BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - It’s official -- there are fewer than 100 shopping days left until Christmas.
Online travel company Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com), has created a list of the Top 10 shopping destinations around the world. Reuters does not endorse this list:
New York City -- In one day go from discovering vintage fabrics and one-of-a-kind pieces in NoLita and SoHo to browsing the high-priced designer fashion of Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co. Find killer knock-offs along Canal Street but, for a more authentic (albeit pricey) experience, check out the original artwork for sale in Chelsea.
Dubai -- Choose between lavish malls and local crafts. Maybe a sheesha (water pipe) at Al Karama or designer clothes in the swish boutiques.
Paris -- Find international haute-couture labels along rue du Faubourg St-Honoré and avenue Montaigne or check out the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. For something more bohemian head to the maze of boutiques in Le Marais.
London -- Portobello Market is perfect for antique shopping and digging for hand-me-downs, Covent Garden offers trendy boutiques in a clustered handful of side streets, and Oxford Street balances that with a straight shot of constant bustle and big businesses like Top Shop and Selfridges. For a one-stop shop head to Harrods.
Hong Kong -- Popular artists like Vivienne Tam, William Tang and Walter Ma fill enormous malls, and the streets of Li Yuen East and West offer street vendors selling porcelain vases, silk garments and Chinese artworks at Stanley Market. Stroll through the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tai for traditional jewelry that represents good health and fortune.
Milan -- A surefire first stop should be Via Montenapoleone or Via della Spiga, where you’ll find both boutiques and outlets (think: 50 percent off designers like Marni and Prada). If antiques are more your style, head for the street markets.
Tokyo -- The modern metropolis is ground zero for emerging designers to flex their muscles, which you’ll find anywhere from flea markets to boutiques. For more traditional Japanese items, street vendors are your best bet.
Salzburg -- Try the Christkindelmärkt, which opens five weeks before Christmas. Enjoy hot chestnuts, mulled wine, gingerbread hearts and other specialties while you meander through the stalls of Dom and Residenz Squares.
Zurich -- Europe’s largest indoor Christmas market is hosted in Zurich’s main railway station. Walk up Bahnhofstrasse, the mile-long stretch that glitters with 20,640 Christmas lights and see the tree illuminated with more than 5,000 crystal ornaments. Shopping and festivities start on November 25th.
Los Angeles -- High-end paths like Rodea Drive and Melrose Avenue are complimented by downtown’s Santee Alley, where you can score affordable knock-offs, and the outdoor shopping plazas like The Grove, provide more approachable brands. For a taste of interesting west coast boutiques, walk along the pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Editing by Stephen Addison