Who doesn’t love shopping? Everyone of us always needs something, which becomes even more necessary if we see the ‘SALE’ sign written across. Europe is a perfect shopping destination, especially for women, who tend to spend hours and hours of aimless walking through the stores. From outlets and second hand shops to malls and expensive brand stores, the following European cities have the best offer for you, so as soon as possible, pack and travel light so you can fill your luggage with new stuff. To make the most of your city break, save some money on accommodation and treat yourself with an amazing shopping. Shop ‘til you drop!
1) Paris, France
The French capital is a true shopper’s dream, so it will be a real temptation to save even a dime. It’s no surprise then that the Parisians are often referred to as the most stylish people in the world. For those of you who prefer famous brands, we recommend you to go to the so-called shopping Mecca: the Faubourg Saint-Honoré is the centre of Paris fashion. Go there and find something for yourself from Versace, Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, Colette and many others. The area is only a hop away from the Opera Garnier and the Belle-Epoque, Paris stores located on the Boulevard Haussmann. The Marais quarter is known for vintage stores, antique shops, cosmetics and perfumeries and fine art galleries. It is a right place for shoppers with an eye for detail and unique art. This quarter will amaze you with the food offer as well, from high-quality French tea to the best chocolate in Paris. St-Germain-des-Pres is a popular spot among the intellectuals looking for new books and classics. Apart from that, you can buy some unique furniture and visit famous boutiques Paco Rabanne and Sonia Rykiel situated there. If you travel on a budget, check out their yard sales (vide-greniers) and try to visit the city in January or July, when you can find lots of store discounts, up to even 80%.
2) Milan, Italy
This Italian city breaths out fashion on every corner, so be prepared to see all kinds of styles at the same time blending in and sticking out of the city’s magnificent architecture. If you are happy (and able) to do shopping in the European fashion capital, your first shopping should be in Via Montenapoleone, the centre of Milan’s luxurious shopping. It hosts boutiques of many designer brands like Gucci, Prada and Valentino. If you’re looking for a quality leather clothes as well, then this is the right place for you, since Vendi, Bottega Veneta e Salvatore Ferragamo are all on the same street. Next step is Corso Venezia, an avenue which, other than gorgeous parks, palaces and gardens, offers you many Italian and international brands. For fans of Henry Cotton’s, Burburry and Brooksfield, this place will feel like home. Very close to the Piazza del Duomo square, you will find Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a must-see place with young shopping Italian and foreign brands, at a lot cheaper prices. Go there and shop in H&M, Zara, Bershka or Mango and dress yourself in the latest trends. Also, one of the city’s biggest department stores, La Rinascente, is on the same street. While in Milan, do not forget to visit Corso Buenos Aires, the Europe’s longest shopping street (1km) with more than 350 stores like Desigual, Swatch, Boggi, United Colors of Benetton and many, many others.
3) London, UK
There is not a single shopping lover who hasn’t heard of the famous Oxford Street in London. With more than 300 shops, designer outlets and souvenir stores, this street has anything you can ask for, whether you are looking for sporty clothes, antique stuff, furniture or you want to dress up for some special occasion. Famous departments stores like John Lewis and Debenhams found their place there as well, but if you want to grab some bargain, go to Primark, a massive store with the latest trends at low prices. For luxury lovers among you, Bond Street and Mayfair are top choices to visit. It is London’s most exclusive shopping area and home to Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Louis Vuitton. Another famous shopping destination is Westfield, with two major shopping centres: Westfield London, a place where you can shop at Jimmy Choo, Ted Baker and All Saints, but also Next, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser and so many others. In this mall you can find cinema, bars and restaurants as well. Another Westfield shopping mall is Westfield Stratford city in the eastern part of London, one of the biggest shopping places in Europe with its 250 stores and more than 70 places to dine. When in London, don’t miss out on the amazing stuff selling at Notting Hill, famous for the same named film. In this area you can find lots of vintage clothes, antiques, books, organic food, etc. Another London’s shopping landmark is the Carnaby, a quarter made of 13 streets featuring more than 150 different stores and 50 bars, restaurants and English pubs.
4) Barcelona, Spain
Passeig de Gracia is the Barcelona’s most beautiful street to shop on. Wrapped in a modern architecture, a stunning tree lined boulevard is home to many luxurious shops, such as Boutique Rolex, Chopard, Cartier, Emporio Armani, Lacoste, Michael Kors, etc. All of these and many other shops are surrounded by the city’s best hotels and bars, and for your shopping to be even more Barcelona-like, the pavements are paved with hexagonal paving stones with Gaudi marine motifs from Casa Mila. Plaza Catalunya is another great place to spend your money. El Corte Ingles departments store and El Triangle mall are located there offering you many top brands and supermarkets, as well as the city’s biggest perfume shop, Sephora Triangle. Within a walking distance from Plaza Catalunya there is Portal de L’Angel, with many small, neat boutiques, cafes and restaurants with traditional food, and bargain, yet fashionable stores like Zara and Bershka (take a glimpse of Massimo Dutti store,too). Of course, you cannot forget La Rambla, one of the Barcelona’s most popular streets, with some markets, tons of restaurants, souvenir shops (overcharging though) and many street performers. Here you can have a taste of Spain’s finest food and drinks.
5) Geneva, Switzerland
The Swiss jewel and lakeside town, Geneva’s shopping is one of the most expensive ones in the world. Bon Genie – Grieder has 20 stores throughout Switzerland and it is unique among shopping destinations for it sense of style, bar and amazing restaurants improving your shopping experience. This place in Geneva is spread over 7 floors of fashion and accessories. The Rue de Rhone is a luxurious shopping area where the worlds’ most famous brands compete with one another. Expensive watches, clothes and jewellery are only a part of what this area has to give you. Among many shops, the Les Ambassadeurs store is sticking out, representing more than 35 brands of fine watchmaking and offering an exclusive service in a private showroom with a glass of champagne. Don’t hesitate to visit Chocolatier Auer, a five-generation family making luxurious chocolate products and one of the best confectionary shops in Geneva. Another important fashion stop in the city is Rue de Marche, a street with bunch of fashion stores, bookshops, furnishing and shoe stores, but also with the Swatch shop and Davidoff cigars. In Rue des Alpes, around the railway station, you can find the Swiss symbols: chocolate, cheese, cuckoo clocks, the Swiss Army knives and many handricrafts. The stores are named Little Switzerland, Swiss Tradition and Swiss Corner.
The list can go on and on since each of European cities has something unique to experience, but we will shortly enumerate few more places you should consider visiting if you want an amazing shopping adventure:
6) Berlin, Germany
Since the German’s capital has no specific shopping neighbourhood, the best way to explore what the city has to offer is simply just start walking. One of the most popular shopping streets is Kurfürstendamm, with Chanel, Jill Sander, Prada, Escada, but also with cheaper stores like Mango or H&M. Also, check out the Tauentzienstrasse, Friedrichstrasse with many department stores and Potsdamer Platz.
7) Istanbul, Turkey
At the same time part of the East and the West, check out the mixture of modern culture and tradition. Places like Grand Bazaar where, among many other stuff, you can purchase one of the famous Turkish rugs and Nisantasi Shopping Centre with lots of gift shops are waiting for you.
8) Munich, Germany
In the city centre you can find a wide choice of boutiques, shops and department stores. Most popular places are Kaufinger Straße, Sendlinger Straße and Theatinerstraße. However, if you are a student on a budget, Schwabing is the place for you. There you can shop in second-hand stores, book stores and jewellery boutiques, but find local markets with traditional products as well.
9) Vienna, Austria
The longest shopping mile of all is Mariahilfer Straße which boasts a huge number of shops, stores, boutiques, bars, restaurants, etc. Don’t miss out on Landstraßer Hauptstraße, with Rochus Market nearby, or Favoritenstraße. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a budget or you have extra money to spend, Vienna has it all.
10) Brussels, Belgium
The Belgian capital is one of the top shopping centres in Europe. Rue Neuve, Chaussée d’Ixelles, Avenue Louise, Rue Bailli and much more are waiting for you to show you the latest fashion, traditional products and delicious food!