Apart from sightseeing, another must-do is shopping in Europe. Europe has shopping experiences that cater to people with all budgets and preferences. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, most cities will have small souvenir kiosks and stalls, where you can pick up some knick-knacks for family and friends back at home. If you are looking for more unique pieces on a budget, it is always a good idea to check out local flea markets and bazaars, which often feature one-of-a-kind homeware, jewellery, accessories, clothing and other pieces that are made by local artists and artisans. Famous markets in Europe include Portobello Road Flea Market in London, the infamous Hippy Market in Ibiza and Boekenmarkt Op Het Spui in Amsterdam. Most cities also have food markets that feature fresh produce and other food products from local farmers and artisans. These are the best places to pick up food items like bread, cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wine, to take home with you.
Many of the world’s famous high-street brands like Zara, Bershka, H&M and River Island hail from Europe, and this means that their prices are usually cheaper and their product ranges are wider in their home-continent than anywhere else in the world. In addition, Europe has fantastic sales during the summer and winter, which makes shopping in Europe a paradise for anyone who loves to shop. The summer sale season usually kicks off in July and runs all the way through to September, while the winter sales begin after Christmas and run till the end of January. In these sales, you can find fantastic items of clothing, accessories and home goods at massive discounts – some stores will go as low at 75% off the retail price!
If you’re a connoisseur of luxury goods, Europe is the place to be. It is home to some of the world’s most prominent fashion designers and luxury brands, with France and Italy being the hotspots for luxury shopping. As with other brands, prices of luxury goods in Europe tend to be relatively cheaper than other parts of the world like Asia, as there is no additional tax or duty stamped on to the retail price. In addition, you will have access to a wider curation of products, with many one-of-a-kind pieces and collections that are not available anywhere else. Most major fashion labels tend to have experiential stores and exhibitions as well, like the Gucci Museum in Florence, which gives you a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship behind these brands.