Shopping aspects per city:
– Factory goods outlets
– Local artisan or unique souvenir creator stores or reseller stores – Only available in the City or Country
– Local designers and fashion designers
– Flagship stores
– Department / curated product store
– Adventure based item stores
– Sporting wear or leisure wear based item stores

Seasonal themed items
– Christmas items
– Easter goods
– Father’s day
– Halloween
– Mother day
– Ski gear
– Swim wear

Shopping – General

There are cities around the world known for their reputation as being shopping hubs and centres for commerce. Think Bangkok, Dubai, Melbourne, New York, Singapore – just to name a few.

The best city for you depends whether you are after cheap and cheerful second hand shopping, inexpensive market shopping, shopping mall retail fare or more haute couture clothing.

Best shopping cities and spots around the world:

Wikipedia – Companies by country and industry –
Wikipedia – Companies by county –
Lists of shopping malls by country (Wikipedia) – and

Wikipedia – Shopping malls in –
Wikipedia – List of major shopping centres in Australia by size –

Wikipedia – List of shopping streets and districts by city –
Wikipedia – Shopping mall –
Wikipedia – Types of retail outlets –
World factory outlets and warehouse shopping events / sales – Google ‘factory outlet ‘ in (country or city)

Notable Shopping centre operators:

– Australian and New Zealand – and
– International (Other) –
– Westfield Labs (Digital and retail solutions) –

Department stores and duty free by country:

Duty free (world listings) (Wikipedia) –

Premier tax free –

Worldwide portal of Department stores by Country (Wikipedia) – List –
Worldwide portal of Department stores by Country (Wikipedia) – Category –

UK –

Wikipedia – Clothing retailers of the United States –

Regional specific:

Refer to the ‘Regional International Reference’ page for regionally specific shopping retailers and centres.

For more best shopping – refer to within each city and then the shopping the section.


Best world markets

Markets are often the best places when travelling to grab cheap fresh food, meet the locals and also find bargain shopping. In each of the cities I travel to, I immediately look and ask for the major markets around town – as you truly get to know the real side of the city.

Some of the best markets I’ve been to in the world are:

  • Chatuchak Market – Bangkok, Thailand
  • El Rastro Market – Madrid, Spain
  • Hmong Hill Tribe Market – Chaing Mai, Thailand
  • Psar Chaa Market – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Sunday Walking Market – Chaing Mai, Thailand

More information about other great world markets and why you should visit local markets when travelling can be found here:

Retail – Markets

Flea Market insiders –
World Markets – Wiki –



Leading in from the topic of markets, bargaining is an important skill needing to be utilised when you are in these markets. The nature of the markets is that haggling is often the social norm and allows you to interact and meet the locals in the process. In the end, the optimal resolution is to have both the seller and the buyer at a win/win position. To do this involved negotiation, social skills and also some cheekiness with some friendly banter.

As there are so many varying opinions on how to negotiate and also as it differs from region to region, I’ll just mention a general tip I use to get a good price. It’s the old playing hard to get and walking away. It all comes down to mind games and who is showing their cards most. If the seller suspects you’re desperate to buy their goods, then of course they will not buy into your requests for a cheaper price.

Conversely, if the buyer knows that the seller is desperate to make a sale, then the buyer can use more leverage to obtain cheaper prices (but at a fair price where it is still equitable). If the seller is not willing to negotiate to a reasonable amount, then don’t hesitate to walk away. So you’ll find that the seller will come chasing after you with their calculator in hand, suggesting a new lower price. Always keep your wit and keep it friendly and straight to the point.

More tips on how to bargain effectively around the world can be found here:

World bargain shopping days / Festivals

Black Friday (The day after thanksgiving) – United States and regional Americas.
Boxing Day (26th December) – Australia, United Kingdom.
Dubai shopping festival (January / February)
Hong Kong Shopping festival (June to August)
Korea Grand sale (January / February)
Singapore – Great sale (June and July)

Shopping traps / scams to avoid

So rounding off the shopping, we come to the dubious area of scams and fraudsters. In every nation around the world, there are cunning people wanting to make a quick dollar off naive tourists – but with knowing some of their sneaky tricks and techniques can save you a lot of dramas.

Most notably, I’ve comes across the infamous jewellery scams where in Thailand tuk tuk drivers take a very inconvenient deviation to jewellery shops where you are pressured to buy. In for the driver is commission of any potential purchase you make. To avoid this situation, I try and steer clear of tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok – as there are many other forms of more reliable transport.

On a side note – related to this is cheeky taxi drivers who don’t put on their meter in Bangkok (or other nations in fact). Before going in the taxi I clearly mention where I want to go, if the driver looks certain of where it is and also firmly mention for them to have the meter on. If all this isn’t satisfactory, I would then refuse to get in and look for another taxi. If I do pick a driver, I awkwardly always take a photo of the driver’s id on the dashboard, so the driver knows that they will be held accountable if they try to do any funny business. This shows that you mean business. It’s in the regulations that the taxi meter has to be on and in many cases taxi drivers are pulled over by the Thai police for not doing so.

Generally in Bangkok, Green and Yellow taxi’s means that it’s a private taxi (taxi is owned by the driver/individual. Whilst the coloured ones are owned by taxi companies (drivers rent the car).

Other notable shopping scams can be to sell good that claim to be silk, but are in fact synthetic materials (hard to detect unless you burn part of the cloth). The list goes on and on about the potential shopping scams there are in the world, but mainly if you ask questions and be proactive in explaining your expectations, then it will mitigate high risk scenarios.

More exhaustive sources of information regarding general scams and also specially related to shopping can be found here:

Notable World souvenirs

General souvenir categories– Keyrings
– Iron on patches (Flag or other)
– Postcards
– Stickers
– Coins
– Keyring
– Magnet
– Pin (Clasp and metal)
– Stamps (Postage)
– Local handmade small items
– Badge
– Stamp (Ink designs) Collecting in notebook

Regional souvenirs

**Refer to regional countries pages **


Links last checked : / /2015

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