Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley properties are highly sought-after by both Singaporeans and foreigners whether it comes to buying or renting one. Because they sit on prime land, properties in District 9 are amongst some of the most expensive in Singapore. Living in this premium area of Singapore comes with plenty of perks - awesome shopping options, great accessibility to all parts of Singapore, and the prestige associated with living here, just to name a few.

In this Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley Property Guide, which is part of the Property and Lifestyle Guide series by GET.com, we will run you through the highlights of the Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley areas, show you how much properties cost in District 9 and some of the really cool things you can find in this district.

District 9 Properties: An Overview

According to Urban Redevelopment Authority, to be considered under District 9, the first 2 digits of the 6-digit postal code must be 22 or 23. It includes general locations like Orchard, Cairnhill and River Valley.

I don't know about you but I know I'd love to live in the Orchard area of Singapore someday when I can very well afford it, that is. The famed shopping belt of Orchard will be right at my doorstep, literally. One can certainly dream, right?

There aren't any HDB flats in the Orchard-Cairnhill-River Valley precinct in case you don't already know. This area is reserved for only for the very wealthy and privileged people in society - it is definitely not a place that the average Joe can afford to live in.


Robertson Blue, a condominium along the Singapore River at Robertson Quay. Image source: Wikipedia Commons

The Orchard-Cairnhill-River Valley precinct is located in the heart of Singapore where plenty of swanky private condominiums, apartments and landed properties sit. Expect to shell out top dollars for the residential properties here if you're looking to purchase a unit or two in the Orchard-Cairnhill-River Valley area.

Many expatriates favour living in this bustling area of Singapore due to its unrivalled access to fantastic amenities and close proximity to the Central Business District area in Singapore.


The incredibly chic living area of one of the residential units in TwentyOne Angullia Park. Image source: 21 Angullia

Just to give you a better idea of how expensive the properties here can be, between the period of Oct 2012 - Oct 2015, the highest transacted price of a unit in the ultra luxurious TwentyOne Angullia Park peaked at a whopping $42 million, according to data plucked from the URA.

Yes, it is even more costly than the costliest unit transacted in exclusive Seven Palms in Sentosa Cove within the same timeframe. Can we all just take a moment to blink or something?

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Pros And Cons Of Living In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley

Pros:

  • A paradise for shopaholics and foodies
  • Great location in the heart of Singapore
  • Several international schools in the vicinity

Cons:

  • Very high property prices and rents
  • Few kid-friendly places
  • Not many local schools in the area

Amenities In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley

Where amenities are concerned, District 9 is unrivalled, except when it comes to educational institutions. Just in case you're wondering, the schools that are located in this area include River Valley Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), School of the Arts, Chatsworth International School, International School Singapore Paterson Campus (Elementary & Middle School) and ACT 3 International. You'll find some preschools and childcare centres here, too.


Singapore's School of the Arts (SOTA) is our first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school to offer a 6-year unique integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13-18 years old. Image source: School of the Arts, Singapore

The popular Mount Elizabeth Hospital is just round the corner, while transportation is a breeze with the multitude of bus services meandering through the area coupled with Newton, Dhoby Ghaut, Somerset and Orchard MRT Stations.

For those who own a car, you can get to any part of Singapore with ease via the major roads and expressways linked since the Orchard-Cairnhill-River Valley area is strategically located in the central parts of Singapore.


The main entrance of Paragon during Christmas season. Image source: Paragon Shopping Centre

District 9 is every shopper's paradise. It is home to a plethora of shopping malls that stock practically everything you can ever dream of, from hundreds of food options, convenient supermarkets, departmental stores to delicate cosmetics, trendy high street fashion and even luxurious haute couture from the biggest international fashion houses.

Shopping haunts in the precinct include Plaza Singapura, The Cathay, Orchard Central, Orchard Gateway, Orchard Point, Orchard Building, 313 Somerset, Tripleone Somerset, SCAPE, The Centrepoint, Heerens, ION Orchard, Paragon, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria, Far East Plaza, Tang Plaza, Scotts Square, Lucky Plaza, Wheelock Place, Shaw House, Park Mall, Liat Towers, Forum The Shopping Mall, Cuppage Plaza, Great World City, Robertson Walk and UE Square Shopping Mall.


Fort Canning Park is serene and lush, ideal for those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of city living. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

When the going gets tough and you feel like you need to go back into nature's arms, pay Fort Canning Park a visit. It is an iconic hilltop landmark that has witnessed many of Singapore's historical milestones.

This expansive, sprawling green space provides a refreshing outlet for those who want to take a breather from their hectic lifestyles. On special occasions, Fort Canning Park is a venue of choice for celebrations, concerts, theatre productions and festivals.

Good Food To Try In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley

Food courts, restaurants, eateries, fast food restaurants, food kiosks, salad bars, bakeries, fine dining - you name it, District 9's got it.

Want something outdoor and with a local flavour? Newton Circus Food Centre is a must-visit for many tourists who visit Singapore. It is well-known for the many zi char stalls selling seafood dishes.

My only advice is for you to be really cautious and aware of the prices if you intend to eat there. There have been unfortunate cases where tourists were charged exorbitantly for their meals at Newton Circus Food Centre.


My bowl of superbly fresh Chirashi-don topped with fat bubbles of salmon roe kindly given to me by my boyfriend.

Wasabi Tei is a hidden gem nestled on the 5th floor of Far East Plaza. It is a tiny, casual Japanese restaurant that serves extremely fresh sashimi. I kid you not, the sashimi here doesn't reek of any fishiness at all. To have me slurp down raw, fat pieces of fish without whining at all is an incredible feat in itself. Oh, their aburi tastes way, way better than the infamous "shiok maki" in my opinion.

Give Wasabi Tei a shot if you, like me, are usually terrified of eating sashimi. You'll be glad to know that everything here is served upon order and priced affordably despite the generous portions served.


Concetto by Saveur's Carbonara Spaghetti doused in creamy sauce, splattered with crispy bacon, confit pork belly and poached egg.

If you're in the mood for affordable Italian cuisine, swing by Concetto by Saveur at The Cathay. Expect to find Instagram-worthy (and tasty) dishes like duck confit, kurobuta pork cheek with gnocchi, pistachio panna cotta and deconstructed tiramisu in this casual, industrial-chic dining spot. Their 3-course set lunch/dinner are priced very reasonably, in case you're wondering.


Would you pay $50 for two burgers, fries and two freshly squeezed orange juice?

Are you a fan of burgers? If you are, then make your way down to Wisma Atria when you're in the mood to splurge a little on burgers at Omakase, one of the most highly raved burgers in Singapore, that is.

The prices are rather steep and the burgers aren't huge but you get tender, juicy patties that can't be found at McDonald's or any other fast food joints. Order the beef tallow fries and freshly squeezed orange juice to go along with your burgers - the fries remained crisp throughout my burger date with my boyfriend, always a good thing to know while the orange juice was fresh without any hint of sugar added in.


The tastefully designed interior of Salt grill & Sky bar with a beautiful cityscape backdrop to boot. Image source: Salt grill & Sky bar

If you'd like to dine up in the skies with the city skyline as your backdrop, make your way up to Salt grill & Sky bar by Luke Mangan. Perched on the 55th and 56th floor of ION Orchard, this stylish restaurant specializes in contemporary Australian cuisine and it made it to our list of the 15 best rooftop restaurants in Singapore.

But of course, dining in an ambient restaurant in the heart of Orchard doesn't come cheap. You can order a la carte or from the lunch, brunch, afternoon tea and degustation menus, whatever floats your boat. They also have a tapas and drinks menu for those looking to chill out.


Besides customizing your Maki sushi, you can choose to customize your salad at Maki-San too. Image source: Maki-San

Maki-San and Astons Specialties at The Cathay are two food options to consider if you're looking for something more affordable. Maki-San is especially cool since you get to customise your own sushi roll! You get to pick the ingredients that you fancy plus nobody's going to judge you however funky your sushi roll is, so that's two thumbs up from me.

If your homies and you are fans of Korean BBQ, check out I'm Kim Korean BBQ at 1 Zubir Said Drive. The online community loves this place for their very decent, value-for-money Korean BBQ fare.

Cool Chill-Out Spots In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley


The meandering shelves of books at the library@orchard. Image source: Library at orchard

In the least expected of places, a public library has been established in the shopping belt of Orchard Road. It only makes sense that the library@orchard is beautifully designed since it is centred around design, applied arts and lifestyle. Give your legs a break from wandering around in the malls. Instead, head over to the library@orchard to admire the displays or pick up some interesting reads.

Divided into The Studio and The Loft, the library@orchard has a vast array of reading choices, say approximately 100,000 titles, and programmes to offer its visitors. I may be biased but the library will always be one of my favourite places to spend a quiet afternoon at when I need some me-time.


The ION Art Gallery is possibly the quietest spot in ION Orchard. Image source: ION Orchard

The ION Art Gallery is a dedicated visual arts space that exhibits contemporary works from both international and local designer artists. What's not to love when admission is free for all? The ION Art Gallery is located on the 4th level of ION Orchard in case you don't already know!


What'll you'll see when you first step foot into ION Sky at level 55th of ION Orchard. Image source: ION Orchard

Here's something extra (and free) that ION Orchard has to offer for those who aren't in the know. Enter ION Sky. It is an observatory, perched 218 metres above ground, in the heart of Orchard complete with state-of-the-art telescopes where you get to surround yourself with 360 degree views of the beautiful cityscape.


The sophisticated and very secret bar hidden in the basement of Forum The Shopping Mall. Image source: The Horse's Mouth

The Horse's Mouth is a cocktail bar discreetly hidden in Forum The Shopping Mall. Locating it may be a challenge in itself but expect to be rewarded with tasty bar snacks and a wide array of bespoke cocktails concocted using their wide range of premium spirits, liqueurs and ingredients. This Japanese-influenced bar is the perfect hideout for those looking for a secretive place to chill out!


Look how crowded KPO is when the beat drops! Image source: KPO Cafe Bar

Where else in the heart of Orchard do you get to run your mail errands and chill out with your homies over an ice cold tower of beer all at the same venue? Conveniently located on 1 Killiney Road, KPO is where you'll find amazing bar grub and drinks amid thumping beats dropped by their DJs and bands, nightly. Be sure sure to go earlier if you want to snag the comfiest couches inside as this vibrant spot fills up quickly! Otherwise, you'll have to make do with drinking al fresco.


The fancy array of whiskies that will welcome you at La Maison du Whisky. Image source: La Maison du Whisky Singapore

La Maison du Whisky helms the title of being the largest single retailer of whisky in Singapore. The astounding selection here will make your jaw drop - their bar has more than 100 Scotch whiskies by the glass and other rare international whiskies. Their retail shop has over 700 different whiskies, spirits, grappas and specialist alcohols from all over the world! All whisky aficionados will have to pay La Maison du Whisky a visit if you haven't already done so. They make some really mean cocktails, too!


Inventive concoctions at KUVO, 321 Orchard Road, #02-01, Orchard Shopping Centre. Image source: KUVO Singapore

KUVO is the place to be at if you're one adventurous drinker who's all game for preposterous concoctions with a gourmet twist. Yutaka Nakashima, their award-winning Japanese head bartender-mixologist-culinarist, will see to it that your bespoke cocktails are unique, ultra inventive and wicked in their own right. Expect the unexpected and just revel in the fun! We're only young once, anyway.


Sway to the acoustic rhythms wafting in the air as the resident bands of Acid Bar do their thing while you toast to life with your homies. Image source: Acid Bar

Housed within a quaint restored shophouse, Acid Bar is an oasis for barflies and music fanatics alike. It is a fantastic, intimate chill-out spot for those who fancy live music to go along with their alcoholic beverages. Head there earlier to score happy hour deals between 7-9pm. And I suggest that you give their watered down shots a miss if you're looking to get that precious alcoholic kick from your drinks.

Additionally, if all these aren't enough to feed that inner alcoholic in you, you can edge your way through the maddening Orchard Road crowd and explore the slew of hip bars along Emerald Hill Road and Cuppage Terrace. I guarantee you'll be spoilt for choice.


Tarte Flambée; one of the Verre Wine Bar bites to be paired with your glass of wine. Image source: Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar

Of course, if you prefer to chill out within close proximity to the Singapore River, options available at the Robertson Quay area include Bar Bar Black Sheep, Verre Wine Bar, Boomerang Bistro & Bar, Super Loco, Shabestan, and Les Bouchons Rive Gauche.

Expect to find an eclectic mix of art houses, bars, bistros and restaurants with alfresco dining here at Robertson Quay. This may just be the place you need to be at to let the balmy breeze take your stress away on a Friday night.


Kith Café's unpretentious cafe grub. Image source: Kith Café

Kith Café is where you'll get to sip on good coffee and munch on fuss-free, delicious food in a warm, inviting environment. Kith Café is a crowd pleaser that serves up comforting café fare that is consistently well-executed. Touting several outlets in Singapore's cut-throat café industry is no mean feat. That should be telling of how popular Kith Café is.


Coffee art in the making at Toby's Estate. Image source: Toby's Estate Coffee (Asia)

Sitting on 8 Rodyk Street in the heart of Robertson Quay is Toby's Estate, an Australian-style cafe-restaurant-coffee roaster rolled into one. It is one cool spot to chill out al fresco with a premium cuppa accompanied with a view of the glistening river. Consider your caffeine deficiency a thing of the past with the top notch coffee brewed by their team of world ranked baristas!


The Book Café is an excellent place for those who like to relax with a good book or two in a cosy, inviting environment. Image source: The Book Café

Other cafés in the area that you can drop by include Five & Dime Eatery at 297 River Valley Road and Common Man Coffee Roasters at 22 Martin Road. You know there must be something worth the visit when you have loyal fans queueing for seats.

Kid-Friendly Places In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley

Surprise your child with a view of the stunning city skyline when he or she's been a real darling. ION Sky is perched on the 55th and 56th level of ION Orchard.

To get up there, you have to take the ultra cool elevator from the 4th level where the ION Art Gallery is located. Brace yourself for a ton of exclamations in awe and be prepared to be a human GPS and tell your child where's where when your child's inquisitiveness shines.

While most parents dread taking their kids to the bright and noisy Toys "R" Us stores, they are undeniably where kids like to go to, if they have a choice. Toys "R" Us stores can be found in Paragon, Forum The Shopping Mall and The Centrepoint.


The Festival Arch is the centrepiece of the Istana Park. The Istana Park is a landmark situated across the road from The Istana. The 13,000 square metre park serves as a gateway to Singapore's Civic District Trail which aims to educate visitors of the rich history of Singapore. Image source: National Parks Board

The Istana Grounds is open to the public on most official public holidays. Do check their official website before you block off your calendar to include a day of exploring at The Istana. Admission to the Istana Grounds is free for all Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Also, the opening hours are usually from 8:30am to 6:00pm on these special days.

If you're yearning to experience more of The Istana and its history and significance, you may tour selected function rooms and view the special display of gifts presented to Singapore's President and Prime Minister at a small fee. Guided tours are available too.

How Much Do Properties Cost In Orchard, Cairnhill And River Valley?

We did some research by digging through government data on the minimum and maximum per square foot (PSF) prices of private properties in District 9.

Minimum PSF: $666 - Peace Centre/Mansions
Maximum PSF: $5560 - TwentyOne Angullia Park

*PSF figures for apartment and condominium transactions between Oct 2012 - Oct 2015 are pulled from URA

You may want to look at our other neighbourhood-cum-property guides if you're looking at buying an HDB flat as there aren't any HDB flats in District 9.

If you're buying a private property with a loan from the bank, your downpayment must be 20% of purchase price or market valuation, whichever is lower.

When borrowing 80% from the bank, your loan tenure cannot exceed 30 years. If your loan tenure exceeds 30 years (up to a maximum of 35 years), note that you can only borrow 60% from the bank. For both cases, the sum of the loan tenure and age of borrower at the time of applying for the loan does not extend beyond retirement age of 65 years.

Here you can see if you can afford a $1.5 million condo in Singapore.

Beautiful Homes In District 9


TwentyOne Angullia Park redefines urban, luxury high-rise living in the heart of Orchard Road with its stunning architectural structure coupled with great amenities and spectacular views of the bustling Orchard Road. Image source: 21 Angullia Park


All units at the very exclusive Urban Suites @ Orchard come with private lift access. Image source: Capitaland Singapore


Located at 33 Leonie Hill Road, all units at the luxurious OUE Twin Peaks come fully furnished with designer furniture. Image source: Twin Peaks At Leonie


The Vermont on Cairnhill is a lavish condominium located mere minutes away from the Orchard Road. Image source: Vermont On Cairnhill


An artist's impression of a bedroom with a gorgeous view of the cityscape at CityVista Residences @ Cairnhill. Image source: Condo New


Cairnhill Residences has been thoughtfully designed to surround you with an oasis of privileged lifestyle right in the heart of exclusive Cairnhill. Image source: Cairnhill Residences

Useful Tips For District 9

This prestigious, buzzing district is amazing if you can very well afford living here - you have access to a whole host of amenities, plenty of food and chill-out options and incredible convenience given its excellent location.

Getting to the CBD is a breeze for those who work there. The only thing lacking in District 9 is local schools, though there are a handful of international schools here.

If you are on the hunt for a property, you can use GET.com's Home Loan Genius tool to compare home loans (new purchase or refinance loans) from all the banks in Singapore.

Also, are you a resident living in this area? We'd love you to get in touch with us via contact@get.com so that we can feature you and your experiences in our property and lifestyle guide!

Interested in other districts? Take a look at the properties in Marina Bay & Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar, Tiong Bahru & Queenstown, Telok Blangah & Sentosa Cove, Pasir Panjang & Clementi, High Street & Beach Road, Bugis & Golden Mile and Little India & Farrer Park.

New & Refinance Home Loans in Singapore

Best Fixed Rates
Maybank1.85%>
Hong Leong Finance1.88%>
BOC2.10%>
SBI2.15%>
Best Floating Rates
Maybank1.70%BOARD RATE>
CIMB1.73%SIBOR>
RHB1.75%BOARD RATE>
Singapura Finance1.78%BOARD RATE>
Find the Right Home Loan