4 Helpful Tips for Shopaholics Visiting Singapore
The vibrant city-state of Singapore is a veritable shopper’s paradise. With an eclectic mix of high-end luxury malls, bustling street markets brimming with character, and dynamic shopping plazas that blend retail, entertainment, and dining into a seamless experience, Singapore’s shopping scene is unlike any other.
Singapore’s status as a global hub also means you can find the best Asian products and popular brands from around the world, all within a few miles of each other. The country is also a cultural melting pot, resulting in a unique diversity in the goods available—be it fashion, food, tech, or trinkets. Moreover, with sales that run city-wide, it’s a place where luxury is often affordable.
Whether you’re a bargain hunter, a lover of luxury, or someone in search of a memento to remember your travels by, Singapore has something for you. Here are a few key tips for shopaholics who want an unforgettable retail adventure in the Lion City:
Best Places to Shop in Singapore
One of the things that makes Singapore a haven for shoppers is that you can shop practically everywhere, no matter your budget. Here are some of the best places to visit for a true Singaporean shopping experience:
Malls and Shopping Plazas
Singapore is home to an impressive array of malls that cater to every conceivable shopping desire. Case in point: Orchard Road, the heart of retail in Singapore. It’s a two-kilometre stretch full of an assortment of shopping malls, including ION Orchard and Paragon, where you can find international high-end brands. If you’re looking for a “chill” shopping experience, Far East Plaza is definitely a must-visit. Also located on Orchard Road, it’s one of the older shopping hotspots in Singapore. Still, it’s a great place for finding unique products.
You can also shop at the Changi airport Shopping Mall. It has more than 100 stores and brands, where you can buy fashion items, food, cosmetics, souvenirs, and more. If you’re only visiting Singapore for a few hours or want to buy more products before you leave, then this is the perfect shopping destination for you.
Those who want to shop and sightsee at the same time can go to Marina Bay Sands. It has a spectacular shopping plaza with luxury boutiques, celebrity chef restaurants, and even a canal running through it. Finally, there’s VivoCity, Singapore’s largest shopping plaza. Its 145,000-plus-square-metre floor area is home to a vast array of stores, dining options, a rooftop park, and a multiplex theatre.
The Lion City’s street markets offer a more local and intimate shopping experience. The lively Chinatown Street Market is a treasure trove for souvenirs, traditional crafts, textiles, and antique goods. Another spot not to be missed is the Bugis Street Market, Asia’s largest street shopping location, known for its affordable clothing, fashion accessories, and street food.
For even more variety, you can visit So Gelam Market, Katong Square Lifestyle and Vintage Market, Geylang Serai Market & Food Centre, and MAAD: Market of Artists and Designers. There’s also Dover Street Market, which is like a fusion of a department store and boutique. It offers a wide range of designer items at more affordable prices.
Tips for Saving Money While Shopping in Singapore
While there are plenty of luxury brands and malls in Singapore, shopping here doesn’t always have to leave a hole in your wallet. To save some money while indulging your inner shopaholic, look out for seasonal sales like the Great Singapore Sale. This is an annual event co-organised by stores and malls to support tourism, and usually happens between June and August. If you shop during this time, you can enjoy massive discounts offered in malls and boutiques across the country.
You can also use discount coupons and cashback apps popular in Singapore, such as Fave or ShopBack. Meanwhile, for budget shopping, you can visit the numerous thrift stores or the vibrant street markets where you can often haggle for a lower price.
Must-Buys in Singapore
When in Singapore, be sure to bring home some unique and quintessential items such as orchid perfumes. Made from locally grown orchids, these perfumes make for a truly Singaporean souvenir. There are also plenty of Asian artefacts in Chinatown or Little India. If you’re a fan of exotic trinkets, textiles, and jewellery, make sure to drop by these areas.
For some Singaporean food, get a Singapore Sling during one of your nights out. This pre-mixed cocktail by the Raffles Hotel is a must-buy for liquor connoisseurs. Meanwhile, bak kwa is a sweet and savoury barbecued pork slice that is a local delicacy and makes for a tasty souvenir.
Ways to Pay in Singapore
While cash is accepted virtually everywhere in Singapore, credit and debit cards are also widely used. Contactless payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay are common, and local apps are also quite popular among residents. Do note, however, that most street market vendors prefer cash payments.
Singapore offers a colourfully rich shopping experience, from glittering malls to bustling street markets. This shopaholic’s guide should help you navigate the Lion City’s retail scene, ensuring you make the most of your shopping spree. Remember, shopping in Singapore isn’t just about the transaction—it’s about the experience, the exploration, and the joy of discovering something uniquely Singaporean. Happy shopping!