Spanning almost 2.2km, Orchard Road is a swanky, one-way, tree-lined boulevard offering nearly 800,000sqm of retail, dining, and entertainment options to please any taste or budget.
As you may expect with a shopping district of this calibre, it attracts attention from all kinds of people – from window-shoppers to serious money-spenders! The crowds at Orchard can be devastating sometimes, especially during weekends and public holidays, so it is best to get there as early as possible to beat the worst of the crowds. However, just as with all major shopping districts in this part of the world (i.e. Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok), the crowds are part of the charm!
Orchard Road is full of upscale departments stores and shopping malls, such as Ngee Ann City and Takashimaya. Inside each of these amazing malls are hundreds of upscale shops, restaurants, and fast food outlets.
Paragon and ION Orchard are two of the main luxury malls on Orchard Road. Paragon continues to impress with its wide range of tenants and good word-of-mouth feedback, though ION Orchard is arguably the most impressive mall of the lot, with its space-age façade and famous food court (see below). The Orchard MRT station is located inside ION Orchard.
313 @ Somerset and Plaza Singapura are two other significant malls at Orchard. 313 @ Somerset, with its emphasis on young and chic fashion, is very popular with students, whereas Plaza Singapura was actually the first mall to open on Orchard way back in 1974 and as such has some retro charm.
Yet people do not just come to Orchard Road for shopping. Another reason is to visit the restaurants and fast food outlets here – and there are seemingly thousands of options! From fancy restaurants to local street food vendors, there is something here for everyone! Additionally, most of the malls have food courts in their basements, and there is offerings of most cuisines of the world, including Thai, Japanese, Fujian, Teochew, Filipino, Straits, Western, not to mention ice cream parlours and burger bars for those who crave something a little more sickly!
You really have to see it to believe it! Orchard Road is an eclectic streetscape with no parallel in the world! There really is no place like Orchard!