25 Shopping Meccas You Need To Visit

Admit it: Even if your next trip abroad is purely for work, to catch you up on some R&R, or in a location so remote you're not even sure your phone's going to work, you've probably searched the web to see where you can visit some local stores. Of course, while shopping might not be the main motivator behind your globetrotting, it is an activity that helps you get in touch with wherever you're visiting. After all, trawling the stalls at Brimfield in Massachusetts and flipping through the racks at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong are two experiences that are totally unique, localized, and special — and that's definitely something you can't replicate with your browser.
As fans of shopping and travel, we find that immersing ourselves in a little retail education is just as enriching as hitting up any other guidebook suggestion. So, if you're like us and always hit the road with a little extra space in your luggage for incidentals, check out our roundup of the most gushed-about shopping meccas that have changed our own editors' lives. The list ahead is by no means definitive — there are thousands more spots we wish we could plug — but these are the 25 locations you should add to your bucket list, stat. Bon voyage — and good buy!
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Did we forget any? Comment with your personal shopping happy place below.
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Photo: Courtesy of Colette.
Colette in Paris, France
There are so many quirky, offbeat stores in Paris — Merci is another standout we've got to mention — but there's nothing quite like Colette. Featuring every single up-and-coming designer you've heard of (and many that you haven't), Colette stocks the slightly off, charmingly weird clothes, accessories, home goods, gadgets, and beauty products you spend your time and wits trying to track down at other places on the Internet. It's a one-stop shop of wonder — the only danger is staying within budget!

Colette, 213 Rue Saint-Honoré (at Rue du 29 Juliet), Paris, France, 75001; +33 1 55 35 33 90
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Photo: Courtesy of Century 21.
Century 21 in NYC, New York
If you like your shopping experiences organized, calm, and zen, don't shop here. But, if bargain hunting is your type of sport, cruising through Century 21 is somewhat like the Super Bowl. It's a legendary discount department store that boasts huge sales — as the company says, "the best styles at up to 65% off retail 100% of the time." Prepare to stand in line, dig in piles, fight for the last shoe in your size, and cry tears of both loss and victory.

Century 21, 22 Cortlandt Street (between Church Street and Broadway), NYC, NY, 10007, U.S.A.; (212) 227-9092.
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Photo: REX USA.
Souks of Marrakech, Morocco
It's impossible to walk into a home-decor store and not find Moroccan influences everywhere. So, if interiors are your thing, visiting the open-air souks that sell the real deal is a must. With authentic Berber carpets, wedding blankets, leather poufs, and kilim textiles, the winding markets found in Marrakech are just one — and, in our opinion, one of the best — collections of souks found in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Photo: Courtesy of Liberty.
Liberty Department Store in London, U.K.
If your idea of department stores begins and ends at the mall, Liberty London will be an education. The store itself has been around since 1875 and stocks some of the most compelling emerging and established British brands (not to mention labels from across the globe). With a world-class cafe, an in-house florist, an unparalleled beauty counter, and a section devoted solely to its heritage Liberty prints, it's a shop that feels as engrossing as a museum.

Liberty - London, Regent Street (off Great Marlborough Street), London, W1B 5AH, U.K., +44 207 734 1234
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Photo: Courtesy of Totokaelo.
Totokaelo in Seattle, Washington
For girls with one foot in heritage and one foot in avant garde, Totokaelo is probably the shop of choice. Clothing, housewares, and accessories commingle in a beautiful, bright-white space that somehow makes its merchandise seem irresistible. If you want to see how strong your willpower is, we dare you to stand in front of its stadium-seating shoe section and try not to buy anything.

Totokaelo, 1523 10th Avenue (between East Pine and East Pike streets), Seattle, WA, 98122, U.S.A.; (206) 623-3582.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lane Crawford.
Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, China
As Hong Kong's premier luxury specialty store, Lane Crawford has more than 100 years' worth of history delivering top-notch fashion to the East. With tons of outposts scattered throughout China and Japan, the retailer is a powerhouse when it comes to picking and choosing the brands that'll become household names in Asia. And, any visit there is upscale and luxurious: If you're interested in personal shopping, Lane Crawford has one of the most personal experiences around!

Lane Crawford, 3 Canton Road (at Salisbury Road), Hong Kong, China; +852 2118 3428
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Photographed by Laura Neilson.
Brimfield Flea Market in Brimfield, Massachusetts
For antique buffs, the three dates that Brimfield occurs each year are akin to a holiday. There's strategy involved, travel plans that must be made, and a semi truck vehicle that needs to be acquired in order to reap the benefits. But, once you've arrived, there are plenty of treasures to be found. For serious vintage hunters, Brimfield doesn't mess around — you know what you're picking over has been taken in and sold by capable, knowledgeable dealers.

Brimfield Flea Market, 1429 Main Street, Palmer, MA, 01069, U.S.A.; (413) 283-2418.
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Photo: Courtesy of ChapelStreet.com.au.
Chapel Street in Melbourne, Australia
With a truly fun, fascinating blend of high-street shops, vintage outposts, local designers, and international labels, Chapel Street is Melbourne's fashion center. You'll find tons of Aussie brands represented here in beautifully curated, one-of-a-kind boutiques.
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Photo: Courtesy of Deja Vu Vintage.
Palm Springs Thrift Stores in Palm Springs, California
From hospital-sponsored charity shops to personality-filled consignment stores to Goodwills that'll make your town's chapter look measly in comparison, Palm Springs is filled corner to corner with some of the best vintage shopping in the country (at price points that even the stingiest would find affordable). Thank the fabulous retirees for the well-stocked shelves — it's a thrift haul just waiting to happen!
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Photo: Courtesy of 10 Corso Como.
10 Corso Como in Milan, Italy
If you need nourishing in any form — through fashion, food, sleep, or culture — 10 Corso Como will provide you with it with panache. Founded by Carla Sozzani in 1990, the huge complex boasts the most refined art-world designs this side of a gallery. And, with locations also in Tokyo and Seoul, the 10 Corso Como sphere of influence is slowly taking over the world.

10 Corso Como, Corso Como, 10, Milan, 20154, Italy; +39 02 2900 2674.
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Photo: Courtesy of Visit Sweden.
Östermalm in Stockholm, Sweden
As one of the poshest, slickest districts in Sweden — already a fashion capital of Scandinavia — Östermalm's shops are some of the country's best. With the stores for Filippa K, Acne, Rodebjer, Whyred, HOPE, and more, it's a must-stop for anyone with a penchant for Stockholm's stark, minimalist sense of style.
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Photo: Courtesy of Simon Malls.
The Forum Shops in Las Vegas, Nevada
The real Las Vegas jackpot, in our opinions, is located at The Forum Shops. Perusing the inside of the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino produces a bizarre mishmash of sensations: Drifting in and out of high-end shops with a foot-long, plastic margarita bottle, for example, might seem far-fetched, but anything goes in Vegas. Amid statues, a color-changing ceiling, and replicas of the Trevi and Triton fountains, it's a shopping experience that feels truly singular.

The Forum Shops; 3555 S Las Vegas Boulevard (at East Flamingo Road), Las Vegas, NV, 89109, U.S.A.; (702) 733-3111.
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Photo: Courtesy of Decades.
Decades in Los Angeles, California
For serious-business vintage-fashion collectors, Decades is somewhat of a legend. Boasting clothing dating back to the 1920s, its pieces are museum-quality and totally iconic. Need a #throwback gown for the Oscars? Decades can hook you up. Want an Hermès bag that's been loved once by a princess? Decades probably has that, too. Be prepared to pony up, though — while its wares may be old, its prices definitely aren't thrift level.

Decades, 8214 Melrose Avenue (between North Harper and North La Jolla avenues), Los Angeles, CA, 90046; (323) 655-1960.
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Photo: Courtesy of Opening Ceremony.
Opening Ceremony in NYC, New York
Started by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon in 2002, Opening Ceremony in NYC is the headquarters for some of the most creative projects in fashion. Any boundary-pushing collaboration likely found its start within the four walls of this brand, and Lim and Leon are industry heroes when it comes to creating "cool" out of thin air. Stocking a huge medley of designers and products, Opening Ceremony has a mission to broadcast the best, quirkiest stuff from different cities to the entire world. And, with stores in four international locations, the brand's getting closer to world domination every day.

Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street (between Broadway and Centre Street), New York, NY, 10013, USA; (212) 219-2688.
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Photo: Courtesy of Julie Sarinana.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles, California
Sunny skies, good vibes, and lots of tie dye — there's nothing quite like The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Los Angeles. It's a veritable Southern California institution, and you can find nearly anything old imaginable there, from mid-century furniture and Weller blue pottery to fringed kimonos and hard-to-find records. With acres of stuff and lots of treasures to be found, it's one of the best stocked flea markets in the world.

Rose Bowl Flea Market, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasdena, CA, 91103; (626) 577-3100.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dover Street Market.
Dover Street Market in London, U.K.
What's it like to step inside the brain of Rei Kawakubo? We'd imagine it's something similar to Dover Street Market. Selling many of Kawakubo's creations, including the Comme des Garçons lines, the shop features tons of limited-edition, avant-garde pieces from designers around the world, displayed in fantastical, incredible scenarios and scenery. Part dreamscape, part retailer, Dover Street Market is like your fashion fantasy come to life.

Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London, W1S 4LT, U.K.; +44 20 7518 0680.
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Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.
Barneys New York in NYC, New York
At most luxury department stores around the world, there's a sense of stuffiness that makes shopping feel like a chore — which is the last thing you want when your aim is to surround yourself with beautiful things. So, despite stocking some of the most jaw-dropping products from some of the most talented designers in the world, this locale's got a sense of brevity that's perfectly executed by creative ambassador-at-large Simon Doonan.

Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue (at East 61st Street), NYC, NY, 10065, USA; (212) 826-8900.
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Photo: Kevin R. Morris/Corbis.
Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan
When it comes to nearly every single niche fashion group that Tokyo's delivered, Harajuku is probably the birthplace. The neighborhood is the center of teenage fashion trends and boasts a mishmash of high-street stores, mass retailers, indie shops, and DIY boutiques. Though it's definitely not where you'll find the most fringe shopping in the city, it's the most dense in terms of eye candy. It's a transportive shopping experience that — for anyone who's never shopped outside a typical Western mall — can ultimately be life-changing.
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Photo: Paul Brown/Rex/REX USA.
Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand
If shopping's your thing, it's pretty impossible to travel to Thailand and not hit up the Chatuchak weekend markets in Bangkok. The largest market in Thailand, it's chock-full of stalls hawking everything you could possibly want to buy, from electronics to textiles, home wares to iced teas, and possibly even a new pet.

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Photo: Courtesy of Fivestory.
Fivestory in NYC, New York
Even though it technically only has two stories (despite what its name suggests), Fivestory is an imaginatively curated shop that feels as intimate as it does expansive. Founder Claire Distenfeld of Fivestory has created a veritable what's-what in terms of the designers she heralds and the products she picks. Because the wares here are continuously swapping, no two visits will ever be the same (even if you're a chronic shopper like us!).

Fivestory, 18 East 69th Street (between Fifth and Madison avenues), New York, NY, 10021, U.S.A.; (212) 288-1338
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Photo: James D. Morgan/Rex/REX USA.
The Dubai Mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping center, and it boasts 1,200 stores, a hotel, a movie theater, restaurants, an aquarium, ice rink, and amusement park. So, a trip there is really like taking a shuttle into the future. Still, it's a pleasant, meandering, breathtaking shopping experience that claims more than a few Guinness World Records.

The Dubai Mall, Doha Street, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; +971 4 362 7500
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Photo: Courtesy of The Webster.
The Webster in Miami, Florida
We never feel compelled to wear much more than a swimsuit and a cover-up whenever we're in Miami, but that doesn't stop us from hitting up The Webster each and every time we make a trip south. Whether you're looking for clothing, accessories, photography, or entertainment (not to mention some snacks, too — shopping can get tiring!), The Webster stocks an awesome range of fun, bright wares. With regular must-have, exclusive collaborations, this is one of the only reasons to put on clothes in Miami.

The Webster, 1220 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL, 33139; (305) 674-7899
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Photo: Courtesy of World's Longest Yard Sale.
The World's Longest Yard Sale from Michigan to Alabama
Spanning 690 miles, the 127 Corridor Sale — also known as the World's Longest Yard Sale — lasts for only a few days each summer. Extending from Michigan to Alabama, the yard sale literally has more stuff than you'll be able to see throughout its duration. Vendors set up shop along U.S. Route 127. With a few key hubs along the way, this is definitely the best reason we've ever seen to take a road trip with your shopping BFFs.
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Photo: Ian Trower/Corbis.
Orchard Road in Singapore
The main shopping street in Singapore, Orchard Road is lined with nearly every single retailer you can think of as well as a whole tangle of indie boutiques and brands along its side roads. A wonder of city engineering, it's also one of the most pleasant avenues to walk along, boasting great architecture, public park spaces — and did we mention the stores?
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Photo: Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Otavalo Market in Otavalo Canton, Ecuador
If you're traveling through Ecuador, it'd be a shame not to return home with some souvenirs (since the local handicrafts are crazy beautiful). The market in Otavalo is one of the best in the region (if not in all of South America) and has some of the highest quality woven textiles, leatherwork, and crafts.
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