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 has Pathumwan. It’s a no brainer that Singapore’s best shopping strip is the iconic Orchard Road. From glitzy malls like Ion Orchard to the retro maze of Lucky Plaza, you’ll find everything under the sun while shopping at Orchard Road in Singapore. So, are you game? Join us as we take you through Orchard Road’s best malls and restaurants, plus divulge some survival tips along the way.
Guide to Orchard Road, Singapore
Ion Orchard: Dizzy heights, designers and an underground maze
At the nexus of Orchard Road (right above Orchard MRT station), Ion Orchard is probably the most popular out of the lot. The glitzy and futuristic exterior lures tourists to the mall, though 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 $2 Japanese store, Daiso. End your afternoon at Ion Sky observatory deck on the 56th storey for stunning views of the Singapore cityscape. See? A little bit of everything indeed.
Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Wheelock Place: Iconic building and alternative shopping spot
The mall’s recognisable conical glass roof design, along with the nostalgic Borders bookstore (#RIPBorders), office tower and Marks & Spencer’s food hall, spell Wheelock Place for most. It has reinvented itself over the years and is now home to aesthetics and dental clinics, local brands and fashion accessory labels. 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
A respite from the crowds, the swanky Palais Renaissance is a treasure trove of exclusive boutiques, beauty and wellness spots and posh restaurants. Getting here may work up a sweat but a large plate of truffle fries from PS.Cafe or people-watching at Merci Marcel are great treats!
Palais Renaissance, 390 Orchard Road, Singapore 238871
Located near the buzzing T-junction across the H&M building and Mandarin Gallery, Design Orchard is a retail space that spotlights Singapore creators and local brands. There’s even an incubation workspace for designers, a public amphitheatre for events, a cafe and – wait for it – a tranquil rooftop to rest your legs at. The selection of local brands is ever-changing so there’s always something new to swipe your cards for.
Design Orchard, 250 Orchard Road, Singapore 238905
Shaw House: It’s all about IMAX at Lido
Far East Plaza: Singapore’s answer to Bangkok’s Platinum Mall
Many locals may recall spending most of their secondary 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 at Far East Plaza. Don’t turn away just yet; the mall also plays host to budget nail salons, hair salons where you can get hair extensions and tattoo parlours. Psst: there’s also a second-hand bookstore on the fifth 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, bag and accessory labels) alongside cafes like Wild Honey, Lady M and Maison Kayser, there’s plenty to 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. It’s even come up with an app for a seamless shopping experience.
Tangs at Tangs Plaza, 310 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865
Lucky Plaza: Thrift shopping and Filipino cuisine
You haven’t had the real Singapore experience until you’ve scoured through pre-loved items at a secondhand shop 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 to see authentic Filipino restaurants here. From lechon to bakery treats like ensaymada, the mall even has a Jollibee outlet right here. However, don’t attempt to go on Sundays if crowds aren’t your thing.
Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road, Singapore 238863
Paragon: Another swanky mall
It’s a change of setting just a few minutes away at Paragon. The upscale mall is appreciated for its beautiful interior design and lovely light-up during the festive season. This place is mainly about high-end brands and posh art galleries. And if you realise while shopping at Miu Miu that you should pick up some milk, you can head downstairs for grocery shopping at Market Place. That’s Singapore for you. Got kids? Head straight to level five for stores like Seed Heritage and even a playground. Pro tip: Paragon has one of the better taxi stands in Orchard when you’re done 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 enormous 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 can catch a glimpse of the fireworks during National Day season at Orchard Central’s roof garden. The tallest shopping mall in Singapore also boasts ample dining options – Japanese, Chinese, Korean BBQ, Taiwanese, Western and fine dining. Or there’s always the popular 24-hour Japanese grocery store, Don Don Donki.
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Orchard Gateway: The only library on Orchard Road
Wedged between Orchard Central and [email protected] and located by 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 those gorgeous shophouses if you need a total change of scenery.
Orchard Gateway, 277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
Dining in Orchard Road, Singapore
If you thought that Orchard Road is bursting at the seams with malls, wait till you see the dining scene. Ah, where do we begin? Whether you’re booking a table for a hot date, a fun get-together or a family gathering, the precinct has something to offer. There’s everything from Italian to Chinese; Indonesian to Japanese cuisine with various price points and settings, depending on the occasion. We’ve narrowed down our top favourite spots in this dining guide…
Now that you’ve got the 411 on Singapore’s iconic Orchard Road stretch, where will you begin?