Even the most seasoned shoppers will know you’ve gotta hit Orchard Road with a strategy. Here’s how to take on Singapore’s most famed shopping strip and leave with your sanity intact
New York has Fifth Avenue, Bangkok; Pathumwan. It’s a no brainer that Singapore’s best shopping strip is the iconic Orchard Road. From the glitzy malls like Ion Orchard to the retro maze of Lucky Plaza, you’ll find everything under the sun while shopping in Orchard Road. So, are you game? Join us as we take through Orchard Road’s best malls and restaurants to refuel and you may learn some survival tips along the way.
Ion Orchard: Dizzy heights, designers and an underground maze
At the nexus of Orchard Road (right above the MRT station), Ion Orchard is probably the most popular out of the lot. The glitzy and futuristic exterior may lure tourists to the mall but it also boasts a variety of shopping, beauty and dining options inside. The higher levels hold the world’s top luxury boutiques but travel six storeys down for a 180 degree turn to a bustling food trail at Ion Food Hall. Oh, and be sure to stock up on a little bit of everything at the two-dollar Japanese store Daiso. End your afternoon at Ion Sky Observatory on the 55th and 56th storey for fleeting views of the Singapore cityscape. See? A little bit of everything indeed. Word to the wise: this retail labyrinth is designed to be just that. Master Ion’s underground connections and you’ve officially aced Singapore.
Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Wheelock Place: Iconic building and alternative shopping spot
The iconic conical glass roof design along with the nostalgic Borders bookstore (#RIPBorders), office tower and Marks & Spencer’s best food hall in Singapore spells Wheelock Place for most. Wheelock Place has reinvented itself over the years and is now home to aesthetics and dental clinics, salons and fashion accessory labels. We’re liking the arrival of the sneaker spa near the M&S Cafe. Need a quick break? Rest your legs and people-watch at Prive’s alfresco terrace.
Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Road, Singapore 238880
Palais Renaissance: A taste of luxury living, plus P.S Cafe
A respite from the crowds, the swanky Palais Renaissance is a treasure trove of exclusive boutiques, posh restaurants and a whiskey bar. Getting here may work out a sweat so we suggest giving this a miss unless you can’t reject a large plate of truffle fries from P.S Cafe.
Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road, Singapore 238871
Shaw House: it’s all about IMAX at Lido
Let’s be honest. You’ll probably see us here if we’ve got a movie to catch at the IMAX theatres at Lido. Move along to something more substantial across the street.
Shaw House, 350 Orchard Road, Singapore 238868
Far East Plaza: Singapore’s answer to Bangkok’s Platinum Mall
Many locals may recall spending most of their high school days here – I know I did – and with great reason. Much like Bangkok’s Platinum Mall, you’ll find over 600 affordable to mid-range boutiques a la blogshop style right here. Don’t turn away just yet, the mall also plays host to cheap nail salons, hair salons where you can get hair extensions and tattoo parlours. Psst..there’s also a second-hand bookstore on the 5th level selling literary gems at a steal. Things get quiet by 8pm so we reckon tweaking your itinerary for this.
Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213
Scotts Square: The underrated luxury mall
Probably the most underrated mall on the list, Scotts Square may not be the first that comes to mind when shopping in Orchard, but we beg to differ. Offering a host of high-fashion labels (including Pedder on Scotts, a curated mix of over 250 international footwear, bags and accessory labels) to cafe fare like Wild Honey, Lady M, and the Coffee Academic, there’s lots to eat, shop and do in this luxury mall.
Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209
Tangs Plaza: Multi-label madness
It’s easy to lose track of time at Tangs’ flagship. The multi-label and retail store has been around since 1923 and has continuously reinvented itself by hosting local brands and various pop-ups dedicated to men, women, kids’ fashion, tech items, food and home accessories. They’ve even come up with an app for a seamless shopping experience.
Tangs Plaza, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865
Lucky Plaza: Knock-offs and Filipino cuisine
You’ve not had the real Singapore experience until you’ve scoured through pre-loved items at a flea market in Lucky Plaza. Uncover affordable cosmetics and perfume knock-offs (we won’t tell), souvenir shopping (magnets and coasters anyone?) and electronics in this old but iconic building. A haven for local Filipinos, it’s no surprise that you’ll find authentic cuisine here from lechon to bakery treats like ensaymada – yes they even have a Jollibee outlet – right here. Do not attempt going on Sundays if crowds are not your thing.
Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road, Singapore 238863
Paragon: Just another swanky mall
It’s a change of setting just a few minutes away at Paragon. The upscale mall can be appreciated for its beautiful interior design and its beautiful light-up during the festive season but this place is mainly about the high-end brands and posh art galleries. And if you’ve realised while shopping at Miu Miu that you should pick up some milk, you can head downstairs to the grocery. That’s Singapore for you. Got kids? Head straight to level 5 for stores like Seed and Early Learning Centre. Protip: Paragon has one of the better taxi stands on Orchard when you’re over shopping for the day.
Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859
Knightsbridge Mall: Apple Store!
Years ago, the Knightsbridge Mall gained traction with Singapore’s first (and only) Abercrombie & Fitch outlet. Now, it’s on the radar again thanks to the opening of the Apple Store. If you haven’t visited, we suggest you do for some cool shots.
Knightsbridge Mall, 270 Orchard Road, Singapore 238857
Orchard Central: Tallest shopping mall in Singapore
Bet you didn’t know you could catch a glimpse of the fireworks during the national day season at the Orchard Central’s roof garden. Well, now you do. The tallest shopping mall in Singapore also boasts ample dining options – Japanese, Chinese, Korean BBQ, Taiwanese, Western and fine dining but many are now heading straight to the new 24-hour Japanese grocery store, Don Don Donki.
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Orchard Gateway: The only library in Orchard Road
The new kid on the block gets major brownie points for its prime location. Wedged between Orchard Central and 313@Somerset and located right in front of Somerset MRT station, the mall draws many bookworms due to its fabulous public library on the third and fourth level. Plus, it’s across the road from Emerald Hill and all it’s gorgeous shophouses if you need a total change of scenery.
Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
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