Where to shop in New York!

My particular favourite is US department store, Macy?s. Stretching an entire block of 34th Street, you won?t run out of clothes to model and shoes to try on. It has a range of in-house labels as well as more established designers that will have you reaching for your credit card in no time. Not only do they have killer sales (such as 50% off everything in stock!) there are also added bonuses for travellers. If you go to the visitor centre and show your passport, you?re presented with a discount card that will entitle you to a further 11% off your purchases. It makes for a very inexpensive shopping trip, whatever language you speak!

34th Street is directly below the Empire State Building, and also holds some of the best chain stores in America including Banana Republic and shoe store Steve Madden. Check out the Swedish bargain chain H&M on Broadway for club clothes and trends of the moment and a variety of recognisable brands, all in a central location.

If boutiques and one-offs are more your bag, try shopping downtown in the SoHo and Greenwich Village districts. SoHo has brilliant avant-garde fashion houses right next door to art galleries and delicious restaurants. Greenwich Village has long been known for its artsy and hip crowd. The tree-lined streets are home to students from nearby New York University as well as local residents, all enjoying the easy going feeling of ?The Village?. The fashions are fun and you?ll find everything from eclectic varieties of chess boards to unusual antiques.

You can?t go to New York without checking out where the rich and famous shop. 5th Avenue has long been the home to the exclusive diamond district, as well as a bevy of other designer outlets. You can?t go past Tiffany?s without sauntering inside and confidently choosing your diamond of choice, then proclaiming to the sales assistant, ?Maybe next time…? They won?t believe you?re any different to the millions of other tourists keen for their Audrey Hepburn experience, but we?ve all gotta try it, right?! Saks Fifth Avenue is another shop great for a look see, as well as Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman. While you?re there, take a look at Bloomingdales. The prices are less expensive than other shops around the area, but still have an unmistakable class. You?ve also got to head over to Madison Avenue where designers such as Calvin, Jean-Paul and Giorgio show their wears. Designers such as Prada, Hermes and Chanel have their flagship fashion house boutiques and the noble Polo Store can be seen on 72nd St.

If you like your designer duds at a fraction of the cost, head to Century 21. It?s situated smack bang in the centre of the financial district downtown, so isn?t entirely convenient for a shopping trip, but some of the savings can be tremendous. It has all types of designers, from Armani to Calvin Klein and anything in between. If you don?t mind trawling through huge racks of clothes for your discounts, it?s the perfect shopping experience.

But like all the best experiences in life, shopping is better when you discover things yourself. Wander aimlessly around Soho, duck into shops in quieter streets and trawl 5th Avenue for that perfect dress or prettiest shoes. The journey is almost as fun as the destination!

By Bliss Baker – Intrepid traveller, journalist and Sex and the City devotee