Talking about tourist attractions, food stalls, and delicious cuisine in Singapore feels like a never-ending topic. No matter how many times you visit the Lion City, it always seems to offer fresh excitement and new experiences!
However, one common dilemma travelers often face when visiting Singapore is figuring out what to buy as gifts or souvenirs for their loved ones back home. For Indonesians especially, returning without souvenirs just doesn't feel right.
In this article, I'll be sharing some souvenirs or products you can bring home as thoughtful tokens for your friends and family. The items I recommend range from budget-friendly options to more upscale choices, so you can easily find something that suits your budget.
Hopefully, this guide can serve as a helpful reference, ensuring that your souvenirs are not only unique but also useful for those receiving them. So, let's dive in and explore these recommendations!
Starting with our first recommendation, we have keychains and postcards. As you may know, keychains are a popular souvenir choice, not just from Singapore, but from various cities and countries worldwide.
Both keychains and postcards are budget-friendly and simple. A set of five keychains typically costs SGD 2.50. Given their affordability, people often purchase keychains in large quantities to share with friends and family. With a wide array of designs and shapes available, keychains can certainly make unique souvenirs for your loved ones.
In addition to keychains, postcards serve as another souvenir option. Initially used to convey short, eye-catching messages with interesting photos or images, postcards have evolved over time. Nowadays, they are frequently used as souvenirs or gifts due to their effectiveness, elegance, and efficiency.
You can find keychains and postcards at various locations throughout Singapore, such as Bugis Junction (DT14), Mustafa Center (NE8), Chinatown Market (DT19/NE4), and Lucky Plaza (NS22/TE14).
My husband and I usually shop at the Mustafa Center. This popular shopping destination in Singapore is enormous. You can find almost anything in that place.
The next popular souvenir option is t-shirts. Similar to Jogja and Bali, which are known for their batik t-shirts and house dress, Singapore offers t-shirts featuring "I Love SG" or images of the iconic Merlion statue as cherished keepsakes.
A wide variety of t-shirts, showcasing different motifs and images, can be found with ease. Regardless of whether you're looking for long or short-sleeved options for adults or children, there's a suitable choice for everyone. The average price for a shirt is SGD 8.90 or approximately 100,000 Rupiah.
While a single t-shirt may seem somewhat expensive, it can still make for a memorable souvenir. Make sure to select t-shirts made from comfortable materials and has simple designs, ensuring timeless t-shirts that can be worn time to time.
The third must-have souvenir is Tiger Balm, a well-known ointment produced by Haw Par Healthcare Limited, Singapore. It's a highly popular product in Singapore and definitely worth picking up as a gift.
Like other balms, Tiger Balm is reputed to reduce muscle tension, relieve pain in various body parts, and soothe itching caused by insect bites. It's said to "work where it hurts," making it a versatile pain reliever.
It's especially ideal for elderly individuals. My husband and I purchased the six-pack version of this product for our own use and to share with others.
We've been really pleased with it so far and find ourselves using it quite frequently. The balm isn't overly hot, and its scent isn't as pungent as other balms I've come across. Tiger Balm makes a fantastic gift from Singapore for your parents, friends, relatives, or colleagues!
Tiger Balm comes in both white and red varieties. The white version offers a lighter feel, while the red one is stronger. Besides the tube format, Tiger Balm is also available in a plaster form. Choose the one that best suits your needs. A large tube of Tiger Balm costs around SGD 7.90.
This balm is available at Mustafa Center Singapore, Bugis Market, Chinatown Market, drugstores, and cosmetic stores like Guardian and Watson. You can even find it at 7 Eleven! If you're not pressed for time, Tiger Balm is also available at Changi Airport terminals, allowing you to purchase it on your way home without any hassle.
Another must-buy souvenir is chocolate! Who doesn't love receiving chocolate, especially when it's free, right? Although there are various types, shapes, and brands of chocolate available, one type that you absolutely must purchase is Merlion chocolate. After all, it's distinctively Singaporean!
Merlion chocolates come in several brands, and are often sold in bundles. Some promos include buy one get one free for SGD 9.90 or four boxes for SGD 9. Not bad for sharing with neighbors, family, or friends.
These chocolates are shaped like Singapore's iconic Merlion statue, hence the "Merlion Chocolate" branding. I bought these chocolates for my parents as souvenirs.
Garrett Popcorn is a popular snack that many people used delivery services to buy around 2017 or 2018 because it wasn't available in Indonesia. To this day, it's still not available here.
I used to be curious about it but didn't order because the delivery service price seemed a bit steep. Finally, when I had the chance to visit Singapore and Malaysia, I bought some and found it to be delicious! I couldn't stop eating it. There are various sizes they offer—Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo, Petite, dan Classic.
For the flavors, they have Chicago Mix (best seller), Caramel Crisp, Cheese Corn, Buttery, Macadamia Caramelcrisp, Almond Caramelcrisp, and Plain. They also come with prices differing accordingly. I bought the best-selling Chicago Mix in a small size, which costs SGD 6.
Unfortunately, Garrett Popcorn only lasts about three or four days since it's made fresh daily without preservatives. If you want to buy it as a gift, you can purchase it on your last day in Singapore or at Changi Airport before your destination flight.
While Garrett Popcorn hasn't obtained a halal certificate, their products don't contain pork, pork oil, or alcohol-based ingredients. They have put this information on their official site. All their products are made in a kitchen that handles nuts, soy, and dairy products, so it should be safe for Muslim friends who want to try Garrett Popcorn.
Lastly, if you want to know where the Garrett Popcorn outlets in Singapore are, you can also access them through their website. Make sure to check them out!
If you're still unsure about the souvenirs mentioned earlier, let me introduce another popular option: Kaya Jam! This jam in a jar is well-known in Singapore, as the country is famous for its Kaya Toast. Typically, Kaya Toast is served with coffee and soft-boiled eggs, and it's delicious!
Kaya Jam is perfect for those who want to try making Kaya Toast at home, making it an ideal souvenir, especially with its long shelf life. I bought two different types: one without added sugar and a regular one.
I gave the "no sugar added" version to my mom, and she said it was too sweet. So, you might want to consider buying the one with no sugar added, as the sweetness is already prominent. The price of one jar is approximately SGD 3.50.
Another souvenir idea is the sachet versions of coffee or other drinks, which are available in a wide variety. I personally bought Teh Tarik, Coffee, Milo, Cadbury, or other beverages that aren't readily available back in Indonesia.
Of course, if it's available in Indonesia, there's no need to travel all the way to Singapore, right? So, I was making sure the type of drink I choose is unique or hasn't made its way to Indonesia yet. It's said that Milo produced in Malaysia or Singapore is better and comes in more varieties, so I wantedto give it a try.
And oh! If Milo doesn't interest you, consider Malaysian Teh Tarik or Nescafe Coffee, which offer numerous variants. You can explore these options and gift them to the coffee enthusiasts in your life. A large pack usually contains 12 sachets and costs around SGD 6.95.
Have you ever tried Bacha Coffee? This legendary Moroccan coffee is now available in Singapore! When I passed by one of its outlets in ION Orchard, it was packed, and I had to wait in line. No wonder Bacha Coffee is gaining popularity in Singapore.
Driven by curiosity, I visited the outlet at Takashimaya Shopping Center, hoping for a shorter queue. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait like at ION. The place has a modern and luxurious feel, attracting many visitors.
Bacha Coffee offers 100% Arabica coffee from countries like Yemen, Kenya, Colombia, Costa Rica, and more, with various specialty flavors. The coffee is packaged as if it were a gift or merchandise, making it a fantastic souvenir for loved ones!
As a premium coffee, those who receive it won't be disappointed. However, it's pricey, with one box costing SGD 35. If you're looking for premium souvenirs, Bacha Coffee might be the perfect choice.
In addition to Kaya Jam, Singapore is famous for its Laksa. It's no surprise that supermarkets and mini-marts sell Laksa paste. This paste is a convenient and practical way to make Laksa at home without fussing over spices.
It's like a ready-to-cook sauce. Just stir-fry the ingredients, add water, and you have Singaporean or Malaysian-style Laksa.
That's why I recommend it as a souvenir, especially for cooking enthusiasts or those looking to try new recipes at home. My mom always requests Laksa or Tom Yum seasoning when I visit Singapore.
A box of Laksa seasoning costs SGD 5. It's not only unique but also practical and doesn't take up much luggage space.
While in Singapore, I really wanted to find Nutella Biscuits in pouches and tubes, as they're unavailable in Indonesia. If I had ordered them through a delivery service, I would have had to wait. So, I took the opportunity to search for Nutella Biscuits until I found them.
Based on my experience, you might consider giving "unique" biscuits as souvenirs, especially if they're not available in Indonesia. Since biscuit preferences vary from person to person, you can choose any type. Often, biscuits from abroad come in unusual flavors, making them a great souvenir option for your loved ones.
By the way, I bought the tube version of Nutella Biscuits for SGD 9.80, while the pouch version cost SGD 15.80. Interestingly, I didn't find these at Mustafa Center or Bugis Junction. Instead, we discovered them in an unexpected mall, 313 Somerset, at a store called Candy Empire. Give it a shot!
Another great option besides biscuits is ready-to-eat meals. I found a wide variety of ready-to-eat meals here. These meals come pre-cooked and are conveniently packed in boxes.
The food is enclosed in durable plastic that can withstand being heated in the microwave or boiled. That's right, simply boil it with the plastic, and you're all set! My husband and I frequently purchase these ready-to-eat meals because they're incredibly handy when we don't have time to cook.
Our favorite is the Indian Masala Rice from the Gits brand. It's delicious, thanks to its pre-cooked preparation. Additionally, the packaging is compact, and the price is quite affordable at just SGD 2.50, making it an ideal souvenir option.
Another popular souvenir option is TWG Tea. This luxury tea shop chain in Singapore offers an array of artisanal tea products under the same brand. TWG stands for The Wellness Group, a company based in Singapore, so it's no surprise to find numerous TWG Tea outlets throughout the city.
As I previously mentioned, this is a premium tea product, and you'll find a wide variety of unique teas here. All the teas come in beautiful and luxurious packaging, making them perfect gifts for tea-loving family members or friends. TWG Tea could be just the answer you're looking for!
Tired of the same old souvenirs? Why not give Fish Skin a try! Singapore offers Salted Fish Skin and Potato Chips made from natural ingredients and real duck eggs. These products from Irvins Singapore are quite popular, with numerous stores carrying them throughout the city.
Irvin Gunawan, the founder of a well-known salted egg crab restaurant in Singapore, started experimenting by mixing his salted egg sauce with potatoes and fish skin. This snack quickly became a massive hit and continues to have a loyal fanbase.
It's definitely worth trying, as it seems Fish Skin products are rather rare. You can easily find these tasty treats at mini-markets or supermarkets across Singapore.
Last on the list is Bakkwa. Also known as Rougan, this Chinese-origin snack is famous for its sweet pork jerky. Bakkwa is a popular non-halal product often chosen as a souvenir from Singapore.
One store that offers Bakkwa is Bee Cheng Hiang. They provide ready-to-go Bakkwa packaging, making it convenient for gifting. You can find Bee Cheng Hiang at Changi Airport or visit their official website to discover more outlet locations.
So there it is - a list of must-buy souvenirs when vacationing in Singapore. What do you usually purchase as souvenirs when visiting Singapore? If you have any other ideas for souvenirs, feel free to share them in the comments section!