One of the best parts about traveling is the chance to explore exciting new shopping options. On top of the variety of unfamiliar retailers and designers at your fingertips, there is a whole gamut of exotic trends to try when traveling to places with varying cultures, climates, and traditions.
In looking to summer travel plans, we picked our top cities to shop right now. Though it was no easy task to narrow it down to five, these cities topped our list because they aren't your everyday New York or Los Angeles picks. (Both cities are still worth checking out though—see our favorites places to shop and see in the Big Apple and City of Angels.) Instead, these travel destinations are sometimes overlooked—but shouldn't be—and we're here to tell you why. Keep scrolling for a look at our top five shopping cities—in no particular order—below. Plus, visit our friends at Travel + Leisure to see which cities, hotels, cruise lines, airports, and more were named the World's Best.
1. Stockholm, Sweden
Oh, the Swedes. Not only are they a culture known for good looks, they're also quickly earning a reputation for serious style. Stockholm, the nation's capital, is teeming with high-end fashion stores, boutiques, and department stores. For instance, Åhléns, one of Stockholm's most famous department stores, is a major shopping hotspot with endless big-name designers all in one place. Then, just a short distance away, in Gamla Stan (or "Old Town"), there are quaint cobblestone streets with small boutiques selling locally made, high-quality products and traditional Swedish attire.
2. San Francisco, California
Not only are we obsessed with the scenic views and gorgeous architecture in San Francisco, we also love the city's awesome shopping. With an assortment of shopping centers, districts, and malls, the home of the Golden Gate Bridge offers opportunities to shop at almost every budget. For instance, San Fran's Union Square has both major department stores and smaller designer shops to suit your every shopping need. For a more raw retail experience, visit downtown San Francisco's Shopping Center and Chinatown to browse distinctive, one-of-a-kind products. See what else there is to see, do, and shop in San Francisco by checking out our complete San Francisco city guide.
3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
For those interested in a luxury-shopping experience, visiting Dubai is a must. The ultramodern city, located in United Arab Emirates (UAE), is packed with huge shopping centers, including one of the world's largest, The Dubai Mall. There, tourists and locals alike can find everything from gold to electronics, designer labels, and luxury items. In addition to giant shopping spots, there are also authentic, local souks, or Arabic marketplaces, where traditional items can be bought and kept as souvenirs.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan's capital, is undoubtedly the nation's style capital, as well. The city's fashion is ever-evolving and the younger crowd is known for pushing fashion boundaries and creating standout street-style looks. While visiting, tourists can visit the revitalized Marunouchi district, where there are endless store options in places like Oazo, Brick Square, and Tokia. Not to mention, there's the revolutionary "Kitte" shopping center, which is worth checking out for its one-of-a-kind, seven-floor shopping experience.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston's shopping is the best because there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking to visit your favorite designer shops or browse vintage finds or outlets, the options are endless. What makes this city especially great and easy to navigate—even if you only have a day or a couple of hours—is the close proximity of many stores to one another. Hit up our personal favorite spots, Copley Plaza and Back Bay, for all your shopping needs. One last expert tip: Should you get hungry while exploring your favorite stores, we recommend stopping off at Stephanie's on Newbury for a hearty salad with a side of their delish lobster guacamole.