"The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her."
Find out where the best of London's shopping districts. Wherever you are, whatever you want, this shopping guide will help you find it.
London beat stiff competition from Paris, Barcelona and Madrid to be ranked as the best European city for shopping in the Globe Shopper City Index – Europe, which was researched and compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. International globe shoppers – that is tourists whose travel choices are heavily motivated by shopping opportunities – are estimated to be worth £3billion to the London economy.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus, Bond Street or Tottenham Court Road
The heart of London shopping, bustling Oxford Street has more than 300 shops, designer outlets and landmark stores. Home to the legendary Selfridges, it also boasts a range of famous department stores such as John Lewis, ,Primark, BHS and Debenhams
scattered among every well-known high street chain imaginable. Hate the crowds? Slip into a side street and it's pretty easy to leave the hoards behind. Check out St Christorper's Place and Berwick Street for some real treats.
Bond Street and Mayfair
Nearest Tube: Bond Street or Piccadilly Circus
Whether you've got money to burn and want to splash out on the very best in designer clothes, or just love luxury window shopping, Bond Street and Mayfair are the ideal places to go for some extravagant retail therapy. Popular with celebrities on a spree, this is probably London's most exclusive shopping area, home to big names including Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Neighbouring South Molton Street boasts iconic fashion store, Browns
Regent Street and Jermyn Street
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus
An impressively elegant shopping street, Regent Street offers a good range of mid-priced fashion stores alongside some of the city's oldest and most famous shops, including Hamleys, Liberty and The Apple Store. Nearby, historic Jermyn Street is renowned for men's clothing shops and is so typically British it's enough to bring out the old-fashioned gent in anyone! Jermyn Street is particularly well known for its bespoke shirt makers such as Benson & Clegg and shoe shops including John Lobb
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square
Whether you want hip fashion, unique gifts, rare sweets or one-off handmade jewellery, Covent Garden is a great place to explore. You can stock up on the latest urban street wear, funky cosmetics and shoes on Neal Street, check out imaginative arts and crafts at Covent Garden Market or just window shop around the stores. Don't miss Floral Street, Monmouth Street, St Martin's Courtyard, , Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials and Neal's Yard for a true taste of London's most distinctive shopping area.
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square
Shopping is the King's Road's main obsession – here you'll find an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, unique labels, designer shops and high-street staples, alongside a vast array of cafes and eateries. It's also a great place for inspirational interior design, with Peter Jones, Heal's, Cath Kidston and Habitat all vying for attention. Be sure to check out the store where punk was born in the 70s, Vivienne Westwood's shop
and the treasure trove of antiques at the Chelsea Antiques Market.
Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge
Visitors from around the world flock to Knightsbridge and Brompton Road to visit the illustrious shops and department stores. This is the place to go if you're looking for prestigious brands and up-to-the-minute trends from the world's fashion elite. Best known for Harrods and Harvey Nichols, you'll also find a whole host of big-name fashion designers on Sloane Street. Showing Knightsbridge caters to all tastes, there's a branch of Topshop
Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park
Famous worldwide thanks to the film of the same name, Notting Hill offers a vast array of small, unique shops selling unusual and vintage clothing, rare antiques, quirky gifts, books and organic food. There's also the unmissable Porobelle Road Market – a mile-long (1.6km) street with a vibrant array of different stalls set out daily. Nearby Westbourne Grove offers more high-end shopping, with stylish designer shops dotted between a mix of quirky boho boutiques, hip cafes and art galleries.
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf
Canada Square, in London's Docklands, is home to many of the UK's leading businesses, but it also has a great shopping centre, open seven days a week. Sleek and modern, Canada Square boasts more than 200 shops, with all the major high-street chains as well as a good selection of designer stores. Look out for big names like Oasis and Zara plus lingerie brand Myla and luxurious fragrance store Jo Malone
. If you can avoid the weekday lunch-hour rush, it's one of London's most chilled-out shopping experiences.
Nearest Tube: Bond Street or Piccadilly Circus
Known worldwide as the home of bespoke British tailoring, Savile Row is the place to come if you want a handmade suit crafted the old-fashioned way (with a price tag to match). Credited with inventing the tuxedo Henry Poole & Co – also the first Savile Row tailor – is still cutting cloth at No 15. Other big names include Gieves & Hawkes, H Huntsman & Sons and Ozwald Boateng. On the corner of this "golden mile" of tailoring you'll also find the flagship Abercrombie & Fitch
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus
The birthplace of the fashion and cultural revolution during the Swinging 60s, Carnaby Street and the 13 surrounding streets are two minutes away from Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus and feature more than 150 brands and over 50 independent restaurants and bars. Step under the iconic arch and you'll find an intriguing mix of stores as well as independent boutiques, heritage brands, and new designer names, as well as a choice of restaurants, bars, cafés and great English pubs will real ale, and real history. Don't miss Kingly Court just off Carnaby Street.
Nearest tube: White City or Shepherds Bush
More than just a shopping centre, Wstfield London is an innovative place to shop, to eat, and to meet. Inside the largest urban shopping centre in Europe you'll find high street favourites including Debenhams, Next, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser. There are also more than 275 luxury, premium and high-street retailers showcasing over 700 brands including Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, All Saints and Ted Baker as well as a cinema, gym, several bars and restaurants, all under one roof! If you're a fan of shopping centres, don't miss Westfield's sister site, Wstfield Westfield Stratfor City in the east of London.
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