New York is every shopaholic’s dream destination, with many visitors arriving at least once every year to stock up on essentials such as Levi jeans and the latest shoe styles at prices that beat their home country by miles. Overseas visitors often claim the cost of their trip was more than covered by the savings they found. From upscale 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue designer boutiques, the iconic Macy’s and Bloomingdales department stores, the quirky shopping districts of 8th Street and East Village, and downtown’s fabulous discount store, Century 21, there's something for everyone.
Add to the above New York’s lively street stalls selling everything from food to antiques and "shop 'til you drop" becomes a reality. Canal Street just off Chinatown is paradise for bargain hunters and those looking for a cool memento of your trip. For the real thing it’s back to Madison Avenue and celebrity-spotting. The avant-garde boutiques in NoLiTa fashion district’s post-industrial buildings are a good compromise between the two extremes.
New York’s street markets are a must, if only for people-watching, with Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market home to scores of distinctive vendors of fashion, memorabilia and collectables. Art and antiques lovers will find plenty of choice here, although the chances of bagging a bargain are low unless you’re an expert and get there at first light. Another top spot is West 25th Street Market, with mid-century vintage to collectables and antiques, and the Brooklyn Flea Market if you still haven't gotten enough of your shopping fill.