Once you get past the gothic beau peep schoolgirl horror-show that is Harajuku station on Sundays, you'll find many fantastic shops hidden away in the side-streets between Takeshita Dori (the one with three million kids walking down, you can't miss it) and Omotesando (Tokyo's 5th Ave.). You'll find something to buy no matter what your budget.
Nearest station: Harajuku (JR Yamanote Line).
The world's biggest Tower Records is just a few minutes walk from Shibuya station. If they don't have the CD you're looking for, chances are it doesn't exist. The top floor is dedicated soley to English books and magazines, especially useful if you want to quickly browse through a few Tokyo city guides without having to buy one.
1-22-14 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku.
Nearest Station: Shibuya.
Perhaps you fancy a trip to a Paul Smith style men's shop (full of old tin toys and swinging London/indie paraphenalia) and a new wardrobe for £150? The stuff on sale in Felix is great quality and WILL be commented upon back home ... my stripey scarf is remarked upon by many a female - great purchase.
Palermo Vieja - in the midst of the boutiques
I've just returned from Tokyo and it's something of a shopper's paradise (or nightmare! Depends how much you enjoy parting with cash). My advice is to go to the Superfuture website and explore their Tokyo shopping maps. Not only did the site point out some great shops, the maps proved very helpful in navigating my way around certain districts (as Tokyo has very few street names).
There are hundreds of happening districts to explore after you've wandered around Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku and the like in your guidebook. You can take a subway a few stops out from Shibuya to Shimokitazawa - an alternative studenty type area with lots of music shops and live venues but well away from the tourist trail. Or else try Daikanyama with a more refined tree-lined kind of neighborhood feel, plenty of cafes and boutiques. Take the subway to Ebisu to get there.
Shimokitazawa - private subway from Shibuya
Daikanyama - Ebisu subway
The castle of Ioannina was built in its present state by the legendary Ali Pasha, the Albanian-born, Ottoman governor of Epirus in the early 19th century, on the foundations of the old Byzantine fortifications of Ioannina.
The northeast end of the castle includes the madrassa, or islamic religious school, which today houses a lovely Museum of Weaponry, and the Mosque of Aslan Pasha, which today houses the Museum of the City of Ioannina.
The southeast end is the Its Kale, or Inner Castle, and was the main compound of the Ali Pasha administration and living quarters.
The castle of Ioannina is the core from which the city expanded to its present size, and included all the major civic monument and sites of the city, including the synagogue of the once mighty local Jewish community.
This large, covered market sells all kinds of stuff that, if you’re not Brazilian, you probably will never have seen before. There are fruits from the Amazon region, for instance, that don’t even seem to have English names. Wandering past the stalls, you can see and smell eels, herbs, pineapples, salami, snails ... crammed together like a monument to the tastebuds.
Rua da Cantareira 306
The area just south-west of Ottawa is not to be missed. The area is part of the Rideau Canal System and what is called land of the lakes. Hundreds of small lakes with winding roads flowing betweem small villages and towns that are old and quaint. There is shopping galore in one of these small towns called a Westport. There is great fishing, boating, camping or an array of other accommodation from century-old inns and bed and breakfasts... You will be pleasantly surprised to find this wonderland...
The historical Sunday Market is now jammed in amongst the modern tiled buildings of communist Han Chinese Kashgar. This does little to detract from the amazing looking people peddling their wares and produce.
Every Sunday - start early. Can be difficult to track down the livestock market due to the fact that it recently moved and the ever present language barrier. Any good guide book should point you in the right direction.
The best place to shop for antiques is just across The Lakes from the city centre where over 30 antique dealers are gathered in one street - Ravnsborggade. All independent and varied but conveniently located side by side. A nice walk - whether you're window shopping or looking for hardcore bargains on 'old things'.
Start at the corner of Nørrebrogade and Ravnsborggade. Just across Dronning Louise's Bridge. Check this website for more info (click on the Union Jack for UK version): www.ravnsborggade.dk/
They're fiercely proud of their culture, these Corsicans, and they're starting to learn the finer points of marketing and branding. The island is big and it's fertile so all manner of goods are produced there. Take your pick of Corsican wine, whisky, foie gras, marmalade, spirits, cheese, meats - you name it. All with 'Produit de Corse' in big, bold letters. It's a feast for the taste buds. Save some room in your baggage to take it all home.
Kitsch ‘Made in China’ copies of The Little Mermaid and tin soldiers. Oh, and those plastic helmets with Viking horns. Oh, and anything to do with Hans Christian Andersen. This is the year of the bicentenary of his birth so you’ll do well to avoid the Hans Christian Andersen wine/ cookies/dolls/badly-translated books of his fairytales/etc.
Funky, radical designer items that cause your friends to say, ‘Didn’t know they could do THAT with a corkscrew/lamp/cheese slicer?!’ A good stop is at Illums Bolighus on Amagertorv. Danish design at its best.
And why don’t you take the ultra right-wing politicians from the Danish Folkeparti with you when you go. Their xenophobia is getting on a lot of people's nerves. No, don’t send them back. Keep them.
Tucked away in the Marais, this little museum is housed within 2 mansions but somehow manages to span life in Paris all the way from prehistory to the present day. The buildings have a kind of faded elegance and their contents is fascinating but best of all is the courtyard which is a sun-trap and, compared to the rest of the tourist trail, tranquil.
23 Rue de Sévigné. 75003 Paris. Tel, 42 72 21 13. Neareast stations are Saint-Paul and Chatelet Les Halles
Chamonix's best snowboard shop. It stocks a huge range of quality kit and all the staff are experienced snowboarders. If you plan on renting any equipment it's the best place in town bar none, and it's also does a good line in repairs and servicing.
134 av Ravanel le Rouge, Chamonix. Tel: +33(0)450535844
It is a quirky bookshop crammed full of all kinds of hidden gems - right opposite Notre Dame. You may recognise it from the Before Sunset film with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. The extremely hospitable owner loves putting up wannabe artists and writers in the rooms above the shop (and friends of the staff - me!).
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