retailers are easily found, and budget shopping for bargains at any of the markets and flea markets is always possible.
When you do your shopping in Singapore, try to time your visit with the GSS and you'll save so much cash that you can start planning a return visit right away!