How to Find an Authentic Shopping Experience in Singapore

Shopping in Singapore is an experience like no other. The world-famous Orchard Road is growing larger all the time with both international brands and independent designers adding to its cultural diversity. It’s a dream come true for some, but others may find the crowds too much when looking for more unique souvenirs from the city. Luckily, Singapore offers the best of both worlds; while Orchard Road takes care of the masses, just a short journey away you’ll find both traditional and alternative shopping districts. Authentic Singaporean clothing, art, music, books, handmade crafts and more besides are there to be discovered. Read on to find out a little more about what you might find, with some of the top places to visit in Singapore.

  1. Katong

Where: East Singapore

What: Katong is the oldest shopping mall in east Singapore having been built in 1973. 

Fun fact: The area is renowned for textile stores and tailors and still popular with locals. 

Today the area is still very much a fashion hub with independent designers offering the latest in indie fashion, quirky accessories, eco-conscious design products, and unusual home decor items.

  1. Joo Chiat Road & Complex

Where: East Singapore, not far from Katong 

What: The Joo Chiat Complex is an indoor mall which has been designed to combine the authentic Singapore retail experience with modern day convenience. You can expect to find traditional and handcrafted pieces such as clothing and jewelry as well as Halal foods.

Fun fact: Carry on down the street to an independent store called Socrates, and you’ll discover quirky homeware, fashion accessories, creative crafts, a range of books from local publishing houses music by local record labels and art from local artists. 

Top Tip: Whenever you are seeking out the best hotspots to find the best souvenirs around, make sure you make use of the online tools out there to help make your job easier. Expedia now provide a handy tool that can help you locate traditional, local, artisan souvenirs. These souvenirs can be guaranteed to be authentic and traditional. What’s more, through using Expedia’s handy guide, you may actually discover more about the area you are visiting, by finding out about local history and heritage that you otherwise could have missed.

  1. Toa Payoh Hub

Where: In the northern part of the Central Region.

What: Toa Payoh is one of the oldest towns in Singapore and the perfect destination for those looking for a taste of what it’s really like to live as a local. 

Fun fact: The Toa Payoh Hub covers 186,000 square feet of retail space and sells almost everything you can imagine at affordable prices without the noise of Orchard Road. There are also some great local food stalls nearby selling authentic Singaporean street food.

Don’t Forget About Orchard Road

Although there’s no getting away from the fact that Orchard Road is a busy place, it would be a wasted opportunity not to experience all that Singapore shopping has to offer, and Orchard Road is well worth seeing. Orchard Central, for example, is a mall combined with an artistic experience with multiple art installations and digital art displays throughout. The big designers and household brands are established at ION Orchard, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find an everyday bargain in one of the other malls and plazas in the area.  

The 313@Somerset mall is connected to Orchard Central, has a reputation for being fashion-forward and is very popular with young people. It also regularly runs sales and promotions so is often a good chance to pick up a bargain.

28 Feb 2019
Singapore Expats