Written by Barnaby Taylor. Published on .
Retail therapy is widely held to be the best antidote to everything from a bad break-up to a bout of boredom! Combine that with travel to one of the top cities in the world, and you have a shopping holiday that’s perfect to get you in a great mood!
Jetting off to shop for a few days is not all about pampering yourself and having fun though. One of the main advantages of shopping holidays is buying clothing, jewellery and homewares that are wonderfully different from things you can pick up locally.
Choose one of the top shopping cities in the world, and you will also have a much wider choice. You might even be able to bag enough bargains to cover the cost of your business class flights! For some, shopping holidays are all about getting the latest fashions before anyone else they know.
With so many good reasons to book your break, the only question is where to go for the best shopping experience? A lot depends on the brand names and holiday destinations that excite you most. However, these five cities are consistently the top, for those who like to shop.
New York stands head and shoulders above other cities when it comes to retail opportunities. It’s why flying in and out for shopping weekends is now such big business in the Big Apple. Particularly for Christmas shopping when New York pulls out of the stops to beguile and bedazzle visitors.
In New York, you will find all the big name stores – including the iconic Bloomingdales and Macys – as well as designer labels. If you find time to venture off Fifth Avenue, there are countless distinctive boutiques and quirky stores in other locations. Beyond the malls and streets, there are several eclectic flea markets to enthral anyone who loves bargain hunting or vintage shopping.
It’s not just the choice of clothing, jewellery and gift stores that makes Tokyo a shopping paradise. What awaits you inside is worth the airfare alone! Nowhere else in the world can you see retail technology on this scale, with electronic devices, virtual and augmented reality and interactive screens everywhere you turn.
Another great draw is that Toyko has built its state of the art shops right in the heart of interesting tourism areas. You easily soak up all the cultural and heritage value, without missing out on your favourite stores. Ginzo is a popular upmarket shopping area, but for sheer entertainment value you should visit the Tsukiji Fish Market.
You will need a great deal of energy and a year-long shopping holiday to do justice to the array of fabulous stores in Dubai. The malls here are each like a separate retail fantasy world, with décor and eateries that make visits deeply pleasurable. If you want to take a break from shopping, there are luxury cinemas, aquariums, ice rinks and even mini theme parks under the same(air conditioned) roof.
There are around 1,200 shops and 160 restaurants in the Dubai Mall alone. The Mall of the Emirates is equally impressive, including the largest indoor family fun centre in the city, with a winter sports area (yes, you read that right).
The Dubai Marina Mall is perfectly placed within the city’s super-cool waterfront development.
There’s a great deal to offer in Los Angeles beyond the flashy designer brands arrayed along Rodeo Drive. Many A-list Americans head to LA to shop, and as it’s home to Hollywood the stores are naturally geared towards glamour. Robertson Boulevard is a fabulous place to do star-spotting as you shop.
However, as LA is such a diverse and larger than life place, shopping malls and streets are equally fascinating and varied. You could browse vintage clothes along Santee Alley, snap up funky art and antiques in Melrose Avenue, or head to The Grove for a uniquely “Disney-like” and surreal shopping experience.
This list of top shopping cities would not be complete without this internationally acclaimed fashion “playground” and retail super-world.
The clothes in Milan’s classy boutiques are always up to the minute fresh and relevant. For some visitors, the appeal of shopping in Milan is scooping up fashions that are slightly out of season, and therefore competitively priced. As Milan leads the world in clothing design, there’s a good chance that even second-hand apparel bought here will be more cutting edge than anything you can buy new at home!
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