Singapore is forever evolving, in a sense growing into its own, that it’s impossible to give it a neat and convenient label. However, in recent years it has developed more personality and style of its own – from colonial to tropical, modern to indie, and traditional to urban. In terms of shopping, Singapore is considered one of Asia’s shopping capitals. And that’s what makes it so lovable.

You probably don’t need us to tell you about the trophy shopping spots like Paragon, ION Orchard, and Marina Bay Sands, but rather the designers, and boutiques you are not going to find in regular travel guides. That’s why we turned to the shopping experts at Travelshopa (www.travelshopa.com) for their loves, secret and hidden gems; spots you won’t find on the average high street.

In this guide you will discover some of Travelshopa’s favourite shopping addresses in Singapore, grouped into 8 areas. You may already know some of these places, and others we hope will surprise you. Each section includes the recommended type of traveller as well as some notable boutiques.

Singapore. It always exceeds expectations of first time visitors and continues to impress return visitors. Wander through these shopping precincts, and any shopping aficionado is bound to leave with an additional suitcase.


HAJI LANE

There is nothing up and coming about Haji Lane in Kampong Glam; it is well and truly up and come. Kampong Glam is an eclectic playground for rich culture, a thriving Malay heritage and a multitude of fashion and lifestyle options. Young and hip shopaholics flock to Haji Lane for on-trend women’s and men’s fashion, as well as fashion accessories. Culture-seekers should head to Bali Lane, Arab Street and Bussorah Street for traditional artisan works like Persian carpets, and Turkish lamps and hookahs.

Perfect for: Millennials and Culture-seekers

Standout boutiques: Salad Shop (25-27 Haji Lane), Kolombiana (64 Haji Lane) and Mondays Off (76 Haji Lane)

CHINATOWN

From old-fashioned teahouses to swarms of souvenirs, Chinatown’s atmospheric charm has to be seen to be believed. Shoppers with more refined tastes will find happiness along the historical shophouses of Ann Siang Hill and Telok Ayer where up-scale men’s ateliers, independent multi-label boutiques and bespoke tailors reside.

Perfect for: Culture-seekers and Foodies

Standout boutiques: Willow & Huxley (20 Amoy Street), Matter Prints (26A Pagoda Sreett), Aston Blake (89 Club Sreet 2nd Floor)

CITY HALL

City Hall holds many commercial complexes that house a discerning breed of fashion, home and lifestyle purveyors. Stretching from Stamford Road to Singapore River, the City Hall area is served by many shopping malls and high street labels including Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade, Millenia Walk, and Capitol Piazza.

Perfect for: Luxury Travellers and Empty-Nesters

Standout boutiques: Manifesto (#02-19 Capitol Piazza), The Emporium (#01-84 Millennia Walk), Laichan (#02-29 Raffles City Shopping Centre)

EAST COAST

Apart from a foodie destination, the East Coast neighbourhood is also an up-and-coming area with a host of shopping and lifestyle attractions. In recent times, independent craft shops, art and furniture galleries and design studios have made nest in cosy and bohemian Joo Chiat.

Perfect for: Foodies, Empty-nesters and Families

Standout boutiques: Hat of Cain (18 Joo Chiat Terrace), Cat Socrates (448 Joo Chiat Rd), TheAC (420 Joo Chiat Rd)

HOLLAND

Holland is home to many of the city’s private residential estates. Set against a suburban village feel, with pretty streets and in close proximity to Tanglin and Bukit Timah, it’s easy to see why it is one of the city’s most prestigious areas. Come to browse the various fashion and lifestyle boutiques, grab a coffee or settle in for some afternoon beverages.

Perfect for: Families, Empty-Nesters and Millennials

Standout boutiques: Bungalow 55 (#01-05A Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road), Monocle Shop and Café (74 Jalan Kelabu Asap), Ong Shunmugam (#01-76 Jalan Merah Saga)

Notable mentions: Cluny Court and Sime Darby Centre

ORCHARD

On face value you would think that Orchard Road does not offer much more than well-known luxury and high street brands. However, within the row of massive multi-story malls, lies opportunity to discover the local brands of Singapore. To capture a sense of the local fashion scene, make a beeline for local designer hotspots like Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Gateway, Orchard Central and The Cathay. You will discover more hidden gems on the upper levels of ION Orchard and the basement of Wheelock Place, as well as Scotts Square and Pacific Plaza (just off Orchard on Scotts Road). As you can probably see, one day is not enough – so plan to spend at least two days browsing this world-class shopping strip.

Perfect for: Luxury Travellers, Millennials and Families

Standout boutiques: Rockstar by Soon Lee (#03-08 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard), Proof Living (#04-16 ION Orchard), Threadbare and Squirrel (#02-30 Wheelock Place),

Notable mentions: TANGS at Tangs Plaza (310 Orchard Road) and Robinsons: The Heeran (260 Orchard Road)

TIONG BAHRU

In the last few years all eyes have been on the hipster enclave Tiong Bahru. Beyond the art-deco residential blocks, indie cafes and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, lay quaint bookstores, chic interiors stores, bespoke jewellers and grungy vintage stores. It’s got it all. Interior lovers should put aside some time to visit multi-storey Tan Boon Liat Building, which has been dubbed the furniture hub of Singapore.

Perfect for: Culture Seekers and Millennials

Standout boutiques: Books Actually (9 Yong Siak Street), Marilyn Tan Jewellery (#01-71 Eng Hoon St), The Shophouse (#07-03 Tan Boon Liat Building), Journey East (#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building)

TANGLIN

While Tanglin is best known as an expat residential area, it has attracted an impressive mix of lifestyle shops, fashion boutiques, premium toy stores and kid’s stores. Key malls are Tanglin Mall and Tudor Court, and within ten minutes (sweaty) walking distance is Dempsey Hill – an up and coming retail mecca filled with art galleries, antique shops, boutique furniture stores and shops offering fine rugs and carpets – a relaxing spot for shopping and dining.

Perfect for: Empty-Nesters and Families

Standout boutiques: Chateau De Sable (#02-13 Tanglin Mall), Edit Lifestyle (137-139 Tudor Court), Affordable Style Files (Blk 6A, Dempsey Road) Cuckoo (Blk 6B, Dempsey Road)