Photo Credit: Robert Lach
Shop Till You Drop? 7 Global Shopping Streets Perfect For Retail Therapy
To give your vacation that extra razzle-dazzle, why not dedicate a few hours to some retail therapy? Depending on the currency used wherever you’re going, you might get more bang for your buck. While the streets listed here are known for high-end stores, there are some middle-of-the-way ones that don’t require you to max out your credit card.
Even if you don’t feel like buying anything, many retailers invest energy in transforming their windows into a feast for the eyes, especially during the holidays.
Ready to shop till you drop? Here are seven great shopping streets in the United States and abroad.
1. Champs Élysées
Synonymous with wealth, this stretch of avenue is one of the most famous in Europe. It’s located in the 8th arrondissement, and is easily accessible via several metro lines.
Parisians generally avoid it for the same reason New Yorkers avoid Times Square; they don’t want to deal with the crowds.
You’ll find a lot of the high end shops, along with restaurants, movie theaters, and the touristy stores selling about 100 different statuettes of the Eiffel Tower. Not to mention T-shirts, bags, sweatshirts and cards also featuring “The Iron Lady.”
The Arc de Triomphe presides over the Champs Élysées, and it’s a good landmark to look out for if you get lost.
2. Rodeo Drive
From Clueless to Beverly Hills Cop, Rodeo Drive has been featured in countless movies, and offers a chance to make you feel like you’ve got bank, even if you actually don’t.
There are the expected luxury lines like Prada and Louis Vuitton, as well as House of Bijan, which is, according to Experience First, the most expensive store in the world. Need proof? You can get a leather jacket there for about $15,000. What a bargain!
3. Fifth Avenue
Many stores along New York’s Fifth Avenue, also called Millionaire’s Row, temporarily closed or went under in the height of the pandemic, but some have surged back to life.
Armani, Cartier, The American Girl Store, and Bergdoff Goodman have locations here. The Apple Store and Best Buy can serve your electronics needs, and Barnes and Noble is still managing to stay in business, even with the advent of e-books, audio books, and internet shopping.
You might recall the original FAO Schwarz, which sold just about every toy in existence before closing in 2015. It has since opened in the form of smaller boutiques, however, they pale in comparison to the original, as anybody who went there as a child can tell you.
4. Union Square
For clarity, we mean the Union Square in San Francisco, though the one in New York isn’t bad.
San Fran’s Union Square doesn’t just have stores priced out of the range of the average person. You can get some deals at H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and Macy’s.
Grab dessert at Amorino Gelato on Grant Avenue or Ben & Jerry’s on O’Farrell Street. For a meal, there are too many places to name, so here’s a list courtesy of Visit Union Square San Francisco.
5. Magnificent Mile
Head to Chicago‘s Magnificent Mile; block after block of almost 500 retailers. There’s a very good chance that if you have specific shop in mind, it’s probably there.
If the shops at street level aren’t enough, there are three shopping malls and an endless amount of eateries.
If you’re in the Chi in November, check out the Lights Festival. Just make sure to bundle up; the winter months there are no joke.
6. Las Ramblas
No trip to Barcelona is complete without checking out Las Ramblas, a tree-lined avenue bursting with activity just about any time of the year.
Looking for tapas and other Spanish food? Check. Sporty stores? Yes. Cafes? Yep. Do you want a department store that sells everything? Look no further than El Corte Inglés, which is basically the Spanish child of Macy’s, Target, and Best Buy.
Switzerland always ranks well as a winter destination, so while you’re there, check out this shopping street in Zürich. Its prestige has inspired comparisons with London’s Regent Street, and the Champs Élysées.
The high end shops, like Hermès and Burberry, are mostly found at the south end of the street.
If you’re a jewelry lover, Global Blue points out that Bahnhoffstrasse “attracts an elite clientèle who love the city’s range of gold, silver and platinum jewelry.”