Singapore’s shopping scene is varied and extensive, and Singaporeans jokingly refer to shopping as Singapore’s unofficial national sport. Promotional events are held throughout the year to encourage shoppers, including the Great Singapore Sale, the biggest annual shopping event. It is held from May to July and is officially supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
Singapore’s main shopping circuit is undoubtedly Orchard Road, particularly the stretch between Scotts and Selegie Road, which boasts countless upscale and age-old shopping malls suitable for every age group and income level. Although plans are in place to develop other parts of Singapore into shopping districts, it will be difficult to ever rival Orchard Road’s grandeur and variety.
Some of Singapore’s most interesting shopping can be done, however, in the historical centers of Little India, Kampong Glam / Arab Street, and China Town. Street markets and small specialty shops specific to each culture exist in these old colonial districts. One can find beautiful saris and Indian spices along Serangoon Road in Little India, Chinese clothing, décor, and traditional medicines along South Bridge Road or Eu Tong Sen in Chinatown, and amazing fabrics and Malay batik on Arab Street in Kampong Glam.
Large shopping malls also exist in all of the outlying neighborhoods, including Jurong, The Woodlands, Tampines, and Ang Mo Kio, where cheaper prices can be found. Furthermore, small shops in neighborhood shophouse rows can be the best places for hardware and household goods.
Expatriate shopping fairs held at hotels and in shops with largely expatriate clientele can be great opportunities to pick up lovely gifts, soft furnishings, and clothing marketed especially for expatriates. There are even shopping centers, including Holland Village and Tanglin Mall, that cater specifically to the expat crowd.