Holidays are prime time to find bargains you couldn’t get at home, pick up unusual souvenirs, or to simply treat yourself.
To help you find the ultimate hidden shopping gems on holiday, Booking.com presents the best destinations for retail therapy in five of the world’s most fashionable cities.
Spend your Saturday surrounded by locals in Broadway Market
London - Broadway Market
Forget Oxford street or Knightsbridge, for a real London shopping experience head to Broadway Market in Hackney, East London. This is where locals spend their Saturdays, browsing the permanent boutiques, and stalls of quality homemade food (ranging from artisan cheese to fat, juicy burgers and scotch eggs), vintage clothes, books, flowers, jewellery, and crafts.
A dainty street of Georgian, terraced cottages next to Regent’s Canal, it’s pedestrianised during market hours (09:00-17:00 every Saturday) and really comes into its own on a sunny day. Once you’ve had enough of exploring, pop around the corner to Netil Market on Westgate Street for more vintage trinkets and oddities.
Booking recommends: Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
Handmade Ornaments at the Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
Mumbai - Thieves Bazaar
If you lose anything in Mumbai, head to the Chor Bazaar and you’ll be able to buy it back, or so the story goes. The Marathi word ‘chor’ translates as ‘thief’, but the market actually sells more secondhand than stolen goods these days. Have a rummage and a haggle in the cluttered shops, selling Bollywood posters, antique furniture, old coins, gems, jewellery, and a whole lot more. Remember, though certain prices may seem high in the context of the market, once you get home you’ll be baffled as to why you didn’t pay a tenner for that Persian rug.
Booking recommends: The Taj Mahal Palace
The most interesting area in Stockholm is Vasastan
Stockholm - Vasastan
The lesser-known district of Vasastan in Stockholm is the place to go for authentic Swedish artisanal shops and a great atmosphere. For shoppers eager to explore there are dozens of eccentric boutiques and antiques stores. Vasastan is also home to the Acne Archive, selling discounted previous collections by Acne, one of Sweden’s most successful exports and the world’s most coveted brands. Finally there are several mainstream stores and a sprinkling of good cafes to relax in between retail therapy spurts.
Booking recommends: Browallshof Hotell
The Lower East Side is a hub of up-and-coming boutiques
New York - Lower East Side
If you want a taste of chic New York shopping without so many tourists, head to the Lower East Side. Once a run-down neighbourhood of Manhattan, these days this area into a hub of avant-garde fashion boutiques and art galleries. From flea markets and barbershops to affordable, eco-friendly garb and Japanese denim concept stores, this is where you’ll find some of NYC’s most up-and-coming brands and designers.
Booking recommends: Sixty LES
Flagship shores and tree-lined avenues in Omotesandō
Tokyo - Omotesandō
The zelkova tree-lined avenue of Omotesandō in Tokyo and the nearby district of Harajuku offer some of Japan’s best shopping. Omotesandō is home to a plethora of flagship stores for high-end brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton, with impressive architecture and gourmet restaurants galore. Harajuku, by contrast, is the core of the city’s youth culture, where all the big trends begin. This bustling part of Tokyo is where you’ll find stylish, forward-thinking fashion and accessories alongside eccentric souvenirs, and lots of small cafés and bars.
Booking recommends: Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower