DVD devotees should ascend to the top floor of the Inno department store on the pedestrianised Rue Neuve, for the Media Markt store.
This major European chain sells general electronic devices plus a fair selection of CDs but excels with its choice of DVDs at competitive prices. Art-house and world cinema titles which would be hard or impossible to find in the UK are well represented, though remember to check that foreign language films have English sub-titles!
There is also a branch of Media Markt in Antwerp on De Keyserlei close to the Central Station.
Forget Atomic Cafe, just a few metres down the road is the uber cool, but totally unpretentious cafe Agnes Curran.
It serves great java and sells art, antiques and homewares making it really classy and very quirky.
There's something really special about Agnes Curran. It is full of character and a real find; not only that but it is renowned for the Kiwi delicacy Lamingtons: a wedge of sponge soaked in dark chocolate, coated in coconut and served with raspberry jam and cream. The staff are lovely too. What's not to love?
181 Ponsonby Road, Auckland. Tel: 464 9 3601551
Excellent place to spend time in Delhi. The place offers designer stores for Indian handicrafts, restaurants, cafes in the outer and middle lane, some of Delhi's oldest bookshops and Lodhi Gardens are right next door!
Simply one of the best video rental shops in the country. They literally have everything you can possibly think of. Brilliant.
The Custard Factory is a large former industrial complex housing creative businesses and a number of nice cafes and bars, including the Medicine Bar and Rooty Fruity.
There a few galleries, shops and showrooms that are also worth a visit.
You don't feel like you're in Brum when you visit this place, which for most people is a good thing.
If you want something cool to wear or to take back home this shop really stole my heart, they take iconic and retro images from around Beijing and take classics like the "I Climbed The Great Wall" t shirt and add a fun twist.
They also have retro mugs and posters. Worth popping in anyway, as it's on nan luo gu xiang which is a really fun place to walk around and see all the old hu tongs. There's a great Korean restaurant nearby too.
The place from where the Five Corners Quintet get their name and THE area in Helsinki to buy music. Vinyl and jazz included but you can get anything from Sibelius to Carl Craig.
Three great shops for any digger: Eronen, LifeSaver and Digelius.
Helsinki is full of design. It is everywhere and there is even a 'Design District' - an area of 20 odd streets and incorporating 150 shops that caters for everything; interiors, clothing, art, antiques, restaurants, galleries, museums and more.
Every participating store has a free Design District map which details every other store involved and what they specialise in. A great idea.
Porte de Vanves fleamarket on a Saturday and Sunday closes up at 1pm despited advertised times of much later - but it's the best and friendliest fleamarket, much easier to get around than the massive Clignancourt markets.
On a day trip to Paris, arrive in time for lunch in a bistro, explore an area in the afternoon and then head for Rue St Jacques, near Jardin du Luxembourg to find all you need for your picnic home on Eurostar; shops selling wine, cheese, cold meats, bread and fruit are close by.
Gisborne is on the east coast of the North Island and is a place few tourists venture to. I love it because the coastline is so beautiful.
Ignore the main beach in town. Instead head north through the township and stop at Wainui beach or go over the hill to Makarori (where the surfers go).
Both beaches are beautiful and are sandfly-free (really!). There are some fantastic restaurants in Gisborne, and one of the best bookshops in NZ (Muirs). The whole East Cape is beautiful, and worth a visit if you have the time.
Upon arrival, take the metro to 'Rue de Commerce' in the 15th arrondisement.
Here, you will be able to see Parisiens go about their daily business; be it buying fresh cheese at the fromagerie or picking up basic fashion at the Petit Bateau shop.
A real gem of a place to get the feel of how locals live. Stop off for a drink at a terrace before continuing towards the end of the street, where you are only a stone throws away from the Champ de Mars and the famous Eiffel Tower.
Buy Mis’Manon tarte tatin on rue Saint-Antoine and cross the street to the glittering courtyard windows of Hôtel de Sully.
Dangerous Liaisons come to mind, it’s not hard to imagine Marquise de Merteuil staring down. Linger under the arches of Place des Vosges before eating pique-nique in the most elegant square in Paris, beautiful when the trees have no leaves and the gorgeous buildings glow through the tracery.
Climb to the top of Victor Hugo’s house in one corner to get an elevated view then walk to the other corner and visit an exhibition in Jeu de Paume’s new outpost.
There are several APC stores in Paris (there are none in the UK) but this is the best.
Visit to buy the kind of fashion basics - mens and womens - that only the French can make so effortlessly cool.
3 & 4 rue des Fleurus, 75006 Paris. + 33 1 4549 191
My tip is Bus 96, which runs between Gare Montparnasse and Porte des Lilas.
Even if you don't get off, and just take it from one end to the other, you'll get a wonderful insight into Parisian lives and times.
You can use the 96 to shop in the chic area around Odeon, or the wonderful market on Richard Lenoir, You can stroll through the famous cemetery at Montparnasse, where the illustrious dead include Serge Gainsbourg and Sam Becket.
Bus 96 is also a great way of taking in the Picasso Museum, or simply taking the weight off your feet. But remember to take account of one-way traffic system, which means that it doesn't always go back the same way as it arrived.
www.RATP.com (body overseeing public transport in Paris)
The best shop for wintersports, mountaineering, walking (they do many more sports) I have ever found is Au Vieux Campeur in Rue des Ecoles near the Sorbonne.
They have several shops in the area, and they constantly change which shop sells what. Just ask at the first one you come across for the one you seek.
The service and facilities are superb; they even have a climbing wall to try out mountainerring boots. The difference between their prices for skis and those of London shops has been the cost of the return fare for me several times.
This is a tip for shopaholics. If you want some retail therapy, jump on a Eurostar train to Lille for the day, preferably with a girlfriend. Take an empty wheelie case, and go early.
The Eurostar terminal exit brings you out next to the Euralille Centre, but leave this for later and head for the main town, an easy five-minute walk.
If you have children in the family, the Rue de Paris has about seven wonderful children's shops. The streets of Vieux Lille offer an enticing variety of shops. There is a Printemps department store, and this autumn a new Galeries Lafayette store will open.
Grab a quick lunch, perhaps at Paul on Rue de Paris or Le Pain Quotidien, 33 Place Rihour. A delicious tea can be had at Meert, which you'll find at 27 rue Esquermoise.
Finally, whisk through Euralille, not forgetting the mammoth Carrefour hypermarket with food on the lower floor and household goods and clothes upstairs. Then it's back on the train to reflect that a day trip is really not long enough!
Hidden inside the Vieille Bourse (Old Stock Exchange) you'll find a wonderfully eclectic range of second-hand books. We bought some old TinTin comics (in French, obviously), which we treasure as a great memory of our day trip to Lille!
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