The 5 Best Shopping Streets in Europe
When you think of Europe, you think of cultural traditions, street-side cafes, and its ancient monuments that have withstood the test of time. Every trip to Europe is a departure from our everyday lives, and an arrival into a trip of sights, delights, and experiences. However, there is one aspect of our everyday lives that many of us enjoy partaking in while on vacation – shopping!
Europe as a whole is renowned for its shopping sense, and here are five “must-visit” shopping avenues for any fashionista!
Champs Elysees – Paris, France
This 1.2 mile long avenue in the heart of Paris, France is perhaps the best known shopping street in Europe. Affectionately referred to as “The most beautiful Avenue in the World” by the French, this wide street is home to a large variety of high fashion, boutique and chain stores, all set behind large glass windows and beautiful architecture. Also home to theatres, a car dealership and many cafés; this street has a range of experiences for everyone.
My favorite time of day to stroll the Avenue is in the morning before it gets to crowded. Start at the ‘top’ of the avenue near the Arc De Triomphe – admire the Arc for a moment before strolling down the avenue. If you are lucky enough to visit in summer, the green of the trees and plants will provide a visually stunning offset to the white buildings. Window shop high fashion, admire the concept cars at the Toyota store, purchase a souvenir for a child at the Disney store or indulge in a purchase from the flagship Louis Vuitton store. You know you have reached the end of the avenue when you see the “Place de la Concorde” – a roundabout with a giant Obelisk standing in the middle. Beyond that, lies your next adventure, the Louvre.
Andrassy Avenue – Budapest, Hungary
Designed and built in the 1800’s, this shopping avenue was created a bit later than the others. Stretching from the city center of Budapest, to one of the city’s largest parks, this avenue was originally built to connect the two. However, it took a short time for upscale boutiques to move in. Today it is also home to the Opera house, embassies, and ends at the Magnificent ‘Heroes Square’. Full of Eastern European charm, this is a great shopping destination for those who have perhaps already visited Paris, and are interested in seeing Eastern Europe.
Via Del Corso – Rome, Italy
Italy is world renowned for its fashion week, and many of those fashions translate into the items seen in stores on Via Del Corso. This long street stretches through Rome, and even on the hottest day of the summer is busy with avid shoppers. Mid-range shops with familiar names line the street itself, and on the smaller streets off shooting towards the Spanish steps, you will find boutique and designer stores. The appeal of this shopping street lies in the fact that it is so easy to visit in conjunction with many major sights in Rome. Eat a Gelato on the Spanish steps, and wander through high end stores while sipping espresso on your way to then Pantheon, and then pop into a Zara for a new shawl before visiting the Vatican City.
Kartnerstrasse – Vienna, Austria
Less well known than the Champs Elysees or Via Del Corso, Kartnerstrasse in Vienna still deserves recognition. Located on the interior of the Ringstrasse in Vienna, this boulevard stretches from the Opera house to St. Stephens Cathedral. A pedestrian only zone, high end fashion mixes with an elegant backdrop, and the colorful roof of St. Stephens. A must see highlight is the Steffl department store – 7 floors of fashion, with the ultra-sleek Skybar at the top – perfect to rest your feet and admire the view out over the Old Town of Vienna.
Oxford Street – London
The Brit’s have their own version of shopping streets; and at the intersection of Regent Street and Oxford Street in London England, you will find the heart of it. Extending onto both Regent and Oxford streets, you will find everything from bargain’s, to high end fashion, to a hallmark of London – Hamleys Toy store of London.
Easily accessible by tube or a short walk from central London hotels, this can easily turn into a full day shopping trip. Make a plan – see what stores are on your ‘must visit’ list, and start at that end of Oxford or Regent Street, and work your way in. For a mid-day break, pubs and restaurants abound. Head to the nearby Covent Garden Market for an upscale lunch, or into a nearby pub for the traditional fish and chips.
By: Katie Kania
As a non-spontaneous homebody, my love of travel may seem out of place, however Europe has captured my heart. Through my years as a tour guide in Europe, I was fortunate enough to experience the ancient wonders of Rome, see the breathtaking beauty of Austria and Switzerland, browse the Louvre in Paris, and enjoy pretzels in Germany, among many other experiences! With a new delight around every corner, it’s not hard to see where my passion comes from!
Helping you experience life changing moments and bringing your travel dreams to life is where I love to put my expertise to good use! Contact me at Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning your European adventure today!