Bring up Singapore shopping and the old Singapore travel hand immediately thinks of Orchard Road. This long avenue is lined on both sides with shopping malls, each one a separate world unto itself with stores all numbering in the thousands! Orchard Road, never lacking in traffic, turns up the energy to 11 when the Great Singapore Sale and Christmas come along.
You can get anything in Orchard - expensive fashion labels and streetwear, cutting-edge fashion and pre-loved vintage wear, DVDs, books, electronics, food, you name it. Run out of money? There are banks and money changers on every corner. If you want to stay close to the action, Orchard Road’s many hotels offer plenty of accommodation choices.
The whole stretch of Orchard Road is served by three different MRT stations - Doby Ghaut Exchange (CC1/NE6/NS24), Orchard (NS22), and Somerset (NS23), of which the latter two are directly accessible through the malls themselves. Get your EZ-Link card and credit card ready and shop in Orchard until you drop!
It’s not one building, but two—linked by a tubular glass bridge crossing Orchard Road. Orchardgateway positions itself as the literal gateway into Orchard’s shopping district.
In any case it’s arguably Orchard’s most well-connected mall, with underpasses to neighboring Orchard Central and 313@Somerset malls; basement access to the Somerset MRT Station; and the 502-room Hotel Jen within its main tower.
There are some 40 fashion-forward stores within the combined complex, plus a few Instagram-worthy sights—among them Singapore’s longest lit fashion runway; a viewing deck overlooking Somerset Road; and pop-art inspired benches.
Over 330 stores, eight levels, all encompassed within an award-winning freeform design: the ION Orchard is one of Singapore's newest retail centers and possibly its most cutting-edge one.
The interior covers over 60,000 sqm of retail space featuring some of the world's most exclusive brands, including six flagship stores: Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
The interior also includes a 5,600 sq ft gallery space operated by ION Art, the mall's dedicated art program; ION Sky, a two-storey observation deck at the mall’s top floors; and a Global Tax Free Service Counter where you can process refunds on sales taxes from your shopping.
The gleaming glass shard that is Orchard Central stands at the corner of Killiney and Orchard and is entered through a long outdoor escalator accessible from the street.
The plentiful use of glass allows natural light to shine into the heart of the mall, giving its inner space a wide-open feel, compounded by its height (the “OC” lays claim to being the island’s tallest mall).
Arts and sports enthusiasts have plenty to do in Orchard Central as well. An Art Trail curated by the National Arts Council features several interesting instances of Singapore's modern art. A Roof Garden on levels 11 and 12 features installations from Asian artists nestled among a selection of restaurants.
All the other malls can keep their international brands, Design Orchard stays fiercely local. Conceptualized as an incubator for Singapore’s up-and-coming designers and artisans, Design Orchard fills a 2.5-storey building with ideas germinated in Singapore’s fertile creative ground.
The incubator program is run by local retailer Naiise, and covers some 60 brands on their way up: activewear brand Kydra, design ateliers Onlewo and the Animal Project, and swimwear company Pinksalt Swim.
Ngee Ann City
Ngee Ann City offers seven levels of shopping and dining pleasure, with a pleasing Eastern-influenced façade that counterbalances the thoroughly modern interior.
130 specialty stores call Ngee Ann City home, including Hugo Boss, Christian Dior, Cartier, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Calvin Klein. Southeast Asia's largest bookstore is here - Kinokuniya Book Store on the 5th floor, with 40,000 square feet of store space! So is the massive Takashimaya Department Store.
Lucky Plaza is older and a bit more run-down but has a hell of a lot more character than other shopping areas in Singapore.
Over 400 stores offer camera equipment, watches, sportswear, and luggage. A good many money changers and remittance services make up the balance of the shops in Lucky Plaza, many catering to Singapore's considerable Filipino and Indian expatriate market.
An underground walkway snakes under Orchard Road to connect Lucky Plaza and Ngee Ann City across the street.
Before venturing into Lucky Plaza, prepare your bargaining skills, as you'll be expected to haggle. Caveat emptor, as some shops are notorious for ripping off tourists.
Plaza Singapura sits right on top of the Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station and the North East Line Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange. When it opened in 1974, this mall was one of the first in the country, and one of the biggest.
While many other outlets have since overtaken it in size and scope, Plaza Singapura's nine retail floors still offer a massive shopping experience with almost 300 tenants. The wavy frontage is a relatively recent addition, as is the set of gummy-looking sculptures gracing its front promenade.
A younger clientele prefers Wisma Atria and its 94 specialty stores. Brands housed here include GAP, Topshop, FCUK, Bebe, Mango, and Esprit. The basement level connects directly to Orchard MRT Station and Ngee Ann City.
Food-mad Singaporeans swear by Wisma Atria's food court, a massive space with a bias for Japanese street food. The sushi bar, omakase burgers and classic hawker favorites (among others) have something for any eater.
A fashionable eight-level shopping mall located right on top of Somerset MRT Station, the 313@Somerset caters to a mid-price crowd, with young and affordable brands like Uniqlo, Forever 21, Zara, and Esprit lining its lanes. Foodies will love the mall’s Discovery Walk outdoor restaurant area.
Paragon Shopping Centre
Paragon Shopping Centre combines renowned international brands like Ferragamo, CK, and Gucci with cutting-edge streetwear brands like Ben Sherman, Star Three Sixty, and Celio: cementing its reputation as one of Singapore's most fashionable malls.
The most glamorous brands are all at Level One; go to Levels Two and Three for more mid-range fashion shopping.
Food-wise, you can settle for the restaurants on the basement level, but if you really want to splurge, head to Level Five to the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, where you can dig into royal Chinese cuisine.