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The Ultimate New York Shopping Guide

SmarterTravel

When it comes to New York shopping, there’s almost nothing the city doesn’t offer. From world-renowned department stores like Macy’s (34th Street and Seventh Avenue), Bloomingdale’s (59th and Lexington), Saks Fifth Avenue (50th Street and Fifth), and Neiman Marcus (Hudson Yards) to specialty shops, charming boutiques, and bargain basements, Manhattan is truly a shopper’s heaven.

New York Shopping Guide

Looking for souvenirs? Take home a Yankees cap or anything that looks like the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building. Read on to learn about the best shopping in New York.

Shop Gotham Tour

Get an overview of the New York shopping scene with a Shop Gotham tour. These three-hour group and private excursions focus on stores that are exclusive to New York City and include information about not only shopping but also the history and culture of local neighborhoods. The company’s primary group tour focuses on the Garment District.

Madison Avenue

If you’re a big spender—or you just want to see how the one percent lives—take a stroll down Madison Avenue, where you can duck in and out of stores such as Barneys, Armani, and La Perla. It’s some of the richest shopping in Manhattan.

Fifth Avenue Shopping

The main stretch of stores that are attractive to tourists is located between 49th and 60th streets. You’ll find everything from Zara to Bergdorf Goodman, as well as the city’s famed jewelry stores.

Specialty Districts

The city offers districts of stores devoted to particular items, such as furs off of Seventh Avenue in the West 30s, diamonds on West 47th Street, and wedding gowns in the West 30s between Sixth and Ninth Avenues. And there’s plenty of boutique shopping in Brooklyn and beyond.

Nolita

I love Nolita (which stands for North of Little Italy) for its many cute boutiques from up-and-coming designers. It’s a great spot to pick up clothes, accessories, and jewelry.

Soho

This trendy area is home to boutique shops and designers. Streets to peruse include Spring Street, Broome Street, and Prince Street.

Chinatown

For an eclectic shopping experience, check out Chinatown. It’s more Shanghai bazaar than city streetscape along Pell and Mott Streets, where funky herbal medicine shops and kitschy novelty stores sell everything from silk pajamas to Chinese board games and embroidered slippers. Come weekends, it’s hard to break through the five-deep mob checking out the hard-to-tell-from-the-real-thing Gucci and Prada along with Canal Street’s stalls.

Lower Manhattan

From Westfield World Trade Center in the Oculus to SIP by Sarah Jessica Parker, Lower Manhattan is now the go-to spot for a modern shopping experience.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The now well-known Williamsburg is the place for streetwear and vintage, but there are now local and international brands and designers you can find throughout the Brooklyn neighborhood.

Flea Markets

If you’re dying to shop but not eager to break the bank, check out one of the city’s many flea markets. One of Manhattan’s oldest and best is GreenFlea, offering antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and handicrafts on the Upper West Side every Sunday. If you’re in Brooklyn, don’t miss Brooklyn Flea, a massive market that runs in Industry City and DUMBO. LIC Flea & Food is a similar offering in Long Island City that operates on weekends throughout the warmer months.

Vintage Shopping

From the East Village to Bushwick, New York City is one of the best places in the world to go vintage shopping. Check out NYC & Company’s shopping map for vintage stores across the boroughs.

Holiday Markets

New York City is one of the best places to go holiday shopping, not only for its vibrant and festive decorations but also for its markets. Check out Holiday Handmade in Noho and Brooklyn Heights, Astoria Holiday Market in Queens, the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, the Grand Central Holiday Fair, and Bryant Park’s Winter Village.

LGBTQ+ Guide

There is a larger concentration of gay-oriented shops in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, although you’ll find plenty of stylish shopping that is appealing to all throughout the city. Well-known stores include Nasty Pig, Delphinium Home, and Parke & Ronen.

Bookstores

Bibliophiles should look beyond the usual Barnes & Noble outposts—New York is home to a number of great independent bookstores. Rizzoli recently moved to a new location near Madison Square and is great fun to browse. Bluestockings is the spot for lefty types with its wide selection of titles on feminism, queer studies, capitalism, and liberation. The Strand dates back to 1927 and claims to offer 18 miles of books at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway.

Department Stores

A Big Apple icon, Bloomingdale’s is the first stop many tourists make on their New York shopping excursion. The wide variety of merchandise available at this upscale department store attracts shoppers from all over the world. Tourists can have purchases delivered to the hotel they’re staying in ($250 minimum purchase)—or take pride in walking out with one or more of the store’s famous “brown bags.”

In Midtown you’ll find both Nordstrom Men’s and Women’s (coming fall 2019) on 57th and Broadway, near Columbus Circle. At Hudson Yards you’ll find a brand-new Neiman Marcus.

Century 21

On Cortlandt Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, Century 21 was once appropriately nicknamed “New York’s best-kept secret.” No longer is that the case for this New York store. It’s doubtful you’ll leave empty-handed, considering this is the bargain hunter’s mecca for deeply discounted designer merchandise. Be prepared to elbow your way through weekend crowds of savvy New Yorkers and international tourists to find your size. But who cares? It’s worth it.

Tiffany & Co.

The flagship store is currently under renovation (but still open) and will unveil refurbishments in 2021. Vistors love Blue Box Cafe, a lifestyle experience that lets you actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s.

New Openings

Recent openings include The Shops and Restaurants, Hudson Yards, 10 Corso Como, Seaport District, and the Empire Outlets, Staten Island, which is the first outlet shopping destination in the five boroughs. Stay up to date with all of the latest retail openings and New York shopping updates on NYC & Company’s website.

More from SmarterTravel.com:

—Original reporting by Theodore W. Scull, with contributions from real traveler reviews about New York shopping.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since the date of its publication with the input of NYC & Company.

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