The idea of buying things in one of the worlds most expensive cities will not leave many flattered. With famous designers occupying most of high street shopping, smaller brands are pushed outside the tourist-populated areas. So where do you go to pick up something special yet affordable?
Most of London visitors look for something they read about in the guidelines. For example, where to find a unique wine merchant or where to buy a Paddington Bear? On almost every corner in London you can find souvenir shops selling everything from key pendants to T-shirts that will remind you of this multicultural city.
It is great to buy things that tell a story and that seems to work for many people. Those who come to visit after reading something about the country or knowing the history will not get tempted by the corner souvenir shops. They will head to St James Street, a home to great wine shops, or they will go to museums and buy something there.
For those who are keen to do some expensive shopping, London will not be disappointing. Harrods is quite popular with tourists as it features a selection of high class essentials. It seems that Harrods is the only store in the UK which still sells real fur. It also sells a range of fine perfumes as well as bath and spa essentials, clothes, accessories and more. It is not a bad place to pick up something bit more special and more pricy but of good quality or to shop for gifts. It is convenient to stay at central London hotels as it is located in the center of the city. Oxford Street, one of the more popular ones, features stores like Selfridges, HMV (for music, DVDs), Disney Store (for toys) and many other shops mostly for clothes and shoes.
For those who do not like overcrowded shopping places, more extravagant and bohemian style can be found in famous London street markets. Portobello market in Notting Hill is ideal for antiques. Camden Town is great for exotic clothes and cheap take aways. Do not forget that there are no bad purchases when they are planned appropriately.