Travel and treating yourself to luxury shopping go hand in hand for many, so this year’s list of the world’s most expensive shopping streets may help you plan a retail therapy trip or holiday shopping spree for those loved ones who like to see presents under the tree with labels that take their breath away.
Sometimes, it’s even fun just to walk around famously extravagant shopping districts on vacation and people-watch to see how the ‘other half’ – or rather, that other 1% - lives.
If any of those travel activities appeal to you, a new report might give you some ideas for your next urban vacation. It compares how rents in the world’s top luxury shopping streets stack up now – and reveals that the last couple of years has changed the lineup of the most expensive shopping streets in the world.
1. In December, 2022, the most expensive shopping street in the world is New York City’s Fifth Avenue.
Fifth Avenue may be New York’s most recognizable street, running north-south through Manhattan past Central Park. It’s the street that’s home to most of the city’s celebratory parades, and the section between 59th and 96th streets across Central Park is dubbed ‘Millionaire’s Row.’ Just before that section of historic mansions in the 50’s is the most expensive shopping street on the planet.
Naturally, you’ll find eye-popping U.S. flagship stores of global brands, plus American designers, and legendary department store Saks Fifth Avenue.
Don't miss: flagship stores of ‘high street’ brands that are a lot more high concept than the ones you see in your local mall at home, making them well worth the visit just for the lifestyle experience.
2. Hong Kong’s Canton Road has dropped from its first place position as the world’s most expensive shopping street.
That’s not surprising as Hong Kong, as of the beginning of December, 2022, remains essentially closed to visitors due to the pandemic. As a result, its rents have dropped to ‘only’ three-quarters the price of rents on NYC’s Upper Fifth Avenue. Still, that keeps Canton Road in second place among the world’s most expensive shopping streets.
Close to the Star Ferry Pier on the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong, the section of Canton Road between Austin Road and Salisbury Road is home to some of the most bedazzling flagship stores of the world’s most iconic designer brands. Here, the secret to success is excess, where eye-catching design, spectacular storefronts, and awe-inspiring displays and experiences - and of course, those wallet-lightening products – beckon.
Don't miss: Harbour City, the largest shopping mall in Hong Kong, with hundreds of stores.
It may not surprise you to learn that all the other top five most expensive shopping streets in the world are in Europe.
3. Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone comes in at third place globally, and the most expensive shopping street in Europe.
Not surprisingly in the capital of Italian fashion and design, Milan’s Via Monte Napoleone celebrates Italian high style. The designers who became among the first household names of fashion in the world have their ateliers in Milan, and their global flagship stores are right here. They are housed in the street’s Neoclassical palaces, originally built for the Italian aristocracy, now aptly home to Italy’s fashion royalty.
Don’t miss: shoe shopping. The most exclusive Italian shoemakers for men and women – some you may not know of unless you are really obsessed with fine footwear – have their boutiques right here.
4. London’s New Bond Street has dropped behind Milan, now coming in as the world’s fourth most expensive shopping street.
In the tony West End of London, Bond Street is the only street connecting Picadilly in the south, to Oxford Street in the north, with New Bond Street in the northern section. Since the 1700’s, it’s been home to some of London’s most prestigious fashion retailers, and that tradition continues today in historic, protected buildings. According to local authorities, it has the “highest density of haute couture stores anywhere in the world, including iconic British brands and international favorites.
Don’t miss: Bond Street’s history as the location for London’s top-shelf art dealers and antique shops. Sotheby’s auction house has been on Bond Street for over a century.
5. Paris’ Avenue des Champs-Élysées rounds out the top five most expensive shopping streets in the world.
While ‘only’ ranking fifth in the most expensive shopping streets, it may be the street in Europe most people could name first. Not only is the Champs-Élysées the heart of French couture, it’s the most famous street in the city that perpetually ranks one of the top three city travel destinations worldwide.
Running between Place de la Concorde and the city’s epic landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, this wide, tree-lined avenue is the center of French public celebrations, from the finish of the Tour de France to Bastille Day parades. It is often named the most beautiful street in the world. In recent years, global fashion brands have joined historic French couture houses.
Don’t miss: the spectacular holiday lighting that makes a spectacular avenue even more magical between late November and early January (pictured).
Start your Shopping Trip!
By: Lynn Elmhirst, cruise / travel journalist and expert.
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