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Singapore Shopping Districts, Marina, Raffles City

Marina and Raffles City

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Accommodating some of Singapore's biggest and most glittering shopping malls, the modern shopping, business and entertainment district of Marina Bay, east of Orchard Road, is quickly becoming the new "city" of Singapore, and one of Southeast Asia's most sought after shopping destinations.

 

Some of the malls around here are connected to each other through a network of walkways, so moving between them is quite easy...

 

  • The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is Singapore's newest and hippest shopping mall. Housed within the grandiose tourism and entertainment complex of Marina Bay Sands, this shopping mecca boasts almost one million square feet of retail and restaurant space, with hundreds of world-class boutiques and shops, including  Agnès b, Alfred Dunhill, Anne Fontaine, Burberry, BVLGARI, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, Davidoff, FENDI, Ferrari Store and Jimmy Choo, just to name a few…

     

    As expected, there are more than a few restaurants and cafés, as well as attractions, like riding a replica of a Chinese Sampan boat on the canals that run through the mall…

     

    Click here for more information about Marina Bay Sands (including how to get there)

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  • Marina Square, the first complex to be built in the area, was opened in the late 1980s.  It comprises of three luxurious hotels, alongside the giant shopping mall which used to be Singapore's largest mall, back at the time it was built.  With more than 300 quality shops, selling everything from international designer labels to funky fashion, accessories, home décor, furnishings, toys, gifts, jewelries, arts and crafts and what not..

     

    The mall is a paradise for both sophisticated shoppers, youngsters and families with kids and, as expected, it also boasts an impressive choice of food and beverage outlets, as well as some entertainment and gaming options.  Marina Square is located on Raffles Boulevard, which means it is only a few minutes walk from MRT-City Hall ((through CityLink), and when the new MRT-Convention Center will be opened, it will really be a stonethrow away.
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  • Suntec City Mall, one of Singapore's biggest shopping complexes, is located next to Marina Square, on the other side of Raffles Boulevard, and boasts some 360 outlets that are spread over 3 floors in an L-shaped configuration.

     

    To help shoppers moving around, it was divided into four thematic zones: The Galleria - On the ground floor of the International Convention and Exhibition Centre, is where you can find an array of swanky shops and boutiques, selling top international labels to the center's well-heeled visitors. The Tropics - Is the mall's more casual area, with 160 shops that sell an array of lifestyle goods to people of different tastes and budgets... from fashion and home furnishings to sports, electronics and what have you... As its name denotes, The Entertainment Centre houses the mall's entertainment facilities, such as the "cineplex", the fitness center, entertainment related stores and an outlet of Carrefour hypermarketThe Fountain Terrace boasts a number of restaurants, food outlets and cafe's, overlooking the famous Fountain of Wealth, which earned itself a place in the 1998 Guinness book of records as the world's largest fountain. The magnificent fountain consists of a massive bronze ring with a circumference of 66 meters, from which the water falls down (from a height of almost 15 meters) to the base area of the fountain. At night, there are some laser performances at the fountain, worth watching (8, 8:30 and 9 pm)
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  • Millenia Walk, amidst the Millenia Centre, is not as big as Marina Square or Suntec City Mall but it is still worth a visit, especially if it is fashion you are after, as it boasts a decent choice of different shops, including the famous Cortina Watch Escape Boutique, where Asia's largest watch gallery can be found
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  • Esplanade Mall is part of the architecturally magnificent performing arts centre, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay.  It's neither the biggest nor the most impressive of Singapore's malls but it's worth mentioning, as it boasts some unique shops, selling stuff that is related to the center's cultural activities... (Such as: "Movie Memorabilia Specialist", manufacturer of handcrafted guitars, violins shop and others...).  There are also some excellent cafés and restaurants here that offer lovely, waterfront alfresco dining.
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  • CityLink Mall, Singapore's first underground mall, actually connects MRT-City Hall station with Marina Square, Suntec City Mall, Millenia Walk and The Esplanade, so you are likely to pass through it anyway... There's a fairly good choice of both fashion and fashion accessories here, alongside some restaurants and cafés.

Next to Marina Centre, on the other side of Beach Road, there are other two 'shopping hot-spots' you should consider...

  • Located within Singapore's classiest hotel, Raffles Hotel Arcade is certainly one of Singapore's most elegant and exclusive shopping destinations, housing some of the city's finest shops... From Swarovski Crystal and fine jewellery shops to top fashion boutiques, like CYC (one of Singapore's best known custom tailors), Laichan (up class evening gowns and cocktail dresses) and Jim Thompson Thai Silk, and from fabulous art and antique shops to the "must see" Raffles Hotel Shop where you can buy gifts and souvenirs that relate to the rich history of this internationally known hotel... like a "Singapore Sling Glass", vintage advertisement posters of the hotel, special tea blends that are used in The Raffles and so on...
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  • Raffles City, right next to MRT-City Hall Station (and to Raffles Hotel, on the other side) is a fairly large shopping mall, beautifully designed with large sunlit atriums and water features... It boasts an excellent choice of cafés, restaurants and food-court outlets, including Chippy (Singapore's famous British takeaway), Canelé (Italian style coffee shop), Shahi Maharani (Indian) and Aerin's (A lovely fountain-side café, serving modern European fare), not to mention the Equinox complex on the 70th - 72nd floors of the Swissotel-Stamford Hotel, just above the mall...

     

    Shopping wise, there is a good mix between fashion and lifestyle, with strong presence of semi-casual brands like Billabong (Australian beachwear), Nike, Adidas, Calvin Klein Jeans, Guess? and Timberland, alongside some exclusive fashion boutiques, jewellery shops and large outlets of Robinsons (one of the more classy department stores in Singapore) and Marks & Spencer.  There is also a reasonably large shop of MPH bookstores, but their choice of Singapore-related titles is not the biggest you can find... 

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Bugis and Arab Street 

Orchard Road