Planning a Shopping Holiday? Visit these Destinations for the Ultimate Retail Therapy
UAE residents have a reputation for being big spenders and that applies especially while on holiday. For those looking for some vacation retail therapy, Agoda, one of the fastest growing digital travel platforms, highlights a selection of the top shopping destinations that cater to all types of shoppers. From high-end fashion to vintage treasures and antiques, there’s something for everyone!
For the bargain hunter
For those unafraid of ploughing through a dizzying array of items to find the best deals, here are two Asian destinations to consider and get your money’s worth.
Shopaholics can rejoice as retail therapy is available all day long in Thailand’s capital. The real bargains can be found in Bangkok’s markets where everything from fashion to home décor items to souvenirs can be picked up.
The Chatuchak weekend market is one of the biggest markets in the world, with more than 15,000 booths and over 200,000 visitors on a typical weekend. For the night owls, Bangkok is also teeming with lively night markets such as Talad Rod Fai, Khao San Night Market, and Patpong Night Market.
Set in the heart of Ladprao area in Bangkok, Apartelle Jatujak Hotel is only 10 minutes’ drive from Chatuchak market. When tired of jostling through the crowd, shoppers can continue their spree in the comfort of air-conditioning at the nearby malls – Union Mall and Central Plaza Ladprao.
Seoul, South Korea
Ranked the seventh most popular destination in Asia in 2018, Seoul is not just a haven for the K-Pop fans, but also a shopper’s paradise with malls and markets that are open until early hours of the morning.
When traveling with friends, check out the wholesale malls at the Dongdaemun shopping district where shoppers get the best prices when purchasing three items or more. For more value-shopping, head to the Ewha Woman’s University shopping street, which caters to the nearby university students with pocket-friendly prices.
Rest up at the cozy House Sarah Brooklyn in Seoul, a modern and spacious apartment just 1.3km from the Dongdaemun market. With four bedrooms, there is plenty space to accommodate friends and shopping bags.
For high-end fashion lovers
For those who love staying up to date with all the latest styles and indulging in all the newest collections straight from the runway, here are three destinations home to some of the best high-end boutiques and luxury department stores.
Fashionistas will be familiar with Milan, where some of the most renowned luxury designer brands were born. Before hitting the streets, get inspired by the hundreds of exclusive apparel and accessories on display at the stunning Armani/Silos, a museum conceptualized and launched by renowned designer, Giorgio Armani. Then head to Fidenza Village Factory Outlet, just under an hour’s drive from Milan, for over 100 international boutiques retailing at reduced prices all year long.
When in Milan, travelers might want to do some sightseeing in between their shopping sprees. TH Street Duomo offers contemporary-style rooms in the heart of Milan, within walking distance to many famous sights.
New York City, United States of America
Arguably the fashion capital of the United States, shopaholics won’t be disappointed with the Big Apple’s renowned department stores, high-fashion brands and quirky boutique shops. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in America, it’s still possible to shop in NYC on a budget. Here’s a tip – for those not fussed about wearing the latest season’s fad, grab designer clothes at discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or Century 21, which have several outlets around the city.
For those who don’t mind indulging, book a luxurious stay at a suite inspired by the iconic fashion designer Christian Dior at The St. Regis New York. Exuding high-class Parisian elegance, the expansive Dior Suite comes with first-rate amenities and premium services including a Butler upon arrival, and even packing and unpacking services!
Shopping and Paris go together hand in glove, with Paris renowned as the fashion capital of the world. From high-end luxury brand retailers to flea markets, shopping in Paris offers up something for everyone. Make sure to check out the Saint-Ouen flea market for a dizzying array of antique treasures, vintage clothes, bags and shoes.
Stay at Hotel Marignan Champs Elysees located in the heart of retail action but also close to Paris’ cultural attractions.
For the collectors
For those who enjoy procuring one-of-a-kind items or collecting knick-knacks from every country they visit, here are two destinations that provide an array of options.
Most people know Osaka for its savory pancake, Okonomiyaki, or the famous tourist site, Osaka Castle, but you might not be so familiar with the vintage treasures Osaka hides in its streets.
Antique lovers will have a field day at Oimatsu-Dori Street's eclectic antiques enclave. With around 90 shops and art galleries, the area used to be a town for academics to gather and has now become home to antique dealers after the World War II.
If you’re a collector of experience, check in to the Hotel Public Jam for a unique stay. Don’t be surprised to see a lamppost or a vintage Volkswagen Beetle in the middle of your room!
A visit to Istanbul is not complete without making a trip to the famed Spice Bazaar, a colorful market where you can not only buy local spices, but also Turkish coffee and dried fruits, as well as lovely souvenir items like the Nazar, an eye-shaped amulet and beautiful Iznik ceramics in the form of tiles, plates and bowls! Remember to be bold when bargaining prices with the vendors.
See and be seen at Istanbul’s up-and-coming district Karakoy, where you can get a taste of Turkey’s burgeoning art scene and shop local designs at the Souq Karakoy, a pop-up bazaar. Recharge at 10 Karaköy İstanbul, a hotel with Ottoman-influenced contemporary design and conveniently located near popular malls like the Cevahir Center.