No one leaves New York City or Hong Kong empty-handed. With countless boutiques specializing in jewelry, antiques, clothing, and design, these global style capitals are sure bets when it comes to shopping—as voted by T+L readers, who ranked them highest in the category in our annual World’s Best Awards survey.
Each year, we ask our readers to carefully rank their travel experiences with hotels, cruise lines, islands, and more. When voting for cities, they considered the sights and landmarks, the culture, the food, the friendliness of locals, and—of course—the shopping scene.
“There is possibly better shopping [in Hong Kong],” ventured one T+L reader, “than in all of the United States and Europe. There is so much to see and buy in this beautiful city.”
While the city has long been known for its prominent upscale shopping (this same voter counted no fewer than four Chanel shops in one neighborhood) a new wave of entrepreneurial energy has begun to roll across the former British territory.
New York City, too, isn’t just for designer labels anymore. The low-key boutiques and hidden storefronts are the best places to see the Big Apple’s modern, urban aesthetic. If you want to shop for distinctly Gotham finds, check out ABC Carpet and Home (a six-story paradise of luxe chandeliers, pin-tucked sofas, and handmade textiles) and the widely popular Brooklyn Flea, which features antique goods, oddities, and local crafts).
The world’s best cities for shopping offer visitors the perfect blend of aspirational department stores and accessible, neighborhood shops. They’re places where picking up souvenirs doesn’t mean pursuing the airport newsstand.
In San Miguel de Allende, for example—the No. 8 best international city for shopping—visitors will find the El Tianguis de los Martes, which spans three football fields and sells hand-woven rugs, antiques, house-made Chihuahua cheese, and more. Because sometimes, one of the best ways to get to know a city is to see what it has for sale.