Best Places to Shop in Singapore

As I wrote in the previous article, pampering reminds me of shopping. It can be a whole lot of more fun when you go in with the company you enjoy. For me, I’m kinda a solo shopping person. I enjoy my time alone because it lets me be comfortable while looking around and not be stressed about boring the other person. While for few, shopping with someone is a much more relaxing and inclusive experience as it adds up to their hangout time. But either ways, it’s truly fun. Hold on guys, I’m not just referring to buying clothing; I’m referring to everything from clothes to shoes, from electronics to groceries. Yup! You got me right! I’m a huge grocery shopping fan, could probably just spend hours in a supermarket! It’s those aisles that relieve me and looking at products and discovering something new every time, makes me feel amazing! It reminds me of those times when I would go grocery shopping with my parents and now, living away from them, supermarkets give me a truly lovely ‘me time’! Alright, let’s stop with all the nostalgia in here and focus on our topic for today’s article. As promised, this article is going to have everything about shopping, A to Z, covered under one place. Whether it be about buying some souvenirs for your family, gifts for loved ones or a treat for yourself, you’ll find your answers right in here! So watcha waiting for? Let’s dive in right away!

 

FairPrice Xtra @Vivocity

Okay, trust me, I’m not crazy to include a grocery market at the top of this shopping guide. But, think practically! Mom’s not here to check and buy some milk, dad’s not there to remind you of the bills to pay. Basically, on the bottom line, you’re out on your own here. So, I thought just a little starter on where to get your groceries might help. But then I also thought, let me make it fun by suggesting one of the recently opened, gigantic shopping markets in my beloved Vivocity (you’re going to read about this as you scroll down further). It’s huge, it has everything you’ll need, whether it be dairy products, snacks, toiletries, kitchen stuff, cosmetics, body wash or medicines. Literally, find everything under the sun under one roof! This is the place you would wanna go when you first step into Singapore and need the necessary items. But don’t stress if you live a little far. You can always crash into a FairPrice, Giant or Giant Express nearby to buy the necessary things. Cheers or 7Eleven are also good alternatives, but these are convenience stores, so beware of the doubly priced items.

Souvenirs & Gifts

Bugis Street

Hosting more than 600 shops, with products ranging from clothing, shoes, accessories, food and electronics, Bugis street market is a must visit for most tourists. Situated conveniently beside the MRT, Bugis street market is probably one of the hottest markets in Singapore, thanks to the crowd! This is where you can buy the fridge magnet to add into your collection of magnets, a new phone case to replace your spoilt one, a handbag cause hey, there are cute ones! All of this certainly under 10$ each. Isn’t that super wallet-friendly? But no doubt, the quality isn’t bad. I would advise that go ahead and buy the souvenirs, bags and other things but may be not the clothes. If you’re looking for those that will function for a year or so, then no. But if you spotted something cute and fashionable and just want to wear it for a few times, then just go ahead lah. There’s also food everywhere, so maybe you can try some local food or drink a juice to beat the heat.

Clothing

Vivocity

If I think of a relaxation spot or a shopping mall or someplace lively, to be honest, it’s always been Vivocity. In my 3 years, on and off, in Singapore, if there’s some place I got really attached to, then it’s Vivocity. It’s crazy how I even know the locations of almost every shop. Wake me up in the middle of the night and I’ll literally walk you through the mall blindly. The only downside is malls in SG close pretty soon, 9:30-10:00pm, which is kinda early. You might be wondering, what is so special about this mall that I seem to be head over heels in love with this mall? Honestly, it has a boardwalk connection to Sentosa which means you get a direct view of it from Vivocity. Let me tell you, in the evening it’s just beautiful. In a nutshell, this mall has everything: a coffee place, restaurants, clothing stores, shoes outlets, bags & accessories shops, beauty products and even cinema. I would say it’s not too bad an idea to spend one of your weekend days here! If you go into specifics, I would totally recommend shops like Uniqlo, Zara, Pull & Bear, and Marks & Spencer’s. These are usually the stores I shop at. Uniqlo has more designs and materials suitable for Singapore’s humid and sunny weather. But all these stores have winter clothes (not really required on a daily basis, except for movie halls & malls cause it’s super chilly in there).

Electronics

COURTS/Challenger/Harvey Norman

 

Whether you’re looking to buy a coffee machine, a camera or may be an instant photo printer; these are the places you would want to go into. Not only are they conveniently located, but also have a lot of options to choose from. They offer full range of technology gadgets and household appliances and from various brands. You can find Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and many more. If you’re here in Singapore on student pass, Apple offers a 10% discount on their MacBook and iPad. Do take note that this education pricing is redeemable only in the Apple stores (located in Orchard and Jewel Changi). The resellers and electronics stores do not offer it. Since you’re going to be here for a shorter while, you might consider renting few appliances as well. This SmartRent service is offered by COURTS where you can rent out products for 6 months and above at affordable rates, instead of buying the product at higher rates.

Home furnishing

IKEA

Have you just moved into Singapore and are looking for a place to buy stuff to set up your house? This is THE place you want to go to. Ikea has a range of products. The best part is their top-notch quality products and DIY items. You need a few kitchen utensils? You’ll get it here. You need stuff for your bedroom? You’ll get it here. You just developed a new interest in gardening? You’ll get all the related products here. Finally, want to grab a bite at low prices and fancy a Fro-Yo or Soft-serve? Hail IKEA! The good news is their prices aren’t too high and few products are exceptionally affordable. I would suggest you go here if you need a bed side table, stools, some cutlery because one, they’re cheap, and two, they’re lightweight and pretty convenient to use. I first bought some stuff from IKEA 5-6 years ago and now it’s just every product in my house and even my parents’ home is from there. It’s as though IKEA has become a part of our family 😛
To add on to the good parts of it, they even have an ‘As-Is’ section in the store where you can buy clearance sale items (mostly display goods or a missing part of the set goods) and honestly if you’re lucky, you might find some useful products for your cute little house in Singapore.
The only downside, as I see it, is the location. There are just two stores in the whole of Singapore. Well, I would still say it’s accessible cause hey, Singapore is small. The farthest you live, and you could still reach in 1.5-hour tops 😛

 

Luxury Goods and Services

Orchard Road + The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

 

So, there’s a reason I put these two places together. Well because, these are not the typical go to shopping place for a student, coz hey, we’re all here on a budget and would want to spend where needed. Starting with Orchard, there are different parts of Orchard that you might want to discover. There’s Orchard Getaway, ION Orchard (the definitely fancy place), Takashimaya Shopping Centre and many more. It’s house to many stand-alone stores to some of the luxury brands. It’s also the Perfect place to visit during Christmas because of the beautiful streetlights. The performing artists on the sidewalks, aesthetic restaurants add on to the vibrancy of this place, making it a weekend hangout place. Moving our focus onto ‘The Shoppes’, firstly it literally is an enormous luxury shopping mall. A walkway full of stores like LV, Prada, Longchamp, truly some head turner stores. And if that shopping didn’t fill up your stomach, you should totally check out the restaurants from World’s leading chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Guy Savoy. Also, one of the malls with killer views of the waterfront.

Special mention:

 

Mustafa- not only do they each and every product you would ever need, but also are they open 24 hours. What’s more? They have all products listed at competitive prices and it’s safe to say that they have lower prices compared to many other stores. From electronics to chocolates, perfumes to luggage, household items to clothes, beauty products to vegetables, and Indian food to medicines: literally EVERYTHING under one roof.  

 

 

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Ten Picturesque spots in and around Paris

Paris is surely famous for all the right reasons. Also this digital era of Instagram and Pinterest makes it much more well known for the picturesque locations that it possesses. Paris is filled with scenic beauties, natural heritage, blessed with art, and adorned with greatest human made masterpieces which are hard to miss. 

Ever wondered where you get to see all these beautiful images online when travelers come to visit Paris and your favorite influencer makes you drool over your screens with their aesthetic selection of locations for getting hands down one of the best pictures in the City of Love!

 

 

1.Trocadéro at sunrise:

Enjoy stunning views of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro, an expansive complex of museums, sculptures, gardens and fountains. Anchoring the space is the striking Palais de Chaillot, which houses museums dedicated to maritime history, architecture and anthropology. 

In front of the Palais de Chaillot are the magnificent Trocadéro Gardens. Built for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris, the gardens align perfectly with the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Today this beautiful space plays a role in popular seasonal events throughout the year, including a fireworks show each Bastille Day and an annual Christmas Market with an ice skating rink. Complete with beautiful fountains and an array of sculptures, the postcard-worthy views of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro Gardens are simply not to be missed.

2. Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The Buttes-Chaumont Park, in the north-east of Paris, is one of the biggest and original green spaces in Paris, measuring 25 hectares. Its construction on quarries explains its impressive steepness and change in levels and heights. Visitors can appreciate stunning views of the city from this hilly setting, especially in the Montmartre district. The layout gives it a particular charm: caves and waterfalls, a suspended bridge, and a high viewpoint. It is brightened up with exotic, indigenous trees and numerous birds (seagulls, moorhens, and mallard ducks) share the area and enjoy the artificial lake. Entertainment for children also takes place in the park and there are break areas where you can get something to eat.

3. Colonnes de Buren

The Colonnes de Buren are officially known as Deux PlateauxIn 1986, the Ministry of Culture commissioned the sculptor Daniel Buren with their creation to adorn the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais-Royal. Deux Plateaux (literally 2 levels) originates in the basement of the courtyard in order to symbolize the link between street-level and underground Paris, both so rich in history.This was a way somehow to link past, present and future.

The 260 striped Colonnes de Buren are made of white Carrara marble from Italy and black marble from the French Pyrénées.These columns are truncated and of different heights, but they all have 8.7 cm wide stripes.

Controversial artwork

The Colonnes de Buren are placed in lines and turn the 3000m² Cour d’Honneur into a huge chessboard! No need to say that they were highly controversial at first, and still are! Many detractors argue that their ugliness ruined the beauty of the Palais-Royal. Indeed, the building is a listed Historical Monument. The columns were therefore installed ‘in a hurry’ and their inauguration skipped!

Ten years later only, water leaks and seepage in the basement, contributed to their degradation and they were falling apart. In 2007 Daniel Buren bitterly complained of the state of ‘extreme disrepair’ in which his columns were.

4.Musée de l’Orangerie

 Home to numerous impressionist and post-impressionist painters over the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the Orangerie museum can be found in the ‘jardin des Tuileries’, right next to the place de la Concorde. It displays the famous masterpieces of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Armedeo Modigliani, as well as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and many other artists of this period.

From Orangery to Museum

The name is not deceiving, the beautiful ‘musee de l’Orangerie’ is installed in an old orangery, built in 1852 to shelter the acidic citrus fruits from the ‘jardin des Tuileries’ in winter. Like all orangeries, the stone building was built in length, and was constructed in glass on the side of the Seine (to the south) and in bricks on the garden side (to the north) in order to conserve as much heat as possible. Its rather classic and simple decoration fits in perfectly with the area that surrounds it.

Converted throughout the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th into a warehouse, military accommodation, and then a site for diverse demonstrations (sports, musical, and even patriotic), the former orangery finally fell into the hands of the administration des Beaux-arts in 1921. This organisation had big plans for the orangery since they wanted to use it to hold a part of the ‘musee du Luxembourg’ which is now the National Museum of Modern Art.

5. Paris Pantheon

The Panthéon was the first major monument in Paris. It was built before the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and was the first building that offered a panoramic view over France’s capital. It is located in the Latin Quarter, very close to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The Panthéon was built between 1764 and 1790, firstly designed by Jacques Germain Soufflot and later by Jean Baptiste Rondelet. The Panthéon was created with the intention of combining the simplicity of the gothic architecture with the stateliness of the Greek architecture.

History

During the nineteenth century and depending on the political regime, the Panthéon was either used as a religious or as a patriotic building.

In the time of the Third Republic and coinciding with Victor Hugo’s funeral, the Panthéon’s necropolis was used to bury famous French citizens.

Visiting the Panthéon

The visit of this landmark can be divided into two. Firstly, the interior of the mausoleum, where visitors will be rendered speechless by its sheer size and decoration, and secondly the crypt, that contains the tombs of illustrious French citizens such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Louis Braille, Jean Monnet and Alejandro Dumas.

6. Rue Cremieux

At one time this enchanting little cobbled street, hidden away in the 12th arrondissement, was a “secret place” few people knew about. These days, however, Rue Crémieux is an increasingly sought out haunt for fashion photographers, filmmakers, and people looking for something uniquely suited the color-saturated world of Instagram.

In many respects, this quaint throughway between Rue de Lyon and Rue de Bercy doesn’t really feel like Paris at all and is perhaps more reminiscent of Portobello Road in London’s Notting Hill, or Burano in Venice. 

Amid the colorful façades, trompes l’œil paintings, and shuttered windows, are window boxes and terracotta pots filled with lush plants that add to the feeling you have somehow escaped Paris for a moment. 

This is a residential street, albeit a very short one, but the homes are not large. In fact, on one side of the street, the building is little more than one room in depth.

7. Square Marcel Bleustein Blanchet

Once called Park Turlure after a former windmill on site, the square is terraced and provides some of the best (and perhaps most unique) views of the Sacré-Coeur. After all, fewer people wander around the back of the basilica, preferring to stop and photograph the ecclesiastical building face on.

But if you were to visit Montmartre, then remaining in the touristic spots would be your first mistake! The area has plenty of hidden gems to explore (not just the Sacré-Coeur and Place du Tertre) and its cobbled lanes are best explored on foot.

In the spring, Square Marcel-Bleustein-Blanchet is filled with blossoming wisteria, while in the summer months, the little park is the perfect place to enjoy a Parisian picnic, as well as a great place to stop and rest in the middle of a Montmartre walking tour.

Come the Autumnal season, the leaves turn golden hues and look magical against the backdrop of a sparkling Sacré-Coeur. So I guess, what I’m trying to say is that the Square is pretty photogenic all year ’round!

8. The Arc de Triomphe terrace

HISTORY OF THE MONUMENT

A unique viewpoint. From the top of the panoramic terrace, your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris.

 The revisited Antiquity. Architect Jean-François Chalgrin was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus in a single arch, but went beyond it by exceptional dimensions (about 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide) and abandoning columns. 

 A key place of major national events. Wanted by Napoleon in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by French king, Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at the base of the arch in 1921. The flame of remembrance is rekindled every day at 18:30.

9. Butte Bergeyre

Perched on a little hill, 100m up, to the West of Buttes Chaumont, this micro-arrondissement in the 19e has all the charm of Parisian life without the people. If you’re looking for a place with peace and quiet, then this is it. All in all, there are only around 1200 residents, making this the kind of place that retains its village vibe in the heart of a modern metropolis

Named after Robert Bergeyre, a 19th-century French rugby player who died in 1914, the mount offers amazing views over the city AND one of the last remaining vineyards in the city of lights. It’s the perfect place to get a little bit lost on a lazy afternoon and forget that you’re in one of the busiest capital cities in the world.

10.Pont Alexandre III

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city. It has been classified as a French monument historique since 1975.

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