ION Orchard shopping mall in Orchard Rd
ION Orchard … in Singapore’s most famous shopping area

By LINDA JAMES | Updated FEBRUARY 22, 2022 | SEE & DO

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Fun fact: Singapore has more shopping malls per square mile than any other country in the world so the shopping is FANTASTIC! However, it’s not expensive to shop in Singapore – there are so many different stores that cater to a wide range of budgets.

The best things to buy in Singapore are: luxury labels, emerging designers, jewellery, technology and items such as silk clothing, lacquerware and china.  

It’s hard to decide which are the best shopping malls and streets in Singapore but if you’re short on time, the most famous shopping area in Singapore is Orchard Road – it’s packed with shopping malls with an incredible variety of stores from designer labels to $2 shops selling battery-operated hand fans (to offset the humidity) and everything in between.

Don’t forget though that there are also a stack of outdoor markets, shophouses and road stalls – make sure you get to Bugis Street Market, Chinatown and Little India – that sell a great range of jewellery, clothing and souvenirs.

All of these areas have fantastic hawker centres so you can drop in and grab some delicious food as well.

One of the best times to shop in Singapore is in late May to late July when the Great Singapore Sale happens.

Bugis Junction

Bugis Junction is a combination of indoor department store and open-air shopping street and is linked by overhead bridge to Bugis Street Market and Bugis+ mall. It features a large glass roof and has direct access from Bugis MRT station.

Address: 200 Victoria St
Open: daily 10am-10pm
Getting there: at Bugis MRT station

Bugis Street Market

Bugis Street was once a red-light district but is now home to some of the best merchandise in town. And that’s why it’s so popular with locals and tourists alike. Not only that, it’s the largest street market in town with more than 800 stalls under one giant roof, all of which offer affordable clothes, souvenirs and food.

Address: 3 New Bugis St
Open: daily noon-10pm
Getting there: near Bugis MRT station

Chinatown Street Market

If you’re in Chinatown to get some delicious bites at the hawker centres, take time to visit Chinatown Street Market, which runs from Pagoda, Trengganu and Sago streets every night. The stalls here sell traditional wares such as Chinese fans, Chinese tea, decorated chopstick sets, laughing Buddhas and souvenirs.

Address: 29 Smith St
Open: daily 9am-10pm
Getting there: near Chinatown MRT station
Chinatown Street Market
Chinatown Street Market … the place to go for souvenirs

Clarke Quay Central

Clarke Quay Central not only offers great high-end shopping but fantastic views of the river. It has five floors that feature both retail outlets and restaurants and cafes.

Definitely one to put on your list if you’re in town between August and September when the Singapore River Festival is on.

Address: 6 Eu Tong Sen St
Open: daily 11am-10pm
Getting there: near Clarke Quay MRT station 

Funan Riverside

This is where the locals go for craft, tech, fitness and play gear. This industrial chic mall’s seven levels of shopping feature a massive green wall, indoor and outdoor cycling paths, and an urban farm on the rooftop. Remember to check prices at a few stores to make sure you get the best price. There’s also a Cash Refund desk for visitors to get instant tax refunds.

Address: 107 North Bridge Rd
Open: daily 10am-10pm
Getting there: near City Hall MRT station

Haji Lane

This narrow alley is a little deceptive at first glance – it’s actually a very trendy hipster-haven full of vintage stores and boutiques that stock cult labels. At night, the cafes, bars and restaurants spill out on to the street and locals hang out sipping cool cocktails!

It’s also home to some very cool street art and interesting art galleries.

These are all reasons it makes many of my Top 5 things to do in Singapore lists and is a good area to stay in. There are often some great deals to be had.

Address: Haji Lane
Open: daily until 9pm
Getting there: near Bugis MRT station

Jewel Shopping Centre

This should definitely not be missed! It’s literally an extravaganza of retail therapy, food and fun! It has the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, a lush rainforest and many other attractions and activities.

This 7-level centre has a stack of retailers such as the largest Nike store in Southeast Asia, the first and only Apple Store inside an airport complex, Marks & Spencer, Muji, Zara and Uniqlo.

Address: Airport Boulevard
Open: 24 hours though various outlets will have individual opening and closing times
Cost: free (except for ticketed activities)
Getting there: exit Changi MRT (CG2) and take the link bridges on level 2 of Terminals 2 and 3; exit Tanah Merah MRT (EW4) and transfer to airport-bound train; exit Expo MRT (DT35), transfer to the EW line and an airport-bound train.
More information: www.jewelchangiairport.com
Mustafa Shopping Centre Singapore
Mustafa Shopping Centre … floor after floor of jewellery, technology and household items

Mustafa Centre

This is one of the most interesting shopping experiences I’ve had. When I first walked in, I couldn’t believe my eyes. This centre goes up and down and round and round forever. I was exhausted before I’d even seen a third of it!

Open 24 hours, the Mustafa Centre offers a unique market-style shopping experience. Designer products are in abundance at low prices, with everything from textiles to watches and electronics on sale.

The mall is actually 2 department stores joined together with goods sold under the Mustafa name and streamlined by type. It’s a Singapore institution and a great place to shop if you ask yourself “where can I find that?”. Here you can find everything from designer products, electronics and watches to textiles, souvenirs and supermarket items – and it’s open 24 hours a day. The store, which is made up of a range of different stallholders, is very popular for jewellery and accessories.

Be prepared though – the aisles are narrow and the shelves jam-packed. When it’s busy (and it usually is), it can be difficult and sometimes frustrating to navigate. Be careful with your personal goods as pickpockets have been known to target this centre.

There is a café on the ground floor (also open 24 hours), which has a mix of Western and Asian food such as burgers, curry, biryani, and Singapore-style noodles.

While you’re in Little India, make sure you see some of the stunning temples.

Address 145 Syed Alwi Rd (cnr Serangoon Rd)
Open: 24 hours
Cost: free to browse
Getting there: near Farrer Park MRT (NE8)

Orchard Road

This is the centre of Singapore shopping with 2.2km of megamalls. ION Orchard and Paragon house feature all the designer brands but don’t miss the centres such as Far East Asia and Lucky Plaza, which have great bargain buys. While you’re strolling down Orchard Rd, keep an eye out for the carts that sell ice-cream sandwiches in a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours for around $S1-$S2.

ION Orchard is an architectural masterpiece at the end of Orchard Road. This glass, marble and steel work of art attracts a wide range of shoppers. Make sure while you’re there to check out the view from the ninth-floor garden or go straight to the observation deck on the 55th and 56th floors. Ion Art on the fourth floor hosts free art exhibitions highlighting Asian creators of contemporary art and design. 

Paragon shopping mall in Orchard Rd, Singapore
Paragon shopping mall … in the heart of Orchard Rd

Similarly, the Paragon mall focuses on high-end luxury consumer goods and brands behind its dramatic glass-walled exterior. There are 6 levels of fashion stores such as Jimmy Choo and Muji, eateries, designer department outlets and sports boutiques like Nike as well as an extensive range of designer kidswear.

Knightsbridge Mall is in the Grand Park Orchard Hotel and is unusual because it allows retail outlets to customise their space via double façade frontages. With four levels, the focus is on jewellers and fashion with flagship stores the dominant retailers. This also houses an Apple store.

Top designers feature at Mandarin Gallery, which adjoins the Mandarin Orchard hotel, and while small features couture brands such as Marc Jacobs and Just Cavalli.

Ngee Ann City is a landmark on Orchard Rd, having provided high-end shopping to locals and visitors alike since last century. It also houses the seven-level Takashimaya department store, which offers designer labels such as Cartier, Hugo Boss, Dior and Gucci.

Ngee Ann City Singapore
Ngee Ann City … an institution in Singapore

Far East Plaza is where the locals – particularly the young and hip – go for bargain buys from emerging designers. The six-level mall features more than 700 retail outlets that supply original and, sometimes, out-of-the-ordinary designs. There are also restaurants, beauty salons and souvenir shops.

Food is front and centre at 313@Somerset, which is popular with younger shoppers in Singapore. It features Discovery Walk, which is lined with restaurants and bars, and a food hall in the basement as well as a Food Republic outlet (a modern hawker centre-style dining option) on the fifth floor.

The 30-storey Lucky Plaza features seven floors of shopping that have something for everyone including electronics and furniture. It’s also well known for its dining options, which focus on Filipino food, and provide the perfect place to take a break between purchases.

It’s easy to combine a shopping trip to Orchard Rd with seeing other key attractions such as the beautifully restored shophouses and terraces in Emerald Hill Road and the Botanic Gardens, which are nearby. If you’re travelling with children, there are also quite a few fun things to do with kids nearby.

Address: Orchard Rd
Open: daily 10am-10pm, Saturdays 10am-11pm
Getting there: near Orchard Rd MRT station

Raffles City Shopping Centre

You’ll find similar stores here as on Orchard Rd but it makes sense to shop here if you’re short on time and staying in this area.

Address: 252 North Bridge Rd
Open: daily 10am-10pm
Getting there: near Esplanade and City Hall MRT stations

Serangoon Road

Wandering down Serangoon Rd, you’ll be engulfed in a multitude of sights, sounds and smells: the vibrant colours of the saris in the shop windows not to mention the temples accompanied by Hindi music and the spicy headiness of the cafes and restaurants. The shops here focus on cheap electronics and clothing.

Address: Serangoon Rd
Open: daily hours vary
Getting there: near Little India MRT station

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

This three-storey luxury shopping mall is part of Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands complex and stands out due to its stunning central water feature, open atriums and expansive glass windows.

There are a host of luxury international brands as well as emerging designers so you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. And when your feet need a rest, you can head to one of the many celebrity restaurants in the complex or to Rasapura Masters, a hawker-style food court.

Address: 2 Bayfront Ave
Open: daily 10am-11pm
Getting there: near Bayfront MRT station

Suntec City

Suntec City is a huge complex that includes a shopping mall, an exhibition and conference centre, and office tower blocks. There are more than 360 retail and food outlets with stores such as Sephora, H&M and UNIQLO.

Address: 3 Temasek Blvd
Open: Daily 10am-10pm
Getting there: near Esplanade and Promenade MRT stations
VivoCity mall Singapore
VivoCity … the largest shopping centre in Singapore


VivoCity lays claim to the title of largest shopping mall in Singapore. It markets itself as a “lifestyle centre” with 15 cinema screens, a rooftop amphitheatre, an open-air playground, an art gallery and a stack of designer stores and outlets as well as a smorgasbord of restaurants and bars – four food courts in fact!

Address: 1 HarbourFront Walk
Open: daily 10am-10pm
Getting there: near HarbourFront MRT station


If you’re a dedicated shopper, you’re going to have the time of your life in Singapore. It has so many amazing shopping malls, markets and streets that sell a variety of items such as fashion and technology to suit a wide range of budgets. But you definitely should not miss Orchard Rd, which is the most famous of the all the shopping malls in Singapore. Check out my itineraries for ideas on how to incorporate some of these shopping malls in your holiday.

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