For every shopaholic, the idea of spending an entire vacation buying new and exotic things is a tempting one, and many like to spend their summer holidays doing just that.
In order to get the best shopping experience, you should make sure you pick a destination which meets your interests, because there are a wide range of shopping holidays available and there’s something for everyone from fashion lovers to antique collectors. Check out the top 10 shopping holiday locations below to find your next destination.
New York, USA
New York is the number one destination for shopaholics, with so many different destinations and so much variety. Fifth Avenue, Soho and Times Square are just a few of the popular destinations for shopping in New York, so it’s best to pack light when you visit so you’ve got room for all your new things. You can shop for everything here from electricals to vintage fashion, so there’s something for everyone.
Paris is the world capital of Haute Couture and is the dream destination for high-end
shoppers. If the designer shops are too far out of your budget, then you can head to the flea markets and second hand stores where you’ll be able to find some great vintage clothes and rare treasures. There are also plenty of high street stores to explore, and strolling through the romantic city will be a charming experience, even if you don’t buy anything.
For every fashionista, Milan is a must-visit place. As the fashion capital of the world, Milan offers endless designer stores so if you’re into the big names like Gucci, Versace, Luis Vuitton and Prada, this is the place for you. Visit the Via Montenapoleone in the Golden Quad, Milan’s fashion district, to find a street full of designer stores.
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper than the designer stores, you can visit the factory outlet stores which you’ll find on the outskirts of the town where you’ll be able to buy the luxury products you want for a reduced price. There are also plenty of markets around the canals to look around.
Whilst it’s not exactly an exotic holiday destination, if you’re planning on spending your time shopping rather than sunbathing then London is the place to do it. There’s something to suit everyone here no matter what your budget is. If you’re looking for some high end shopping, go to Oxford Street or Regent Street, or look around Harrods in Knightsbridge.
For those on a lower budget, or who want something a little out of the ordinary, head to Camden Market for alternative fashion or Portobello Road for antiques and bric-a-brac. If you’re a book lover, visit Charing Cross Road and look around the second-hand and specialist bookshops. If you’re into crafts, visit the Spitalfields craft market.
Shopping in Bangkok is a unique experience which will lead to you bring home an unexpected mix of souvenirs in your suitcase. You can purchase pretty much anything here from high end fashion good to pythons! Check out the chic malls for fashion and electricals, and head to the markets to find more unique and out of the ordinary goods. The Chatuchak weekend market is the largest in the world and spans 35 acres with a whopping 15,000 stalls. Don’t miss out on the experience of a floating market (although it can be difficult to actually get to the items you want to buy at one of these!) and make sure you haggle for everything you buy, because it can make a big difference. Since you’re in Thailand, try to fit in my greeting everyone with a smile.
In the souks of Marrakech you’ll find everything from clothes to camels. The souks are divided up into different sections which specialise in different things so you should make sure you know where to head before you go if you’re looking for something specific. Some sections will specialise in spices, pottery and textiles, whilst other will feature cloths, carpets and lamps. You’ll find a wide range of goods here and it’s worth spending some time exploring because you never know what you’re going to find. Don’t forget to haggle!
Hong Kong, China
In Hong Kong you’ll not only find lots of electronic gadgets, but you’ll also find plenty of market stalls, malls and designer boutiques. Tsim Sha Tsui is the place to head for luxury goods, whilst Causeway Bay is great for department stores and Mong Kok contains lots of local stores. Hong Kong is great for buying silk and jade, and Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan is a good place to find antiques, but beware of fakes. Be sure to check out the Stanley Market for collectibles and artwork, and the Jade Market which is great for hunting for souvenirs with its 500 stalls.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai’s population is increasing and more and more tourists are heading over there to explore the holiday hotspot. Dubai is now widely regarded as the shopping capital of the Middle East and is an excellent choice for any shopaholic. You’ll be able to explore more than fifty different malls, many of which are up-scale, and you’ll find that lots of the shops there are the same as the ones you have at home, with plenty of major labels, but with one main difference: they’re much cheaper. Be sure to visit during the annual Shopping Festival, a month-long festival when shops dramatically lower their prices.
If you don’t want to stay in the malls, you can explore the souks instead where you’ll fins lots of fascinating goods. Dubai is a great place for buying gold, and if you head to the Gold Souk in Deira you’ll be able to explore windows full of gold jewellery which is priced according to weight.
Vienna is the place to go if you’re interested in buying one-of-a-kind handmade crafts such as hand painted-pottery. Leather goods, wrought iron and ceramics are all commonly found in Vienna, but if you’d rather shop for elegant fashion, you can visit Mariahilferstrasse, a shopping avenue and the best spot for buying fashion and jewellery. You’ll find the majority of stores in Vienna located in the city centre, and by taking a trip there you’re sure to find a bargain.
Madrid is a great place for shopping because it has everything. Whether you want to shop in department stores and malls or you’d rather look around the markets for clothes and trinkets, there’s something for everyone in Madrid. If you’re looking to really treat yourself, or if you’re just curious to see what it’s like, you can visit the Golden Mile which is where you’ll find the major designer labels with major price tags to match. Look for cheap London-Madrid flights if you’re in need of a bit of retail therapy in the sun.