“SHOPPING must be one of Singapore’s favourite hobbies” is what you think when you notice the unbelievable amount of shopping malls situated all over the country. What is especially interesting is the different kind of shopping areas, whether they are big shiny complexes or simply authentic street markets.
Malls are present everywhere and I mean it. Every neighbourhood has at least one at a 5 minute drive radius distance. Some are even interlinked between each other by underground passages. One tip I would gladly give if you were to go on a shopping spree is to take a jacket with you. Well, actually that doesn’t only count for shopping but also when you are going to a restaurant for lunch, dinner or a meeting. It might sound crazy, especially when it’s 90 Fahrenheit outside, but Singaporean air conditionings are extremely strong and well, who would want to be stuck in bed with a cold?
Here listed below are some of my favourite and most memorable places to shop in Singapore.
Orchard road is the central shopping road or high street of Singapore. The long boulevard is always swarmed with people day and night. What’s more, if you go inside of one of the huge shiny complexes (malls, really) on the street you’ll discover another world offering lots of other shops, mostly brands, food courts and subway stations (look for the MRT signs). These are all interconnected in between each other so you won’t even have to set foot outside in the crazy heat.
Insider’sTIP: Try out a food court in the malls, almost every mall has one. These consist of small food booths situated next to each other where you can choose mostly any Asian specialty and some Western and then sit in the middle.
I recommend going to ION’s food court, one of Singapore’s most well known and prestigious shopping mall, and to nibble on some chicken rice, the country’s signature dish.
Bugis is also a shopping area in Singapore. It is situated close to the iconic Raffles colonial-style white hotel. However, this is a less high-end neighbourhood than Orchard and you’ll find less malls and more authentic stands at the street market where prices seem to have dropped. (There still are two good malls situated there: Bugis+ and Bugis Junction).
Insider’s TIP: Venture deep in Bugis’s market and look around. This will give you some insight into a different facade of Singapore.
Vivocity is a mall designed by the famous Japanese architect Toyo Ito. It is interesting to see because it is the last stop before the bridge leading to Sentosa, Singapore’s very own island (known also as home to Universal Studios, the aquarium, the beaches…). Not only is this building a mall but also a departure for ferries going to the little islands around the country.
Insider’s TIP: Go on the roof (Skypark) of Vivocity to get a nice view of Sentosa
Mustafa Centre is definitely one mall you won’t forget. Situated in Little India, you’ll forget you’re even in Singapore. Far from the luxurious complexes in central city, this huge building offers everything you could possibly think or even dream of, and all at an incredible price. This is a jewel for those who love adventure and a good bargain.
Insider’s TIP: Try not to get lost once inside the Mustafa mall, it is very big and you hardly ever come out the same way you came in!