Orchard Road can be like a venus fly trap -- beautiful on the outside, but spend too much time inside and you can get trapped in a cesspool of money-draining temptations amidst slow-moving human traffic. Some people might be surprised to find that amidst a place overrun with shopping malls, there are some gems to offer some much-needed peace and respite. They are also completely free. Here are 6 of them:
Looking incredibly fashionable for a library, the Library@Orchard (located at Orchardgateway) is brightly lit with undulating stairs and shelves. Chill out in the comfy designer chairs while waiting for your friends to finish their shopping. As the main theme of the library is Design, you'll be spoilt for choice over books covering all sorts of design-related topics like fashion, graphic design and interior decorating.
Orchard Central Roof Garden
Head to level 11 of Orchard Central before ascending the stairway that leads to level 12 and you will stumble upon a quaint little garden overlooking the city skyline. A not-so-secret hideout that features a small zen garden complete with a tiny waterfall. Take in a deep breath and rest your eyes by looking at the lush greenery here.
Tucked between Paragon and Tangs, Lucky Plaza is the place to go for budget shopping, and of course, Jollibee. For a hidden place that makes for many impressive #OOTD shots, head up to the carpark at level 8 and be astounded by the panoramic views that greet you. Do note that it is an active carpark so don't get too carried away with hanging out at this open space and watch out for your own safety!
Located on level 4 of ION Orchard, the Opera Gallery is one of Singapore's most well-known art galleries. Featuring works from Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Takashi Murakami, all the items here are up for sale. They even have a Picasso sketch! If you are an art fan, it would be fun to browse through some of the lesser-known works of world famous artists.
ION Sky Viewing Gallery
Get to the Opera Gallery on level 4 of ION Orchard, then take the lift up to level 55 and you'll emerge into an observation deck that allows you to view a 360 degree panoramic bird's eye view of not only Orchard Road, but its surroundings too. Be sure to check out the Augmented Reality kiosks there where you can use the in-built camera to point and shoot at different areas to learn more about the location you're looking at.
Most teenagers and young adults frequent *SCAPE for the affordable shopping and flea markets that liven up the place on weekends. But did you know that the same area where we scour for cheap buys is also one that dancers call home? Head up to the 4th floor of the mall where O'School is, and once the sun sets, this space truly comes alive with dancers practising and showing off their sweet moves. If you're looking for some peace and quiet instead, come around noon time when it's pretty much a ghost town to take in the view overlooking the Orchard Road cityscape.