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 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
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 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.
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.
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.