As one of Asia’s most coveted retail precincts, Orchard Road is a paradise for credit card clad shoppers. The central boulevard stretches for 2.2 kilometres and is widely recognised as the epicentre of Singapore’s lifestyle scene. Designer boutiques line the sidewalks, with leafy Angsana trees offering plenty of shade from the blazing Singaporean sun.
Colloquially known as Orchard, the area also serves up a lively entertainment programme. Restaurants, nightclubs, bars and lounges all indulge Singapore’s expensive taste, with a recent $40 million revamp ensuring that the atmosphere is uncompromisingly luxe.
Shopping up a storm on Orchard Road is easy, with a trio of major MRT stations servicing the vicinity. Passengers can alight at Orchard, Somerset, and Dhoby Ghaut and reach the street within minutes. SBS Transit, SMRT Buses and Tower Transit Singapore buses service a handful of nearby stops, while taxi stands can be found at major shopping centres and hotels.
While today Orchard Road is Singapore’s undisputed shopping hub, it wasn’t always lined by luxury storefronts. 150 years ago, the thoroughfare was just a small lane fringed by fruit groves, nutmeg plantations and pepper farms. Hence its “Orchard” inspired name. It wasn’t until 1903 that Orchard Road’s first shops sprung up, which eventually led to the district becoming the domain of well-heeled shoppers and city sightseers alike.