10 Best Shopping Destinations Around the World
To shop, or not to shop? These shopping galleries will leave you no choice but do so. Our tour de shop around the world will help you choose the best destinations to part with cash, although be aware that some stores could leave you heavily in the red. Yet if browsing around the racks and shelves improves your mood and a shopping addiction is just too strong to overcome, then you should make shopping the theme of your next trip.
10. Wako. Tokyo. Japan.
Wako building constructed in 1932. By Simon Starr
Wako department store in Ginza was established in 1881 as a store offering watches and jewelry by Kintaro Hattori that later created Seiko - a prominent Japanese watch company. To date the ground floor of Wako is occupied by a broad selection of Seiko watches.
Wako lies at the heart of Ginza, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious shopping areas in the world. The store is located in a historical Neo-Renaissance-style building constructed in 1932. It is one of the few buildings in the district left untouched after World War II.
Today Wako is famous for (of course) watches, jewelry, porcelain, handbags and exclusive foreign products.
9. Eaton Centre. Toronto. Canada
Eaton Centre. Toronto. By Chanc
The Eaton Centre is a vibrant shopping gallery located in the center of Toronto. It was completed in two phases: the northern section emerged in 1977 and the southern part was completed in 1979. The design of the complex was inspired by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, located in Milan, Italy. The two buildings have similar glass-domed roofs.
Today Eaton Centre is a city's bustling landmark with its urban atmosphere and a broad offer of stores, restaurants and service points. It has already become one of the main tourist attractions in the city so it gets really crowded, especially during the public holidays.
It houses around 230 retailers, selling (fortunately) more affordable goods than the ones offered by Harrods or Quartier 206 (see below)
8. De Bijenkorf. Amsterdam. The Netherlands.
De Bijenkorf. By Steve75
De Bijenkorf is one of the oldest European department store chains and the most up market chain in the Netherlands. The opening of the first De Bijenkorf establishment took place in 1870. The small store was located along Nieuwendijk, one of the oldest streets in the town.
Today the chain manages 12 stores in the country, but the flagship is the Amsterdam-based five-storey department store (built in 1957) located on Dam Square - one of the most popular places in the city.
De Bijenkorf by ifranz
The store offers everything the shopper's heart may desire, from clothing made by famous fashion designers, cosmetics, jewelry, gifts to kitchen accessories and books. It is not inexpensive, but worth seeing for its unusual and broad collections of goods.
7. Galeries Lafayette. Paris. France.
Lafayette by Benromberg
Galeries Lafayette is a Paris flagship store and one of the most famed department stores in the city. It was established as a small fashion outlet by Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn in 1893. The store quickly developed and in 1912 a glass dome and an Art Nouveau staircase were added.
Today the gallery is a huge and chic shopping complex with a broad collection of the latest trends in fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, home accessories, foodstuffs and gifts. The prices are high, but there are some affordable offers and many Parisians shop there on a daily basis.
Inside Lafayette. By Caneles
Unfortunately the complex is packed with people. Many tourists come to Lafayette not to shop, but to admire the impressive architecture - some parts of the shopping center have been classified as historical sites. Moreover the terraces offer panoramic views of the nearby located Opera Garnier House and Basilica of the Sacred Heart that can be seen in the distance.
6. 10 Corso Como. Milan. Italy
10 Corso Como. By yisris
Italy is a cradle of fashion, Milan is the Mecca for shoppers and 10 Corso Como is the icing on that cake.
10 Corso Como is not a typical shopping gallery. It was opened in 1990 as an art gallery and bookstore by Carla Sozzani, a prominent Italian gallerist and former Italian Vogue editor. In 1991 the clothing and accessories boutique followed. In 1999 the Corso Como café and restaurant were launched and in 2003 a small slick hotel was set up.
Inside 10 Corso Como. By sifu renka
10 Corso Como offers unique and stylish collections of clothes, bags, shoes, book, CDs...all in tune with the newest Vogue trends. The prices are high, but there is good news for budget visitors - there is a Corso Como Outlet nearby where the collections at reduced prices can be found.
5. Fashion Shows. Las Vegas. The USA.
The Cloud above Fashion Shows. By airgap
If you want to lose millions in a day in Las Vegas, you don't have to gamble. Fashion Shows, a huge and modern shopping centre, is a place where you can easily get lost in shopping and lose a big part of your savings.
It has over 250 stores and restaurants and it houses some of the famed departments stores such as, among others, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard's, Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Bloomingdale's Home.
Inside of Fashion Shows. By bewarened
The construction of the Fashion Shows mall was completed in 1981. The complex takes up around 175,000 sq meters of space - it is one of the biggest shopping centers in the world.
An interesting architectural feature of the mall is "the Cloud", a steel canopy designed to provide shade during the day. At night it becomes a huge movie screen. The Cloud is 480 ft (150 m) long and it is towering 128 ft (39 m) above the ground.
4. Gum. Moscow. Russia
Gum at Red Square. By tetrabrain
Gum, in full Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin (State Department Store) in Moscow, is the largest and most prestigious shopping mall in Russia. The monumental features of the store fit perfectly in the spectacular Red Square where the store is situated. GUM was constructed between 1890 and 1893. The architectural combination of the glass roof and steel framework referred to the great European train stations that were built in the 19th century.
Inside GUM. By Piero Sierra
Before the Revolution of 1917 the mall housed around 1,200 stores. In 1928 GUM was transformed into office building by Stalin. In 1953 it was reopened as a department store. In 1990s the store was privatized and has become a home for top-end fashion retailers. Today it houses around 200 stores.
3. Quartier 206. Berlin. Germany.
Quartier 206 by flavouz
Anne Maria Jagdfeld, the founder and owner of Quartier 206, traveled around the world for months to buy the products for her store. She accomplished her mission in 1997 when the Quartier opened. The store is called "the world of style" and it definitely deserves its name thanks to the amazing stock and great interior. It was designed by famous Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, an architectural company from New York.
Quartier 206. By dalbera
Quartier 206 is located on famous Friedrichstraße, in the center of Berlin. The place is hip and trendy. It offers the most prominent fashion brands (including the elite: Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta), leading avant-garde designers, up market cosmetics and perfumes, books and interior accessories.
2. Saks Fifth Avenue. New York. The USA.
Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. By FrancoisRoche
Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the most up market NY's department stores. Its origins date back to 1867 when Andrew Saks opened his business and later incorporated it in New York (1902) as Saks & Company. In 1924 Horace Saks and Bernard Gimbel set up Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
At present Saks manages 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the USA and 52 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores, which offer discount collections. Moreover the Saks Fifth Avenue licensed stores operate in Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Mexico and Bahrain.
Nevertheless, the Saks in New York has remained the most iconic of all Saks stores. It is called by locals a shopping institution with all of the best American and European brands gathered on 10 floors and under one roof. Among most worshiped sections is the shoe department which offers amazing collections of footwear.
1. Harrods. London. The UK.
Harrods in London. By Ramonbaile
Harrods, the most famous department store in the world, was established as a small grocery in 1894 by Charles Henry Harrods. The one-room outlet quickly developed into a large store offering food, stationery, cosmetics and medicines. By 1880 Harrods employed 100 workers. In 1985 Mohamed Al-Fayed, an Egyptian multimillionaire, bought the store for £615m.
Today Harrods takes up 90,000 square meters of retail area, it has around 330 departments and it sells nearly everything - from foodstuff to home accessories. It hires around 4,000 people ready to fulfill all caprices of the most demanding customers.
Sunglasses display, Harrods. By schwenke
Rumor has it in London that one customer ordered an elephant and the store got it for him in one day.
Whether you have millions to spend or not, Harrods is a must during your stay in London. The goods available in the store are pretty expensive and the complex is always jam-packed with people, but it is worth visiting - just treat it as a tourist attraction rather than a shopping destination.