People travel for many reasons — to see places where history was made, to admire different kinds of architecture, to study the art and culture of the world and, one of the most common reasons to travel, to shop.
As travellers scour the world for the best bargains, there are some tried and tested locations where one can be sure to get the very best shopping experience.
Yes, there is a valid argument these days that you can get everything everywhere. But from the biggest brands in the world to amazing street shopping, Dubai is the ‘it’ place for all shopaholics. The world’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall is like a city in itself. It has multiple stores for any brand that you can think of, attractions like a giant aquarium and musical fountains. It has an Olympic size ice skating rink and cinema theatres. You can spend hours visiting all parts of the mall and yet you may not see everything this mall has to offer! The Mall of the Emirates may not be as large but it has all the stores you could want to visit on your shopping spree. A pair of walking shoes would definitely be the best choice of footware while attempting to conquer these giants in the shopping world. The best time for finding good bargains is during the Dubai Shopping Festival in January and February every year.
A little further to the west, the shopaholic in you might like London, which is home to Selfridges and Harrods. The famous Oxford Street and upper Regent Street will make you crave your walking shoes. History meets retail in this city as shoppers from all over the world throng the major shopping streets. If you are looking to go beyond the mainstream and browse for unique pieces of jewellery, vintage clothing, and hipster art, or if you have an eye for antiques, then the Camden Town market is the spot for you. The best time to find bargains is during the Boxing Day sale, the day after Christmas.
New York City has something for everyone. Fifth Avenue is the most expensive shopping street in the world and stretches for about 11 km from one end to the other. It houses big brands like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co, Bvlgari, Prada and Gucci. It has the Museum Mile within its long stretch with close to 10 different museums on it, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art being the most popular one. Saks Fifth Avenue, a major brand, was born here. If your pockets are not deep, you can shop at one of the many other shopping avenues or absorb the lights and sounds Times Square as you try to find bargains there. The best time to find bargains is on Black Friday , which is usually the fourth Friday of the month right after Thanksgiving Thursday.
Many Indians do opt to go west rather than east when it comes to shopping. But Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing are all popular tourist destinations for their amazing attractions, delicious food and economic shopping. A number of these countries have visa-free entries for Indian citizens and the flight fares are quite reasonable. South East Asia is the place to go if you are in a hurry to get good deals on expensive high end brands. These places are a heaven for shoppers all year round but the major shopping festivals take place between May and August.
Paris and Milan are the birthplaces of most of the high-end brands in the world — Christian Dior, Hermes, Armani, Valentino and Versace, to name a few — apart from the best couture in the world. Fashion is embedded in their culture, history and art. It would be a grave mistake not to include them in the list of the best cities in the world for shopping as they are, quite possibly, the birthplace of organised fashion and continue to provide to the world new trends year after year.