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Travel bucket list idea:

Shopping in New York

  • New York, United States of America (USA)

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 28 April, 2024

Rivalled only by London, New York is one of the world’s top shopping destinations, with everything you’d expect from a mega metropolis – designer shops from every leading luxury brand, department stores steeped in tradition, independent boutiques, food and flea markets, and specialist shops making everything from cigars to hats. See our recommendations below for some of the best shops and shopping spots.

Where to shop

These days, the famous Fifth Avenue generally disappoints with the usual fare of showcase designer shops (now found everywhere), although the upscale department stores are still amongst the world’s best and offer excellent collections.  Upper East Side’s Madison and Park Avenues are where the city’s richest denizens shop.

These main streets aside, New York’s extensive and varied shopping scene can largely be categorised by neighbourhoods:

The East Village is best for local, emerging designers, vintage or nearly-new designer – and cool nick-nacks. The Lower East Side is known for its trendy, up-and-coming designers and concept stores.

SoHo is great for trendy clothes and accessories, while the Meatpacking for the uber-cool runway designers and funky but expensive clothing.

The West Village is a treasure trove of unique and eclectic shops, featuring independent designers and vintage stores. Williamsburg in Brooklyn is another vibrant neighbourhood, with a plethora of hip boutiques offering everything from clothing to handmade jewellery and artisanal goods.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Bergdorf Goodman

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

Exterior view of the Bergdorf ~Goodman department store in New York

Experience

This iconic Fifth Avenue department store, founded in 1899, exudes an air elegance and sophistication. It’s renowned for curated collections of designer clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and home goods, and impeccable, personalised customer service.

Good for age: 18+

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Bloomingdale’s

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

Bloomingdale’s

Experience

Known for its iconic ‘Big Brown Bag’ and bold, contemporary style, this legendary department store combines luxury with a more modern, youthful, trendsetting edge than its more traditional rivals. The store’s vast selection encompasses high-end designer brands, emerging labels, and exclusive collaborations.

Good for age: 18+

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Chelsea Market

  • New York, United States of America (USA)

Chelsea Market

Experience

Located where the High Line meets Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, this erstwhile warehouse is one of New York’s great foodie destinations. The rambling hall is crammed by casual restaurants, food kiosks, and speciality food shops.

Good for age: 18+

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Harry Potter Store, New York

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

Exterior of Harry Potter Store new york

Experience

This magical haven for muggle fans of the beloved wizarding world spans three floors and over 20,000 square feet, making it the biggest such store in the world. Every possible Harry Potter artefact you could shake a wand at can be found here. Who needs Diagon Alley?

Good for age: 4+

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Hudson Yards

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

Large sculpture building on the Hudson Yards entertaiinment and shopping complex

Experience

This spanking new, cutting-edge development, boasts New York;’s largest and most prestigious mall. Spanning multiple levels, it includes a mix of high-end luxury brands, popular retailers, independent boutiques. The sheer number of shops justifies it’s inclusion on this list, but there’s nothing you won’t find in malls in other cities.

Good for age: 18+

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Macy’s Herald Square

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

Macy’s Herald Square

Experience

Established in 1858, the world’s largest department store offers a comprehensive but affordable range of merchandise, including fashion, accessories, cosmetics, and home goods. The flagship store on Herald Square is a beloved landmark, hosting annual events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Good for age: 18+

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Saks Fifth Avenue

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

View of Saks Fifth Avenue in new york from the street

Experience

Opened in 1924, this legendary department store is a Fifth Avenue icon, selling high-end designer brands, spanning from clothing and accessories to beauty and home goods.

Good for age: 18+

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Union Square Greenmarket

  • New York City, New York, United States of America (USA)

view of the Union Square Greenmarket, New York

Experience

This vibrant farmers’ market, nestled in the heart of the city, is the place to go for locally-sourced produce and artisanal goods. A strict ‘grow-your-own’ rule to promote a direct farm-to-table food chain ensures the freshest produce and that profits go directly back to those who grow and make it. A locals hangout, it’s a great place for soaking up some authentic ‘New Yorker’ atmosphere. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: All day

When: Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat

Freq: weekly

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Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around