Shopping is one of the great must-do activities for tourists no matter where in the world they go. Something has to be bought as a keepsake to remind them of where they had been and also as a showpiece.
However, the shopping that we will be talking about is about the bands within the shopping spectrum – from the glamorous to the bargain varieties. We will also try to give you a taste of the experience you will encounter in the top 5 shopping cities we have chosen.
Milan is often associated with haute couture fashion and deservedly so. However, she has much more eclectic offerings as well. Scattered across different areas and amidst her brilliant Medieval and Renaissance architecture you will find a variety of shopping choices. Some are speciality areas, while other areas stock a mix of fashions and products.
Some of the upmarket streets are Via Montenapoleone, Via della SpigaVia Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni, Via Borgospesso and Via Santo Spirito.
The less wallet draining shopping areas are Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle, Corso Buenos Aires, Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese where you will find more casual styles. Around the Navigli area are the second-hand stores, eccentric designers’ boutiques and a vintage market.
No matter where you are you will never be far from a café, to have an aperitif and rest from your shopping exertions.
Dubai’s original attraction for visitors was its shopping enhanced by the duty free tag. The Emirate has evolved and moved into other business streams including the world of finance. However, it is still the lure of huge glittering malls with over-the-top decor, entertainment features, discounts and a host of purse-lightening offerings that draws visitors from all over the world.
What sets Dubai’s experience apart (from other shopping destinations) are its malls. Some like the Ibn Battuta Mall, The Dubai Mall, Mercato Shopping Mall and Mall of the Emirates have acquired legendary status. These vast complexes house the brand names of just about every fashion, retail, electronic, home appliance and other goods from around the world. The magnificent decor, endless rows of attractively arranged stores will spoil you for choice. Some malls, like the Gold Souk, specialise in one item – jewellery.
Besides the modern malls, Dubai is famous for its traditional souks. There is the nasal bewildering Perfume Souk offering thousands of scents; the aromatic Spice Souk and the Antique Market with shops filled with Arabian pots, chests, daggers and Bedouin carvings.
So indulge yourself in this made-for-shoppers’ paradise where you will be sure to find some incredible bargains.
Would I be right in saying that Paris is the spiritual forerunner of shopping destinations? ‘Boutique’, ‘haute couture’ and ‘chic’ are French words that are intricately linked with fashion and spending your francs. No one leaves “La Ville-Lumière” without plunging into its many and varied markets, galleries and shopping districts. The wonderful aspects to shopping in Paris are the amazing range of choices she offers. From the discreet Avenue Montaigne and atmospheric Marais to the bustling, shoulder-rubbing flea market at Clignancourt.
Many of Paris’ shopping places are now iconic and representative of the goods sold. For instance the Avenue Montaigne and Rue Saint Honoré is where you will find all the famous designers like Yves St Laurent and Gucci. The wide and famous Avenue des Champs Elysées has a mix of shops and price ranges, and what an address.
The Rue de Rennes offers a wide assortment of boutique clothing, accessories and shoe stores right next to the church of Saint Sulpice. Boulevard Haussman is where Printems and Galeries Lafayettes are located. These famous department stores are worlds unto themselves and sell cosmetics, fashion and home accessories. Each floor has a theme. A complete contrast is the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen at Clignancourt. With over 3,000 stalls and shops you can get great bargains in antiques and find just about anything.
Paris shopping is a wonderful world of elegance, galleries, boutiques, old-fashioned toyshops and roadside stalls selling everything from luxury goods to books to antiques and more.
Cornhill, Bread Street, Poultry and Ironmonger Lane are names so redolent of the goods that were once sold on them. That hoary London tradition continues with many markets still organised according to specialities and themes. London has a very large number of shopping districts and we hope our selection will help you on your shopping spree.
Oxford Street is a good place to start. It is London’s shopping heart. Hundreds of shops – dedicated and general retail outlets – line both sides of the road. It is here you will find famous department stores such as John Lewis, Debenhams and Selfridges. Not too far away is the elegant Regent and Jermyn Streets where you can browse through a wide choice of mid-range priced goods at London’s oldest and most famous stores.
Exclusive Bond Street and Mayfair are home to the best in luxury and designer brands where you just might bump into a celebrity or two. Not too far away is the street that is synonymous with fashion – legendary Carnaby Street. Hard by, yet a fashion world away is Covent Garden Market offering brash urban street wear, cosmetics, shoes and funky arts and crafts.
On King’s Road you get unique and trendy designer wear along with the regular brands and lovely cafés to rest your aching feet and tired credit card. Harrod’s is Knightsbridge’s most famous resident with nearby Brompton Road providing excellent shopping back up. Saville Row, Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market are just a few of the other legendary shopping places.
In London you can easily spend the whole day shopping while sightseeing (or vice versa).
New York City
In New York you can get anything, from the proverbial pin to an elephant. The choice of shopping venues, stores, and streets is mind-boggling. Every brand and chain store has a significant presence in the city. For the diehard, beginner or occasional shopper New York is the city.
BJ’s, Costco, and Kmart stores are in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. While Target stores can be found in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The flagship stores of Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales and Henri Bendel are popular New York shopping stops.
Saks and Fifth Avenue are synonymous with each other. The humungous Macy’s department store is large enough to get lost and the tempting choice of goods so vast you may never come out! Another 5th Avenue stalwart is Tiffany and Company the queen of jewellery with every gem bought presented to you in their trademark blue box.
Whether it is Macy’s famous window displays matched by those of Citarella’s “fish only” or the brightly lit pleasures of shopping malls; whether you are looking for the bargain of a lifetime or just browsing you will find decision making a wonderful yet difficult pleasure when shopping in New York.