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Top Shopping Destinations Worldwide

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By Amy Bertrand

(MCT)—Our holiday season is in full swing. We are working on gift guides, toy tests, holiday cookie issues and more.

So it’s not so hard for us to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner. In fact, we feel it’s time we start shopping now! Cheapflights.com just announced a fun list of the top shopping experiences worldwide.

Here are a few:

—Bond Street, London, England — The West End of London is a pedestrian’s delight. Add in Bond Street and you’ve got a little taste of consumer heaven. The most luxurious shops in the world are slotted between Oxford Street and Piccadilly, giving visitors a chance to explore the city’s impressive history and retailers at the same time. Sotheby’s auction house, an icon for more than a hundred years, still stands today.

—Fifth Avenue, New York, USA — Is there a better time of year to visit New York City than the holiday season? (Answer: no.) The city comes alive as Rockefeller Center lights up, ice skaters get in line at Bryant Park, and New Yorkers and tourists alike scour the city — block by block — for gifts galore. The ultimate New York Shopping experience: Fifth Avenue. The most luxurious boutiques on the globe cram into a few blocks of prime real estate on this Manhattan stretch. And for those unwilling to spend a bundle, there are the holiday window displays — a destination in themselves.

—Strøget, Copenhagen, Denmark — Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping area offers a wonderful spectrum of stores (from high-end boutiques to souvenir shops) and people (from street performers to magicians to eager-to-buy tourists). Linking Town Hall Square in the west with King’s New Square in the east, the car-free streets include everything from international luxury brands – including Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hermès — to local, more affordable retailers.

—Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, France — One of the City of Light’s widest avenues, Boulevard Haussmann is home to magnificent department stores, including Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps. Decked with lights inside and out during the holiday season, the blocks-long buildings are architectural wonders — and fantastic one-stop destinations to shop for the entire family. Find everything from jewelry to men’s and women’s clothing to gourmet food at these Parisian establishments.

—Orchard Road, Singapore — The two-kilometer-long shopping hub is one of Singapore’s biggest tourist attractions. Dozens of malls line Orchard Road, offering every type of shopping option a buyer could imagine. After window browsing Gucci, Prada and Coach, consider resting your aching feet at one of the mall’s many luxurious spas or movie theaters. And, when your credit card is maxed out, head east to Bras Basah Road, where some of Singapore’s top museums — including the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum – are situated.

And, of course, Rodeo Drive, California — Immortalized by Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman,” Rodeo Drive is one of the most posh strips of boutique shopping in the world. Nestled in LA’s exclusive Beverly Hills neighborhood, the three-block-long mecca of high-end institutions (think Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Versace) is an absolute must for visitors to the West Coast.

©2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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