It’s official – ’tis the season for family gatherings, festivities and frantic Christmas shopping! Even for the most seasoned shopper, the thought of Christmas shopping can be a little overwhelming and the pre-Christmas rush can be just too much to handle! With that in mind, here are a few of the best Christmas shopping cities outside of the UK – the perfect places to spark up some inspiration and to enjoy a short break by getting the list all crossed off in one go!
Nothing could be easier than hopping across the Channel and exploring Paris’ famous market stalls, boutiques and antique shops. The French capital offers something completely different; not only do you have its world-famous fashion boutiques on hand but you can also treat yourself to a magical short break away from it all this winter, being the romantic ‘City of Lights’. With department stores, shopping centers and boulevards filled with big name brands and charming Christmas markets, you’re sure to find the perfect choice of gifts. Why not head for the luxurious Galeries Lafayette – this glamorous department store has everything you could possibly want for everyone on your Christmas list all under one roof. If you’re looking for something a little quirkier, head to the famous Colette boutique or simply wander the streets of Le Marais or the Latin Quarter where you are guaranteed to stumble across unique bits and pieces.
Milan is best known as the style capital of Europe (although Paris may have something to say about that!) and is a must if you are a label lover. Home to famous Italian designers like Prada, Gucci and Armani – it is one of the foremost fashion hubs in Europe within the Quadrilatero d’Oro. There are also a number of discount outlets that sell stock from previous seasons, allowing you to get good deals on your favorite brands and shop guilt free. Additionally, the more alternative shopper can head to Corso di Porta Ticinese, where you’ll discover a mesmerising choice of vintage clothing, quirky jewelry and street style fashion.
Prague was never going to be on a par with Milan or Paris for shopping but even though the centre of Prague is now full of new, shiny shopping malls full of international high street chains, there are still some local shops worth searching for. The majority of shops are situated directly in the centre of Prague in close vicinity to the Old Town Square, which will certainly awaken delightful Christmas spirit with its numerous market stalls and architecture dating back to the 12th century. Here you are enabled to find a great choice of arts, crafts and artisanal items. The Palladium is also a must for Christmas shopping. This vast shopping centre consists of over 200 shops where you can purchase items from the most distinguished international brands.
Planning your European road trip? Start your holiday off fresh with a night’s stay at the Holiday Inn Express Channel Tunnel, the closest hotel to the Channel Tunnel!