Fancy a last dash to a Christmas market? Or an exotic escape during the January sales? Chris Moss rounds up the best places to blow your forex.
Get hot chocs in Gothenburg
Sweden’s second city will be snowy long into the New Year. It’s not cheap, but there are lots of independent shops for anything from fashion to paper to coffee. Flickorna Kanold, in the Salhullen market, sells the ultimate in bespoke chocolates (www.flickornakanold.com). Dine at Swedish Taste (www.swedishtaste.se), which occupies the former HQ of camera makers Hasselblad, or classy, panoramic Heaven 23 (www.heaven23.se). The Christmas market at the Liseberg amusement park (www.liseberg.se) is open till December 23. A Gothenburg pass, costing SEK390 (£36) for 48 hours, gets you free entry to museums, rides on trams and boats and discounts at loads of stores.
Pick up a steal in New York
Forget Fifth Avenue – welcome to the Upper East Side consignment stores. Bonused-up traders and bored housewives leave their impulse buys, often with four- or five-figure tags still on, at these boutiques, and get half of whatever they sell for in return. You’ll get change from £100 and make everyone hate you at work.
Visit Time Out New York for more shopping and style tips, including the best Christmas markets and sales and events. Plus read reviews about where New Yorkers are currently favouring to eat, drink and party in.
Be delirious in Dubai
Shopaholics should stay away – they may never return. The largest mall in Dubai, simply called the Dubai Mall, has four times as many shops as Westfield in London, Europe’s largest urban mall. Bargain hunters can escape the glitz at the vast gold souk, which sells the stuff in every hue, style and colour, often by weight.
Visit Time Out Dubai online for more shopping ideas and hotel reviews.
Keep it real in Rome
For mountains of second-hand designerwear, bargain high street styles, crockery and even chickens, head to the Sunday market at Porta Portese. Don’t be intimidated by Neapolitan stallholders shouting in dialect (not even the Romans understand them); leave fancy watches and cameras at home.
Visit Time Out Rome to fond out the best places to buy those bargains, plus where to eat, drink ans stay.
Buy in to chic in Copenhagen
Always reinventing the wheel, or at least the chair, the Danish capital is the ultimate destination for design. Shoppers in search of the perfect lampshade will find inspiration at every corner. If holidaying en famille, leave your raucous teens on Strøget, the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe – a mile of trends, styles and street artists.
Get technical in Tokyo
World famous for discount consumer electronics, the central district of Akihabara is also a haven for animation geeks. Find everything from spanking new hi-tech gadgets to black-and-white animated porn. Chain stores throughout the rest of the city now offer electronics at similar prices, but aren’t half the fun.
Visit Time Out Tokyo for great ideas about where to shop, plus read reviews of the best restaurants, bars and things to do.
Be sophisticated in Sydney
Australian brands like UGG have invaded our cities, so we had to include one Aussie destination here. The shopping streets winding through Sydney’s heart are home to sophisticated outlets; hit the Bondi Beach boutiques for swimwear first.
Visit Time Out Sydney to find out about the best beaches, the hippest restaurants, nightlife and more.
Sample vinyl in Manchester
Manchester’s Northern Quarter rivals London for retro boutiques, as innovative traders redefine the experience of vintage shopping with classy displays, refreshments and hosted events. Music lovers should head to Vinyl Valley to explore the 30-odd independent record stores specialising in a variety of genres.
Join the avant-garde in Antwerp
For must-have unique accessories, head to Belgium’s coolest city. Home to the Antwerp Six – six avant-garde designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s – the fashion district, clustered in and around Nationalestraat, is top end, glamorous and tasteful. For a more eclectic mix of boutiques and streetwear stores, head to Kammenstraat.
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