Wondering where to buy things you need? One of the charms of exploring a new city is wandering around and discovering all the shops. But when you’ve just arrived and have no clue where to look, local advice helps to point you in the right direction.

Here’s where to shop for expat essentials and hard-to-find items in Singapore.

Opening hours: Most shops in Singapore open at 11 AM and close around 9 PM. On Saturday nights, malls along Orchard Road stay open until 11 PM. Mustafa is open 24 hours; go at odd times to avoid the crowds.

If you fancy the idea of joining an exclusive members only online shopping club which caters for affordable designer fashion check out Sing Sale


Electronics and Appliances

When planning which appliances to bring over, remember that Singapore uses 230 Volts, 50 Hertz, and a British-style plug with three flat pins or prongs. This is also known as the Type G plug. Adapters for other shapes of plugs are easily available – however, to change voltage or support a 60 Hertz appliance, you’ll need a voltage transformer.

  • Best Denki is a Japanese chain with outlets in popular downtown malls. When making large purchases, ask for discounts – the salesperson often has some flexibility to give you a small discount or throw in freebies with your purchase.
  • Courts is a local chain that sells both furniture and appliances. As of this writing (June 2009), one of their promotions offers special discounts for British Club members.
  • Harvey Norman sells both furniture and appliances. They have an 80,000 square foot flagship store at Millenia Walk.
  • Funan DigitaLife Mall bills itself as “the IT mall” and features several floors of electronics – computers, cameras, and phones. It’s a more comfortable, friendlier, and more convenient alternative to Sim Lim square.
  • Sim Lim Square is a haven for electronics enthusiasts, with multiple floors of shops selling computers, computer parts, cameras, and various gadgets. Bargaining is a must. Know your prices before you come to Sim Lim, and shop around a bit before you buy.


Check out our Food section for a comprehensive guide to Singapore’s supermarkets and delis and specialty stores for hard-to-find items or international products.


Furniture and Fixtures

  • Balestier Road is home to a lot of lighting, electrical, and bathroom fixtures shops – particularly the stretch between Thomson Road and Moulmein Road.
  • Barang Barang sells upmarket furniture and accessories. They’re almost always on sale; discounts can range up to 50% and sometimes even higher.
  • Courts is a local chain that sells both furniture and appliances.
  • The area around Gillman Village and Lock Road has several furniture shops selling teak furniture. After shopping, relax with a cool drink at the lovely Villa Bali bar in Gillman Village.
  • Harvey Norman sells both furniture and appliances. They have an 80,000 square foot flagship store at Millenia Walk.
  • “Heartland” shops offer one option for cheap furniture. Visit the HDB communities around Ang Mo Kio, Clementi, and Alexandra Village.
  • A favorite of students and young professionals everywhere, IKEA has two large stores in Singapore. Find inspiration in their online catalog or save time with the product search before going down to the store. Stores are jam-packed on weekends so try to go during the week. Tip: measure your furniture and room space before going over to IKEA.
  • Park Mall carries stylish (and expensive) pieces from by European designers. If you fancy Herman Miller chairs for your home office, this is the place to go.


  • United Square shopping mall on Thomson Road is a treat for kids. It has a lot of children’s stores and baby stores, and several play areas liberally scattered throughout the mall. Weekends often feature performances in the activity area in the basement. It’s a one-stop shop for children’s clothing, toys, and lessons.

Sports and Outdoor

  • Campers’ Corner carries well-known mountaineering brands. Although it’s pricier than other stores, shop assistants are knowledgeable and they’re happy to give advice on gear choices and boot fit.
  • Velocity at Novena Square on Thomson Road is a sports-themed mall and has several outdoor stores that sell equipment for camping, skiing, and trekking.
  • World of Sports and Royal Sporting House are popular sports chains with branches all across Singapore. Both are almost always on sale, so if you see something you like that’s not discounted, try waiting a week or two.
  • Looking for binoculars? The Best Denki branches at Plaza Singapura and Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) have the best selection.

Winter Clothes

The best place to buy winter clothing is in temperate countries, when they’re on sale. Sometimes though, you have no choice and need to stock up before your trip. You can buy winter clothing basics at several stores in Singapore.

  • If you are looking for affordable designer fashion Sing Sale is a popular choice ~Sing Sale is a members only club online. You can check their website out here Sing Sale
  • Cold Wear has an outlet on the second floor of Suntec City Mall, and one at Plaza Singapura.
  • Winning has several outlets, including one at the basement of Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, and a huge 8,000 square foot showroom at 34A Margaret Drive, Queenstown.
  • Various outdoor stores sell all-weather jackets, ski pants, and other equipment.

What’s next?

Got everything you need? Satisy the appetite you worked up while shopping – try a few local dishes or check out one of the many international restaurants in Singapore.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

We’re constantly adding content to this website, so check back often for updates. If you’ve got a tip you’d like to share, email us at feedback@livinginsingapore.org and we’ll add it to the list!