As you might know from previous posts on this blog, I love finding souvenirs to take home on my travels. I was especially excited about shopping in Singapore after a friend told me she had to buy an extra suitcase there just to take home everything she'd bought! It's true: from designer duty-free shopping to unique bargains, Singapore is a shopaholic's dream and shopping is one of the best ways to #GetIntoSingapore. With that in mind, here's a rundown of some of my favorite places to shop for souvenirs in Singapore:
Haji Lane, Little India: For Unique Boutiques
I fell in love with Haji Lane when our guide took us there on our first day and I made a mental note to return later that week. This delightful street in Little India is lined with brightly colored shops and amazing street art. For a second, I was reminded of Berlin or Copenhagen. The design-savvy boutiques have a clean and minimalist look and sell homeware and clothing from indie designers. I was tempted by delicate jewellery, geometric candle holders and ceramic vases, but in the end, opted for a colorful bracelet from Kolombiana.
Orchard Road: For Department Stores and Designer Brands
Orchard Road is Singapore’s answer to Oxford Street - but bigger, better, and much cleaner. Recognizable high street names from the US and UK sit alongside luxury fashion houses on the 2.2-kilometer boulevard. But perhaps most impressive are the shopping mall complexes within Orchard and the stunning, high-end department stores like Robinsons and Takashimaya. For no particular reason, I really enjoyed browsing in Mandarin Gallery, where we enjoyed a delicious spot of exquisite sushi before doing some window shopping.
Raffles City and Bugis Junction: For Late Night Shopping
Stores are open until late in Singapore, which I loved. John had to take a work call after dinner one evening and I noticed a few people still shopping in Raffles City shopping mall on our way back to our hotel. I glanced down at my watch: it was 9:00 p.m. "I'll meet you back at the room," I mouthed to him as I motioned over to the mall. It was like being back in the US again (although stores there aren't open quite so late) and it was so nice to be able to browse stores when they were much less crowded.
Tekka Market, Little India: For Cheap and Colorful Thrills
Later on, we made a return visit back to Little India and ended up purchasing a colourful Moroccan lamp, which now proudly glimmers in our entry way. We also stopped by Tekka Market to take in the brightly colored saris and fantastic food market downstairs. I found a pretty pair of gold-plated Indian earrings which I've received compliments on every time I've worn them in London, plus a vibrant Indonesian dress that’s fun to wear in the summer. Between admiring the stalls and ordering biriyani, I sat down to have my hand decorated with henna, which lasted until our final day in Singapore – a great reminder of our trip.
Raffles Shopping Arcade: For Luxe Gifts (For Myself!)
En route to the Raffles' Long Bar for a famous Singapore Sling, I got a little distracted and ended up picking out a gorgeous, metallic gold sweater by A.P.C. Shopping in the Raffles Arcade is a bit like personal shopping: each shop resembled a room within a grand house and gold chandeliers dangled above white and marble staircases. It's definitely the most luxurious shopping experience I'd ever had!
Foundry: For Design-led Homeware and Furniture
Since we’ve been decorating our new home in London, we were easily tempted by the minimalist furniture and homeware in Foundry. Conveniently located across the street from our hotel, Naumi, I fell head over heels for the Scandinavian and Japanese design. The shop itself is beautiful, with clean white walls, large windows, and beautifully displayed furniture.
Are you a shopper when you travel abroad? Have you ever had to buy an extra bag or suitcase to take home all of your souvenirs? I haven't (yet!).
This post was written on behalf of Thomas Cook and the Singapore Tourism Board. All opinions are my own. Find out how you can Get Into Singapore by booking a trip with Thomas Cook here.