Shopping is a serious business in Singapore. Designer fashions, handcrafted jewelry, Khmer objets d‘art, cutting-edge electronics, Indian spices—the variety of goods sold in Singapore is likely to impress even the most seasoned shopper.

Here you’ll find an island well suited to full-day retail expeditions, from the mile-long strip of shoulder-to-shoulder mega-malls along dizzying Orchard Road to clusters of boutiques housed in the renovated shophouses in ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown and Kampong Glam. A growing number of independent shops are popping up within hip neighborhoods like Tiong Bahru and Little India, adding some welcome variety. Dempsey Hill, best known for its wining and dining, is also home to warehouse-like galleries filled with Southeast Asian antiques, artwork, furnishings, and housewares.

Bargain hunters should mark their calendars for the Great Singapore Sale, an annual eight-week extravaganza held from late May through July. At this time all of Singapore’s shopping centers and many independent stores slash prices by up to 80%. It pays to come early, though, as the biggest bargains are quickly snapped up by hawkeyed locals and zealous shoppers from around the region who flock to the island specially for the event.

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  • 1. 313@Somerset


    One of Orchard Road's best-loved megamalls contains eight levels of shopping and dining distractions. Key fashion tenants include UNIQLO, Zara, and Love, Bonito, though there are plenty of tech, jewelery, and homeware stores, too. Along the mall's open-air Discovery Walk is a clutch of buzzing bars and restaurants, including JiBiru Yakitori & Craft Beer, which deals in local and imported microbrews. Refuel with a caffeine hit at uber-cool spots % Arabica or Flash Coffee, or join the long lines for bubble tea at Gong Cha.

    313 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 238895, Singapore
  • 2. AS'FALL

    Kampong Glam

    Haji Lane is known for turning up some of the island's more unusual fashion finds so it’s no surprise that founder Astou Montfort decided to set up shop there. In particular, AS’FALL’s seasonal collection of made-in-Singapore clothing sports intricate embroidery specially crafted by Senegalese artisans for the brand. With limited runs and monthly rotating cultural patterns and motifs, each season sees different ethnic fabrics (batik, wax African fabric) being used, turning out truly unique luxe-yet-ethical clothing. 

    28 Haji La., Singapore, Singapore, 189221, Singapore
  • 3. Bold & Craft


    A team of craftsmen and designers makes the unique handmade products, including jewelry, accessories, leather goods, and woodwork that are sold in this boutique. You’re bound to find something unique here.

    6A Shenton Way, Singapore, Singapore, 068815, Singapore
  • 4. Books Kinokuniya


    One of the largest bookstores in Southeast Asia—and the largest in Singapore—has separate fiction and nonfiction sections that will make bookworms want to empty their wallets and fill up their suitcases. It would be easy to spend an entire day browsing the maze of shelves with books on history, travel, poetry, adventure, politics, and so much more.

    391 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Central Singapore, 238872, Singapore
  • 5. Chinatown Street Market


    This is one of the most popular spots in the city to souvenir shop. The stalls sprawl across Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street, and Temple Street, so you just need to pick a starting point and get walking. You can buy everything from lacquerware and handmade fans to paintings and T-shirts. Prices are usually fixed.

    Pagoda St., Singapore, Singapore, 050005, Singapore
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  • 6. Daiso


    If you're looking for a sushi-shaped keyring, socks for your chair legs, a pen shaped like a cat, a set of fairy lights, or a hat decorated with strawberries, then Daiso is the place for you. This department store hailing from Japan sells household gadgets and knickknacks of all types, with each item costing just $2. There are now 20 stores across Singapore, including one in the basement of Orchard's ION Mall, and each offers bargain after bargain.

    2 Orchard Turn, Singapore, Central Singapore, Singapore
  • 7. Don Don Donki


    This Japanese shopping wonderland overwhelms the senses with its huge and eclectic inventory in a mishmash of vibrant colors and the "Don Don Donki" jingle that it plays endlessy (it's guaranteed to stick in your head for the rest of the day). Expect everything from hand fans to Japanese bin bags, ceramic bowls to rubber chickens. At the Orchard Central store, there is also an excellent food section, with freshly prepared bento lunches available to buy and eat at the nearby Don Don Donki bar and seating area.

    181 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Central Singapore, 238896, Singapore
  • 8. East Inspirations


    At this family-run Chinese antiques shop, the treasure trove of ceramics, vases, furniture, and textiles could keep you entertained for hours. Each item has been curated by the shop's owner, Mr. Cheong, who fell in love with antiques more than 40 years ago and has been selling them ever since. He stocks all manner of elaborate items, from huge ornate wardrobes to tiny, intricately designed vases, while orange silks embroidered in dragons and flowers hang from the walls.

    256 South Bridge Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 058805, Singapore
  • 9. Haji Lane

    Kampong Glam

    Need a break from Singapore's fun but sometimes suffocating mall culture? Head to the open air and this strip of restored shophouses, which stretches from Beach Road to North Bridge Road in Kampong Glam. Among the numerous indie fashion and lifestyle shops like Flame Vintage Store (genuine branded vintage finds), Crafune (DIY leather goods), Hygge (imported bags, handcrafted accessories), and The Nail Social (which uses nontoxic, eco-friendly, fair-trade, and cruelty-free nail products). The best way to tackle Haji Lane is to simply give yourself a few hours to wander and window-shop at random.

    Between Beach Rd. and North Bridge Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 189231, Singapore
  • 10. ION Orchard


    With a bold, sci-fi-inspired facade and a 56th-floor viewing deck replete with high-powered telescopes, this is not your everyday megamall, even by Singapore's lofty standards. In addition to local boutiques and more than 300 luxury shops, you'll find a cavernous food hall and a gourmet supermarket. But that's still not all: the fourth floor has the 3,640-square-foot ION Art Gallery, which regularly exhibits works by local and international artists.

    2 Orchard Turn, Singapore, Central Singapore, 238801, Singapore
  • 11. Jamal Kazura Aromatics

    Kampong Glam

    Locals flock to Jamal Kazura Aromatics for high-quality perfumes and essential oils. Allow about 30 minutes for a consultation with one of the shop's staff members, who'll ask you a few questions about your lifestyle and favorite smells before concocting your personalized take-home fragrance. Call ahead to make an appointment. There are two other nearby outlets: one at 21 Bussorah Street and another at 39 Bussorah Street.

    728 North Bridge Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 198696, Singapore
  • 12. Jewel Changi Airport


    This sprawling 280-store complex is a one-stop shop for top Singapore labels, local gourmet snacks, and more than a handful of first-in-Southeast Asia brands. Highlights include In Good Company for sleek, minimalist womenswear; Pazzion for chic, cheerful shoes (this flagship boutique also houses the first-of-its-kind Pazzion Cafe); and the wildly popular Irvins Salted Egg snacks. If you're on your way in or out of Singapore, leave ample time for browsing.

    78 Airport Blvd., Singapore, Singapore, 819666, Singapore
  • 13. Kim Choo Kueh Chang


    Although this store is best-known for its traditional Peranakan rice dumplings and cakes, you can also pick up Peranakan porcelain pieces and other Peranakan-themed knickknacks here. If you have more time, it also offers heritage tours and free sarong kebaya fitting sessions.

    111 East Coast Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 428801, Singapore
  • 14. Muji


    There are four branches of this minimalist Japanese lifestyle chain on Orchard Road, but the flagship is in Plaza Singapura mall. Muji has a range of high-quality Japanese products, from sleek and simple dresses to artisanal lamps, portable aroma diffusers, and folding floor chairs—each item reflecting Japan's traditional Zen philosophy of natural simplicity. The flagship branch also offers a customized embroidery service for any textiles you purchase, with letters and graphics starting from $3.

    68 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Central Singapore, 238839, Singapore
  • 15. Mustafa Centre

    Little India

    This used to be a humble store frequented only by local shoppers—until word spread about its low prices and mind-boggling variety of goods. A visit to this sprawling, 24/7 complex just might be your most memorable Singapore shopping experience, provided you don't mind patiently navigating the sometimes overwhelming crowds. Surrounded by scores of Indian restaurants, some of which are similarly open all day and night, Mustafa Centre carries just about any manufactured product you can imagine—and they're often sold at cut-rate prices. It's great fun to wander and see what kind of treasures you can turn up. Be sure to check out the massive supermarket, and, if you have spare money to change, do it here as the foreign-exchange rates (available online) are competitive.

    145 Syed Alwi Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 207704, Singapore
  • 16. Ngee Ann City


    The Japanese department store Takashimaya dominates this gigantic shopping mall, but there are also more than 130 other shops and dining outlets packed into the first few floors of the Ngee Ann towers. The basement food center is fun for snacking on everything from Hokkaido-style ice cream to bubble tea, and there's also, of course, a large food court if you're craving something more substantial. Books Kinokuniya—a must-visit—is one of the biggest bookstores in Southeast Asia, and special sales on clothing, housewares, and other goods are regularly held in the basement-level square.

    391 Orchard Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 238873, Singapore
  • 17. Peranankan Tiles Gallery


    This Chinatown gallery houses a collection of over 30,000 Peranakan tiles—colorful ceramics based on designs created by descendants of Chinese traders who settled in Singapore as early as the 15th century. A blend of Malaysian, Indonesian, and Singaporean influences, the intricate tiles can be seen adorning shophouses and residential properties across the island. Peranakan tiles make a distinctive (if fragile) souvenir of your time in Singapore, so Victor Lim’s gallery is well worth a visit if you still have room in the suitcase.

    37 Pagoda St., Singapore, Singapore, 059196, Singapore
  • 18. Rumah Bebe


    This lavishly decorated heritage shophouse peddles all manner of Peranakan goods, from traditional sarong kebaya clothing to snacks. It’s owned by Peranakan beadwork specialist Bebe Seet, who also offers classes on beadwork and embroidery.

    113 East Coast Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 428803, Singapore
  • 19. The Fashion Pulpit


    A unique concept in Singapore allows you to trade in your unwanted clothing and "swap" for pieces you do fancy. The store, with a goal to “make fashion a force for good,” has saved over 200,000 fashion items since inception, reducing the energy and resources needed to create new items. It’s great fun to search through the racks for a new look, especially with a clear conscience.

    6A Shenton Way, Singapore, Singapore, 068815, Singapore
  • 20. Antiques of the Orient


    Head to this long-established store inside the Tanglin Shopping Centre for an interesting selection of vintage Southeast Asian artifacts and collectibles, including original books, photos, maps, and prints.

    19 Tanglin Rd., Singapore, Singapore, 247909, Singapore

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