Orchard Road, often known colloquially as Orchard, is a major 2.5 km (1.6 mi)–long road in the Central Area of Singapore.A famous tourist attraction, it is an upscale shopping area of Singapore, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity.
The Orchard Planning Area is a planning area as specified by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It is part of the Central Area located within the Central Region. Orchard is bordered by Newton in the east and north, Tanglin in the west, River Valley in the south and Museum to the southeast.
After more than a century as a two-way thoroughfare, Orchard Road became a one-way street in 1974. The ever-lively street starts at the junction with Orange Grove Road which is the location of the Orchard Hotel. It then stretches southeast across the Scotts Road–Paterson Hill junction, Orchard MRT station, Bideford Road, Somerset MRT station, Central Expressway, Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, and ends at the junction with Handy Road (just before Prinsep Street), where it becomes Bras Basah Road. It has an extensive underground infrastructure, including underground pedestrian walkways between the malls running underneath the street and other streets in the vicinity. The numbers begin at Handy Road and end at Orange Grove Road.
At Orchard Road’s eastern end is official residence and office of the President of Singapore, the Istana, marked with Nibong palms and a plaque that reads, “As the nibong is a mangrove palm, this site must have once been a mangrove swamp.”
Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew‘s house is located at 38 Oxley Road, which is just south of Orchard Road.
On the western side of Orchard Road is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the only tropical garden in the world that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About halfway down Orchard Road are Cairnhill and Emerald Hill which are mainly private residential areas. Next to Emerald Hill is Centrepoint, which houses the supermarket Cold Storage, the oldest surviving business establishment in the area. Amber Mansions, one of the earliest apartment blocks in Singapore which was built around the turn of the 20th century, was torn down in the 1980s to make way for the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.
Specialists’ Shopping Centre was one of the earliest redevelopment projects on Orchard Road. It occupied the site of the former Pavilion Cinema, which was demolished in 1979. Specialists’ Shopping Centre was itself demolished in 2007 to make way for new development, called Orchard Gateway.
Elsewhere just off Orchard Road is Scotts Road. Scotts Shopping Centre housed Singapore’s first food court, which sat below the Ascott Singapore. It was torn down in June 2007 to make way for Scotts Square.
List of shopping centers
- 313@Somerset – This mall was one of the first major fully integrated retail developments undertaken by the Lend-Lease Group in Asia. It marks its first green field development in Asia and its first development in Orchard Road. It houses Singapore’s largest Forever 21 and Zara retail stores, including a HMV which moved from The Heeren.
- Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
- The Centrepoint – The shopping centre opened in 1983 with Robinsons and Marks and Spencer as its anchor tenants. It underwent renovation and built a new extension in 2007. Metro took over Robinsons’ space in 2014.
- Design Orchard – This two and a half storey building is the junction of Orchard & Cairnhill Roads opened in 2019 and promotes local designers by providing a high-profile retail space on ground level, and incubation spaces at level 2-3. The sloped rooftop acts as a public park and amphitheatre.
- Far East Plaza – Far East Plaza opened in 1982 with a Metro which has since closed down. Popular with students due to its cheap fashion items as well as inexpensive food, the plaza is also known for its cheap food outlets. The shopping complex has since undergone renovation.
- Forum The Shopping Mall – Forum sells mainly branded children’s clothes and accessories with a Toys “R” Us on the third floor. It also has a number of branded boutiques such as Emporio Armani and Dolce and Gabbana.
- The Heeren Shops – This shopping complex targets fashionable, young, working-age shoppers. It is also popular among teenagers, and has a variety of niche shops. Previously home to one of two T.G.I. Friday’s on the island, the site was formerly a colonial building, and currently houses the largest Robinsons in the country. Robinsons previously anchored The Centrepoint, but moved to The Heeren in 2014.
- Hilton Singapore – Located inside the hotel itself, the Hilton Shopping Gallery houses branded boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bulgari, Lanvin, Donna Karan, Balenciaga and Dolce & Gabbana. It also includes Club21, a high-end Singapore based company that sell luxury items such as Mulberry, Comme des Garçons and Dries van Noten.
- ION Orchard – ION Orchard opened on 21 July 2009 and houses six double-storey flagship stores of close to 9,000 square feet (840 m2) each, including Prada, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Vacheron Constantin. Its signature glass façade doubles up as a giant media screen as well.
- Liat Towers – International names such as Audemars Piguet, Massimo Dutti, Hermès and Zara are housed in the building. The building once housed Planet Hollywood and Singapore’s first McDonald’s. At one point in time it also housed the Isetan department store.
- Lucky Plaza – Opened in 1981, it is one of the oldest shopping malls which opened along Orchard Road.
- Mandarin Gallery – Located inside Meritus Mandarin Singapore housing international high-end brands like Y-3, Bape and Hugo Boss.
- Ngee Ann City – The shopping centre opened in 1993 and is the largest in the Orchard Road shopping belt. It houses branded boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Burberry, Loewe and Chanel as well as Japanese department store, Takashimaya. The complex is home to Southeast Asia’s second-largest bookstore, Books Kinokuniya.
- Orchard Central – Singapore’s first and tallest vertical shopping complex, which replaced the former carpark of Specialists’ Shopping Centre and opened on 2 July 2009.
- Orchard Gateway – Replaced Specialists’ Shopping Centre, also opened in the year 2014.
- Orchard Plaza
- Orchard Point – Before being home to local department store OG, the complex used to have art galleries.
- Orchard Towers – It includes adult entertainment centre consisting of twin blocks with small sex shops, bars and nightclubs. It is colloquially known as four floors of whores.
- Palais Renaissance – Palais Renaissance was completed in 1993 and mainly houses upmarket branded boutiques such as Donna Karen and Valentino.
- Paragon – The Paragon is a high-end shopping centre selling branded items such as Gucci (whose flagship store operates here), as well as Miu Miu, Prada, Coach, and Burberry with a Metro department store and a Marks & Spencer store as well. The place has a Toys ‘R’ Us and a number of restaurants. It underwent expansion around 2002, taking over the land once occupied by another shopping centre, The Promenade. The Promenade was built on the former location of Fitzpatrick’s supermarket.
- Plaza Singapura – Located next to the Istana, the shopping centre opened in 1974 with a now-defunct Yaohan department store. It was revamped thrice, in 1998, 2003 and 2012 with the former being a total revamp, and the latter a new mix of tenants. It currently houses a Golden Village cineplex, Cold Storage and Uniqlo. A Carrefour branch used to be located here until Carrefour pulled out of Singapore.
- Scotts Square – Comprises of a 3 storey boutique luxury mall with V-ZUG, Lady M New Rork and Fairprice Finest located here. Just above the mall are the luxury residences by the same developer.
- Shaw House and Centre – Shaw House is home to the Isetan department store, and on the fifth and sixth floors the one of the largest cinema halls in Singapore, Lido 8 Cineplex, resides. This mall is also home to a number of shops such as Fendi, Loewe and Celine.
- T Galleria by DFS – This duty-free shopping shopping centre is on Scotts Road, and mainly sells luxury goods, including products from Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Loewe and Bvlgari.
- Tang Plaza – Tang Plaza is where the homegrown department store, Tangs, is located.
- Wheelock Place – Used to house the Borders bookstore, one of the largest bookstores in the country until its closure in August 2011. It has a large Marks and Spencer outlet in the basement, as well as several other retailers, cafes and restaurants on other floors. It was formerly known as “Lane Crawford Place” which housed Lane Crawford until it closed during the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
- Wisma Atria – Opened in 1986, it has since undergone construction replacing its trademark blue facade with a glass facade. There is a 900-seat food court on the 4th floor which is run by the BreadTalk Group. The shopping centre is directly connected to Orchard station. It stands on the former site of Wisma Indonesia which used to house the Indonesian embassy.
Mass Rapid Transit (underground trains)
There are four major MRT stations in the Orchard Road vicinity: Orchard, Orchard Boulevard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations. These stations are important hubs for commuters, locals, students and tourists who travel to the shopping and business district of Orchard.
Bus services provided by SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore provide access to Orchard Road. Bus stops are staggered to avoid causing congestion, with the scheme being implemented on 13 May 2004 (1st Phase, Mandarin Orchard Singapore) and 28 May 2004 (2nd Phase, Midpoint Orchard). A bus lane was introduced in 2005, operational from 7.30 am to 8 pm, Monday to Saturday. It was extended to 24 hours in 2016.