Shop until you can drop can never be truer. We all have a tendency to look through the shop window and dream of that purchase. Whether that is an item that requires saving or something that is simply out of your reach, all cities have an opportunity to grab that bargain or high-end purchase. Most European cities will have the shops located within the central areas or key locations to drive tourism and attract the fashion conscious or the shopaholics. We take a look at the four best shopping cities in the separate categories of glamour, affordability, all-round and the extra bonus come the end of the year. We also take a look at the alternatives to the category winners located on the continent.
The Catwalk of Fashion – Milan
The city hosts an annual fashion week but the streets of Milan can offer that opportunity for a non-model to experience the fashion walk of their own. The city in the Lombardy Region hosts a number of high-end fashion boutiques with Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton are just some of the luxury fashion house stores located within the central areas of the city. Then there are the department stores and shops that give a more affordable shopping experience for both men and women. The Brian & Barry Building, Cavalli e Nastri, DMAG and Corso Como 10 are the committed stores to men’s and women’s clothing and accessories from the well-known fashion labels.
Alternatives to glitz and glamour: Geneva, Rome or Paris
A Mix of the Good, the Expensive and Quality – Paris
This could have gone to London but Paris offers a wider range of shopping experiences from Triangle d’Or and along the Champ d’Elysee to Le Bon Marche and the Clignancourt flea market. The French capital is widely known as one of the shopping capitals in the world if not the best, it certainly matches alongside New York, Shanghai and Dubai for its luxuriousness. One thing that should be visited when going shopping in Paris is the large number of markets available. Fashion, food and drink, art and antiques markets are spread through the central and outer arrondissements with the markets certainly worth the wait and all with walking distance between destinations.
Alternatives to all-around shopping experience: London, Moscow or Barcelona
Extra Special Come the End of the Year – Vienna
Vienna is widely known for the city’s architecture and art forms but the city is slowly being recognised for the wide range of shops available and the affordability it offers to the consumer. It may have one of earliest closing times but that shouldn’t put you off. The historic Naschmarkt is a quarter of a mile of shopping and eatery heaven as there are many shops offering the goods that can tempt you into spending your hard earned cash. The Kärntner Strasse and Mariahilfer Strasse are worth the walk down, whether you end up empty-handed or a fistful of bags worth of goodies. Shopping is good all year round, but going at the end of November through to December, then you will be able to experience the much recommended Christmas markets. The Rathaus Market is definitely highly rated.
Alternatives to Christmas markets: Berlin, Copenhagen or Zagreb
Affordability at No Extra Cost – Lisbon
Shopping is described as a leisure activity and is regularly seen by many people as an enjoyable experience. Lisbon is fast becoming one of those cities that has become graced with an abundant varied selection of shops offering food, fashion and art at a very affordable price. Quirky and modern era shops line multiple narrow shops with the smell of the markets delightful as the sun coasts the Portuguese capital. The part-exhibition and part shop, Galeria Tereza Seabra, is a must while Maison Nuna Gama offers the best fashion for the conscious.
Alternatives to shopping at a reasonable price: Prague, Bratislava and Budapest.
The world is turning into a digital age where you can buy items at a click of a button but where is the fun in that. In Europe, there are plentiful of options where you can combine your hobby with the perfect break.