Shopping trips have long been a staple vacation for ladies around the world and when it comes to ideal locations, New York City must be in the top five. Filled with a variety of budget, mid-range and designer outlets, it's a buyer's paradise and a firm favourite with die-hard shoppers. Make no mistake, though - it's big. There's almost too many shops to visit, meaning pre-trip research is essential. Here's our quick guide to NYC's must-see districts and shops.
The one spot you absolutely cannot miss and the big daddy of NYC shopping, Fifth Avenue is home to some of the city's most prestigious shops, as well as some high street favourites. Fancy a new handbag or killer pair of shoes? Head to Prada, Bvlgari, Chanel, Gucci or Michael Kors. After some new diamonds? Visit Tiffany & Co., Cartier or Louis Vuitton. If your purse is a little too light for designer goods, but you still fancy treating yourself, you can still roam the upmarket department stores on offer - including Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Bergdorf Goodman. Or for the rest of us, H&M, Banana Republic and Bebe provide some more budget-conscious fashion. Whatever you want, you're sure to find it on Fifth Avenue.
Situated between West 34th and West 35th, Herald Square is perhaps most famous for its Macy's store - the largest Macy's outlet in the whole of the United States and the biggest department store in the world. Offering everything from luxury furnishings and clothes to kitchenware and technology, Macy's is an absolute must for all shoppers. That's not all Herald Square boasts, though - with Gap, Victoria's Secret, Lush, Old Navy, Sephora, Forever 21 and Fossil (amongst many others), there's plenty of choice.
One of the city's best budget malls, the Queens Center is perfect for those with a slightly lower budget. Thankfully, just because the prices are cheaper doesn't mean the quality suffers and with brands like Microsoft, Forever 21 and Aeropostale set up in the mall, shoppers are sure to find what they want. The Bare Minerals and M.A.C. outlets cater for make-up-mad individuals, whilst American Eagle is great for those after a little bit of luxury on a restricted budget. Urban Outfitters, True Religion, JCPenney and PacSun are great for fashion-forward shoppers... And once you're ready for a spot of lunch, Applebees, Kido Sushi, Chipotle and Big Easy Cajun have you covered.
You can't have a trip to NYC without visiting Time Square, whether it's shopping-orientated or not. The famed M&Ms store is here, catering for shoppers with a sweet tooth, whilst the large Sephora, Toys R Us and Forever 21 outlets cater to the rest. If that wasn't enough, you've got everything from Muji, Foot Locker, Levi's, Hershey's, Godiva and Billabong to fit in - amongst hundreds of other shops. Just go visit - you won't regret it!
Although we've covered many of NYC's must-see spots here, there are plenty more. We haven't touched upon the likes of Madison Square Park, 14th Street, Union Square, the Staten island mall, Newport Centre, Grand Central Terminal or the various markets spread across the city, so be sure to do plenty of research before heading off on your trip. Have fun!
Photo Credit: flickr/gane