Shopping in Europe
With Christmas & New Year now a distant memory and the bi-annual fashion weeks on the horizon, Xclusive gives you an insight into the best shopping destinations across the continent.
Home to some of the world's most famous fashion labels, Paris is one of the best shopping cities in Europe. It is therefore no surprise that the Parisians are often referred to as the most stylish people in the world. The cities legendary shopping destinations draw people in from all over the world. The Champs-Élysées and Rue St-Honoré are two of the most favourable attractions, however a deeper allure lies in some of the lesser-known attractions. The city has many hidden neighbourhoods and streets, each has a distinct style that reflects the character of the particular quarter to which it is located within.
Paris is home to the world famous department store, Galeries Lafayette, it's the flagship store and located on the Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. The store is also home to some of the top designer shops in the world, including Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Versace.
Where to Fly - Paris-Le Bourget Airport
Fashion Week Dates - Tuesday 28th February - Wednesday 8th March | Tuesday 26th September - Wednesday 4th October
Italy's fashion and design capital. Visitors are drawn to the city because of it's excellent reputation for shopping. Designer stores line the Quadrilatero D'Oro district, while outlets, high street shops and boutiques are found in all corners of the city. Milan is home to global fashion giants such as Armani, Prada & Versace; behind them stands a host of less famous designers who assist in filling out the rest of the shops. The Via Montenapoleone is the centre of Milan's luxurious shopping scene, hosting boutique shops of many top designers such as Gucci, Prada & Valentino.
Located close to the Piazza del Duomo square sits the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a must-see shopping destination with both Italian and foreign high street fashion brands including H&M, Zara and Bershka. While in Milan, do not forget to visit the most popular destination for high street shopping, the Corso Buenos Aires, which is also Europe's longest shopping street.
Where to Fly - Linate Airport
Fashion Week Dates - Wednesday 22nd February - Tuesday 18th February | Wednesday 20th September - Tuesday 26th September
Oxford Street, Mayfair, Bond Street, Westfield, Selfridges, Notting Hill, Harrods. The list of famous shopping locations in the UK's capital is endless. Oxford Street boasts more than 300 shops, designer outlets and souvenir stores. Famous department stores such as John Lewis and Debenhams have found their place there. For those luxury lovers amongst us, Bond Street and Mayfair are top choices with London's most exclusive shopping area home to Tiffany & CO., Burberry and Louis Vuitton.
Split between two separate locations in the city, Westfield comprises of designer shops such as Jimmy Choo, Ted Baker, All Saints and House of Fraser. The Stratford site is one of the biggest shopping areas in Europe, with over 250 stores and more than 70 places to dine. Located in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, sits the world-famous department store, Harrods. The 5-acre site has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments making it the biggest department store in the whole of Europe.
Where to Fly - London City Airport
Fashion Week Dates - Friday 17th February - Tuesday 21st February | Friday 15th September - Tuesday 19th September.
No where else will you shop for items in such vivid colours than the Catalonian capital of Barcelona. The most beautiful street to shop on is the Passeig de Gracia. Its surrounded by modern architecture and a stunning tree lined boulevard, home to many luxurious shops such as Rolex, Cartier, Emporio Armani and Michael Kors. Located at Plaza Catalunya, you will find the El Corte Ingles department store and El Triangle mall, both offering top brand shops as well as the city's biggest perfume shop, Sephora Triangle.
Within walking distance, there is the Portal de L'Angel. Small, neat boutiques with many fashionable stores such as Zara and Bershka. Of course, no visit to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to La Rambla, which houses numerous markets, restaurants and even street performers. If it's outlet stores you are looking for, head to the Las Arenas shopping mall, which has been converted from a bullfighting ring into a modern state-of-the-art shopping complex.
Where to Fly - Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Shopping in a foreign country is always something special; different shops, different prices and most of the time a different atmosphere. Berlin is no exception. Well known as the party capital of Europe, Berlin is well loved by all the shopping gurus out there. The German capital has no specific shopping neighbourhood, in fact, the best way to explore what the city has on offer is to simply start walking. One of the most popular shopping streets is Kurfürstendamm, with designer brands such as Chanel and Prada, along with high street names such as H&M and Mango.
Departmentstore; Quartier 206, opened on the famous street, Friedrichstraße, in 1997. A cosmopolitan world of shopping that features international designer fashion, couture, leading avant-garde designers and young contemporary fashion. Along the Friedrichstraße, you will also find luxury stores such as Gucci and Lacoste, as well as KalturKaufhaus which specialises in cultural items, books, films and gifts. If you're into history and fancy a break from shopping, be sure to visit the site of Checkpoint Charlie, once a crossing point in the Berlin Wall.
Where to Fly - Berlin Schönefeld Airport