Shop till you Drop in Singapore

Shop till you Drop in Singapore

Historically a trading hub, what better place than Singapore to embrace your inner shopaholic? What once was a great market for tea, silk and tin, now is home to glittering shopping malls offering state of the art electronics and designer fashion. Singapore might appear as a small red dot on your map, but it packs in more malls per square mile than any other country in the world, which makes it one of the top shopping destinations on a global scale.

Most of the shopping malls center along Orchard Road - the commercial heart of Singapore - and they specialize in specific items. Given Singapore's cultural diversity, there are also various shopping alternatives, including jumbled markets and hip boutiques. Some of the best places to shop in Singapore come in the form of outdoor markets, bustling roads and clusters of quaint boutiques. While Chinatown and Little India offer great shopping opportunities, you shouldn't miss out on the vast Bugis Street Market.

Orchard Road

Once a quiet, market-lined street, nowadays the 2.2 kilometer street of Orchard Road is home to megamalls, making it the best place to shop in Singapore. With its front molded into futuristic metallic curves, the most impressive mall is indisputably the ION Orchard mall. Consisting of four stories extending both above and below ground, the glistening mall is lit up neon at night and contains designer labels, mid-range brands and plenty of dining options. While you'll find all the designer brands in Paragon house, bargain hunters should head to centers such as Far East Asia, famous for its cheap food and fashion, and Lucky Plaza. For arts and crafts, head to Tanglin Shopping Center, one of the first buildings to be set up here. There are also plenty of dining options after burning all those calories while shopping.

Chinatown Street Market

As 75% of the population is of Chinese descent, you can expect Chinatown to be massive and so are the shopping opportunities in the area. If you want to soak in the shopping spirit of the area, head to Chinatown Street Market, which houses stalls selling traditional candles, artwork and clothing as well as street food stalls.

One month before the Lunar New Year, either January or February, Chinatown's streets are filled with stalls touting their wares, which include foodstuffs, clothes, pottery, plants and other household items. An alternative to the Orchard Road is Ann Siang Road, which is lined by old shop houses and stand-alone boutiques that sell something more out of the ordinary than Singapore's mega malls. The area is also a great place to shop for clothes. Some of the shops you'll find here include Willow & Huxley, an umbrella shop for funky international womenswear brands, Mythology on Club Street offering colorful party dresses, head to Asian Region for independent labels, and Aston Blake offers smart-tailored shirts and suits for men. Rose citron French Design is perfect to shop for homeware, particularly the patchwork cushions.

Book lovers will also find their place herein Books Actually, an independent book store that offers a wide variety of titles - including some they have published themselves - and supports Singaporean writers. From fiction to history, they have everything to satisfy your reading needs.

Haji Lane

For a whole different kind of experience, head to Haji Lane in Kampong Glam, a historic Malay District. With small historic shop fronts repainted in pastel shades, independent boutiques, tattoo parlors and record shops, Haji Lane is Singapore's most bohemian area. Bargain hunters will probably go on a shopping spree as soon as they step on the Blog Shop, a uniquely Singaporean phenomenon. This is a big store that sells the stock of many independent internet retailers.

Shopping Tips

Bargain hunters are in for a treat during the months June and July, which is the time when the Singapore Sale takes place. During this time, the prices are reduced almost everywhere, except for big designers the likes of Chanel. You can also get discounts some other times of the year in some of the older shopping malls like Lucky Plaza. There you can haggle even to bring down the price of electronics and other goods. Shopping in Singapore can be gratifying but it can also be overwhelming; it's good to be prepared for it or take someone who is familiar with it.