Europe has so many great shopping opportunities, and whether you love to lose yourself in the clothing rails or hunt for that quirky ornament; you can't leave a foreign city without seeing what the local stores have to offer.
The destinations on this list can provide the perfect setting for a girly weekend away during which shopping is one of the main things on the agenda. So regardless of whether you are looking at the latest fashion for you or searching the souvenir stalls for that perfect present for your loved ones back home, here are some European cities to put firmly at the top of your list.
These places are sure to catch your attention as you wander past this shop window in blog form.
Along with cities such as London and Paris, Milan is synonymous with fashion and a shopaholic's paradise. Here you will find clothes, shoes, bags and just about anything else you can think of as everyone attempts to recreate the latest look. Head straight to Via Montenapoleone for big names such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Louis Vuitton and then take the weight off in one of the many stylish cafes nearby when it all gets too much.
If, however, the price tags are enough to leave you picking your eyeballs off the cobbled streets, and you are tired of lingering at each window with the look of a child on Christmas morning; the city of Bergamo may offer a great alternative. Just under an hour's drive away you will find everything Milan has to offer but at a much more reasonable price.
Best For: High-end Labels
The capital of Austria has already featured on our list of excellent city breaks for romantic couples and so its place here proves the diversity of this beautiful location. Whilst you may be limited by the length of time the shops are open each day, this is more than made up for by the value for money that can be found in them.
The oldest square, Naschmarkt, is the perfect place to start your Vienna city break and is a place where local stores are combined with a myriad of street vendors that offer a delicious selection of foods. This is the perfect way to fuel those aching limbs as you make your way in and out of the shops.
The annual Vienna Christmas markets are also a big draw for people around Europe as they come to sample the uniquely nostalgic atmosphere.
Best For: Food and Festive Items
Istanbul offers an excellent mix of well-known labels and quirkier items that you may be looking for. There are plenty of shopping complexes and boutique shops where you can get your fix of the famous brands, whilst an abundance of stores selling artisan and Oriental wares such as jewellery, fabrics and antiques will leave you wondering where to start.
One thing that you must do during your shopping city break in Istanbul is sample the atmosphere at the bazaars. Here you can put your haggling skills to the test and find some real buried treasures, but be careful not to commit to something such as a new bedspread or some new curtains if you are unsure whether they will fit when you get home. There are big shopping centres located in the Besiktas and nearby Levant districts and the Grand Bazaar can be found in the southern district of Fatih.
Best For: Fabrics and Textiles
Whilst Barcelona almost made the list thanks to its famous boulevard known as 'Las Ramblas', Madrid offers many more options and much more diversity to the shopper heading to Spain. From large, modern shopping complexes such as El Corte Ingles, found on Gran Via, to traditional and classic flea markets like El Rastro; Madrid has everything you could wish for.
When you add into the mix the many fashionable boutiques found in the upmarket Salamanca district, the avant-garde offerings from Chueca District, and the quaint independent Spanish stores which are dotted around the whole of this country's capital; it's clear to see that a Madrid city break is for everyone.
Best For: Shopping diversity
No matter how of a cliché it seems, there is no getting away from the fact that Paris is still one of the biggest shopping meccas in the world. Therefore, to leave it out of this list would have been an injustice. Whilst a Paris city break has so much to offer in the way of culture, food and romance; shopping is still a big draw and there are so many opportunities to break out the plastic.
The quirky boutiques that line the narrow, cobbled streets of Montmartre provide the perfect place to find the next big fashion accessory, whereas the wide and famous paving stones of the iconic Champs Elysees will satisfy your craving for big labels such as Swarovski, Hugo Boss and Abercrombie & Fitch. La Galleries Lafayette is perhaps the most modern shopping centre which offers weekly fashion shows every Friday and a whole floor dedicated to upmarket unmentionables.
Best For: Quirky boutiques and classic French fashion
Any of these wonderful cities can be visited by booking with Fred.\ Holidays. We can help you plan all aspects of your trip and have your arms ladened with designer shopping bags in no time at all. Call today to speak to a member of our friendly team and start preparing to shop until you drop.