As a Style Coach, it is obvious that shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. But something I love almost as much as shopping is traveling! How do I travel in style without stress? With the help of the amazing agents at Brownell Travel! From our honeymoon in Bali, to our anniversary trip in Nevis, to a work trip in Scottsdale, the Brownell team takes care of every last detail. Not only that, but they ensure we get amazing perks and incredible service wherever our travels take us. Enjoy as they share the 10 best shopping destinations around the world!
There’s nothing like returning from a fabulous vacation with something to remember it. Whether it is a gorgeous, hand-embroidered pillow or a dazzling vintage necklace, every time you see the piece it will take you back to exploring a crowded street market or wandering through local stores. And there’s nothing better than answering “where did you get that bracelet” with “oh, just a charming shop in [insert city].” Though every city offers something special, we’ve narrowed it down to our 10 best shopping destinations!
You might want an extra suitcase when you’re heading to Bali. Ubud, the culture capital of the island, offers many markets, shops, and galleries to explore. Hanoman Street boasts artisan crafts and clothing stores. Opposite Puri Saren (Ubud Palace), the charming Ubud Art Market is the place to find handcrafted goods, silk scarves, and woven bags and baskets. If you’re ready to explore the nearby villages, you’ll find art galleries and silver jewelry stores as well as furniture shops.
Europe might have Paris, but the United States has New York City. Famous for designer after designer, Fifth Avenue is a classic spot for buying big ticket items or simply window shopping. Soho also has fabulous stores—and the crowds to match. For the best finds, head to designer sample sales (check out Time Out New York to see what’s going on when you’re there). Also check out less touristy neighborhoods, like the Lower East Side, for charming boutiques with unique pieces.
In a city infamous for extravagance and excess, it’s no surprise the Dubai is teeming with stores, both modern and old. Home to Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest malls in the world, you can really get your shopping fix here. And if you get bored, you can always pop over to the indoor ski resort—at the mall. If you’re up for a serious hopping adventure, plan your trip around the Dubai Shopping Festival, where you’ll find major discounts, giveaways, and endless entertainment. For a more traditional experience, get lost looking for a beautiful hand-woven rug, spices, or piece of gold jewelry in one of Dubai’s souks.
When you think of Florence, you think of Michelangelo, the gorgeous Duomo, the Renaissance, and shopping! The leather market is legendary, the Ponte Vecchio is fun to explore (even if the “bargain prices” aren’t exactly the case these days), but the real spot is just outside the city. The Mall—it’s what dreams are made of. This outlet mall features all your old friends – Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Pucci, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Fendi…the list goes on and on. And with the Euro on the downward trend, The Mall is truly a must when in Florence.
The City of Lights is the mecca for fashion enthusiasts. Home to the flagship stores of many fashion houses, haute couture is not hard to come by. Champs Elysees and Avenue Montaigne are two of the hottest spots for fashion with Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton dotting the street alongside trendier stores like Zara and H&M. For grand Parisian department stores, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, make your way to Boulevard Haussmann. And don’t forget about Paris’ famous flea markets. The Saint-Ouen market is a must for treasure hunters. This large flea market has lots to see—and buy—so be prepared to spend some time here.
Buenos Aires has the best of both worlds – high end stores and charming markets (it’s no surprise it’s nicknamed the Paris of South America). The many markets feature distinctive pieces handmade by local artisans. You could spend a whole day in the San Telmo market (only open on Sundays!) looking at the leather goods, jewelry, pottery and art. Remember to take cash as many vendors don’t have the capacity for credit cards. Recoleta is the place to go for upscale boutiques, especially Avenida Alvear (Buenos Aires’ Fifth Avenue for shopping).
Spain’s capital has a little bit of everything: vintage shops, boutiques, and expansive malls. You’ll need to eat plenty of the tapas to fuel all of your shopping! With gorgeous architecture and upscale shops, Gran Vía is the place to go. While you’re there, check out El Corte Inglés, the sprawling Spanish department store. On Sunday, wander through one of the oldest and largest open air markets in Europe: El Rastro. You’ll find all kinds of pieces to purchase, from clothing to furniture to antiques.
India is a prime spot for shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind treasures. From jewelry to clothing to textiles to furniture, there is much to explore. The winding rows of stalls in the markets beckon you to take a look at the bright, colorful items. Though many glittering items are also affordable, inspect them to ensure they are good quality – you want that drop-dead bracelet to actually survive the trip back don’t you? And remember that you haggle in the street markets. It can be a little awkward (because who’s walked into Saks and said, “I’ll give you this much for that Celine bag.”?), but offer to pay half or 2/3 of the price and be willing to walk away.
Home to the famous Grand Bazaar, it’s no surprise that Istanbul is on this list. The colors, smells and sounds of the bazaar are simply spellbinding. Whether you’re searching for a fabulous statement necklace or a gorgeous hand-made carpet for you home, the quest is almost as fun as finding a hidden treasure. As this is one of the biggest markets in the world, we recommend a private guide to advise you on the best stores, the true bargains and also which foods to try.
For charming markets and high-end stores, pop across the pond to London. Serious fashionistas flock to the Knightsbridge area. Home to Harrods and Harvey Nichols as well as designer shops (LK Bennett – the designer of Kate’s fashionable pumps!) on nearby Sloane Street, you can do some serious damage. For more quaint finds, scour the Old Spitalfields Market for vintage jewelry and prints or the Portobello Road Market for antiques.
Honorable Mentions to:
Milan (a major shopping city), Tokyo, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Vienna, Chicago, and Seoul.
To experience one of these shopping destinations or to learn more about the fabulous services they offer simply click here to peruse their site and to contact an agent. I promise you won’t regret having them take away the stress of booking your next getaway!