Shop till you drop in the big apple

New York City is a shopper’s paradise no matter what your prey. From the haute couture designer boutiques, the knock offs in Chinatown, to the mecca of discount trendy fashion shops and big name department stores, New York is the answer to any shopping question and is a world renowned destination for shopping tourism from visitors spanning the globe. It’s true that anything can be found in the big apple where the saying, shop till you drop can be fully implemented.

New York until recently was considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. However with the drop in the value of the dollar, New York has suddenly become one of the best value for money cities to visit, especially if shopping is going to be the main attraction.

Shopping is a neighbourhood thing in New York dating back to the industrial revolution. The fabric district, plant district and jewellery areas all still exist and are truly a throwback to the old days in the city. New shopping neighbourhoods have emerged in more recent times; the most visited probably being the shops along Madison Avenue. This street on the east side of Manhattan is lined with top name designer boutiques such as Prada, Yves St Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Coach, DKNY, Calvin Klein and more.

Just one block over on 5th Avenue are even more designers like Gucci and Versace but the street is probably best known for Tiffany & Co, made infamous by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and of course it’s main rival Cartier just a few blocks further down the avenue. If jewellery is what you are after you can forego the big brands of 5th and head to 47th street, more popularly known as the diamond district.

Almost 90 percent of the diamonds that enter the US pass through this thoroughfare and it’s one of the only places in the US where diamonds are bought, sold, cut, traded and set. Gold, silver, platinum and fine jewels can also be found here and for amazing bargains due to the outrageous competition. In the shops you can see first hand jewellery makers at work creating and repairing jewellery, watches and other luxury items. Take a close look at the men with the serious expressions walking down 47th clutching their briefcases which are often handcuffed to their wrists. They are not carrying paperwork; it is much more likely they are transporting small fortunes in diamonds.

Tourism is a huge part of the city’s economy and the plethora of places to stay clearly makes this evident. It is easy to narrow down where you want to stay in New York if you know where your credit card will take you. Finding a New York hotel near shopping areas is easy and not as expensive as in the past. The range of places to stay matches the wide array of areas to shop around and you are bound to find your niche.

It is not necessary to only shop in one area, as getting around by subway or on the buses is easy and affordable. Taxis also pack the busy streets are easy to hail and offer another archetypal method of getting around Manhattan when you are in town.