The economic downturn is passé. The number of travellers has picked up around the world and shopping bags have come out of their hiding. So if you are in Europe and want to shop cheap without compromising style and experience you might want to check out these options.
Beyond beer in Bavaria
Bavaria may be most known for beer and fast cars (not a good combination, though), but Ingolstadt has added shopping to the list. While the entire shopping district of Ingolstadt in Bavaria offers a variety goods right from suits to shoes, the Oska outlet is particularly popular with discount shoppers. What’s more, under its roof all brands assemble including Bogner, Napapijri, Salomon, Helly Hansen and Falke. Other German labels Strenesse, Aigner and Move all are known to offer great bargains too. So for a moment forget about the price and look out for those ceramic vases at Rosenthal or the perfect riding shoes at Premium Shoes for one third of their prices compared to elsewhere.
If ever you are going to Spain, Las Rozas near Madrid is a place you should not miss. A drive lasting approximately forty minutes takes you to one of the best shopping districts in Spain which can boast of local and international brands rubbing shoulders. The local brands include Antonio Miro, Purifcacion Garcia, Custo Barcelona, Camper, and Bimba & Lola. Carolina Herrera, Hugo Boss, Zegna, Petit Bateau, Pepe Jeans, La Perla and Burberry are international brands that have pitched their tent here as well. Bargain options are said to range from 33 percent right down to 80 percent offering a shopping experience that is sure to keep the bags full and going.
La Vallée a’Paris
Large discounts, cheap prices, and the biggest brand names. La Vallée in Paris just outside Disneyland is all this and more. The brand names at La Vallée are the biggest in upscale European and international market. Organized in a village-like setting, La Vallée boasts of cobblestone streets and individually styled shops. The goods sold include brand-name clothes, jewelry, home design accessories, and travel goods. La Vallée caters to men, women, and children offering a selection ranging from sports clothing to formal wear. While discounts are generally at least 30%, bargains up to 70% and more off the retail prices is pretty common as well.
Internationally popular brands owning their outlets here include Armani, Bally, Burberry, Calvin Klein, D&G, Diesel, Dolce & Gabbana, Kenzo, Max Mara, Mexx, Polo Ralph Lauren, Timberland, and Tommy Hilfiger. There are other European brands here as well which are less commonly seen at international outlet malls. They are, amongst others, Alexandre de Paris, Apostrophe, Bodum, Christian Lacroix, Descamps, Givenchy, Mandarina Duck, Porsche Design, and Villeroy & Boch. Nike, Puma, Reebok, and Samsonite, are other brands which have shops at La Vallée Village.
The International Airport at Amsterdam is no shopping district, but the Tax free Shopping Centre at the airport boasts of being the best and the biggest shopping draw. Surveys have proved that Amsterdam airport offers dutiable items at the lowest prices. Precision goods, cigars and liquor brands score well among customers who often end their European journey in Amsterdam to add a bottle of liquor to their list of memorabilia. Well, does the bottle help you remember or forget? Tell you what, it doesn’t matter. But price does.
Fine design and craftsmanship set Italian goods apart from the rest. But high quality often comes attached with a cost as well. Challenging this perception is Omegna at Lake Orta with its high quality kitchen utensils and cookware. Surrounding this area near Lake Maggiore and to the North of Milan are scores of factory outlets selling everything from smart skiwear to high-tech lemon squeezers. Another name to look out for is Alessi which is known around the world for their clever, impudent and cutting-edge designs by the best of artists and architects. So next time you are in Italy, remember Omegna and Alessi and you will see why good designs need not always be beyond your budget.
While these are some of the important locations for bargain shopping in Europe, there are other lesser known places as well such as Starbucks in London. So be it Germany, Spain or Italy, Amsterdam, Paris or London there is a place where you will find what you want, and that too for a price you want it. So keep looking and asking and the bags will follow.