For many Singaporeans, shopping is as much a national pastime as eating. Indeed, the tiny city-state is arguably the retail capital of Southeast Asia, particularly when it comes to luxury goods. To help guide your retail excursions, we’ve compiled handy tips for four types of shoppers.
Hipsters and Treasure Hunters: Lined with colourful shophouses and packed with some 50 cafés, sneaker shops, and indie boutiques selling designer fashions, accessories, and home décor, Haji Lane in Kampong Glam is Singapore’s coolest shopping strip. In hip Tiong Bahru, BooksActually (books and vintage goods), Curated Records (vinyl), and Le Halo (café and vintage) are all recommended.
Foodies: Western visitors interested in bringing home a taste of Asia should head to Sheng Siong, a chain of excellent (and generally cheap) supermarkets specializing in Asian foods. Wander the lively backstreets of Little India and you’ll find numerous shops selling Indian herbs and spices. For something fancier, head to jones the grocer (half gourmet grocer, half restaurant) or one of the two outlets for PasarBella, an indoor market with restaurants and premium packaged foods and booze.
Luxury Shoppers: Famed Orchard Road and its myriad megamalls is ground zero for upscale shopping in Singapore. Here you’ll find outlets for just about every international luxury brand imaginable in such notable malls as ION Orchard, Paragon, and Ngee Ann City. Of course, Orchard Road’s retail glory is hardly restricted to luxury products—if you want it, there’s a good chance you’ll find it.
Aimless Wanderers: Open 24 hours a day, gargantuan Mustafa Centre in Little India has earned legendary status for its labyrinthine layout and truly remarkable selection of, well, anything and everything. This is browsing at its best—you never know what you’ll find.