Singapore may be a small island, but it is filled to the brim with an endless stream of shopping spots. Whether you’re into street markets or luxurious malls, the Lion City has plenty to offer for every preference and budget. To help you figure out which stops are worth visiting, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite spots for shopping in Singapore.
Shopping in Singapore
1. Bugis Street: Street Shopping Galore
Arguably the most iconic street shopping destination in Singapore, Bugis Street Market is a great spot for budget shoppers. At this vibrant locale, you can find cheap clothing at good quality, cute souvenirs, food, accessories, and even houseware and electronics. Bargaining is acceptable here — something uncommon in Singapore!
There’s quite a wide variety of things available in Bugis so I definitely recommend this spot. Particularly if you’re looking to do some cheap shopping in Singapore for clothes. Just note, you can’t try clothes in most shops here.
Keep hydrated with the cheap fruit juice stalls peppered throughout the market. And if you’re hungry, Bugis has lots of good food, from restaurants to local hawkers.
2. Mustafa Centre: 24/7 Shopping In Singapore
With humble beginnings in 1971 as a small garment store, Mustafa Centre has since evolved to become the star of Little India that lights up all night—literally. As the only shopping centre in the country that runs 24/7, Mustafa is a great stop for last-minute emergency needs or spontaneous splurging. It’s a little bit of an icon on its own. It is located smack in the heart of the Indian community (around Farrer Park and Little India), with mostly Indian service staff, and on the inside the mall definitely has a very different feel than any other mall in Singapore. It’s a tourist favourite.
Like Bugis Street Market, this multi-tiered complex offers a whole range of products, including jewelry, cosmetics, food, stationery, medicine, and basically anything under the sun. Most importantly, all of Mustafa’s goods are purchased in bulk, meaning that you can buy them at low prices to get the most bang for your buck.
3. Chinatown Street Market: A Blast To The Past
For shoppers on a hunt for Singaporean heritage and tradition, look no further than Chinatown Street Market.
A visit to this colourful and dynamic stop will feel like a major throwback to Singapore’s origin days, with cultural emblems ranging from dragon candles to Chinese calligraphy tools.
Upon exiting Chinatown MRT, your jaw will drop at the huge expanse of intricate shops lined up along Pagoda Street. Although the market will soon undergo a major safety renovation, many of the traditional stalls and vendors will remain intact.
4. Orchard Road: Singapore’s #1 Shopping Belt
How can any shopping guide pass without any mention of Orchard Road? This 2.2km-long belt of elaborate malls and stores has cemented itself as the go-to retail wonderland in Singapore, with a considerable range of options at different price levels.
The strip features some of the most renowned shopping complexes on the island, including staples like ION Orchard, which covers global titans like UNIQLO, Topshop, and the largest SEPHORA boutique in the country. For high-end fashion retailers, check out the big malls Takashimaya or Pedder on Scotts, which feature exclusive designer brands like Alexander Wang and Ferragamo. Orchard Road is the best place to go shopping in Singapore for branded goods.
If you’re on the more budget-conscious side, you don’t have to feel left out. Orchard Road also has its more affordable options, such as Lucky Plaza and Far East Plaza. Both are good spots for cheap shopping in Singapore for clothes, accessories, perfume and shoes. There’s also some decent food options here, including Filipino delicacies. Shopping here won’t blow a hole in your bank account.
5. Haji Lane: A Hipster Haven
Photo credits: @nicolejfu
Hipster shoppers out there, rejoice! While Tiong Bahru is widely considered the current-day hipster capital of Singapore, Haji Lane stands as the original hipster neighbourhood. Today, the narrow corridor of shops and independent boutiques along Kampong Glam still offers a number of extraordinary and rare items, such as vintage cameras and quirky fashion accessories.
Even if you don’t end up buying anything, you should definitely be entertained by the candy-coloured shop-houses and eye-catching murals that decorate Haji Lane’s walls.
Stop for a coffee, Turkish food or a cocktail in the little bars and cafes Haji Lane and Bali Lane is well known for.
6. VivoCity: For Everything You Need
Singapore may be no stranger to gigantic, futuristic shopping malls. When it comes to size, nothing beats the legendary Vivo City.
Pitched as a one-stop centre for shopping, entertainment, and lifestyle, Vivo City sticks true to its name and comes across as more of a miniature city than your run-of-the-mill mall. When it comes to clothing, the retail giant includes mid-priced stores from brands like Zara and Gap, while also offering the likes of Armani Exchange for visitors who don’t mind spending the extra buck.
Book shops, music outlets, pharmacies, food courts and more have also set up shop in the City, so you’ll probably need to spend days here if you want to explore every nook and cranny.
This is on the far side of Singapore. I wouldn’t say it’s worth travelling all the way to Vivo for shopping, but if you’re staying in that area or coming back from Sentosa, definitely have a wander. Stop for Ben & Jerry’s to cool down in the mall!
7. The Shoppes At MBS: Living In Luxury
Last but not least, we have the flagship luxury destination in Southeast Asia: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (MBS). If the lush glassy interiors and the gorgeous canal cutting through the mall’s center don’t give it away, this place is definitely for the high-class fashionista.
While the Shoppes are home to mid-priced outlets like Zara, it’s best known for runway brands like Versace, Gucci, and Armani Exchange, among other prominent labels. In particular, MBS showcases an extensive collection of watch and jewelry brands, including Bulgari, FOSSIL, Omega, and Mont Blanc. Even though you might not be able to go on a shopping spree here, you would be blown away by the stunning architecture of the space alone.
Orchard Road is ultimately the heart of shopping in Singapore, and fortunately, it’s strategically located near to those destinations listed above. With that being said, I recommend that you stay at The Elizabeth Hotel, along Orchard Road. Trust me, you would need that comfortable bed to fully rest after shopping the whole day.