Although diminutive in size, Singapore’s Civic District presents plenty of shopping options. From quaint boutiques selling locally designed garments to huge mega-malls, this is one of Singapore’s dark horses when it comes to shopping.

    The Civic District is famed for being the centre for all things historical, and the numerous museums, parks and old-age memorials usually detract visitors’ attention away from all the shopping options. For a change of pace from all that history and culture, enjoy some of the best shopping in the Singapore Civic District for your retail therapy.


    Funan DigitaLife Mall

    Funan DigitalLife is up there with all the best malls in Singapore for electronics and electrical products. Just a short walk along North Bridge Road from City hall MRT Station, this one-stop-shop for all TVs, computers, cameras, phones and anything electrical has a comprehensive range of products spread over a number of spacious and air-conditioned floors.

    Also known as ‘Funan IT Mall’ or just ‘Funan Centre’, this mall also boasts a range of home-ware stores, a few fashion outlets, beauty salons and a good helping of restaurants (including an excellent food court). Prices are cheap, especially for some of the lesser known Chinese brands, and bargaining is encouraged too!

    Location: 109 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179097, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 11am to 9pm

    Phone: +65 6336 8327


    photo by mailer_diablo (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Raffles City Shopping Centre

    Lying at the heart of the Civic District, just across the street from City Hall MRT, is the large Raffles City Shopping Centre. Although you could probably find 10 similar malls on Orchard Road, Raffles City boasts a slightly more central location and there isn’t as much nearby competition, meaning the place gets rammed on the weekends.

    Inside, you’ll find all your usual high street names alongside a great choice of dining options, including a cheap and cheerful food court in the basement. The mall is modern, spacious and particularly easy to navigate due to its simple layout and plenty of handy maps detailing all of the various zones and sections.

    Location: 252 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179103, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10am to 10pm

    Phone: +65 6318 0238


    photo by Chensiyuan (Chen Siyuan) (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Suntec City is a bit of a Singaporean institution, being one of the largest and longest running malls in the country. The huge complex, which is close to both the Civic District and Marina Bay, is home to some 300 shops, a cinema, a gym, a games arcade and a huge central fountain – the largest of its type in the world.

    In terms of shopping, there’s a great range of fashion, lifestyle, electronics, homeware and cosmetics stores spread over four spacious floors. In the evening, the central fountain – or to give it its proper title, The Fountain of Wealth, lights up to create a spectacular show. Get to Suntec City from City Hall MRT or the closer Promenade MRT Station.

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    Location: 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10am to 10pm

    Phone: +65 6266 1502


    Chijmes is probably the most famous landmark in the surrounding Civic District area, difficult to miss with its white-washed, gothic exterior and towering spire.

    Although looking like more of a place of worship (it was once a convent school and home to a large chapel) the building now serves as a multi-purpose ‘lifestyle’ venue: this means rows of fine-dining restaurants, boutique shops and bars. Among the pick of the bunch for shopping, try Olathe for some authentic Asian-style artwork, trinkets and fashion items.

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    Location: 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +65 6337 7810


    photo by Xiquinho Silva (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Interesthing Shop

    Don’t be put off by the poor name – Interesthing Shop is one of the best places in Singapore to find discounted, genuine designer handbags. Proudly claiming to be “a safe and protected shopping environment free from fraud and counterfeit products”, this boutique shop specialises in second-hand handbags from designers including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Bottega Veneta.

    Prices start from S$100 and go up to around S$3,000 – but even these high prices are discounted as much as 60%. Interesthing Shop also stocks designer perfumes, accessories and jewellery. Find the shop opposite Funan Mall, a short walk from City Hall MRT.

    Location: 1 Coleman Street, #02-32, The Adelphi, Singapore

    Open: Monday–Friday from midday to 7.30pm, Saturday–Sunday from midday to 6pm

    Phone: + 65 9091 9313


    Esplanade is a futuristic building, better known for its theatres and live shows, rather than shopping. However, this vast lifestyle complex also includes a whole host of great shopping options too. Those visiting Esplanade for shopping will find plenty of arts, crafts and homeware items, and the whole retail experience is a nice change of pace compared to some of the more frantic mega-malls of Orchard Road.

    Check out The Naturalist Grandeur for their great range of oils and perfumes, Maestro Guitars & Ukuleles for musical supplies and Csar Luxe for some rather swanky French homeware. You can reach Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay (to give it its full name) from either City hall MRT or directly from Esplanade MRT Station.

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    Location: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 8am to 2am

    Phone: +65 6828 8377


    photo by Rustam Sydykov (CC0 1.0) modified


    Millenia Walk

    Running true to its name, Millenia Walk is a walkway – or boulevard – of shops sandwiched between the larger Suntec City and Marina Square malls around the Civic District. Millenia Walk boasts a decent array of outlets, with a mix of high street names and one-of-a-kind bespoke fashion stores such as Ed Et Al, Rossi, Mr Bulli & Sons and Van Laack.

    The solid dining options include cuisines from around the world: for French, try Wine Universe Restaurant or find Vietnamese and Thai cuisines at Madam Saigon and Ruby respectively. Not really a shopping mall that’s worth a trip all the way across Singapore for on its own, but definitely worth checking out if you have come for the nearby Suntec City Mall or Esplanade. Access Millenia Walk either from City Hall MRT or Promenade MRT Station.

    Location: 9 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039596, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 10am to 10pm

    Phone: +65 6883 1122


    photo by Andy Mitchell (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Peninsula Plaza

    Often described as Singapore’s Little Burma, this high rise block specialises in all things Burmese. This ageing mall has certainly seen better times and is probably one of the least fancy ‘malls’ you’ll come across in town. However, with its rough-and-ready look, you can expect prices to match.

    From electrical to household items, as well as a range of food options (mostly Burmese) and cafes, it’s difficult to find this kind of density of bargain outlets anywhere in the centre of Singapore. Peninsular Plaza really fills up on Sunday evenings, when a large proportion of Singapore’s 100,000-strong Burmese community flock to the centre to shop, meet, eat and drink.

    Location: 111 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179098, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 8am to 10pm


    photo by Terence Ong (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade

    The Raffles Hotel in the centre of the Civic District is far more than just an iconic place to stay for the night. Nowadays, the hotel complex boasts a range of lifestyle and entertainment options, including various restaurants, bars and of course shopping options.

    The Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade is a swanky avenue of over 35 boutique shops, all found within the hotel’s grounds and free for guests to visit, even if they’re not staying at the hotel. You’ll find a range of locally and internationally designed garments for men and women, as well as the ‘Raffles Shop’ (a bit of a tourist trap selling hotel memorabilia and souvenirs).

    Location: Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore

    Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm

    Phone: +65 6412 1180


    photo by John (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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