When you mention 'Singapore flea market', gone are the days when Singaporeans will immediately think of someone hawking their pre-loved Love, Bonito dresses for $1 at Lucky Plaza. It would seem that the conventional Singapore flea market these days are getting more artisanal, upmarket, and very very hipster.
Most flea markets now have a specific purpose: To promote homegrown brands and offer visitors unique products. Some even take it one step further and showcase live bands, as well as workshops. Here are our pick of flea markets to not miss out on this year:
Bangkok’s famous flea market has landed in Singapore. Famed for having vendors house their booths in metal containers all decked out with fairy lights, the industrially chic hipster market Artbox is having its second weekend run tomorrow (April 21-23).
It's first weekend run happened last week and you may have heard some gripe that event was overhyped and oversubscribed. But with over 320 booths hawking quirky craft items and super Instagrammable food, we feel that it's worth a visit to soak up the atmosphere if you haven't been to the Bangkok one.
Date: 14-16, 21-23 April
Venue: Bayfront Event Space (beside Marina Bay Sands)
2. Public Garden
Started in 2011 as a consumer trade show, Public Garden has grown into one of the most impressive flea markets in Singapore. This year's show will also be the largest one ever presented, to be held at Suntec Convention Hall 403.
Bringing together products manufactured by both indie companies as well as budding entrepreneurs, most of what is sold here are original designs. Most of the items are also chockfull of local flavour as the vendors hail from countries all across the region. If you don't want your room to look like an Ikea showroom, this is the place to shop at.
You can also find workshops being hosted by artisans, as Public Garden is all about bringing together a community of creative minds to share ideas and experiences.
Date: 22-23 April
Venue: Suntec Convention Hall 403, Level 4
3. Market of Artists and Designers (MAAD)
Held at the Red Dot Design Museum since 2006, the Market of Artists and Designers (MAAD) has served as one of the leading creative platform for enterprising local artists, designers, and crafters to gather, showcase and sell their wares.
What makes the vibe here so great is the live performances by local musicians too, making it a unique flea market that's buzzing with talent, activity and creativity that's sure to get your artistic juices flowing. The market is held on a Friday of every month, so do check out the museum's Facebook page to see when the next one will pop up.
Date: One Friday every month
Venue: Red Dot Design Museum
Time: 11am till late
4. Retro Factory
A monthly affair held at Katong Square, Retro Factory was founded as a way to gather lovers of all things (you guessed it) retro and vintage. This flea market is perfect is you're into collecting vinyl records, vintage posters, or just want to soak up the lively carnival-like vibe. There's music, food, artistic performances, and tons of unique vintage goods.
What I liked best about this flea market is that visitors are an eclectic mix of both young and old. It's great to see the older crowd wax nostalgia at the venue, alongside the younger generation oogling at the walk down their parents and grandparents' memory lanes.
Date: 5-6 May
Venue: MediaCorp Caldecott Broadcast Centre
5. The Farmers' Market
Held on a Saturday every month, this is the place to be if your idea of having a good time includes eating, eating, and more eating again. The great thing is that the food featured here are mostly organic, gourmet, and also very, very fresh. From sizzling bratwurst to rare cheeses, cold-pressed juices to wine, at lease stuffing your face here is a whole lot healthier than chowing down on those sugar-spiked food at Artbox.
On special occasions, The Farmers' Market will also run a themed market with fun activities planned throughout the day. Last month's market was Easter-themed with easter eggs, carrot cake, and an Easter Egg Hunt as a highlight.
Date: One Saturday every month
Venue: Loewen Gardens
Time: 1pm till late