Top 10 Shopping Destinations
Shopping for the Holidays is a Pleasure in These Cities
The start of fall means it’s time to start thinking about the holidays. Along with the season’s spirit of family and togetherness, there’s also an undeniable urge to rush to the nearest stores and rack up enormous credit-card bills. This year, head to one of these shoppers’ paradises and have some fun while you’re getting gifts for others. And while you're thinking of the Holidays, read our tips: How to Save on Holiday Travel.
One of the Middle East’s most lavish places to shop, Dubai has its fair share of malls. The Mall of the Emirates, the Villa Moda and the Wafi Shopping Mall (known specially for its dramatic Egyptian décor) are just a few. Choose from hand-made arts and crafts such as sheeshas (water pipes) at Al Karama, where bustling markets reel in consumers who know how to haggle. Not in the mood? Pick up designer duds such as YSL, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton at the higher end spots.
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New York City
In one day, shoppers can discover vintage fabrics and one-of-a-kind pieces in NoLita and SoHo or browse Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co. for high-priced designer fashions. Find killer knock-offs on Canal Street, or, for a more authentic (if pricey) experience, check out the original artwork for sale in Chelsea.
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Find international labels along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne in the 8th arrondissement, or check out the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, which are next to each other on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th. Looking for something a little more bohemian? Head to the maze of boutiques in Le Marais.
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To get the full shopping experience in London you'd need to spend quite a bit of time there, but there are several standout spots. Portobello Market is perfect for antique shopping and digging for hand-me-downs, Covent Garden offers trendy boutiques in a handful of side streets, and Oxford Street balances that with High-Street stores such as Top Shop (budget-friendly takes on trends). For a one-stop-shop that’s a tick on your “been there” list, head to Harrods.
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From cutting-edge technology to designer boutiques and mega malls, Hong Kong is a serious player in the game of retail. Popular artists such as Vivienne Tam, William Tang and Walter Ma fill enormous malls, and the streets of Li Yuen East and West offer street vendors with porcelain vases and silk garments. Stroll through the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tai for traditional jewellery that promises good health and fortune.
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A surefire first stop should be Via Montenapoleone or Via della Spiga, where you’ll find boutiques and outlets (think: 50 per cent off designers such as Marni and Prada). If antiques and consignment are more your style, then head to the street markets.
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Fashion plates such as Gwen Stefani and Marc Jacobs capitalize on the up-and-coming artistic spirit of Japan, and Tokyo is at the centre of its retail buzz. Pick up gear from fledgeling designers at flea markets and boutiques. For more traditional Japanese items, street vendors are your best bet.
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For shoppers who celebrate Christmas and want an old-world spin on their season’s preparation, head to a market that sells everything from roasted almonds to nativity sets. Travel to Salzburg for the Christkindelmärkt, which opens five weeks before Christmas. Enjoy mulled wine, gingerbread hearts and other specialties while you meander through the stalls of Dom and Residenz Squares.
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Europe’s largest indoor Christmas market is hosted in Zurich’s main railway station. Walk up Bahnhofstrasse, which glistens with 20,000 Christmas lights and see the tree illuminated with more than 5,000 crystal ornaments. Shopping and festivities start on November 25.
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Tabloids catch socialites shopping on Rodeo Drive on a daily basis, but most likely, they won’t bother you (unless you’re a celebrity. Then, forget it.) High-end paths such as Melrose Avenue are complemented by downtown’s Santee Alley, where you can score affordable knock-offs, and the outdoor shopping plazas such as The Grove, provide more approachable brands. For a taste of interesting West Coast boutiques, walk along the pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
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