It's a tea house and bookshop all in one. Pleasant, hedonistic atmosphere. Nice music and helpful staff.
Right by Patria Cinema.
Libraria Carturesti, Str. Pictor Verona no. 13, Bucuresti; Tel: 212 19 22; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for some cheap clothes, and can't be bothered to haggle in the markets? Or perhaps you need to stock up on toiletries for your trip, or you need baby supplies - for all of these reasons you might want to join the locals and head for the nearest hypermarket. Tesco have a major presence in Bangkok, but for most tourists the best located hypermarket is the Big C store on Ratchadamri Road, right opposite the Central World Plaza mall. As well as the main store, there is an excellent food court and a multiplex cinema in the building. Open 9am until 11pm daily.
Walk up from Chit Lom Skytrain station;
Avoid the rip-off fly boys manning the Arbat souvenir stalls and head to this old-fashioned souvenir shop on the corner of Arbat and Konyushennaya. Great selection of matryoshki and wooden toys, china and glassware and a fair selection of table linens.
Wooden Christmas decorations are especially good value. Even better for the tourist, everything is clearly labelled with its price.
Corner of Arbat and Konyushennaya; nearest metro is Arbat (dark blue line)
A sprawling maze of wooden turrets and walkways housing the largest souvenir market in Moscow. If you make it through the obligatory matrioshka and amber stalls, crowded with American tourists, you are rewarded with a bewildering array of miscellany from antique busts of Lenin and Stalin to old toys and household junk. It's as popular with Russians as it is for tourists so the prices are reasonable, although if you have a foreign accent you'll have to work hard to haggle them down. The entrance fee is a mere 10 roubles.
Nearest metro: Izmailovo
This fabulous toyshop is small but perfectly formed. Peculiar in its arrangement (you'll have to go to see what I mean), your child will adore everything they have here. Although prices are reasonable, you'll come away with a lot of bags and not many Euro left in your account. There’s too many irresistible things!
Grasmarkt, 39 Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes,
Brussels; From Godiva in the Grand Place, head towards the Bourse, but take the first turning on the right, next left and you're there
Lovely for a walk - especially in spring. Littered with cafes and restaurants, you can sit for a drink or just soak up the sun.
Take a book or munch on a Gianduiotto di passeggio from the Da Nico gelateria in the summer.
Wistful in winter: take a midnight walk in the freezing cold and take in the sound of the Giudecca Canal.
Go to the water bus (vaporetto) stop Zattere, or walk up from the Accademia stop; www.actv.it/english/home.php
Lyon is fantastic for shopping with wide, pedestrianised streets (Rue Victor Hugo, Rue de la Republique) boasting chain stores like Zara, H&M, Go Sport and Primtemps cutting through the centre of the main district.
Just off Place Bellecour is the so-called “golden triangle” formed by Rue Emile Zola, Rue du Président Edouard Herriot and Rue Gasparin, whose boutiques rival Paris for designer shopping. Among Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Max Mara and Cacharel are several affordable shops selling homewares, jewellery, shoes and men and ladies’ clothing.
Lyon is also great for antique shopping: there is the Auguste Comte district, the Cité des Antiquaires dealers, the canal flea market, and plenty of secondhand bookshops and bric-a-brac stalls. Elsewhere, there is a large shopping mall in the modern part of Lyon, Part Dieu, which has 300 shops including Galeries Lafayette.
Lyon’s famous chocolatier is an old-fashioned shopping experience – creative chocolate displays in the huge, gilt-edged windows, bustling ladies behind the counter, black and white tiled floors, wooden counters, weighing scales and shelves crammed with sweets and chocolate products.
Buy some chocolates for yourself or pick up some presents – the coussins de Lyon, chocolate in marzipan, are the local speciality. Bernachon (42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt) is also a renowned Lyon chocolate maker.
Voisin, 11 Place Bellecour
In December there are Christmas markets in Place Carnot, with stalls selling art and crafts, gourmet food, soaps and perfumes and wine. It’s all very atmospheric with a giant advent calendar, mulled wine, Christmas trees and carol singers.
Place Carnot, just outside Perrache railway/bus station
Fashionistas is a personal shopping and style concierge in Dubai. It's every tourist's dream come true. I'm from Middlesex and went to Dubai for the second time. Not only did the personal shoppers at Fashionistas take me to the right stores to suit me and my budget, they also told me about the best bars, restaurants and must-see places in Dubai. I got some great style advice and felt as though I was shopping with a friend. I recommend calling Fashionistas to make your trip to Dubai a memorable one.
This spectacular covered shopping arcade was one of the first in Europe and is filled with enticing little shops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants. It buzzes with activity until late and is worth visiting for the architecture alone.
Near the Grand Place
A great place to see the cool and relaxed side of the busy city. It’s best at weekends, if you have never seen a mum pushing her child in a buggy while rollerblading, this is the place to go. Street markets and entertainers abound and the whole atmosphere is friendly.
Head north-west up the coast and you can't miss it.
Don't buy the suits that people often charm you into on the streets. In such areas such as Siam Square, they are often badly cut. But do have a chat with the people trying to sell them, as they will tell you lots of useful tips and places to go.
A vibrant nightlife district of Bangkok. However, amongst the shows, bars and endless offers of “DVD, VCD, sex,” there is a reminder of how the west abuses the east. There are some great bargains, though (in the clothes markets, I mean!)
Leave your cases at home, and buy everything for your travels here, including your suitcases.
The biggest market I have ever come across, most Thais know it as Jay-Jay market.
The market contains everything you could ever wish for, from trainers and jeans (all fake but as good as the real thing) to furniture, plants, decorations, T-shirts, rucksacks and suitcases. There's also a great food area, so you can make a day of it.
A must go place, all the Thais shop here, as should you.
Take the metro to Kamphaengphet station, and the market is right there. Open Saturdays and Sundays
If you want to get away from tourist zones, take a longtail boat up the canal to Ramkhamhaeng.
It's a major university and the streets around it are thronged with market stalls for great food and 'alternative' goodies.
There are a few cafe/bars with live music and the students will be keen to practise their English on you!
A good places to shop for gifts, cheap essentials for more comfortable backpacking (sarongs, bamboo mats) and, erm, computer software. Be prepared to haggle good-naturedly for excellent bargains. Also great for cheap noodles and ice desserts.
South of central Phnom Penh,
Phsar Toul Tom Poung (streets 155 and 50)
The ancient capital of Siam, it's the same distance north of the airport as Bangkok is south.It is everthing Bangkok is not - rural, relaxing, peaceful, hassle-free and the only choice if you have small kids. You can even breath the air.
Once there, choose from a range of lovely, cheap family run guesthouses within walking distance of the crumbling golden wats, some over 1000 years old, that dot the canal girt plain. Built by the Khmers and destroyed by the Burmese only a couple of centuries ago, they make an ethereal sight as the dawn lights the mist through the banyans.
Just catch a train in the opposite direction from the front of the airport. On arrival, a tuk-tuk will take you round to the hotels on the opposite side of the river for a few baht.
Food markets line the banks of the river at quai St-Antoine every morning except Monday and it's a great experience even if you don't buy anything. Local cheese and charcuterie are plentiful, and the quality and range of produce makes you wish you could abandon homogenous British supermarkets and do all your food shopping like this. Local oysters, freshly picked mushrooms, bread, olives, seafood, sweets, butters - and everything seasonal and colourful. Even a bit of French makes buying things all the more enjoyable.
Quai St-Antoine; Tuesday-Sunday
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