Best shops in Singapore: Novelty and hobby

From art-inspired knick-knacks to a cool bike shop, these are the boutiques that satisfy all your quirky needs
By Time Out Singapore editors |
Shopping, Boutiques

Cat Socrates

icon-location-pin City Hall

Dim lighting and a crowded display space lend this independent retail shop a cosy feel. Cat Socrates carries a variety of knick-knacks such as terrariums (and planters for making your own), tote bags, clothes, homeware, fabric, books by homegrown writers, postcards, Singapore-themed products like local music albums, and, of course, a section of cat-related merchandise. Bonus points if you manage to lure resident cat Chestnut out from his favourite spot under a red table. Cat Socrates’ second branch, in Katong, also has a store kitty: Zoo-Zoo.


Gallery and Co

icon-location-pin City Hall

Not your average museum store, Gallery and Co brings together retail and activity spaces with two eateries: a cafeteria and the Gallery Cafe. Curated by Loh Lik Peng, Foreign Policy Design Group and Alwyn Chong of Luxasia – collectively known as ‘& Co’ – the retail section stocks products from local and international brands, including General Object, Supermama and Smile Q&Q, whose solar-powered watches can be found in a huge vending machine. And since it’s housed in a temple to art after all, it also carries merchandise, like tees and bar soaps (seriously), inspired by the artworks in the National Gallery.

Photo: K+

K+ Gallery

icon-location-pin Orchard

Here’s a three-fer for ya. K+, set up by creative agency Kinetic, comprises a trio of spaces: a retail outlet, art gallery and floral store. The retail arm, dubbed the K+ Workshop, stocks quirky artworks and home decor pieces by local artists and brands – Cheok Keng Lye, Supermama and BooksActually among them – as well as international names like Donna Wilson and Mondo, the Japanese wunderkind. K+ Floral Obsession is pretty much what it says on the tin: it’s home to stunning bouquets of every shape and colour.



icon-location-pin Bedok

Spread over 35,000 square feet, Decathlon’s largest store in the region offers over 95,000 affordable products for more than 50 different sports from 20 in-house brands, and features indoor testing zones, an outdoor playground and a basketball court. You get to try out gear for sports like table tennis, mini golf and cycling (or get your two-wheeler fixed at the bicycle repair workshop). Even our self-professed, non-athletic, inertia-driven selves are psyched.

Shopping, Gifts and souvenirs

The Little Drรถm Store

icon-location-pin City Hall

Located at the School of the Arts, this eclectic shop is brimming with all things whimsical. It’s a total dreamer’s paradise ('dröm' is Swedish for ‘dream’), stacked high with fun postcards, limited edition photo books, vintage Polaroid cameras, intricately designed retro notebooks and a whole lotta nostalgia-inducing knick-knacks like brooches by Hug a Porcupine. There’s also an adjoining cafe beside the shop called Kki, where you can savour gorgeous Japanese desserts that taste as good as they look.

Sport and fitness

Coast Cycles

icon-location-pin Bedok

Minimally decked out and flooded with natural light, Coast Cycles is located above the Coast and Company café, accessible via a flight of stairs with a message that reads, ‘Everybody needs some time to coast’ (true dat). This space doubles as a workshop area – you can bring your wheels in for a tune-up – as well as a shop for Coast Cycles' own models. These include the sleek Coastliner, the off-road-friendly Atom, and the new Quinn cargo bicycle, which is designed with a space to accommodate bags or other personal items to ensure a hassle-free ride.

Check out these other venues for hobbyists

The best shops in Singapore: The full list

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