I am not very familiar with these kinds of shops, but I often saw questions about them in the VT-forum and therefore I post this tip here.
Freeport is the biggest such "Designer Outlet " in Austria
On my pic : another lamp in Excalibur city...
...there is a proverb in latin saying "Ad gustibus non est dispudandum" - you cannot discuss about good taste ;-))
....BUT maybe the lamp fits well to the outlet, as many of the ladies might feel like in "shopping-heaven"
Click here for a map by www.multimap.com
What to buy: For Ladies :
Alberta feretti - Calvin Klein - Chevignon - Claire DK - Colloseum - Corso Italia - Diesel - Glenfield - Jackpot&Cottonfield - Jean Paul Gaultier - KARA Trutnov - Kenvelo - Lacoste - Lee Cooper - Levi's Dockers - Mandarina Duck - Marella - Marina Rinaldi - Max Mara - Mexx - Moschino - Narciso Rodriguez - OP Profashion - Pep jeans - Philosophy of Alberta feretti - Pollini - Sinequanone - Time out - Tommy Hilfinger - Velmar - Wolford
What to pay: reductions are up to -50%
below you will find a list of all the designer outlets especially for men - and also a link to the web-page of Freeport.
There are many restaurants and cafes as well in the large freeport-hall.
Freeport is open daily 10.00a.m. - 09.00 p.m. !!
Click here for a map by www.multimap.com
What to buy: Designer Outlets for men :
Brubaker - Calvin Klein - Chevignon - Corso Italia - Diesel - Glenfield - Jackpot & Cottonfield - Jerem - KARA Trutnov - Kenvelo - Lacoste - Lee Cooper - Levi's Dockers - Licona - Mandarina Duck - Mexx - OP Profashion - Pepe jeans - San Siro - Sarar - Time Out - Tommy Hilfinger
What to pay: You better check on their web-page below !
The design of the main Paris store in Blvd Hausmann quite simply defies description. You have to see it to believe it. This, added to the finest stock of designer items available anywhere in the world, with a number of first class eateries, a stunning food hall and a rooftop viewing area with views all over Paris thrown in for good measure, makes Galleries Lafayette a shopaholic's dream. Even if you can't afford to buy anything, you can't not visit this store, though I dare you to walk through the food hall and not scrape together the money for a maccaroon or the like.
What to buy: You name it, you will find it here.
What to pay: Lots or nothing if you are strong enough to just walk through and look.
Kröv is a small village in the Mosel-valley between Berncastle-Kues and Koblenz and it is famous for its great wine.
What to buy: Nacktarsch is the name of it's most famous wine .
That is quite an unsusual name for a wine
(= n@cked @ss in english ) and it might make a funny souvenir for your friends at home
More infos about Kröv and the Nacktarsch are on my Kröv-page.
What to pay: About 3 Euros for a bottle Nacktarsch 2002
The Belleek Visitor's Centre is situated in Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland right on the border with the Republic. The centre is beautifully appointed and for lovers of fine china, it is an Alladin's Cave. The Centre comprises a Museum, Video theatre, Restaurant and Showroom.
A tour is highly recommended to really get to know the wonderful history and the manufacturing process of what is to me, the most beautiful fine parian china available. I'm biased of course, as I am a collector of Belleeek, so suffice to say that I head up there every chance I get when I am in Ireland. I never tire of it and always leave with a bag or two under my arm.
Tours: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 12.15pm and 1.45pm - 4.00pm. Tours every half hour. Please note that the last tour on Fridays is at 3.00pm.
There are no tours available on Saturday or Sunday
What to buy: The range of china available will boggle you. It is the most tastefully designed showroom, which has the WOW factor in spades. Shipping is available to all parts of the world, if you can afford it. The service is efficient and usually your parcel will beat you home.
Do stop by the restaurant for a cup of tea/coffee and a snack before you leave. Served in Belleek china of course.
What to pay: The sky is the limit!
This is a chocoholics paradise. The front window is full of huge slabs of all different varieties of Swiss chocolate, it has to be seen to be believed. Inside it just gets better with hundreds of hand made chocolates and truffles to choose from. I apologise for the second photo as it was taken through glass and this doesn't always work for me., but enlarge it and you will get the general idea of what I like about this shop.
There is no ovious reason to go to Parndorf EXCEPT for the Designer-Outlet !
Shopping is the one and only thing you can do in the Designeroutlet Parndorf : the old village of Parndorf is in a distance of 2-3 km, and it even has a seperate exit on the highway. The shops in the Designeroutlet are in a wide row of houses and I guess you need at least 1 hour to pass by all of these shops and taking a look at just the first offers that you can see through the windows.
You will not only find fashion-shops but also luggage like Samsonite etc. you will find photo- and computershops like Niedermayer and even Beate Uhse ( everybody in Austria knows what kind of a shop that is, and for the others I am NOT going to explain...)
In the designeroutlet Parndorf you will find
150 different shops with more than 600 different lables
it is open daily except sundays and holidays !!
Monday till Friday : 09.30a.m. till 07.00p.m.
saturdays from 09.00a.m. till 06.00p.m. !
Every Friday and Saturday there is
a BUS from Vienna to the Designer Outlet!
What to buy: Dont expect to get the lastest fashion for those special prices ! In most of the shops you can read it clearly already in the window : all of these goods are from previous seasons, and / or some of the items may have some minor errors or mis-constructions etc.
On the other hand you will find a really big choice of goods, an almost empty shop during ordinary weekdays and you will get all the help and attention when choosing your merchandise.
What to pay: They say its 30% less...
If you happen to live in the Knightsbridge area then Harrods is a useful little place to stock up on life essential - pate fe foie gras, Buluga Caviar, etc.
Seriously though, Harrods is on may people's 'must see' list, and it is an impressive store. I rememeber an episode of the 'Good life' comedy on the BBC when Margo is asked how she will celebrate Christmas. She replied "Oh, we order it from Harrods and a little man brings in round in a van". That kind of sums up the place it has among a certain section of society,
Within the store itself the Food halls are perhaps the most impressive section with their hanging hames, game, seafood waterfalls and the life. The displays and decor are very impressive.
The Egyptian rooms on the ground floor perhaps remind me more of the type of themeing you would get in an American Theme park, but the hundred of thousands Alfayed spent on them in homage to his homeland provide an impressive backdrop to the business of selling stuff.
Meanwhile, upstairs you will find the much quieter departments where the 'old money' spends its dosh - such as the schoolwear outfitters and a sports department that features polo sticks.
You will also find, on a more poiniant note, a memorial to Alfayed son Dodi and Princess Diana at the base of the Egyptian escalators.
C & A would have to be just about the biggest department store chain in Europe. They have over 1200 stores all over the Continent from Russia to Turkey to France, Portugal and their home base Germany, as well as every place in between. This is where you go if you find you need another jacket or some more socks or undies. It is good apparel for all in all sizes and at reasonable prices.
What to buy: Any sort of clothing and accessories.
What to pay: All lines are at affordable prices.
I couldn't do an overview of shopping tips in Europe without including this one in the World Heritage town of Hallstatt, Austria. It is a particular favourite of mine mainly because I have never seen anything quite like it.
There aren't words to describe this shop. Just enlarge the pics and see for yourself. The shop sells mainly gifts which have been made by and large from local salt. It is unbelievable.
What to buy: There are soaps and candles and some very interesting salt blends for use in the kitchen. I bought some salad salt which was the lovely pink salt crystals mixed with various herbs and prettily wrapped in cellophone with a bow. It makes an unusual and attractive gift.
What to pay: I paid a meagre 3.90 euro for my salad salt.
I'm in the south.... honest.....
In its' quest to become a modern, trendy city, Birmingham UK, the mailbox is an attempt to create an upmarket shopping area. It claims that the the shopping centre / hotel / restaurant / parking / chewing gum holder development is the, and I quote, 'biggest mixed use development in the U.K'.
That is as maybe, but it also means that in the quest to 'cutting edge' the place suffers from the worst examples of 'developer speak'.
I'll try and translate a little for you :
1) This unique development offers a truly integrated lifestyle choice for the first time in the city's history. It brings together designer fashion and lifestyle shops, luxury apartments, two hotels, secure 24 hour parking and an array of restaurants and café bars. All in an exclusive waterside setting only two or three minutes walk from New Street station.
Means : We got anybody we could to be tennant, but we drew the line at Poundworld or Woolworths. A quick exit is available by train to London
2) Birmingham's answer to Bond Street, Wharfside Street is a 200 metre open-air pedestrian route carved dramatically through the full length of The Mailbox.
Means : Its bloody freezing when the wind whips through.
3) It features the largest collection of stand alone designer stores outside London including international brands such as Emporio Armani, Harvey Nichols, DKNY, Polo Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss.
Means : Brummies have only just started buying the designer crap the rest of us have bought for years.
NB : DKNY actually stands for Don't Know Nothing Youth.
3) There is the wide variety of stylish restaurants and café bars on offer from Indian cuisine (Café Lazeez) and Japanese (Shogun Noodle Bar) to Italian (Zizzi) and modern new Mexican (Santa fe). Catering for all tastes and budgets, a visit to the many waterside restaurants and café bars makes a perfect post-shopping retreat.
Means : Yet more overpriced, tiny-proportioned, pretend food places to waste your money in once you have been fleeced elsewhere.
If you are interested to buy some gifts for your friends and family, Versailles shops are very good solution for this, many souvenires, old pistols, swards, pictures, little statues, and lot more you can find in Versailles, the prices are resonable!
What to buy: Murano and Burano are wonderful little islands near Venice, they are famous in making glass work of a great and beautiful quality, Sara told me this is the typical thing of the city and it is great to buy such a wonderful souvenir as a gift from Venice!
Prices though could be exaggerated, so try to negotiate!
What to pay: Euro
The Kaethe Wohlfahrt story is delightful. It tells of the serendipitous beginnings of one of the most famous Christmas merchandising empires in Europe. Please take the time to go to the website below and read all about it. You will be fascinated, I am sure.
The KW stores are famous first and foremost in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, the home of the fabulous KW Christmas Mueseum, but there are many branches to be found in several European cities and they not only sell Christmas items , but also a huge and fantastic range of dolls and toys. If you're shopping for the grandchildren, you can't go past a KW store.
Stores can be found in Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Bamberg, Oberammergau, Garmisch-Partinkirchen, Riquewihr FR, Bruges, Ruedesheim and Heidelberg.
What to buy: Every shop is fairyland and some of the dolls are almost lifelike with beautiful big eyes that will take your breath away, they seem so real.
What to pay: A little or a lot. It's up to you.
Probably one of the most delightful shopping areas I have ever experienced is the town centre on Mykonos. This is a maze of little shops, restaurants, clubs, bars etc. that has to be seen to be believed. Apart from the inevitable souvenir shops there are a huge number of top class jewellery shops specialising in gold jewellery of the highest quality and price. You can happily get lost in the maze of lanes and alleys here , but fear not, you will find your way out eventually and I found it a fabulous experience being lost amongst all this colour, hype and excitement.
What to buy: Jewellery, clothing, souvenirs, music, food, drink and ice cream!!
What to pay: Astronomical prices for most of the gold jewellery, but I didn't find anything else any more expensive than in other parts of Greece.
The GUM - situated directely on the Red Square - was already a sort of " Communiste shopping-paradise " during the old CCCP-times.
And besides its architectonic charmes and beautiful fassades and great glass ceiling - it is still one of the best shopping-centres in Moscow.
What to buy: You will find shops of all major western companies there, as it seems to be simply a Must, to have a shop inside the GUM.
Have a look for the great glass-roof that makes a great climate inside the building even if it is much too hot outside...
What to pay: Its a rather expensive place, but you have the best choice - and its open daily even at the weekend.
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