The shopping scene in Singapore is extremely diversified, and it's one of the most celebrated shopping destinations worldwide. It appears as though the majority of the entire country was designed for this purpose, and thousands of visitors flock here to take advantage of the seemingly limitless numbers of stores, boutiques and plazas.
Singapore has a shopping area for everyone, regardless of differences in budget. From the financially frugal bargain hunter to the fabulous fashionista, there's a very good chance that something will catch your eye. Although I didn't visit with the intentions of going on a shopping spree, I found myself buying several items due to the fact that the deals were just too decent to pass up.
Travellers on a budget should make a beeline for Chinatown, in the heart of the city. This large shoppers' paradise spills across several lanes and streets. To figure out when you've found the right place, simply turn your gaze skyward to check for laterns being strung from buildings in a criss-cross fashion to form an open air sort of canopy.
Chinatown is a great place to grab many items at ridiculous wholesale prices. If you're a souvenir collector like myself, there's no better place in Singapore to stack up on keyrings and magnets as prices are in the ballpark of $1-$2 SGD per item. Most vendors tend to sell these in bulk, and may quote a figure of $5 for 3 articles. While Chinatown can be enjoyed during the day, I recommend going after nightfall. The lights, music and crowds will create an entirely different experience!
For the midrange to luxury travellers, there are countless stores and malls which fall into your category. The most visited shopping areas include Orchard Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre and Vivo City. These options offer hundreds of stores, allowing customers to be spoilt for choice while shopping for clothing, electronics or even gourmet meals. Even for persons without shopping lists, these places are worth visiting, simply to admire the architecural designs or to grab a bite in the expansive food courts.
The shopping scene in Singapore isn't only for buying typical merchandise, but for something which all visitors need. Currency Exchange stores exist in some of these shopping centres, and I found the bureau within the Central Mall (along the Singapore River) to offer far lower rates than those being quoted at the Changi International Airport. By changing your money downtown, you may end up saving yourself quite a bit of cash like I did.
Most stores including those at the malls are open from 10am to 10pm, 7 days a week. The stalls at Chinatown close even later during the weekend. I enjoyed the shoppers' paradise which is Singapore, and I sincerely hope that this helps any future visitors!