I miss going to new places

06 March 2021

I can't wait for the vaccine. I know going back to the way we used to live and do things is next to impossible, but I just wish things were normal again. One of the things I miss the most is traveling and exploring a new place, and I hope we can do that again once we've been vaccinated.

Exploring Chinatown in Singapore, April 2019

My left hand after getting crazy at a Sephora in Singapore
You have to understand, we can only order them online here :(

Do you miss shopping in a foreign country? Are you looking for the ultimate shopping experience? Some of the cities listed below could provide just the experience that you’re looking for. ;)

New York

New York is hard to beat in terms of its shopping experience. It’s definitely not a cheap city to shop in, but you’ll find practically everything here and there’s an undeniable buzz to it.

5th Avenue is a must for anyone visiting this city - it’s here you’ll find all of the luxury boutiques and huge department stores (shopping here around Christmas can be magical). However, this is far from the only place to shop: Greenwich Village, Lower East Side, Soho, NoLita and Chinatown all have their own character and array of stores selling everything from designer urbanwear to vintage clothes.

A trip to New York can be very fun as there are many other sights to see. Look for accommodation that isn’t too central and avoid taking too many taxis if you want to keep your spending low.

Paris

Paris is another city renowned for its shopping. From department stores to chic boutiques, this romantic European city has a huge range of shopping opportunities.

The Champs-Elysees is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world and is worth a day trip to. Rue di Rivoli and Marais District are meanwhile great for shopping on a budget (here you’ll find all the most unique and trendy stores).

While in Paris, you’ll likely want to visit many of the landmarks. Marais can be a great district for accessing landmarks while also having shopping opportunities on your doorstep. Make sure to save up in advance as Paris can be expensive.

Tokyo

Shopping in Tokyo can be a real adventure. Nowhere embraces the weird and wild like this city. Shopping is also surprisingly affordable.

Shinjuku is the city's largest shopping and entertainment district - you’ll get lost exploring all the wonderful shops here. Shibuya meanwhile is the place to shop for youth fashion, while Ginza offers more luxury and upmarket shopping. There’s also Nihonbashi, where you can buy traditional goods and local foods.

You can stay in any of the above shopping districts mentioned and get a good deal on accommodation. There’s so much more to see in Tokyo - you’ll want to give yourself at least a week here if you’ve never been.

Dubai

Dubai can be a pretty exciting place to shop. Even if you don’t buy anything (it can be expensive) there's a lot to gawp at in this over-the-top Middle Eastern metropolis.

The city is home to the largest mall in the world, The Dubai Mall. Inside this mall is an Olympic sized ice-rink, a waterfall, theme parks, an aquarium and an indoor souk. It’s so big that there are malls within this mall. And The Dubai Mall is not even the only mall in Dubai - there’s also the Mall of Emirates (which contains an indoor ski resort) and many others.

Aside from malls, there are plenty other things to do in Dubai. Save up before you go - it’s not a cheap city.

London

London has an impressive range of places to shop ranging from luxury department stores to quirky markets. Like Paris, New York and Dubai it is very expensive - so be prepared for this.

Oxford Street is probably London’s most famous street and is the city’s most popular shopping destination. Here you’ll find some of the biggest and swankiest department stores in the world. Beyond Oxford Street, you should also check out Covent Garden, Knightsbridge, Camden Market and Brick Lane. 

You can save money on accommodation in London by staying on the outskirts. Use the tube to get around (not taxis) and book attractions ahead (fortunately, many of the museums are free).

Marrakesh

Marrakesh in Morocco has its own unique shopping experience. It’s also not too expensive to shop here. 

Most people are drawn to the souks - a maze of market streets stretching north from Djemaa el-Fna. Here you’ll find crafts of all kinds, raw fabrics and multicoloured piles of spices. On top of this, there are also unique boutique stores to shop in.

It’s worth booking accomodation in Medina where you’ll find the souks. Beyond shopping, make sure to explore the city’s great history while you’re here.

Milan

Milan isn’t just a shopping capital but a fashion capital. If you love high end fashion and all the glitz and glam that comes with it, this is the city for you.

The Quadrilatero Della Moda is home to some of the biggest brands like Gucci and Versace, as well as many high end boutiques. This includes Via Montenapoleone - one of Milan’s most renowned high streets. Beyond this, there are also malls and trendy markets elsewhere throughout the city.

Shopping in this city is expensive, so save up your cash. There’s lots of sightseeing to do in this city and lots of great places to eat - Brera and Porta Nuovo are two great places to stay.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s capital offers some of the most exciting and diverse shopping opportunities in Asia. It’s also very good value - you won’t struggle to find a bargain in KL.

Most of the shopping is done in the city’s malls, which are absolutely huge. In fact, 3 of the 10 largest malls in the world can be found in Kuala Lumpur. Here’s you’ll find everything from premium brand stores to indoor markets. The likes of 1 Utama meanwhile sports various other attractions such as an aquarium, indoor rainforest and huge indoor rock climbing facility.

KL is a great city for a family shopping trip. To save money, you could look into sewakan rumah (aka ‘rented houses’). Make sure to also visit the city’s other landmarks and try the local cuisine while here. 

Buenos Aires

This Argentinian city is another shopping hotspot that is popular for its homemade boutique goods and second hand items.

For antiques, try the stalls of the historic cobblestone Feria De San Telmo. For upscale fashion, try the glamourous region of Recoleta. For bargains and crafts, try the bustling Parque Centenario market. You’ll also find malls and some of the best independent real-leather shoe shops in the world.

When in Buenos Aires, make sure to soak up the rich culture and history. It’s not as expensive as many cities on this list.

Sydney

Finally, there’s Sydney. This Australian city has some great shopping experiences to offer, including plenty of unique Australian brands and independent stores.

There are areas like Newtown that are perfect for thrifting and there are busy streets like George & Pitt Street where you can shop in department stores. Bondi’ sunny market is meanwhile the place to go to buy beachwear.

Sydney can be a little pricey so watch your spending. Look for accommodation out of the centre and take advantage of the city’s cheap public transport for getting around.

How about you? Where is your next destination the minute we're allowed to travel for leisure again?

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