Orchard Road’s name was given either due to the abundant plantation orchards that used to line the area or named in tribute to a Mr Orchard, an owner of the plantations in part of the modern area. Those plantations have now given way to a glitzy district lined on either side of the road with malls and department stores packed with all kinds of goods from branded high-fashion items to everyday electronics to make life smoother.
Luxury and mid-range shopping at ION Orchard
One of the first malls you will notice here is ION Orchard, a sprawling 66,000-square metre space filled from the underground all the way high up to the top levels where you can gain access to see the vast urban landscape at the ION Sky Observatory. Expect upscale fashion labels like Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Bottega Veneta to everyday staples by H&M and Topshop, or head on over to Daiso, famed for cheap accessories, household items and stationery from Japan. On top of all these, there’s luxury dining spaces and food halls which make this mall not just a popular shopping spot but an all-encompassing area to satisfy any needs in a resplendent environment.
Affordable finds at Far East Plaza
Far East Plaza is located just slightly off the main road, but this place has become ubiquitous with youth culture. It was and still is a popular spot to hang out and satisfy fashion trends and needs. Since 1982, Far East Plaza’s relevance has always been intertwined with the most up-to-date apparel and accessories adorned by youngsters and the diverse subcultures within it.
Feel free to go crazy with the 600 plus stores packed to the brim with trendy threads and charming accoutrements at affordable prices. On top of it all, there are outlets that allow you to tailor suits and even tattoo parlours when the urge to ink yourself arrives. Important point to note, a lot of the stores are haphazardly organised, packed from floor to ceiling – so this is a good mall to just get yourself lost in.
Boutique finds at Orchard Central
One of the more quirky and upbeat looking malls in the district, Orchard Central has been offering visitors a phantasmagoric experience. From its famed escalator to external digital art adorned on the mall’s facade and its multitude of art installations peppered inside the shopping center, Orchard Central is definitely a retail spot that goes above and beyond. The lower levels offers a whole bunch of high street fashion labels which are worth looking at if you’re into something unique and offbeat for your wardrobe, while the higher levels bring you to a number of famed restaurants and bars.
Another interesting bit is that Orchard Central is connected to 313@Somerset, another extremely popular mall that offers an array of big name items from streetwear, sneakers, jewellery and bags, on top of a multitude of other stores. One key reason for its popularity, especially among fashion savvy folks, is due to its constant sales and deals throughout the year.
Christmas shopping & GSS at Orchard Road
Ask any Singaporean what their most memorable experience of Orchard Road is and they will tell you about the Christmas decorations. Every corner and even the inside of malls will have a large Christmas tree fully draped with shiny baubles and bright lights dangling in every nook and cranny of its foliage. The whole stretch of Orchard Road dazzles in shimmery glitz on top of the famed Christmas spirit, miniature gnomes and storybook carriages, though you might miss the snow.
For bargain hunters looking for a steal, June until August is the perfect time of the year, due in part to the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) which has almost every store participating and customers scurrying to fill their trolleys.