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Orchard Road: Things To Do + Where To Eat, Drink And Shop

Here's your guide to SG's one-stop shopping district.

With its massive luxury malls that house glistening designer boutiques, Orchard Road is known for being a major shopping district in Singapore.

However, tucked away in this bustling district are hidden cafes, interesting things to do and shops to peruse, plus places of history and culture to explore. Don’t just walk by – stop and have a wander, if you can!

Since you can’t walk five steps without encountering a retail outlet, we’ve gone light on shopping spots in this guide to the Orchard Road area. The easiest way to get there is through the MRT via the North South, North East or Circle Line. Get off at Somerset, Orchard or Dhoby Ghaut stations to visit these fab spots around Orchard Road.

*Please note there will be further changes to the Covid-19 restrictions post the Phase 2 Heightened Alert on 21 June 2021. It goes without saying, the safety of everyone remains a top priority.

Things to do around Orchard Road

1. Stroll through history at Fort Canning Park

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About a 25 minute walk away from Orchard Road, history buffs and WW2 enthusiasts will love this park, but of course it is a historic and picturesque place for everyone to enjoy. It served as the Headquarters of the Far East Command Centre and British Army Barracks and the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese on the 15th of February 1942 was made on the hill, at the Underground Far East Command Centre, also known as the Battle Box. You can visit the Battle Box museum as well while there as you soak up the history and architecture on the park grounds.

Fort Canning Park
Address: River Valley Rd., 179037

2. Learn about the story of Singapore at The National Museum

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While in Orchard Road, you can visit Singapore’s oldest museum, its history dates back to 1887. Inside the 19th century colonial structure you will find galleries that exhibit the story of Singapore through creative storytelling. This cultural and historical landmark also hosts the Singapore Night Festival and other exhibitions in collaboration with various artists, embassies, and organisations both locally and internationally.

National Museum of Singapore
Address: 93 Stamford Rd., 178897
Tel: 6332 3659
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

3. Retreat with a read at Library@Orchard

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This architectural marvel that occupies two levels of Orchard Gateway was opened in 2014, and its collection of books revolve around lifestyle, design and applied art. Grab a read that catches your fancy and chill out at this beautiful spot.

Library@Orchard
Address: 277 Orchard Rd., orchardgateway, #03-12 / #04-11, 238858
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

5. Catch a show and some soak up some film History at The Cathay

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Interested in checking out some old school movie memorabilia? This hidden gem in Orchard Road is located inside The Cathay. You will find fading film posters from yesteryear, antique cinema chairs and vintage projectors as well as cameras. There is also history about the Loke family who were pioneers of the cinema industry in Singapore. What’s more? Admission is free so all the more reason to visit! You can also catch a movie at the cinema located within the complex.

The Cathay Gallery
Address: 2 Handy Rd., The Cathay, #02-16, 229233
Opening hours: 2 p.m. to 6.pm. (Mon. to Fri.); 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Sat.) 

6. Hang out at the picturesque shophouses on Emerald Hill

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View some of Singapore’s beautiful old architecture along Emerald Hill. The colorful shophouses on Orchard Road not only make super instaworthy backdrops but they house a variety of bars and eateries to drink and dine at while you take in the stunning views.

Emerald Hill Conservation Area
Address: Emerald Hill Rd.
Tel: 6463 1780

7. Get your Hands On some Klay at a clay jewellery making workshop

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Take a polymer clay jewellery making workshop at Hands On Klay. The workshops are three and a half hours long and cater to groups as well as children above the age of 10. You will have access to its collection of 40 different colours of clay and various creative crafting materials like ribbons, glitter, pompoms and tassels to get your creative juices flowing.  Check out its website for more details on upcoming workshops and how to sign up.

Hands On Klay
Address: 277 Orchard Rd., Orchard Gateway, #03-05, 238858
Tel: 8858 9654
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

8. Get creative at the Visual Arts Centre

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Located right above Dobhy Ghuat MRT this 5500 square feet glass-house exhibition gallery and art studio is housed within the lush greenery of Dobhy Ghaut green. The recreational art centre has rotating exhibitions that are free for public admission as well as a professional art studio that offers art courses for training as well as workshops. Courses for kids are also available.

Visual Arts Centre Singapore
Address: 10 Penang Rd., Dhoby Ghaut Green, #01-02, 238469
Tel: 6255 0711
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon.); 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Tues.); 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Wed. to Fri.); 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sat.); 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun.)

9. Tour the Presidential residence at the Istana

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If you’re hoping to visit the Istana do take note that the grounds are open to the public only five days a year. Open house days coincide with the public holidays of Chinese New Year, Labour Day, Hari Raya Puasa, National Day and Deepavali. Completed in 1896, this Neo-Palladian style building has hosted dignitaries and diplomats from all over the world and the land which it stands on used to be a nutmeg plantation. The grounds also house a spice garden and a garden inspired by Japanese horticulture. Guided nature walks are available during open days.

Istana
Address: 35 Orchard Rd., 238823
Tel: 6235 8577

10. Get your skate on at Somerset Skate Park

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Somerset skate park was opened in 2006 and is located just outside of Somerset MRT’s exit A. It’s ramps and structures meet international skating standards. Not a skater? There’s lots of cool street art graffiti to check out or you could just chill out here amidst the city.

Somerset Skate Park
Address: 1 Somerset Rd, 238162

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With a focus on modern and contemporary art, ION art gallery houses permanent sculptural and media installations and allows for visitors to indulge in various forms of visual arts ranging from multi-media to digital art. Admission to the gallery is free.

ION Art Gallery
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, 238801 (ION Orchard, Level 4 next to lobby, A)
Tel: 6238 8228
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

Where to eat and drink around Orchard Road

*Disclaimer: At the date of publication, dine-in is still prohibited until 21 June 2021 due to the Phase 2: Heightened Alert restrictions. We’re doing our best to be accurate, but please double check with the establishments before you visit.

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This popular brunch spot in Orchard Road is located at Mandarin Gallery Orchard and it serves up all day breakfasts inspired by cuisines from around the world. Tuck into its English breakfast pictured above ($28), or for a breakfast with an Asian twist, try its Tokyo breakfast ($24) that comes with Okonomiyaki omelette, honey soy glazed pork belly, Japanese mayonnaise, togorashi and fresh herbs.

Wild Honey
Address: 333A Orchard Rd., #03-01/02, 238897
Tel: 6235 3900
Opening hours
: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Thurs.); 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri. to Sat.); 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sun.)

2. Merci Marcel Orchard

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This France-in-the-tropics inspired cafe tucked away in the Palais Renaissance at Orchard is a perfect oasis to retreat from the city and enjoy a bite or drink. Its menu changes throughout the day for breakfast, brunch, afternoon break and dinner so you can stop by whenever you are done with shopping for whatever meal you need. The menu also has French touches like the Croque Marcel ($23), sweet crepes ($7-$10), French cheeses, Duck Rillettes ($18) and Duck Parmentier ($27).

Merci Marcel Orchard
Address: 390 Orchard Road., Palais Renaissance, #01-03, 238871
Tel: 6735 2608
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

3. Kind Kones Forum

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Vegan and cruelty-free ice cream? Sure, why not? The scoops here are dairy-, refined sugar and preservative-free as well, plus it has gluten-free options so everyone can enjoy some deliciousness. With flavours like Baklava, Keto Chocolate Sorbet and Black Forest you’ll have plenty of tasty cruelty-free options to choose from.

Kind Kones
Address: 583 Orchard Rd., Forum The Shopping Mall, B1-27, 238884
Tel: 9010 8557
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

4. Steeple’s Deli

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Blast to the past at this old-school diner tucked away in Tanglin Shopping Centre. Wooden counter tops and barstools set the scene for you to enjoy Reuben sandwiches ($17.90), burgers ($18.90-$21.90) and milkshakes ($8.90) amongst other things. It even has housemade pecan pie for those of you with a major sweet tooth. 

Steeple’s Deli 
Address: Tanglin Shopping Centre, #02-25, 247909
Tel: 6737 0701
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.)

5. The Other Room

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Take a trip back to the prohibition era at this speakeasy inspired bar. Located at the first level of the Marriot Tang Plaza Hotel in Orchard Road, its façade blends into the lobby so you will have to look for a black door with a door bell as you’ll have to ring it to get inside. There are no signs on the door or anywhere else pointing to it. Its timeline-inspired menu recreates the great cocktails of the past such as the Whiskey Sour ($23) and Old Fashioned ($25) The bar also has a food menu that includes Rueben sandwiches ($19), Sirloin Steak ($28) and a Spanish cheese platter ($24)

The Other Room
Address: 20 Orchard Rd., Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, #01-05, 238865
Tel: 6100 7778
Opening hours: 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Tues. to Sat.)

6. No. 5 Emerald Hill

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Don’t just walk by this gorgeous cocktail bar while you admire the beautiful shophouses along Emerald Hill. No. 5 Emerald Hill does some super fun martini’s alongside the traditional martini, with flavours like lychee, blueberry, espresso and pineapple. Drinks on its Marvellous Martinis menu go for two for $22 and drinks on its Glorious Martinis menu go for two for $28. Want some bubbly? It does champagne martinis at two for $30. Not a cocktail fan? It has a range of house pour spirits on offer together with beer, cider and bar snacks.

No. 5 Emerald Hill
Address: 28 Wilkie Rd., #01-06, 228051
Tel: 6732 0818
Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

7. Bacha Coffee

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Inspired by Dar El Bacha Palace in Marrakech, this Moroccan-style coffee shop is chic, to say the least. Pair your coffee with its selection of coffee infused confectionaries like Mille Feullie Orange with Grand Moka Matari Coffee ($9) or its Moroccan inspired mains such as its traditional Moroccan Kefta Meatballs ($28).

Bacha Coffee
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard Mall, #01-15/16, 238801
Tel: 6363 1910
Opening hours: 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

8. TWG Tea at ION Orchard

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Fancy a spot of tea? Well you can get fancy at TWG Tea Shop in ION Orchard. Its Parisian afternoon tea set for two ($72) includes an assortment of finger sandwiches, muffins and scones served with whipped cream and jelly. Oh, and of course your choice of a pot of tea. Other tea time set menus, all day dining and desserts are also available. 

TWG Tea at ION Orchard
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, Grand Atrium, Level 1, 238801
Tel: 6735 1837
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

9. Din Tai Fung

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Feeling peckish while you’re shopping about Orchard Road? Fret not! There are three Din Tai Fung outlets in the vicinity to satisfy your dim sum cravings. Dumplings are made fresh in-house and you can watch the chefs making these enter the restaurant through glass panels. Try its signature Xiao Long Bao ($7.80-$11) Egg Fried Rice with Pork Chop ($13) and Hot and Sour soup ($9). It even does free flow of Chinese tea to wash down all those delightful dumplings. 

Din Tai Fung
Address: 290 Orchard Rd., Paragon, #B1-03, 238859
Tel: 6836 8336
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

Din Tai Fung @ The Centrepoint
Address: 176 Orchard Rd., The Centrepoint, #02-55, 38843
Tel: 6694 2292
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

Din Tai Fung @ Wisma Atria
Address: 435 Orchard Rd., #04-25, Singapore 238877
Tel:  6732 1383
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

10. Lawry’s The Prime Rib

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Prime ribs, lobster, desserts and a kids menu! Lawry’s serves up a hearty prime rib lunch or dinner (the price ranges from $83-$188 depending on your cut of choice) that includes its famous original Spinning Salad Bowl, Idaho Mashed Potatoes and Yorkshire Puddings with its whipped horseradish cream. A great spot for a spot of comfort food or a family meal.

Lawry’s Prime Rib
Address: 333A Orchard Rd., Mandarin Gallery, #04-01/31, Singapore 238897
Tel: 6836 3333 / 9277 7792
Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

11. Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar

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It’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. and at Nassim Hill, they do happy hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Every. Day. From housemade daily fresh bakes to breakfast, brunch and dinner, this is one little gem in the Orchard Road area you will have to check out. It even has freshly made brioche doughnuts with homemade kaya (a local coconut jam) to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
Address: 56 Tanglin Rd., #01-03, 247964
Tel: 6835 1128

Opening hours: 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Tue.), open 24 hours (Wed. to Sat.), 12 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sun.); Closed on Mondays.

12. Curry Culture – Cuppage Terrace

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Craving curry? Curry Culture’s variety of Indian delights is here to satisfy. The restaurant serves up both veg and non-veg Indian cuisines from North and South India and for fans of Indian sweets, it does a dessert platter and kulfi (Indian ice cream). Get your Butter Chicken fix or for vegetarians, your butter paneer (Paneer Makhanwala) fix, while you enjoy a refreshing lassi or  warming masala chai.

Curry Culture
Address: 31 Cuppage Rd., Cuppage Terrace, 229457
Tel: 6235 6133
Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

13. Twenty Eight Cafe

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All-day breakfast, smoothie bowls ($16), avocado toast ($18) and eggs benny ($18.90) – this place has got your breakfast and brunch needs covered. Situated on Willkie Road (a little walk from Orchard), the gorgeous minimalist interior of this cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee (from $4.50) or to have a healthy rice bowl ($15) or salad (from $11) for lunch.

Twenty Eight Cafe
Address: 28 Wilkie Rd., #01-06, 228051
Tel: 9628 2829
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sat. to Sun.)

Where to Shop

1. Design Orchard

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Want to check out some local brands and designers? At Design Orchard, you will find organic candles, vegan, cruelty-free skin care as well as a spice shop that, through sales, helps fund hot meals for underprivileged school children in India. Lest not forget, there’s a variety of jewellery and fashion brands all started by local entrepreneurs, too.

Design Orchard
Address: 250 Orchard Rd., 238905
Tel: 6513 1743
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

2. DAISO

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This Japanese store is, as the picture says, always $2. You heard right. Everything is $2 and it is where you can get items for a much lower price as compared to the rest of Orchard Road. Japanese snacks, beverages, socks, homeware, trinkets and stationary. You will find a wide selection of products. There are two outlets in Orchard for you to visit.

Daiso ION Orchard
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #B4-47, 238801
Tel: 6634 7801
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun)

Daiso Plaza Singapura
Address: 68 Orchard Rd., Plaza Singapura, #05-01/02 03, 238839
Tel: 6884 9210
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun)

3. Paragon Market Place

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Cheese’s, wines, cuts of meats or other specialty products this is a great place to shop for those special dinners and events you may be hosting. Whip up a gorgeous charcuterie platter and get some quality international produce at this grocery shop.

Paragon Market Place
Address: 290 Orchard Rd., 238858
Tel: 6738 2798
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

4. Spotlight

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Fabrics, crafting materials and baking tools. Spotlight has got you covered. Need utensils, party decorations or balloons? It has got you too. This great crafting store sells an array of arts and crafts items for adults and kids, as well as homeware such as candles, sheets, towels and cushions. It even has section of helium balloons in different colours you can pre-order for parties.

Spotlight
Address: 68 Orchard Rd., Plaza Singapura, #05-11, 238839
Tel: 6733 9808
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

5. Scoop Wholefoods

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Grind your own nut butter or concoct your own body care products and household cleaning products at Scoop whole foods. Think body scrubs, soap bars and all purpose cleaners. Rushed for time? You can pick from their selection of all-natural soaps and essential oil perfumes. The brand is committed to help reduce waste and you can buy just how much you need here, by filling up your own containers or the brown bags and glass jars provided by the store. Label them, weigh them and pay. You’ll be spoiled for choice with its rows of assorted spices, teas, dried fruit, grains, nuts, pulses, healthy snacks and chocolates. It also has a dairy section and a fermentary with kombucha on tap.

Scoop Wholefoods
Address: 163 Tanglin Rd., Tanglin Mall, #02-17/18, 247933
Tel: 6235 2739
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.) 

6. Marks & Spencer

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Get British delights at Marks & Spencer. Buttery scones, teas, jams, Jaffa cakes and rich tea biscuits are just a few of the great British products it sells. It also carries a range of pantry items, frozen foods, sweets, body care, perfume, clothing, shoes and accessories. There are two outlets on Orchard Road for you to check out.

Marks & Spencer – Plaza Singapura
Address: 68 Orchard Rd., Plaza Singapura, #03-13/14 33, 238839
Tel: 6835 9552
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Sun.)

Marks & Spencer – Paragon
Address: 290 Orchard Rd., Paragon Shopping Centre, #03-35/40, 238859
Tel: 6732 9732
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Mon. to Thurs.); 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Fri. to Sat.); 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Sun.) 

By K Praveena /  Images are credited to the respective businesses and 123RF. 

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