Orchard Road Singapore
Orchard Road is always the first choice of the tourists that visit Singapore at any day of the year. Everybody wants to book their hotel near the Orchard Road. One of the main reasons is that the area is a shopping heaven for people who love shopping. This 2.2 kms of beautifully managed one-way road with pedestrian walking and shops on both sides is an awesome place to walk and shop in Singapore. Orchard road is also close to the many amazing landmarks of Singapore. Orchard Road is also near to the main business areas of Singapore such as Raffles Place. It is also close to Little India and Clarke Quay and the house of President of Singapore.
So, you can see why staying near to Orchard Road is always a preferred choice for tourists. This shopping belt is full of malls, restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. There are unlimited options for your retail and dining experience. Whenever you go to Orchard road, you will see that it is always decorated with arts, flowers and modern sculptures. The place is always crowded with both locals and tourists who flock here for shopping and various other activities or to simply hangout with friends for a coffee or drink. Another Interesting fact about the area is that it is completely and strictly a non-smoking zone except for some designated smoking areas.
History of Orchard Road
Orchard Road got its name from the fruit orchards, nutmeg plantations and pepper farms which were common in this area in the 19th century. It stayed as an un-named road for a long time until it was being called as Orchard Road. There used to be only cemeteries & small temples in this area. In 1903 Singapore’s first cold storage market opened at Orchard Road. The retail therapy started when a local merchant from Singapore “C.K Tang” opened the first departmental store in this area. By 1970, Orchard Road became the main shopping street of Singapore and with the addition of cinemas and bowling alley, the area also became an entertainment hub for the young generation. The first multi-story building of Orchard Road was Plaza Singapura which was built in 1974 and still is a very famous place and a MRT station is also connected with it.
After Plaza Singapura, the area kept growing with bigger and better malls. The TANGS, the first department store, was demolished only to create a high-rise Tang Plaza which now houses both TANG department store as well the Singapore Marriott Hotel. Today, the area is a magnet for shoppers and entertainment seekers.
Things to do in Orchard Road
Talking about Orchard road, the first thing that comes to mind is shopping, but there are also some other fun things to do here. I have categorized the article in two parts. You can click on the following to go to the Shopping or Attractions.
9 Fun Attractions of Orchard Road
Emerald Hill Road
This road is famous because of the old and beautiful houses and buildings that were mostly constructed between 1900 and 1920. As soon as you enter in this street from the Orchard Road, it feels like you have entered in the past because of the huge contrast with the modern and busy shopping area. This amazing road is located at the back of Orchard Central and used to be a residential area of the descendants of Chinese and Malay immigrants. This road and the architecture is ideal for photographers and has many nice bars as well.
Singapore Art Museum
Singapore Art Museum is very near to the Orchard Road and exhibits around 8000 pieces of modern and contemporary art collections from Singapore and South East Asia. The galleries of the museum are fully climate controlled with international standard features. Here you can learn about the details of countries that are included in the South East Asia and can also learn the beautiful messages by artists depicted through their artworks.
National Museum of Singapore
Formerly known has Raffles Library, this museum is the oldest museum in Singapore and is also a national monument. The museum was renovated from 2003 to 2006 and opened again as the biggest museum of the country. The museum exhibits collection that reflects the rich history of Singapore and Asia in a 18,400 square meters area.
“The Istana” office of the President
This landmark is the active office of the President of Singapore. The Istana was built between 1867 and 1869 by the first governor of Singapore, Sir Harry St George. This was formerly called as the government house. The doors of Istana are opened for the public in particular occasions where the visitors can see and feel the official environment of Singapore.
Cinema at The Cathay Orchard Road
Cinema at The Cathay is a big cinema very near to the Dhoby Ghaut station and next to Plaza Singapura. The cinema was opened in 1990 as an arthouse cinema but evolved into a modern cinema with daily screenings of latest Hollywood movies.
Bounce Singapore at Orchard Road
Bounce Singapore is known as the largest trampoline park on the 9th floor of the Cineleisure. There are 28 interconnected trampolines over the area of 24,000 square feet. The place also hosts group trampoline classes. This is an ideal place to have fun with friends or family where you can jump around laughing together.
Library @ Orchard Road
This is not just an ordinary library but a wonderful picturesque library of books that are aligned in shelves that itself form a display of art. The library has been renovated with the most modern attractive design and has become famous for photographers who come here for mini photoshoots and Instagram pictures. Everything is designed so well including the chairs, tables and bookshelves.
Ferrata Climbing Wall
Ferrata is the tallest indoor wall climbing facility in Singapore that is around 30 meters high. An ideal place for adventure lovers who can have fun indoors in a very safe environment. There is trained staff always ready to support you.
Flight Stimulation at Orchard Road
A flight stimulation station is located at the Orchard Central Mall where you can experience being a pilot. You can enjoy the feeling of flying a real Airbus 320. The experience of taking off, flying and landing is amazing. You also learn various things about a cockpit. This is a dream come true for people who want to become a pilot without a license. There is an instructor to assist you and you can bring two friends with you who can help record a video of you flying the Airbus.
Shopping at Orchard Road Singapore
Orchard Road is full of retail shops and malls, you can start walking from one end to another and there will be endless possibilities of shopping and entertainment places. Let’s talk about the famous malls here.
Ion Orchard Shopping Mall
ION Orchard is a modern day, stylish and a wonderful example of futuristic architecture. The building attracts everyone from a distance and is filled with luxury shopping outlets. This is considered as Singapore’s most glamorous shopping complex. The mall has extra and special toilets for celebrities and high spending customers. The mall has 8 levels of shops and luxury outlets. There is a celebrity chef fine dining experience available in the mall. The mall also offers a butler-styled concierge service. In short, this mall boasts of a complete luxurious environment.
Orchard central is also one of the famous shopping destinations located at the corner of Orchard Road. The tourists can get a shopping discount card after presenting their passport at the concierge.
Ngee Ann City
Ngee Ann City also known as Takashimaya is a famous shopping center in Orchard Road. The center has become a very famous landmark. Un-like other shopping malls, this place also exhibits shopping events, market styled bazaars with stalls, concerts and fashion shows. This plaza can host up to 3000 people in its outer area where most of the events take place. Inside the mall has Takashimaya department store, art & creativity section, books stores, beauty parlors and many other brands.
As we talked above about TANG already, this is one of the most famous landmarks of the area. It was the first department store to be opened in this shopping area. Today, Tangs is a modern Asian styled department store famous among tourists. There are many Asian collectable gifts, decoration items, souvenirs, clothes and well-known brands in the store.
Far East Plaza Orchard Road
This is a 6-story mall with around 800 retail shops. The plaza is more famous among the young & cool visitors who come here looking for something different. The shops offer many custom-made products ranging from clothes to electronic gadgets from relatively unknown designers. Bargaining is acceptable as a culture of this plaza.
The mall has 3 levels to provide elegant shopping and dining experience. It is compact but has a good variety of prestigious personalized tailoring outlets.
Paragon Shopping Center
Paragon Shopping Center is a high-end shopping mall with 6-storyes of fashion stores, restaurants, designer department stores and sports outlets. There are many kids clothing brands in this mall as well.
Plaza Singapura Orchard Road
This was the first multi-story mall at the Orchard Road. Very near to the MRT Station of Dhoby Ghaut, the mall is mostly a busy place filled with all types of crowd. The carrefour store in the basement also attracts many local grocery shoppers.
313 @ Somerset Mall
This mall is located at the top of Somerset MRT Station. This mall offers a variety of young and affordable brands; hence it is becoming a hotspot for the young generation of Singapore. The mall has a nice food-court at the top floor and many other restaurants and cafes. This mall is also famous because of ongoing events on daily basis.
Tanglin Shopping Center
Tanglin shopping center is also one of the oldest shopping centers of Singapore. This place is more famous because of the art, silk products, jewelry and Persian carpets. People also come here to enjoy the antique books, photographs, postcards and prints at Antiques of the Orient at the 2nd floor of the center.
T Galleria by DFS
Duty free shopping is what attracts the visitors to this place. The place is located next to the Royal Plaza on Scotts. You can buy a large variety of products including luxury brands on with a 100% worldwide duty-free guarantee.
Knightsbridge Mall at Orchard Road
This is a 4-story mall that mainly focuses on fashion and jewelry shops. The mall has a very eye-catching structure and allows the retail outlets to customize their space.
Palais Renaissance offers high end designer boutiques to its customers. It is located on the Orchard Road on the opposite side of the Hilton hotel.
The Centrepoint is one of the most famous shopping centers at Orchard Road. It houses the famous Singapore department store Robinsons & Co. It also houses the Marks & Spencers store. There are plenty of options to buy clothes, optics and home furnishing.
The Heeren at Orchard Road
The Heeren is a unique shopping center at the corner of Orchard Road near Cairnhill Road. The center has a large variety of streetwear fashion and accessories. The basement also has a mini-japan court which has many varieties of Japanese food.
This fashion complex has a high range of high street fashion stores, watch stores and jewelry shops. There is an impressive food court on the 4th story that offers traditional Singaporean street food.