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Places to Shop in New York – Thrifty Finds and 5th Avenue Strolls

Welcome to New York - a paradise for shopaholics and trendsetters everywhere. To help you navigate the variety of retail offerings, we are sharing our top picks for the best places to shop in New York.

New York City is a top destination in the U.S. for a reason. It has everything for any type of traveller: culture, food, arts, shopping, romance and more. The Big Apple is not at a loss when it comes to its shopping scene. Whether you are searching for thrifty finds, high-end staples or tourist confections, New York City will not leave your shopping bags empty. However, it can be pretty overwhelming to go shopping in New York with a blind eye. That’s why we have rounded up the best places to shop in New York. So get ready to shop ’til you drop on your next trip!

girl shopping in New York carrying a red shopping bag and phone
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada

A Guide for the Best Places to Shop in New York

1. Stroll along Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

This is a great place to shop in New York if you have money to spend! 5th Avenue is like a pilgrimage for shopping enthusiasts. It is distinguishable by its more high-end stores and luxury brand names. This stretch includes stores such as the infamous Tiffany and Co., Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Louis Vuitton. There are also other well-known institutions in all their glory, such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and even a 24-hour Apple Store. Start at 59th Street by Central Park and work your way to 14th Street to make the most out of this stretch.

the front of Saks Fifth Avenue
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada
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2. Go borough (and a little hipster) at the Brooklyn Flea Market

Calling all vintage and thrifting connoisseurs! The Brooklyn Flea Market stands in its own merits as being one of the best places to shop not only in New York but in the world. So, head out of Manhattan and into the borough of Brooklyn to find this flea market that’s unsurprisingly grown into one of the city’s top attractions. The flea market opens its doors in the streets of Dumbo on Sundays from April through October. But there is also a Winter Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea open every Saturday and Sunday indoors at Atlantic Centre. Here you can find a plethora of vintage items including furniture, clothing, collectables, jewellery and antiques. Just be prepared to do some digging to find that special piece.

How to get to the Brooklyn Flea Market:

A trip to New York is not complete without shopping here! To get to the Brooklyn Flea, take the Brooklyn Bound L train and get off at Bedford Avenue.

girl reading in a bookstore
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada

3. Curl up with a book at Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble is a heaven on earth for book-lovers everywhere. Prepare yourself for getting lost roaming through the many aisles and floors decorated top to bottom with books. As each location has a Starbucks, it is all but too easy to waste away the day with a coffee in hand, searching for your next reads to ignite your wanderlust. There are several locations in the city so it will not be hard to find one. However, a central one is located at 33 E 17th Street, in close proximity to the 14th Street – Union Square Metro stop.

4. Find the hottest local designer in Williamsburg

Specifically Grand Street and Bedford Street in the hip neighbourhood of Williamsburg are not to be missed. Even just strolling through these hipster streets with fashionable locals will inspire your style. Here you will find a variety of hole-in-the-wall, quirky shops and boutiques. Each shop is unique and many showcase local designers. This is one of the best places to shop in New York because you don’t need to go there knowing what you want to buy to come out of it with a gem. While you are in the area, treat yourself to some delectable treats at Martha’s Country Bakery.

How to get to Williamsburg:

The best way to get to Williamsburg from Manhattan is to take the L train to Bedford Avenue. If you are coming from Queens or South Brooklyn, take the G train to Metropolitan Avenue and Bedford Avenue is just a few blocks away.

store front and browstone building in summer in new york
New York Shopping and Strolls | Skyscanner Canada
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5. Get a ton of bargains in Chinatown 

If its bargains you’re looking for, look no further than Chinatown. Chinatown is one of the best places to shop in New York because it is one of the largest and oldest Chinatowns outside of Asia! Packed to the brim with shops, this is a great spot to find some sweet trinkets, a souvenir without the crazy prices or even some delicious treats. Moreover, Chinatown combines some of the best features of New York in one location. Once you start to get hungry, pop into Nom Wah Tea Parlor for some great dim sum.

How to get to Chinatown in Manhattan:

There are several ways to get to Manhattan’s Chinatown depending on where you are coming from. You can take the B or D train to Grand Street. Or you can take the N, Q, R, W, J, Z or 6 train to Canal Street.

view of Chinatown, New York City
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada

6. Find the latest styles in SoHo

Head far enough down Broadway and you’ll find yourself in the stylish neighbourhood of SoHo (meaning south of Houston Street) in Lower Manhattan, which is one of the best places to shop in New York. Known for its gorgeous cast-iron architecture, SoHo used to be a neighbourhood that brought creatives and artists to showcase their work. While there is still evidence of this history scattered around with galleries, it has now transformed into a popular shopping area for chains and independent retailers.

Make sure to check out shops unique to SoHo such as SoHo News International selling magazine publications from around the globe, the Hat Shop which sells men and women’s hats made by local designers and What Goes Around Comes Around for vintage designer apparel. Break up your time here with a good cup of coffee at Everyman Espresso.

How to get to SoHo:

There are multiple trains that lead to SoHo. You can take the R or W train to Prince Street. The B, F, or M train to Broadway/Lafayette or the 6 train to Spring Street Station.

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7. Feel like a kid again at FAO Schwarz

Not just your average toy store, this place is perfect for kids or even the kid at heart. There is every type of toy imaginable – from plush toys, Barbies from all eras, planes, drones and Do-It-Yourself creative sets. Furthermore, FAO Schwarz has recently re-opened after being shut down for three years so everything is brand new and modernized. Also, make sure to find the larger than life, a dance-on piano which is sure to bring a smile to your face. The wonder and playfulness at FAO Schwarz will cultivate a fun shopping experience for the whole family.

Directions to FAO Schwartz:

The new location is in Rockefeller Plaza along 49th Street. The easiest way to get there by train is to hop on either the B, D, F, or M train to the 47th-50th Street Rockefeller Center Stop.

FAO schwarz front of store entrance and sign
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada

8. Get lost in the mega retailer of Macy’s 

Shopping in New York would not be complete without making a stop at the classic department store. Housing the latest in fashion trends for women in men, Macy’s is a one-stop shop but don’t be fooled, this 10-storey retailer will not have you in and out in a flash. You can find clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery, furniture and bed/bath accessories at a variety of prices. Once you’ve had enough, take a break and head to nearby Koreatown for some delicious eats and refuel with a coffee at Paris Baguette.
Travel tip: International visitors can print or show a digital version of the Visitor Savings Pass for up to 10% off select items in the store.

Macy’s is located at Herald Square, between 34th and 35th Streets along Broadway. There are entrances on Seventh Avenue and 34th Street as well as on 34th Street between Seventh Avenue and Broadway. The closest subways are A, C, or E to 34th Street and Penn Station. You can also take the 1, 2, and 3 to 34th Street, exiting on Seventh Avenue and 34th Street. Finally, the B, D, F, V, and N, Q, R, W to 34th Street and Herald Square.

Macy's building and sign in New York Herald Square
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada

9. Wander in the West Village 

Located west of Sixth Avenue, between 14th and Houston, the West Village will make you feel like you are walking the streets of a New York movie set with distinguishable brownstone buildings and tree-lined streets. But this whimsical, quaint neighbourhood also happens to be one of the best places to shop in New York. West Village offers variety when it comes to shopping, whether you want some of the finest gourmet foods, beauty items or comics, you will find it all in the West Village. Stop by Joe’s Pizza, for a classic (and super cheap!) slice of New York pizza, and take it to the park across the street for a break amidst your shopping.

Getting to the West Village:

To get there, you can take the 1 train to Christopher Street, or the A, C, E, B, D or F to West 4th Street.

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10. Feel like a mega-star on Madison Avenue

For the luxury, designer brand shoppers, you must make a stop at Madison Avenue, the iconic street in the Upper East Side (you can find Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment here!) You will find every high-end store you can think of from Prada, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, Chanel, Jimmy Choo and more. If you’re ready to spend big this is the place do it. Otherwise, you could just stroll and enjoy the beautiful window displays.

How to get to Madison Avenue:

To get to Madison Avenue by Subway, take the F line and exit at Lexington Ave/63rd Street Station. If you are taking the E or M, exit at Fifth Ave/53rd Street Station. Then trains N, Q or R will take you to Fifth Ave/59th Street Station and the 4, 5 or 6 will take you to Lexington Ave/77th Street Station.

Madison Avenue, busy shopping street in New York
10 Best Places to Shop in New York | Skyscanner Canada
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Now that you know the best places to shop in New York, you’ll be a fashionable traveller in no time!

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