Many people enjoy a spot of retail therapy. It offers the chance to buy essential and luxury items and to treat yourself and others. However, there are places in the world where only the wealthiest can afford to shop. Here are five such luxury shopping destinations:
Not quite as affluent as some of its global rivals, but Grafton Street in Dublin is nonetheless rich in urban charm and character and has lavish shops right next door to the usual high-street brands. Even the buskers here are in a league of their own as Damien Rice used to play on the side of Grafton Street to try and make a bit of money off passers-by before he shot to stardom off the back of hits like Cannonball. In 2008, Grafton Street was the fifth most expensive shopping street in the world.
If you fancy spending your London days in the lap of luxury then head to Bond Street, which has been a happy hunting ground for the rich and famous since the 18th century. From staggeringly expensive and equally eye-catching jewellery to cutting-edge interior design, this fashionable area of London has it all, providing, of course, you’ve got plenty of money stashed away in the bank. Some of England’s most iconic hotels are also based on and around Bond Street, including the Dorchester, the Ritz and Claridge’s.
The heartbeat of Hong Kong’s shopping scene is also reported to be the second-most expensive retail location in the world, behind only New York’s Fifth Avenue. Those rates could be set to increase further when a new luxury mall opens here in 2012 that will be the size of 12 American football pitches; not that Causeway Bay doesn’t already have an array of boutique shops selling top-of-the-range clothing and electrical items. Time Square also forms part of Causeway Bay and the shopping mall spans some 16 floors and has well over 200 shops on site.
New York in general is a shopping paradise and you could easily spend a fortune in no time at all in the area surrounding Fifth Avenue. Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada are among the designer stores to have a prime spot in this particular part of central Manhattan, while there are also countless legendary department stores like the flagship Saks shop. When you’re through with shopping, relax and unwind in one of the plush bars or eateries or even take a trip up to the top of the Empire State Building, which is on Fifth Avenue itself, and see the ‘Big Apple’ in all its spectacular glory.
In the city of love, you can easily be seduced just by walking past some of stores that line arguably one of the most recognisable streets on the planet. Eat, shop or sleep on the Champs Elysées and you can expect to spend a pretty penny for the privilege. A number of specialist watch makers, including Cartier, take pride of place in the prestigious Paris hotspot, which is virtually in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe and other well-known attractions in the city.