Are you thinking about what kind of great Singapore souvenirs you’ll bring back from your travels? Most of us wish that our trip to a new place could last forever. But nothing stops you from reliving your holiday over and over every time you check out the latest souvenirs you brought home with you. These items are meant to reignite your best memories made abroad and give you that nice fuzzy feeling even when you are back in the comfort of your own home.
And not every Singapore souvenir has to be a fridge magnet in your kitchen, but we can look into practical souvenirs, like perfume, tea and even toast.
Here's our list of the best Singapore souvenirs you will love.
Table of ContentsOpen
Where are the best places to buy souvenirs in Singapore?
For budget-friendly trinkets that include sunglasses, keyrings, purses and T-shirts with clever slogans, head on over to Bugis street market (there are multiple floors to explore) or Chinatown. Chinatown is especially good for Merlion merchandise.
Mustafa Centre, located in Little India, is open 24 hours a day and have many Singapore souvenirs to choose from along with some more unique pieces than those you might find at Bugis street market, Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road or in Chinatown.
In Haji Lane you will find products made by local designers. The jewellery, clothing and accessories are all locally made for more ‘authentic’ souvenirs from Singapore.
Authentic Malay and Peranakan souvenirs can be found at Joo Chiat Complex on the east coast of Singapore. Here is the opportunity to purchase traditional Malay clothing as well as Peranakan pottery and jewellery amongst other unique items.
Whether you choose to surround yourself with smells that remind you of Singapore or snack on one of the many treats that you can take home with you, one thing is for sure, there definitely is no lack of options when you are looking for souvenirs from Singapore.
Saying bye to a place that you fell in love with is hard. Souvenirs from Singapore are not just objects that you place on your bookshelf, but tangible evidence of experiences lived that might otherwise only reside in your fondest memories. By bringing home food, drinks or even some orchid perfume you can instantly be transported back to the wonderful adventure you had.
Bring home the national flower as one of your Singapore souvenirs
The orchid is the national flower of Singapore. They are pretty and they smell amazing – who wouldn’t want to take one home with them? Unfortunately, we all know that the lifespan of fresh flowers is brief, never mind the restrictions about travelling with, and importing or exporting, live plant material. Luckily there are a few options if you would like to include these beautiful flowers into your bag of souvenirs from Singapore.
Orchid-infused perfumes are one of the most popular souvenirs from Singapore. Native orchid varieties are blended together to create exquisite perfumes that include ranges for men and women as well as some varieties that are labelled as ‘unisex’.
Traveller tip: Purchase an orchid infused perfume at the beginning of your trip to wear while you are exploring Singapore. This will bring back memories of your trip whenever you wear it after you have returned home.
Another way to take an orchid home with you is by purchasing a real orchid that is plated in 24K gold. RISIS offer a variety of options for this, ranging from jewellery to picture frames, display plates and even card and pen holders.
Gardens by the Bay has a slightly less extravagant, though by now means less beautiful, option of orchid souvenirs. Here you can find natural Dendrobium Orchids preserved in glass made to replicate the iconic features of the Gardens by the Bay.
Other places sell earrings and pendants with orchids in green, orange, purple, or a mix of colours enclosed in glass.
Drink to remember your trip to Singapore
In the 1930s a bartender named Ngiam Tong Boon who worked in the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar created a blend of gin, cherry brandy, orange juice, lime juice and pineapple juice. This concoction, sometimes including triple sec, bitters, cherry juice and grenadine instead of orange juice, became known as the Singapore Sling.
The Singapore Sling soon became a popular drink throughout the island and the world. Today you can take a pre-mixed bottled version of the Singapore sling home with you. This might just be one of the most fun Singapore souvenirs to share with your friends.
For something simpler, you can try the Tiger Beer. It was launched in 1932 and has since won numerous awards. While it is available in more than 75 countries, what better place to buy this Singapore souvenir than in the country of its origin? Tiger Beer comes in a light lager, wheat beer and dark lager.
The Archipelago Brewery is a microbrewery that offers locally produced beer. Their range includes an Irish Ale, Bohemian Lager and Belgian Wit along with the Singapore Blonde Ale – with crushed calamansi and pandan leaves.
Another great way to bring home the flavours of Singapore is with tea. There is a wide diversity of artisanal teas infused with traditional Singaporean flavours.
There is a wide variety to choose from including a few savoury teas. Yes, you heard right, the ETTE Tea Company produces teas with flavours like chicken rice and nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk and chilli served with different side dishes). They also have some fun flavours like pineapple tart tea.
TWG tea originated in Singapore in the 1930s and today the company has over 800 different varieties of teas to choose from. Names like Singapore Breakfast tea (reminiscent of the popular Singaporean breakfast: Kaya toast), Midnight Hour tea, Weekend in Singapore tea and Gentleman tea, they have brought luxury into tea drinking. The company also offers tea-flavoured cookies, tea jelly and handcrafted teapots and teacups.
The San Yang Tea Merchant is a Chinatown Heritage Brand that conduct tea demonstrations for interested customers. They teach visitors about traditional tea practices and have a variety of teas on offer, including the highly prized Silver Needle White tea.
No collection of Singapore souvenirs is complete without Merlion
The mascot of Singapore is kind of like a mermaid, but instead of being part human, Merlion has the tail of a fish and the head of a lion. Singapore started out as a fishing village (hard to believe, I know!). The fish tail represents the island’s humble beginnings while the head of the lion represents Singapore’s original name (Singapura), meaning Lion City.
As the mascot of Singapore, Merlion can be seen everywhere (especially if you visit Merlion Park) and it is not difficult to find little trinkets relating to him. His image is printed on fridge magnets and made into keychains. He is on lighters, cast into crystal and made into statuettes – and yes, you can even take him home in the form of a cuddly soft-toy. The mystery faces series is plush Merlion toys, each with a different facial expression. The mystery lies in the fact that you do not know what expression the toy has until you have opened the box.
Make your own Singapore Pressed Pennies
Pressed pennies is a wonderful way to remember your trip by! They are lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space in luggage. When you return home, you can make them into picture frames or even charm bracelets.
You can press your own pennies in a special machine that thins them out and elongates them while engraving an iconic design on the pennies. These machines can be found around the popular tourist areas throughout Singapore – each engraving a unique design relating to that destination like the Singapore Zoo or Universal Studios, Singapore.
Relive the taste of Singapore
Kaya toast is a popular breakfast meal in Singapore. It consists of toast with butter and jam made from coconut milk, eggs, sugar and pandan leaves. The jam is also great as a topping for desserts and cakes. Kaya is sold at most supermarkets and coffee shops called kopitiams.
You can also get Kaya Truffles to take home with you, Kaya inspired tea and even Kaya toast flavoured pocky sticks.
If you are very adventurous with your taste buds you can try some durian. The general opinion is that you either love durian, or you hate it. If you fall into the former group you might be tempted to take some home with you, but you will probably not be allowed to bring the fruit onto the plane with you. The solution comes in the form of a variety of different durian products like durian flavoured cookies, candy and even coffee!
There is a number of spices and pre-mixed pastes available, specially packaged for those who want to cook Singaporean meals at home. Meals like rendang, chicken curry, Hainanese chicken rice and laksa is now something that no longer needs to be limited to your travels. You can even take a bottle of the spicy, dried shrimp chilli paste, Sambal Belacan home with you!
If cooking is your thing you might want to pick up a copy of ‘Mum’s not cooking: Favourite Singaporean Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy’. The recipes are easy to follow, and you can use the spices and pastes that you brought home with you, although the book also suggests substitutes for ingredients that might be difficult to find in your home country.
And if you don’t want to cook it yourself you can take some Bak Kwa or Salted egg fish skin home with you.
Bak Kwa is available year-round but especially enjoyed during the Chinese New Year. It is slices of barbequed meat, usually pork, with a sweet and savoury taste. While you can get this delicacy throughout Singapore, it makes an interesting souvenir from Singapore, packaged to take home in sealed zip-lock bags.
This tasty treat is made from deep-fried fish skin, covered in a powder made from salted egg yolk. If fish skin isn’t quite your thing, try the salted egg potato chips or cassava chips. While there are a number of brands to choose from, Irvin’s seems to be the favourite of the locals.
The Cookie Museum also offers visitors the chance to take authentic Singaporean flavours home with them – in the form of cookies. Cookies infused with flavours like chilli crab and satay is an easy way to enjoy the tastes of Singapore long after your return home.
If you want to opt for an easier, but certainly delicious, souvenir – grab a bag or two of the popular White Rabbit Candy. While not strictly Singaporean, having originated in Shanghai, White Rabbit candy has been very popular in Singapore since the ’80s and ’90s. The candy has grown in popularity so much that you can even get White Rabbit candy flavoured bubble tea and cake rolls.
Traditional balm for aches and pains
This might seem like an odd souvenir at first, but once you have used it on your tired, travelling muscles you will understand why I recommend it. The recipe for Tiger Balm is kept secret. It is a herbal ointment that contains menthol and camphor with a petroleum jelly and paraffin base Tiger Balm is used for muscle aches and pains. Traditionally Tiger Balm was either red or white and came in little, hexagonal pots. Now you can get it in the form of a cream, a gel, a liquid or a spray.
The Peranakan community have some beautiful and unique prints that have been turned into fabric. Items made from this material make wonderful souvenirs from Singapore. You can find dresses, men’s shirts, bags and pouches. In Arab street, you can find handmade, woven and beaded slippers while Peranakan crockery and cutlery make excellent gifts for anyone’s home.