Whether you’re looking for gifts to take home or something for yourself to remind you of your trip, shopping is a big part of travel for many. And even if you’re not interested in spending any money, window shopping can provide an interesting peek into local life. Here, we’ve rounded up 6 popular shopping streets to explore around the world:
Orchard Road, Singapore
Probably the most famous street for shopping in all of Asia, Orchard Road in Singapore is a shopper’s paradise. It’s 2.2 kilometers of high-end, designer shops, upscale dining venues, entertainment and more. One hundred and fifty years ago, this small, unassuming street was lined with fruit orchards, nutmeg plantations and pepper farms. But today, it’s a must-visit stop for anyone traveling to Singapore. And even if you’re not into shopping, Orchard Road is a pretty and beautifully maintained boulevard to stroll.
Bloor Street, Toronto
Toronto has no end to its shopping choices, from budget to luxury, but the best place to experience the luxury end is on the city’s main shopping drag, Bloor Street. Considered to be Toronto’s Fifth Avenue and nicknamed The Mink Mile for its concentration of high-end stores (think: Chanel, Tiffany, Hermes), Bloor Street’s best shopping can be found on the stretch between Yonge Street and Avenue Road. It’s also part of Yorkville, the tony, exclusive neighborhood where you’ll find designer boutiques, streetside cafes and intimate restaurants. Whether you’re shopping or just window shopping, Bloor Street is a sophisticated shopping district that rivals any in the world.
Oxford Street, London
London is such a shopping Mecca that it has more than one famous shopping street. Sloane Street, Bond Street and Mayfair (to name just a few!) all offer high-end retail therapy but Oxford Street in London’s West End is Europe’s busiest shopping street, attracting some half a million visitors every day. It offers a wide range of shopping options and caters to every kind of shopper. With more than 300 shops, Oxford Street is home to well-known department stores like John Lewis and Debenhams as well as beloved British brands like Primark and Topshop.
If you’re looking for a lively local shopping experience in Tokyo, then you’ve got to head to Shibuya, which is where you’ll find three popular shopping streets: Koen Dori, Spain Zaka and Center Gai. This is the epicenter of the unique teen fashion you’ll find in Japan and unless you’re a teen yourself, you may find that the styles on offer just aren’t for you. But don’t let that keep you away. Shibuya is an exciting neighborhood with lots of department stores, electronics stores and a 10-floor shopping complex to explore. Once you’ve had enough, take a break at the second-floor Starbucks that overlooks the famous scrambled intersection known as the Shibuya Crossing and marvel at the organized chaos.
Bahnhofstrasse is Zurich’s main downtown street and is one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive shopping streets. At about 1.4 kilometers long, it’s lined with designer boutiques from Chanel and Cartier to Dior and Louis Vuitton and has all the charm and character you’d expect from a world-class shopping district. If you don’t stop, you can walk the street in about 20 minutes but don’t expect that to happen! You’re sure to be enticed by all the luxury shopping, even if it’s just to take a look. And expect to find lots of chocolate and jewelry shops — this is Switzerland, after all!
Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles
Headed to LA? You can’t visit without hitting Rodeo Drive. This world-famous shopping street, which covers three blocks, is definitely for a certain type of shopper (you won’t find a GAP here!) but even if you don’t have deep pockets, this beautiful street is an LA icon that shouldn’t be missed. Shops like Prada, Bulgari and Burberry lure the rich so even if you’re just there to sightsee, you may get lucky and spot a celebrity so keep your camera handy!
What’s your favourite shopping street in the world? Leave a comment below and let me know!