THE BEST SHOPPING MALLS IN SINGAPORE
In a town where mall culture is king, here are the shopping centres with exciting finds
Shopping is one of Singapore's national pastimes and we've all spent time walking from one shopping mall to another similar air-conditioned haven, sometimes to chase the best deals and also to escape the heat. In a town where mall culture is strong, it can get a little hectic when it comes to navigating shops at different malls. Besides, do you know which mall is the best for camping gear, shopping for the kids or stocking up on groceries? We do. Here we round up the best shopping malls and more, all for your retail therapy. Time to shop hard.
In the quieter section of the Orchard shopping district, a mall has undergone something of a renaissance. And no surprises – that's Palais Renaissance. New and exciting dining options have moved in: whet your appetite for seafood at Estuary (#B1-04/05), indulge in Japanese alcoholic beverages at Table 33 (#B1-11), and go for wine and sake pairings at Ishinomaki Dégustation (#B1-01). For some proper self-care, get a thorough workout at Mutiny (#01-08/09) or facial at HydraFacial (#03-06/07/08/09). Palais Renaissance has also pulled in LuxeHouze (#02-03) – the perfect place to some timeless watches for yourself or a loved one.
Won the jackpot? Hit this three-storey luxury mall for high-end retail brands like Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, Miu Miu, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and more. When your feet start to ache, take a break with a sampan ride down a man-made canal. If you're feeling peckish, check out celebrity chef restaurants on the first and first basement levels, or tuck into Asian food – hawker-style – at Rasapura Masters food court on the canal level.
Entertain yourself throughout the night at the latest lifestyle concept, Jewel Changi Airport. This majestic dome is home to over 280 dining and retail outlets, with some open around the clock – think dining at ungodly hours at American fast-food chain A&W or food court Five Spice, or killing a couple of hours with a movie at Shaw Theatres. You can also catch the hourly light and sound show at the HSBC Rain Vortex, the mall’s 40-metre-tall indoor waterfall, from 7.30pm to midnight.
It claims to be the ‘centre of gravity’ in the Singapore retail scene – and with jaw-dropping frontage, cutting-edge design, and more than 300 stores, it makes a good case. Apart from the obvious reason for coming here – shopping – be sure to check out the extra bells and whistles. There’s ION Sky, a double-storey observation deck on the top two floors, an art gallery that boasts 4000-square-foot of art space, as well as restaurants and shops that houses designer brands such as Cartier, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, as well as the dependable staples from Topshop/Topman, Uniqlo and Zara.
Formerly known as Funan DigitaLife Mall, the newly revamped mall starts a new chapter with more than 190 brands clustered around the themes of tech, craft, play, fit, chic and taste. Keeping it modern, industrial-chic is the aesthetic of the mall with many vibrant corners and spaces within the mall like the Tree of Life, the Kinetic Wall, a seven-storey green wall and even an urban farm operated by Edible Garden City on the rooftop. On top of retail stores and eateries, Golden Village opens its 14th multiplex at Funan offering a more premium cinema experience, and boutique gym TFX is where you can go for an intense workout session before taking a dip in the pool.
Plaza Singapura's recent makeover has been given a new lease of life with the addition of stores like Muji, Sephora, Kiehl's and Uniqlo, along with popular Asian restaurants like Tim Ho Wan, PappaRich and Bangkok Jam, located at its new wing. With over 320 stores and services under its roof, previous anchor tenants such as Best Denki, Spotlight, Marks & Spencer and Yamaha still remain. For experiential shopping, head to multi-label concept store NomadX, where some of your favourite stores like Taobao come to life.
This massive red granite building with two towers is the lifeblood of Orchard Road, drawing throngs of locals and tourists. It’s also known as Takashimaya Shopping Centre (aka Taka) after anchor tenant Takashimaya department store. It contains more than 130 shops, including Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya, perfumers Diptyque, makeup megastore Sephora, Aesop, Guess, Shanghai Tang and more. The hungry ones can satisfy their hunger at eateries like Crystal Jade Palace, Takashimaya Food Hall, Bali Thai and Coca.
You may need a map to navigate your way around VivoCity, but one thing’s for sure: this sprawling mall has everything under one roof. After shopping at the likes of Kiehl's, Aesop, H&M, Tangs and more, cool down at the rooftop mini water playground. Afterwards, treat yourself to a blockbuster at Golden Village’s Gold Class, or calm those hunger pangs with its extensive directory of eateries, including the city's latest Shake Shack addition
Paya Lebar Quarter is the latest to join in the cluster of retail buildings, including Paya Lebar Square and SingPost Centre, surrounding Paya Lebar MRT station. You can expect the usual suspects like Uniqlo, Cotton On, Innisfree, Shaw Theatres, Popular Bookstore, Challenger, and more as tenants. There is also Haidilao Hot Pot, Wine Connection, TungLok Seafood, Japanese rice sandwich joint Hayai, and new The Privé Group concept Lucky Bird for food options
In need of some retail therapy? Head on to the city's first eco-mall, boasting nine floors of shopping, entertainment and dining options for the whole family. Sports lovers can run amok at Decathlon's second brick-and-mortar store in Singapore, a one-stop-shop for all your outdoorsy needs; Home's Harmony, Linen Gallery, V.Hive, Window Story and more are there for your home decorating needs; and of course, not forgetting Don Don Donki with a wider selection of Japanese cuisine like its Japanese croquette, Omu-soba, and the sweet potato.
Not just a mall, this architectural wonder also houses a Civic and Cultural Zone with a 5,000-seat auditorium called The Star Theatre that hosts performances, concerts and more within the upper levels. Below this lies a plethora of restaurants and shops, including lifestyle boutique Komme and Japanese supermarket J-Mart. If you're stocking up on your music gear, check out Swee Lee's flagship store here. It boasts a wide range of musical instruments, accessories, DJ gear and more from well-known and familiar brands such as Fender, Gibson, Marshall and Native Instruments. Refuel at the Swee Lee Social Club before continuing your retail therapy sesh.
First opened in 1995, Century Square has been given a fresh makeover, modernised with a new façade and new tenants calling it home. It houses six levels of retail, entertainment and F&B stores with open-concept dining areas, as well as family-friendly services and activity spaces such as larger nursing rooms, and a 24-hour gym. Another key feature is the first-of-its-kind virtual library on the fourth floor where users can download e-books to their mobile devices.
Rivalling the malls along Orchard Road, JEM is the third largest suburban shopping centre in the city. It houses various stores from fashion and beauty to tech and homeware across six levels. With retail options like H&M, Uniqlo, Adidas, Muji and even Fairprice Xtra for last-minute grocery shopping, there’s no need to go anywhere else.
Northpoint City is the largest mall in northern Singapore and the closest shopping centre to Yishun MRT. It has a diverse range of retail shops – even more after its recent revamp – and features more than 50 eateries plus a specialty food precinct called The Makan Town. Within the expansive space is also the Yishun Public Library, an education cluster, thematic shopping zones, and even a community club that’s located within the mall.
The three-storey mall is named after the classic crowd gesture seen at football matches during Singapore’s footballing heydays. For the fashionable and sporty types, there's plenty to browse at stores like Hoop Factory, H&M (with an extensive collection of activewear), New Balance, Weston Corp, Runner's Edge and more. The mall also has a huge rock-climbing wall you can take on if you're feeling adventurous, or you could also keep occupied at snooker hall, Cue Guru.
Juxtaposed beside old shopping centres like Tanjong Katong Complex and City Plaza are Paya Lebar's spankin' new malls including Paya Lebar Quarter and Kinex. Previously known as OneKM Shopping Mall, the community-centric Kinex prides itself as a fun destination for those leading (or kickstarting) an active, vibrant lifestyle. Unleash your inner Picasso at Tree Art, throw shapes at Distinct Creative Arts, update your wardrobe with pre-loved threads, discover your next favourite local brand at Excluniqueee, and snap a selfie at the staircase at the entrance that’s bathed in colourful graphics.
Loud, proud and local, Design Orchard is less of a mall and more of a hub where you can buy all things local. It features a fresh selection of Singaporean designers and makers. With over 60 brands like Kydra, Onlewo, The Animal Project, Pinksalt Swim and more calling the two-and-a-half-storey space home under the tagline 'Where Local Brands Flourish', the homegrown labels are part of an incubation programme run by local multi-label retailer Naiise which will guide them through marketing, merchandising, and expansion strategies. Besides retail therapy, there is an incubation workspace exclusively for designers and a public amphitheatre that plays host to a range of dynamic events all year round.
A runner-up to Orchard Road’s world-famous shopping district can be said to be the Bugis precinct, indicated by the trio of Bugis Junction, Bugis Street and Bugis+, alongside the nearby hipster hideout of Haji Lane and Arab Street. But there’s a certain appeal that Bugis+ possesses that draws shoppers in droves. Could it be the myriad of shopping options such as a two-storey Uniqlo brunch, Sephora and home-grown fashion boutique Editor’s Market? Or the culinary highlights of Genki Sushi, Flaming Don, Bangkok Jam and many more? Don’t take our word for it, but quite possibly it is the mall’s range of entertainment centres, including a cinema, a karaoke outlet, a dart bar, and even a dog-petting café.
A sense of direction is required if you drop by Suntec City Mall, lest you get lost in its concrete labyrinth of play. We’re talking a mall that sprawls up to 82,500-square-metres, a massive space that the management has considerately divided into four zones for easier navigation. Apart from its boast of more than 380 retail outlets and over 100 dining options, the lifestyle haven also includes a movie theatre and fitness hubs. After hours – when nightlife resumes (fingers crossed!) – the clubs of Wan and Commas call on your party people to dance the night away.
This eight-storey mall is a stone's throw away from the Somerset MRT station, and one not to be missed when doing your rounds of shopping in Orchard. 313@somerset houses mid-market fashion brands like Forever 21, Mango, and Zara, as well as local fashion labels The Editor's Market and Love, Bonito. For all your lifestyle needs, check out Muji and Smiggle. Feeling peckish? The top floor has a sprawling Food Republic food court or take your pick from eateries like Haidilao, Marche, Masizzim and more.
Upmarket Paragon is Singapore’s sleek epicentre of fashion. Give your wardrobe a luxe update with Gucci, Prada and Givenchy boutiques, among others, while stocking up on your accessories and shoe collection at Aldo, Longchamp and Jimmy Choo. There’s also a massive Marks & Spencer, spas and beauty parlours, a gourmet supermarket and dining options like Shimbashi Soba, Ginza Kushi-Katsu, P.S. Cafe, Halcyon and Crane, Tambuah Mas and Paul.
Luxe brands such as Paul Smith, Vertu and Victoria's Secret, clad the façade of Mandarin Gallery, but that's not all to this Orchard Road mall. Shop for Japanese lifestyle products at Atomi, go bold with Bimba y Lola, or get your high-end fashion purchases altered at Haute Alteration Initiative. Then, take a break from shopping and sip on teas from Antoinette or The Providore. If it's nearer to dinnertime, fuel up with main courses from Sacha and Sons or Tonkatsu by Ma Maison and you're ready to continue with your retail spree.