Retail therapy, what better way to lift our spirits in the cold winter months? Shopping doesn’t have to be a mad scramble for the last sale item on the rack and, when done properly, can be an enjoyable experience. Why not combine this year’s shopping plans with a short jaunt into Europe? With the many cheap flights being offered by Ryanair, there is no better time to dust away the cobwebs from your wallets and purses and shop in style. Let’s look at 5 of our recommended shopping destinations:
1) Seville, Spain
If it’s not just the shops you’re interested in but also the buildings they are contained in, then Seville is the option for you. The Andalusian city is home to some of the best architecture in Spain and dates back over 2000 years. This is a stylish city full of stylish people, wearing some of the most expensive brand names found on the high street. You can find the main concentration of shops along the two streets, Sierpes and Tetuan. Don’t forget to plan your shopping around Seville’s famous ‘siesta’- shops will generally open from 9am to 2pm and then 5pm to 8pm.
2) Edinburgh, Scotland
This ancient Scottish city has everything a shopper may desire. If you’re looking for the latest and most upmarket brand names, they can be found along Multrees Walk, Edinburgh’s label-packed shopping district. For a more unique shopping experience, try the village-feeling but central area of Stockbridge. This small district is full of boutique-style shops, independent restaurants and can be a great place to find your next purchase.
3) Salzburg, Austria
Filming location for the classic musical The Sound of Music and home to music mogul, Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg is as beautiful and culturally intriguing in real-life as it seems on screen. In the Old City, you will find anything from well-known, established brands to the smaller, lesser-known boutique shops. Dive in and out of the small side streets to ensure you don’t miss anything. At the end of a long day shopping, why not treat yourself to a typical Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), to get your energy levels back.
4) Porto, Portugal
The birthplace of Port wine, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second largest city in Portugal, Porto has a lot to offer. For shopping, head to the city’s main shopping district, Rua de Santa Catarina, where you’ll find all your favourite brands. If you’re in search of some more ‘off the beaten track’ products, turn off into the small side streets to explore some of the independent boutiques.
5) Valletta, Malta
Malta is the perfect destination for any time of the year, with its pleasant temperatures all year round. Valletta, the island’s capital, is a beautiful fortress city with lots to discover and is great for a shopping trip mixed in with some sightseeing. Head to Republic Street, a pedestrianized walkway, to get to the main shops and, later, walk over to Merchants Street, where you will find the popular open-air market. Don’t sleep in too much though, as the market is only open in the mornings.
photo by Lars Plougmann on flickr