Shopping City Breaks 2014
For some, shopping isn’t part of their holiday; it’s the whole reason to travel. There are plenty of reasons to book that flight too. Perhaps it’s a pre-Christmas shopping spree to find something special. Or a chance to take advantage of a favourable exchange rate? Maybe a great way to spend special times with friends… Or, quite often, the opportunity to find a brand, product or store that hasn’t made it to the UK yet.
One of the favourite destinations for a shopping break has to be New York. Start with the big retail names along 5th Avenue. Here, you’ll find department stores like Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and, of course, Tiffany, for exquisite jewellery. On Madison Avenue, you will be able to shop at big-name designers like Armani, Versace, Prada and Ralph Lauren, to name just a few.
New York is a great place for gadgets and electronics too. There’s the Apple Store on 5th Avenue, plus the largest camera and video store in the whole country: B+H Photo-Video on 9th Avenue. Watch out for the periodic tax-free weeks in New York, when you don’t have to pay sales tax on clothes and footwear under $500.
Paris is the destination for the fashionistas amongst us, a shopping holiday amongst the chicest and most exclusive names in the world of haute couture. You’ll find the top dogs in areas like Louvres-Tuileries and the Faubourg Saint-Honore, with flagship stores for Versace, YSL and Hermes.
Check out the department stores of Boulevard Haussmann, as well as the antique markets and eclectic shops of Le Marais, the boutiques of Les Halles, and the flea markets of St Ousen.
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Dubai is truly a shopaholic’s dream. Besides the total absence of sales tax, it has the mall that claims to be the largest in the world, complete with 250 international brand stores, two hotels and an enormous indoor ski slope. For a more traditional type of shopping, you can practice your haggling skills at the Gold or Spice souks. The Dubai Shopping Festival happens for one month every year, with lots of famous brands offering money-off on everything from jewellery to fashion, cars to electronics. In 2014, 3rd January to 3rd February are the dates.
Closer to the UK, Madrid is another happy hunting ground for a short and sweet shopping break. Here, you’ll be able to shop the full range of international brands, Spanish specialities and plenty of unique local shops. Shops are open late, till 10 pm. Be warned, the most expensive shopping street is in the Barrio Salamanca. Calle de Jose Ortega y Gasset is full of designer shops like Valentino and Jimmy Choo.
Gran Via (‘the Times Square of Madrid’) has more of the middle-market shops like Zara, H+M, as well as some very expensive jewellery shops. The flea market at El Rastro is good for leather or other second-hand clothes, on a Sunday only. The biggest mall is Madrid Xanadu, south of the city, pretty impressive and comprehensive, with activities like skiing, go-karting and bowling to the fore. There are plenty of bargains to be had at two famous discount outlets, north west of Madrid. Las Rozas Village, and Factory are their names.
Next time you feel the shopping holiday itch, before you grab your credit card and passport, don’t forget to take advantage of the shopping travel offers that pop up all the time on our website at Netflights.com.
Whichever of the above is your top destination; one tip worth remembering is to keep your eye on our site for great 2014 holiday deals.