The 10 Best Shopping Areas in the World

Shopping is not for the faintest of hearts, or at least not for the ones with shallow pockets. The popular saying “shop till you drop dead” might ring some bells in your mind. If you are a shopaholic, then you know how irresistible it is to outrun your shopping list once you get in the mood.

While the average shopping mall presents customers with a wide variety of choices, nothing tempts a shopaholic more than a popular shopping area. Splurging on big labels and brands is a common occurrence in many shopping streets around the world. Some cities, such as New York City, have even gone as far as eliminating sales tax on clothing and footwear to encourage tourist spending.

With big brands and glamorous displays everywhere you look, these shopping areas are also some of the most expensive real estate spots in the world. Most of these shopping areas boast stellar sceneries, have excellent weather and are close to highly rated dining places. As a result, they also attract the wealthiest persons across the globe.

The retail rents in these shopping areas are also some of the most expensive on the planet. Hence, only the most glamorous brands are able to rent a spot in these areas. Some of the best examples for these kinds of areas are New York’s Fifth Avenue and Honk Kong’s Causeway Bay, where annual rents can reach up to $3000 per sq.ft area. Here are the 10 most popular shopping areas in the world:

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

10 Kohlmarkt in Vienna

Originally known as Coal Market, Kohlmarkt is one of the oldest streets in Vienna. Placed right at the center of Vienna, shoppers can look forward to many international brands here such as Akris, Diesel, Chanel, Bulgari Store, Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany. If you’re ever planning to buy a luxury gift, then Kohlmarkt is one of the best places to shop from. The average annual rent for a shop in Kohlmarkt is approximately, $536 per square feet. Chocolate lovers will be thrilled when they visit Demel, which is one of the best chocolate shops in Vienna, if not the world. Even if you are not interested in buying anything, the presentation itself is worth the visit.

9 Myeongdong in Seoul

Myeongdong is one of South Korea’s premier shopping destinations, and perhaps one of the busiest places in Seoul. More than 1 million people pass through this shopping area each day, which also includes many international tourists. With thousands of brands setting up their stores in the streets of Myeongdong, you can buy virtually anything you want here. If you are in the mood to shop, you can choose from department stores, shopping malls, street stalls and other shops. The annual rental rate in this area is around $732 per square feet. Aside from shopping, visitors can look forward to Myeongdong Cathedral and Namdaemun Market, both of which have a great history behind them.

8 Pitt Street Mall in Sydney

Pitt Street Mall is the pedestrianized area of Pitt Street located in Sydney’s central business district. Placed right in between Market Street and King Street, Pit Street Mall is one block long and one of the busiest shopping centers in Australia. The floor space rents here are perhaps one of the costliest in the world, going up to $850 per square feet annually. Shoppers can find many flagship brand stores and specialty stores in Pit Street Mall. Some of the famous ones include Myer, Glasshouse, David Jones, Sydney Arcade, Mid City Shopping Centre, Westfield Sydney, and The Strand Arcade. Thanks to the wide range of fashion merchandise available in Pitt Street Mall, it is also considered as Sydney’s Fashion Center.

7 Bahnhoffstrasse in Zurich

Considered as one of the world’s most exclusive and expensive shopping avenues, Bahnhoffstrasse is one the most expensive streets for buying retail property in Europe. The average annual retail rent in Bahnhoffstrasse is around $874 per square feet. The street came into existence in 1984, long before people had figured out what a luxury shopping avenue is. The street is mostly pedestrianized, but Zurich tram network does run an important route line through the place. Bahnhoffstrasse is filled with shoppers every day of the year. One can find a wide variety of stops here such as departmental stores, elegant fashion stores, boutiques with luxury products such as furs, shoes, accessories, jewelry, porcelain and watches, and even banks and pastry shops.

6 Via Montenapoleone in Milan

Via Montenapoleone is an expensive and elegant street in Milan which is popular for its jewelry and ready-to-wear fashion shops. It is an important part of the Milan Fashion District, thanks to the fact that a large number of world famous brands and fashion designers choose to rent their boutiques and stores on this street. This street is also home to some of the most exclusive Italian shoemakers. Since Milan is considered as one of the major fashion capitals of the world, Via Montenapoleone is also regarded as one of the most important streets in the fashion world. It can cost up to $906 per square feet to rent a shop in this place. One can also find headquarters and head offices of some of the world’s top fashion houses on this street.

5 Ginza in Tokyo

Located in the upscale area of Tokyo, Ginza is considered as one of the most luxurious shopping districts in the world. It is perhaps one of the most well-known downtown areas in Japan. The average retail rent here is around $984 per square feet. The area is home to various departmental stores, boutiques, coffeehouses and restaurants. Ginza is also known for having the highest concentration of western shops in Japan. Some of the prominent retail stores that cab be found here are Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Carolina Herrera. Flagship electronic retail stores like that of Apple and Sony can also be found here. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm, the main street going through Ginza is closed for road traffic; this allows pedestrians free access to the street.

4 New Bond Street in London

New Bond Street is a major shopping destination in the West End of London. The street is well known for shopping fashion products since the late 18th century. Placed between Oxford Street and Piccadilly, the Bond Street runs through the north-south corridor of Mayfair. While the traditional southern section is called the Old Bond Street, the modern and swanky northern section is called the New Bond Street. New Bond Street is also one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the world, with annual rents going as far as $1047 per square feet. Some of the famous brand shops that can be found on this street are Armani, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Dior, Calvin Klein, and a super exclusive Patek Philippe boutique.

3 Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris

Known as the city of love, Paris has always been an international favorite when it comes to tourism and shopping. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris is arguably one of the most famous shopping destinations in the world. The street is adorned with cafés, cinemas, luxury boutiques, and the beautiful horse-chestnut trees on both sides of the road. Champs-Élysées is also home to well-known French monuments such as the Place de la Concorde and Arc de Triomphe. If upscale shopping is your goal, then you cannot go wrong with the Avenue. Some of the luxury shops that you can find here are Benetton, Adidas, the Disney Store, Gap, Nike, Zara, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton.

2 Fifth Avenue in New York

The area between the 49th Street and 60th Street in Fifth Avenue is lined with many prestigious boutiques, flagship stores, luxury department stores and fancy restaurants. This area has also consistently ranked as one of the most expensive shopping destinations in the world. Today, the annual retail rent here averages to around $2,500 per square feet. Fifth Avenue is home to some of the world’s most famous brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani, Chanel, Omega, Diesel, and many more. Perhaps one of the most famous retail stores here is the Apple Store, which is popular for launching the latest Apple products at midnight. The penthouses perched up on the buildings in Fifth Avenue are also some of the most prized real estate in the world.

1 Causeway Bay in Honk Kong

Causeway Bay in Honk Kong overtook Fifth Avenue in New York in 2012 as the world’s most expensive shopping area, and it has retained its position ever since. The annual rent in this shopping area can go above $3,000 per square feet, making it one of the most expensive retail locations on the planet. Also known as East Point, Causeway Bay is famous for its multi-story malls and department stores. Some of the famous malls and department stores here include, Sogo (a 13-storey department store), Times Square (an indoor shopping complex), World Trade Center, Fashion Land, Windsor House and Lee Gardens. This shopping area is also a hub for all fashion brands from Japan, Europe and the USA. Unlike the rest of the city, many shops in the Causeway Bay area are open well after midnight.

More in Fashion