The best shopping in Bugis and Kampong Glam introduces you to one of Singapore’s popular shopping scenes. Once a notorious centre of nightlife for sailors and military personnel visiting Singapore, Bugis, as well as the Arab enclave of Kampong Glam, has quickly become the go-to area for some of the city-state’s more alternative shopping action.
Bugis Street is home to the largest market in Singapore, whilst the ever hip and happening Haji Lane offers a genuinely unique retail experience. No comprehensive shopping area would be complete without a good helping of modern malls either; we’ve got it all covered in this handy little list.
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Bugis Junction is no ordinary Singapore shopping mall. This modern development features a wonderful imitation lane of colonial style shop houses selling locally design dresses, T-shirts and accessories, as well as a few cute cafes where you can sip an iced coffee and pretend you’ve been taken back in time.
Glance over to the huge glass-roofed section, which is really Bugis Junction’s centrepiece, and you’ll remember exactly where you are. Under the giant glass structure, you’ll find a range of high street shops and a good range of dining option, including fine dining restaurants, fast food outlets and some hawker-style vendors. Bugis Junction is directly accessible from Bugis MRT Station. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
- Location: 200 Victoria St, Singapore 188021, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6557 6557
The sprawling Bugis Street Market – commonly referred to as ‘Bugis Village’ - is home to hundreds of shops and independent retail stalls selling tourist knickknacks, fabrics, accessories, shoes, vintage items and food. Just across from Bugis MRT Station you’ll find the bazaar’s entrance, which is instantly recognisable with its iconic red exterior and signs.
Enter inside the maze of avenues to explore Singapore’s largest flea market, as well as probably the cheapest. You’ll find tourist T-shirts for S$2, sunglasses for S$5 and a whole range of tasty local snacks from around S$2-5. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
- Location: 3 New Bugis Street, Singapore 188867, Singapore
Golden Mile Complex
Singapore is famous for its numerous ethnic enclaves, including Chinatown, Little India and the Arab Quarter, but not many will have heard of Little Thailand, which is found in and around the Golden Mile Complex near Nicoll Highway MRT Station. This ageing complex of shops, restaurants and nightlife is a magnet for the small Thai community in Singapore, as well as a few expats and locals who want their own taste of Thai culture.
On sale, you’ll find Thai music CDs, DVDs, spices, dried food products, bottles of Thai beer and the odd fashion stall. The restaurants here serve up some of the best (and cheapest) tom yum goong and pad Thai we’ve had in town. The Golden Mile Complex really livens up after dark though, when the shops close and bars and Thai discos open. The Golden Mile Complex also served as the new home for vendors from Singapore's notorious and forgotten Sungei Thieves Flea Market.
- Location: 5001 Beach Rd, Singapore 199588, Singapore
Bugis+ (Bugis Plus) is a modern 10-storey mall opposite the popular Bugis Junction shopping complex. Instantly recognisable with its crystal mesh-like exterior, which from afar look like balls of cotton wool glued on to the outside, Bugis+ has a fine selection of big high street names (Pull & Bear, Berksha, and Uniqlo to name a few) as well as a long list of independent stores selling locally designed clothes.
On the higher up floors, you’ll find a sturdy range of restaurants and fast food chains, and at the very top, there’s a multi-screen cinema. A good alternative shopping option if you want to beat the crowds of the nearby Bugis Junction or escape the heat of the Bugis Street Market.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm
- Location: 201 Victoria St, Singapore 188067, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6634 6810
Arab Street is at the very heart of Singapore’s Arab community and the surrounding Kampong Glam neighbourhood. The street is packed full of great shopping opportunities. Most of the shops on this quaint little road specialise in quality fabrics, Islamic dresses, flamboyant accessories, rare crystals and gems.
Those venturing this way will also find plenty of cafes and restaurants serving some great halal food and sweet Arabian teas too. You could combine shopping on Arab Street with a trip to one of the area’s most distinct landmarks, the epic Sultan Mosque, which is at the top of the road. Arab Street is walking distance from the nearby Bugis MRT Station.
- Opening Hours: Most shops daily from midday to 8pm
- Location: Arab Street, Singapore
Sim Lim Square is a giant technology mall a short walk bordering the Bugis area in the south, and Little India towards the north. This multiplex of computers, cameras, phones, gadgets, TVs and audio equipment is the largest IT mall in the whole of Singapore, with nearly 200 stores spread over 6 floors.
Prices are cheap – even cheaper if you try your hand at a spot of bargaining – and the choices are inevitably vast. If you get bored with the gauntlet of gadgets, there are a few decent restaurants and cafes where you make an escape to, such as Manzeel Tandoor and others. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 10.30am to 9pm
- Location: 1 Rochor Canal Road, Singapore 188504, Singapore
- Tel: +65 6338 3859
Albert Centre Market & Food Centre
Albert Mall is not really a mall – it's more like a lane of street vendors offering a range of unusual goods and services. From Chinese aunties who set up their unlicensed fortune-telling stalls, to pop-up massage areas and vendors selling traditional medicines to cure all sorts of alignments, this really is one of Singapore’s more unusual shopping experiences.
An interesting place to stop by, particularly if you’re making your way to the ever-popular Kwang Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, which lies at the end of the route if you’re walking from Bugis MRT.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 6am to 9.30pm
- Location: #02-09, 18 Cross Street, China Square Central, 048423 Singapore
Beach Road Army Market
Living up to its name, the Army Market on Singapore’s Beach Road stocks a vast amount of army surplus. Although the market is obviously popular with those serving in the military, it does also draw in a fair amount of army enthusiasts with an interest in this these types of clothing and memorabilia, as well as anybody who fancies grabbing themselves a study set of boots at a bargain price.
With over 100 stores selling everything from uniforms, helmets, hats, T-shirts, jackets, boots and camping gear (such as tents and sleeping bags), there’s no better place to find this kind of gear anywhere else in Singapore.
- Opening Hours: Monday–Saturday from 11am to 8.30pm, Sundays from 11am to 7.45pm
- Location: 505 Beach Road, #02-158, Golden Mile Food Centre, Singapore 199583