Are you tired of the same old stores and high streets? There’s something seriously seductive about setting foot in a whole new city of undiscovered shopping. Combine travel and retail therapy in some of the best places on Earth to flash the cash.
New York City
From Bloomingdales to Barneys, the Big Apple’s glamorous department stores are as famous as its skyline. Add sleek malls, eclectic shops, cutting-edge designer boutiques, and bohemian flea markets, and New York is shopping heaven. Head to Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue for labels, Soho for street fashion, and the Lower East Side for vintage shops. Must-visit department stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Henry Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, and FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in the US.
Remember the shopping scenes in Pretty Woman? Relive them on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles’ legendary shopping street. Designer brands rule here, with flagship stores from the likes of Gucci, Tiffany’s, and Harry Winston. Melrose Avenue is lined with antique shops and trendy clothing boutiques, while Hollywood Boulevard is fun for kitsch souvenirs and Hollywood memorabilia. Upscale, air conditioned malls include The Beverly Center, a celebrity favourite in Beverly Hills that’s home to Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Prada, and Burberry.
With atmospheric souks, flashy malls, and tax-free shopping, Dubai is The Middle East’s retail hub. Experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spice Souk, or haggle for every kind of jewellery imaginable at the Gold Souk. Dubai Mall, the largest on Earth, is the size of 50 football pitches, with a 22-screen cinema, 160 food options, an ice-skating rink, and 1,200 outlets including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Hamley’s. Meanwhile, the giant Mall of the Emirates features five indoor ski slopes on a 60-metre-high manmade mountain.
Bargain hunting is a national obsession in this city, where the tourist-board-organised Great Singapore Sale attracts shoppers with serious discounts and extra benefits for tourists every May to July. Orchard Road is crammed with modern malls and department stores; Sim Lim Square is the place for discount electronic goods; the street stalls and shop-houses of Little India and Chinatown are great for jewellery, trinkets, and silks; and the night market at Bugis Village oozes old-fashioned charm.
Think tradition, technology, and a good dose of kitsch; shopping in Tokyo is totally addictive. Discover discounted electronics in Akihabara; luxury department stores and designer boutiques in stylish Ginza; hip, cutting-edge fashion in Shibuya; and teenage trends and kitsch in Harajuku. Even if you don’t buy anything, the city’s world-famous fish market is an experience and a half. From designer brands and Hello Kitty merchandise, to kimonos, sake, and delicate tea sets, you’ll head home with your most eclectic purchases yet.
For more exciting destination ideas, browse these Dubai pages and start planning your next adventure.
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