When I visit New York, I steer well clear of Madison and Fifth Avenues for shopping. With designer stores as far as the eye can see; heading downtown to Soho, the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village has a lot more to offer the everyday shopper…..and then of course there are the regular designer sample sales that are always worth checking out http://www.nycinsiderguide.com/nyc-sample-sale#.WRw7i2iGOHk .
Some other favourite shopping haunts of mine from around the world include –
Barcelona – It is easy to spend hours wandering through the alleyways of the Gothic Quarter and El Raval. There are so many unique shops intermingled with tapas bars and restaurants that an afternoon is gone in the blink of an eye. Passieg de Gracia is the Champs Elysees of Barcelona and is beautiful to stroll down, but the backstreets hold far more appeal for me.
Tokyo – the streets of Omote-Sando, Harajuku, Takeshita-dori and Ura-Hara offer the quirkiest shopping I’ve possibly ever seen. Along with fabulous people watching, this is such a fun area to stroll around and pick up some very unique things.
Cape Town – the vibe in this beautiful city is wonderful especially down at the V&A Waterfront, but the boutique shopping area bordered by Long St and Kloof St in the city centre is a firm favourite.
Buenos Aires – Recoleta has the high fashion labels sewn up, but head to Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho for great bargains and shopping with a difference. A lazy afternoon strolling the streets in these districts is a must do for any visit to Buenos Aires.
Vancouver – this is one city where the shopping is spread out but Davie Village and Gastown are great shopping neighbourhoods which cater for everyone. Getting out a little further is Commercial Drive, a fabulous area showing Vancouver’s diversity and it’s worth visiting if you have a morning or afternoon free.
Singapore – a welcome escape from the countless shopping malls that overrun the city is Haji Lane in the Arab Quarter. It’s a lively area full of eclectic shops, cafes and bars with amazing graffiti covering the walls. It’s such a contrast to other areas of Singapore and is great to visit both in the day and at night.