How to Plan a Shopping Trip to Singapore

Singapore in essence is a Shopping destination rather than a Holiday Destination. You do have tourist attractions there but the soul of Singapore lies in Shopping only. Personally I think it’s more of a preference whether you want to go for shopping or sight seeing. We wanted to shop, so we planned the trip accordingly.

Here is how we planned:

Air Fares: You have a lot of options to choose from. We took the cheapest one- Cathay Pacific. Although the difference per ticket was barely 2000 bucks but we were looking it as adding Rs 4000 more to our shopping money. The next cheapest option is Singapore airlines. Cathy Pacific has a two and a half hour transit at the Bangkok Airport (where you have an option to pick up NARS stuff. πŸ˜› ) while the Singapore Airlines is a direct 5 hour flight to Singapore.

Cathay Pacific flights are excellent and we did not face any difficulty traveling by Cathay Pacific.

Hotels : These days I think some games are going on in Singapore because of which we couldn’t find economical options to stay. We had two options – either stay at the hotels that cost around Rs 3,000-4,000 a day or stay at friend’s place. If you are going for a honeymoon you’d prefer to stay at a hotel but we stayed at friend’s place. We saved almost 15,000 bucks that ways. Please note that Singapore is a developed country so their economy hotels are pretty good. Breakfast is generally included in the fares. I’d say that you find the economical option because most of the day you’d be roaming around only. Two of the cheaper hotels are:

Food : The most surprising thing that I got to know was that the locals don’t cook food at home. They eat outside every single day. Now that’s a benefit for you as tourist. Look for places that are most crowded. Trust me, you’ll be able to find such places very easily. You can get fantastic meal options there. We didn’t bother to go at expensive restaurants, we just wanted to save money for our shopping. πŸ˜›

Now these food courts are not like our dhabas or even 2 star hotels. They are amazingly clean, have good ambiance, serve great food and are economically priced. If you are a vegetarian like me you might find a little difficulty in hunting for veg options but you’ll get them at 1-2 outlets there. You have an option to eat tofu+ rice, boiled vegetable, veg curries, fruits, salads, juice etc. If you are sudh shaakahari kinds that you won’t even purchase food from the places where non veg is served, you are going to have tough time. People barely eat vegetarian food there.

Transport: Now the traveling in Singapore is extremely easy. The cabs are pretty expensive there. If you are going to travel only by cab, better be ready to spend a bomb on your commuting only. We decided to take the public transport. There are metro trains that move around the city and the city itself is so small that there are very less chances of you getting lost. Also the people in Singapore are extremely helpful. Anytime you ask anyone for help, they’d stop , listen to you and tell you the right thing. We got our travel cards made (S$12 each) so that we don’t have to buy the tickets every time. In fact we had to get it refilled because we were roaming around so much. πŸ˜›

The population is very less so you’ll always find yourself at peace.

Taxes : Tourists get an option to get a tax refund. If you purchase stuff worth $100 and above at any store, you’d get a 5.5 % cash back at the airport. Ask for GST form at every store you shop from, get the refund at the airport and if you want, you may purchase more stuff from the refund money at the Duty Free Shops. I did that only. he he

Cash and Credit Cards: It’s best if you can complete your trip within the cash you have because here in India you have to pay 3.5 % extra tax on international swipes. So if you are running short of money try to get the currency exchanged at the currency exchange counters rather than swiping your credit card. Also you can never be sure how much exchange rate would you get on your credit card swipe.

Tourist Destinations : You may go to Sentosa – you have an option to check out Dolphin Shows, under water aquariam, lazer shows, 3 D- 4 D shows, beach, insect park,Β  etc. I personally think our Goa has much better beaches than Singapore. We were kind of disappointed to see the beach. πŸ˜› We did see the underwater aquariam, it was nice and all but you end up feeling sad of the fish who have to live in such small tanks.

Dolphin show was fantastic.You may also check out night safari, bungee jumping, boat riding etc at a few places

Shopping Destinations : Orchard Road – There are so many malls there that after a point of time all start looking the same. πŸ˜› Be ready to walk a lot . The malls are huge and one mall might look like “just across the road” kinds but within the mall itself you wouldn’t even realize how many kilometers you would haveΒ  walked already. But it’s all worth it. πŸ™‚

Sen Kang : There was a small Waffles shop we discovered here. An old lady used to make fresh waffles and used to add a topping of chocolates, berries, peanut butter toppings. That’s the yummiest thing we had in Singapore. We used to go there especially to have her waffles. Apart from this, you’d find Watsons (drugstore makeup store) and some shops here and there.

Makeup Shopping: Go to Orchard Road Ion. They have Sephora there and almost all big brands including D & C, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada etc. πŸ˜‰ Regarding makeup, I decided to pick up colours mostly. I”ll be able to find the best shade of foundations in my own country. I decided to pick up colours mainly and things that I wanted the most. Also , apart from the masks, I did not pick up anything related to skin care. Singapore is a country without any pollution. It is quite opposite to how it is in India. The skin texture and skin needs of the people living in Singapore are quite different than us. So I think we would able able to find best skin care products in our country itself.

They have Watsons that carries most of the drugstore brands like Maybelline, Loreal, Revlon , some US/Japanese /Korean brands etc. In Sasa, you’d find a lot of useful tools like makeup brushes, small storage containers, face masks, some of the US drugstore brands. Etude House is another brand you may check out in Singapore. I didn’t pick up anything from there.

I saw some of the upcoming collections by MAC, TBS, Maybelline etc. but didn’t pick them up because sooner or later they would anyway come here. Even if they don’t, I care the least. Btw there is a BB cream in Maybelline , I wonder if it would ever come to India.

Honeymoon Destination: I would say that it would be a waste if you go to Singapore only to spend time there. If you don’t have a budget to shop in Singapore, I’d say that you look for a different honeymoon destination. I also felt that the emotions of people in a developed country kind of get diluted. They have a easy access to everything like phone calls across Singapore are free, they get free newspaper everyday, they have free libraries, so on and so forth, so the sense to striving for things goes missing somewhere. People are satisfied with their lives,Β  they neither laugh too much nor do they have anything to cry about. Also, you would not feel “love is in the air” kind of feeling around you. It’s a great place, spend time there, shop , have easy time around and come back. All in all I think there could be better honeymoon destinations, especially. πŸ™‚

Best Time to visit Singapore : June, December. You have massive sales around that time and you’d be able to pick up great stuff for yourself. πŸ™‚

Hope this article is useful to some of you who plan to go for a Shopping trip to Singapore. Also, I think trips are planned according to budgets. We had a limited budget so we planned it accordingly. This is just a rough idea.

Quick Calculation

Air fare is around Rs 20,000 per ticket. (both sides)

Hotel rooms would cost roughly around Rs 2000 per day (including breakfast)

Keep a food cost around 1000-1500 per day.

Transport is totally upto you. You may save a lot of money here.

Shopping budget is upto you but I’d say keep it atleast Rs 15,000-20,000

They have some amazing book shops there. You might get some books that you would possibly not be able to find in India.

Overall I think Singapore is a fantastic place to visit and for us, makeup lovers, it’s a must visit place. πŸ™‚


37 thoughts on “How to Plan a Shopping Trip to Singapore

  1. Singapore is my second home, I’ve only been there for a two days and that city stole my heart. I was there around New Year’s Eve and knew that’s the place where I belong, it was a pleasure to read your review on it!

  2. wow the pics look so good !! we were supposed to go there last year but plan got cancelled.wish my dad could just take me there for makeup shopping πŸ˜›

  3. Nice round up Rati..especially for someone who is going on a budget.

    My sis just returned from there after a visit in June.

    Singapore is definitely an economical shopping destination for most of the year..
    I love Dubai a tad bit more though πŸ™‚

  4. Great, thoughtful article Rati πŸ™‚ This will be extremely useful to people travelling anywhere outside India, not just Singapore.

    um.. dumb question: Do you have to pay some tax or something while bringing your new purchases into India? I’ve never been outside the country, so I’m just curious.

  5. hE HE tHANKS rATI… :-* :-* πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    I am looovvving it a lot… But don’t know what bf will say… ?:-) ?:-) But yeah.. you are right.. Though it’s not a true-blue honeymoon destination.. :-/ :-/ I am getting married in June!!! In the SALE time!!!! 😯 😯

    I think a raging battle is on the cards… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    1. he he…my only suggestion would be to keep a shopping budget if you go there. It would anyway be fun . πŸ™‚

      Glad you found it useful. πŸ™‚

  6. especially like what you have written under “Honeymoon Destination”, the observations of the under currents out there :); with all due respects to singaporians, its after all almost fully man-made, with no real history or evolution (wouldnt dare say culture!). whatever is, is from either us or our neighboring countries πŸ™‚ me guess! probably why thailand scores better in honeymoon spots!
    .-= Gaea´s last blog ..Haircare Grabs =-.

    1. You know I was telling hubby that the city looks exactly the ones you see in video games. Every single brick is thoughtfully laid.

      Actually the peaceful life they have is both good and bad. You actually feel at peace with that kind of surroundings.

  7. Rati!!! my twin.. u were here in Singapore?! It was really really lovely to read your two posts on Singapore.. there’s something nicer about seeing and hearing about this place from a visitor πŸ™‚ The pics and makeup haul and makeup stores.. awesome. Loved it! So you finally got to lay your hands on Bobbi Brown too..bought a lot of stuff I can see! but her stuff’s expensive no? Its like one has to ‘save’ to make a trip there πŸ˜› And NARS here πŸ™ Yeah.. Singapore is truly a shopping destination. They say the nation’s favorite pasttime is shopping! And its true.. women (and men!) here can shop n shop forever. And one never really has to worry about a sale getting over.. next day there’s a new one! Initially I used to be fooled by it.. then realized Singapore’s stores are mostly always on sale πŸ˜›

    1. oh wow!! didn’t know you were in Singapore. πŸ™‚ yeah, I found Bobbi Brown quite expensive. I mean you buy two things and some 3500 bucks are gone. 😯

      I agree with a place like this, who wouldn’t love to pass time shopping. πŸ˜› oh he he… that’s a great news. But the localities told us that the massive sales happen during June and Christmas/ new year time. πŸ™‚

      Yay!! good to hear all this from you. πŸ™‚

  8. I can’t believe I missed this post! Thanks Rati, for sharing this!
    The first thing I said to myself when I looked at the photo of your plate was…”Tofu? Is she vegetarian??”
    Aren’t you punjabi? Cause then you’d be the first punjabi vegetarian I know!
    All the pictures look great! And yay for Sephora being on there! Did you enjoy it??

    1. I am punjabi but there are a lot of punjabis who are vegetarian. Infact we found a few people in singapore also who are vegetarians. loll!!

      Loved it . Badly want sephora to come to India. there are 2-3 sephora stores in Singapore and not a single one in India. Not fair no. πŸ™

  9. Welcome back Rati!….Lovely post…very informative especially abt the shopping aspects πŸ˜‰ …the way you write makes me feel as if I’ve been to Singapore and back…maybe you can make this a Makeup, Beauty and “Travel” blog :-))

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