INFORMATION: About the Street > An Urban Oasis

 

An Urban Oasis

Spanning almost 2.2km, Orchard Road is a swanky, one-way boulevard flanked by distinctive and iconic shopping malls, restaurants and hotels.  The shopping belt offers nearly 800,000 sq m of retail, dining and entertainment options to please any taste or budget - from opulent brands to high street fashion, and exclusive restaurants to fast food joints.

Outside of the malls, the main thoroughfare is immaculately landscaped with flowers and greenery, creating pockets of cool, natural calm amidst the hectic urban sprawl.  Explore the avenue by walking down the ample pedestrian mall, and take a well-deserved rest under the shade of the historic angsana trees that grace the sidewalks..

Orchard Road is a shopper's haven and cosmopolitan playground set among a lush, tropical landscape that is ubiquitous in this Garden City. It is truly A Great Street!

 

A Rich History

Orchard Road had its humble origins as an unnamed country road lined with fruit orchards, nutmeg plantations, and pepper farms in the early 1830s.  By the 1850s, the plantations began to make way for residential development, and the street was soon home to Jewish and Buddhist cemeteries, Hindu temples, outdoor hawker centres, wet markets, and even an open-air laundry basin. 

The first signs of retail transformation came only in 1903 with the establishment of Singapore's very first Cold Storage supermarket, on the site now occupied by The Centrepoint. Orchard Road's first department store was set up by a local merchant, C. K. Tang, in 1958 on an isolated plot of land facing a cemetery. When the old C. K. Tang building was demolished in 1982, it was replaced by the high-rise Tang Plaza which houses both the department store TANGS as well as the current Singapore Marriott Hotel. The green, curving roof still marks the location of the original department store, today known simply as TANGS.

By the 1970s, Orchard Road had replaced High Street as the city's main shopping street, and the introduction of cinemas and a bowling alley during the '60s and '70s heralded the area as a main entertainment hub. The first multi-storey shopping mall, Plaza Singapura, was built in 1974 on the site where it still stands today. Bigger and better malls and complexes soon followed, creating an eclectic streetscape with no parallel in the world.

Today, Orchard Road has been transformed into a magnet for residents, tourists and workers alike, with over 5,000 retail, dining and entertainment establishments offering the ultimate lifestyle experience.

 

Preview Map

 

Tax-Free Shopping

Visitors to Singapore may be eligible for a refund of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) on their purchases when they leave Singapore. GST is chargeable at the prevailing rate of 7% by GST-registered businesses on all sales of goods and services made in Singapore.

You can claim a GST refund if:

  • You are not a Singapore citizen or permanent resident of Singapore;
  • You are 16 years old or above at the time of purchase;
  • You are not a member of cabin crew or flight crew of the aircraft departing from Singapore;
  • You have not spent more than 365 days in Singapore in the last 24 months before the date of purchase;
  • You have not been employed in Singapore at any time during the past six months before the date of purchase;
  • You have spent a minimum of S$100 (including GST) from the same retailer. (You may accumulate up to three same-day receipts/invoices from the same retailer to meet this minimum purchase requirement);
  • You depart with the goods via Changi International Airport or Seletar Airport within two months from the date of purchase;
  • You depart with the goods within 12 hours after the refund claim has been completed at the eTRS self-help kiosk or your refund form has been endorsed by Singapore Customs; and
  • You are a student pass holder who besides fulfilling all the criteria listed, have purchased the goods not more than four months before the expiry date of your student pass and intend to depart with the goods and remain outside Singapore for a minimum period of 12 months.

The GST refund is claimable on all goods purchased, except for:

  • Goods wholly or partly consumed in Singapore;
  • Goods purchased for business or commercial purpose;
  • Goods exported by freight; or
  • Services such as accommodation, car rental, entertainment and tour charges.

Visitors are generally required to present their passport at the point of purchase to prove their eligibility for the Tourist Refund Scheme. The Tourist Refund Scheme is a voluntary scheme. Hence, not all retailers in Singapore operate the scheme. GST-registered retailers may choose to operate the scheme on their own or engage the services of central refund agencies. Currently, there are two such central refund agencies:

1. Global Blue Singapore Pte Ltd (+65-6225-6238)
2. Premier Tax Free (Singapore) Pte Ltd
(+65-6293-3811)

Retailers who operate the scheme on their own usually display signs that indicate "Tax Refund" in their shops. However, it is best that you check with the retailers if they are operating the scheme.  A new electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) was also launched in mid-2011 that replaces the current paper-based tourist refund system, making it easier for tourists to claim GST refunds.  For a comprehensive guide to tax-free shopping in Singapore and the detailed guide to obtaining your GST refund, please visit the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) webpage here.

GST refunds should be claimed at the airport prior to departure, and are generally made in cash (to be collected at the Departure Transit Lounge following check-in) or credited directly into your credit card. Check with the store you make your purchase from for more information.

 

Emergency Numbers

Emergency Hotlines

Police

999

Ambulance

995

Fire Brigade

995

Ambulance
(Non Emergency)

1777

Flight Information

1800 542 4422      

Orchard Neighbourhood Police Centre
51 Killiney Road
Singapore 239572
Google Directions

1800 735 9999


Medical Services

Mt. Elizabeth Hospital
3 Mount Elizabeth Singapore 228510
Google Directions

(65) 6737 2666

Gleneagles Hospital
6A Napier Road
Singapore 258500
Google Directions

(65) 6473 7222

Camden Medical Centre
1 Orchard Boulevard Singapore 248649
Google Directions

(65) 6887 3210


Credit Cards

For loss of credit cards or to check daily exchange rates, please contact your local bank office at the numbers below.

American Express

1800 396 6000      

JCB

(65) 6734 0096

Diners

(65) 6416 0800

Visa

800 448 1250

MasterCard

800 110 0113 

 

YourSingapore

Visit Singapore's official tourism website for updates on latest experiences and attractions to enjoy on the local calendar. Go to www.yoursingapore.com today for all things Singapore.


Singapore Visitors Centre @ Orchard

Where: Junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 10.30pm daily
Nearest MRT: Somerset (NS23)

Services and Facilities Available: 

  • Tourist Enquiries
  • Hotel Reservations *
  • Booking for Tours *
  • Sale of Attraction Tickets *
  • Internet Access

*These services are operated by National Association of Travel Agents (NATAS) from 9.30am to 9pm daily.
 

Singapore Visitors Centre @ ION Orchard

Where: ION Orchard Level 1 Concierge
Opening Hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm daily
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS24)
 

Touristline

Toll-free in Singapore: 1800 736 2000
Overseas: (65) 6736 2000     

 

Taxi Services

Taxi Services

All Singapore taxis are air conditioned and fitted with electronic meters. Unless otherwise stated, all Singapore taxis can sit up to 4 passengers. Cab passengers must wear seat belts at all time under Singapore law. Most Singapore taxi cabs run on diesel fuel, with more Singapore taxi companies turning to compressed natural gas (CNG) for greater savings in the recent years.

Fares Charges

Flag-down Rates (Regular Cabs): S$3.00 to S$3.40

Flag-down Rates (Limousine Cabs - Chrysler): S$3.90 to S$5.00

Peak-hour surcharge

Mon-Fri 6.00am to 9.30am and Mon-Sun & Public Holidays 6.00pm - Midnight:
Payable at an additional 25% of metered fare

City-area surcharge

Mon-Sun & Public Holidays 5.00pm - Midnight:
Payable at an additional S$3.00 on top of metered fare

Midnight surcharge

Midnight - 5.59am: Payable at an additional 50% of metered fare

For a comprehensive guide to fares, surcharges, Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges and booking fees, please visit the websites below:

Taxi Hotline

Comfort & CityCab
SMRT Taxis
Taxis in Singapore 

Dial-A-Cab

(65) 6342 5222

Comfort & CityCab

(65) 6552 1111

SMRT Taxis

(65) 6555 8888

TransCab

(65) 6555 3333

Premier Taxis

(65) 6363 6888

Prime Taxi

(65) 6778 0808 

Yellow-Top Taxi

(65) 6293 5545


Limousine Cabs Hotline

Limousine Cab

(65) 6535 3534

Prime Limousine

(65) 6778 0808

SMRT Taxis

(65) 6555 8888

Comfort Limo

(65) 6552 2828

Premier Taxis

(65) 6544 6687

Limo Transport

(65) 6535 3534

Limo Taxi Cab

(65) 8388 3885

 

Bus & Train Services

Bus & Train Services

Conveniently located in a prime district, visitors to Orchard Road can choose to board a bus or train as their preferred mode of transportation.

Bus Services along Orchard Road

SBS Buses:

7, 14, 14e, 16, 36, 36B, 65, 111, 123, 124, 124A, 128, 143, 162, 162M, 174, 174e, 175, 502, 502A, 518, 518A, 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N and 6N

SMRT Buses:

77, 167, 171, 190 and 700

Train Stations

For your convenience, please click here for a MRT / LRT System Map. To find out more about travelling on trains, please see the links below.

Fares
Ticketing 
Train Timings
Lost & Found


Orchard MRT Station
(NS22)


Direct access to Wisma Atria, ION Orchard

Somerset MRT Station
(NS23)

Direct access to 313@somerset

Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station
(NS24 / NE6 / CC1)

Direct access to Plaza Singapura

The rest of the malls are linked via underground link-ways or ground passages. 

Yoga Beat @ Orchard Road by lululemon athletica: Bring your own mat and join us at 7pm on Sat 1 Nov 2014 on Orchard ...

Event Proposals for Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road : Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA) welcomes members of the public to contribute suggestions and event ...

Christmas Light-Up Period and Timings : With President Tony Tan Keng Yam as the Guest-of-Honour, the Light-Up Ceremony is taking place ...

Christmas on A Great Street : Christmas on A Great Street 2014 - Street Décor

Pedestrian Night - Nov 2014: Yoga Beat @ Orchard Road - 4 Oct 2014

Pedestrian Night - Oct 2014: The Inaugural Pedestrian Night - 4 Oct 2014

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