Harrod's is, indeed, a landmark in London. It's also one of the largest department stores in the world!
In addition, it is home to 20 restaurants and bars. There are 300 departments and over 4,000 people on staff!
Jill and I shopped there during the January sales--quite an experience. I loved the food hall which has some of the most beautiful fresh produce.
Most of the merchandise sold is of the highest quality, but you pay for that quality.
I was astounded to discover that unless you purchase something in Harrod's (or are pregnant or have a child in tow), you have to pay one pound to use the toilets!
What to buy: Clothing, shoes, jewelry, hats, scarves, perfume, linens, and the list goes on...almost anything can be purchased here.
What to pay: This is upscale so you will pay a good deal for great quality.
I jumped on a number 9 Heritage Routemaster Bus in Piccadilly and jumped off again just across the roads from Harrods. I wasn't really planning on going in but I thought I might just take a look at their luggage dept as I needed a new rucksack and haven't been inside since ohhhhh... somewhere in the late 70's.
Well... the nightmare shopping trip from hell began the moment I walked in the door. It was too hot, too noisy, too crowded, too tacky, too expensive and probably one of the worst shopping moments I have experienced in a long time. There is NOTHING classy about this place - it is gaudy, and sells garish overpriced crap. A scrunchy (a type of hairband) can set you back ?195!!!!!! It bears more resemblance to a theme park than a department store.
And as for the Dodi and Diana Shrine - well.... it would be touching if it wasn't so laughable. I couldn't even bring myself to waste good film on it, unlike the throngs of tourists for whom a visit here was some kind of pilgrimage.
With most of my tips I would include a website - but I won't bother with this one.
What to buy: Don't bother buying anything here. Go to Harvey Nicks along the street.
What to pay: More than you earn probably.
What an amazing store! Most of the tips I've read says that it's beautiful, but advises that it's so expensive that you should look, but there's no way the average person could afford to buy.
However, while much of the merchandise was out of my reach (especially with the exchange rate), it was probably no more expensive than the same thing selling somewhere else.
It was so much fun to look around -- it is a beautiful store --though it was so big it was easy to lose your way. And the food court was indeed incredible, full of creative and delectible looking edibles.
What to buy: I was looking all over for some flower seeds in London to take home for a gardener friend who specifically requested lavender. Lo and behold, there was a whole wall full of little flower packets that cost less than a pound (forgot the exact price); the lavender slot was empty, but my friend was very happy with the seeds I did bring to her.
I also bought a Beatrix Potter story book for my granddaughter-to-be Lily, in the children's section of the book store. The price was printed on the cover, so was the same as in a book story anywhere else.
So don't be afraid to shop at Harrod's. The shopping bags are neat to bring home, too.
Harrods is touted as Londons most famous shop and something I have wanted to see for many years! As much as I have read of this place I was still suprised at the sheer size of it! There are over 300 department within its walls. You can buy almost anything here. We only spent a few hours exploring so we did not see it all. The food halls are amazing and we did indulge in some yummy cheescake while wondering through. There is a memorial to Princess Di and her friend (his father owns Harrods) It is rather strange but I have included a picture. The Egyptian room is awe inspireing.
Harrods was originally founded by a tea merchant Henry Charles Harrod in 1849 and at one point you could purchase large animals such as an elephant or a giraffe in the pet store. Now you can only find your usual domestic animals there.
What to buy: I only bought a few small greeting cards and some cheesecake. Harrods is more of a must see then anything else.
What to pay: Harrods is not a budget shop so do not expect to find any true bargains. Things seemed to be a bit pricey but some of the cards and food was reasonably priced.
Touted as the best and largest store in the world, Harrod's isn’t your basic department store. It is quite overpriced, and overcrowded no matter when you visit. Its more of a tourist attraction in itself and deserves a few hours of perusing. My favorite departments are the food courts, the beauty and accessory department, the pet shop and the travel departments as well as the Arcade with its signature teddies, bags, and other great items.
I always make it a point to stop by and pick up a few things especially some of their signature bags which I love to give as presents (I have a few myself). Their food courts are amazing, just browsing their different departments of delicious goodies like their seafood department or their cheese department.
I love browsing their accessories department as I have found some really unique although pricey costume jewelry.
What to buy: During my most recent trip I purchased a few of the signature bags for some friends, Harrod’s teddy for my grandson and some Harrod’s Tea for a co-worker.
What to pay: Expensive
Who dosn´n know what Harrods is?? But I must say that I´m not so impressed by Harrods that I tought I would be. It sure is a big Department store but there is so many sections that you get confused. I spent about 10 minutes finding a toilet in that maze and when I finaly find one toilet it was a "luxury" toilet with a man inside giving you paper towel and perfume so you must leave a tip to him, rubbish.
I´m not impressed by Harrods. There is a much better Department store on Oxford street (Selfridges) go there instead. Read about Selfridges in my Shopping tips.
What to pay: To much
The foodhalls were spectacular. One room for sweets and confectionery, another was a delicatessen, another one for fruits veg etc.
What to buy: Fresh meats, seafoods, chocolates, pastries, breads, cheeses, jams and preserves and so much more.
Cooked foods and takeaways...Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, Italian the list goes on.
It was a mouth watering experience.
What to pay: An ordinary looking pineapple - 7 pound or $17 aud.
Cherry Tomatoes - 12 pound a kilo or $30 aud.
Beluga caviar - 95 pound for 30 grams - $240 aud
The takeaway section was not that expensive.
A chicken samosa - 1.50 pound.
Creme brulee - 2 pound.
Harrods is the shop of dreams. If your dream may be bought then Harrods can get it for you. A pie in the sky, a skeleton in the cupboard, a white elephant - Harrods is the place to go.
Harrods is not in Oxford Street which is the busiest shopping street in London though, but no walk on London's shops would be complete without Harrods away from the very centre of London.
The store's 330 departments offer a wide range of products and services. On peak days more than 300,000 customers visit the store and the 28 restaurants, a watch repair service; a tailor; a dispensing pharmacy; a beauty spa and salon; a barbers shop.
What to buy: Everything what you need but rich people shop is not where I do my shopping!!! ( The owner of Harrods is Mohammed al Fayed! )
Products on offer include clothing for every sort of customer (women, men, children, and infants), electronics, jewellery, sporting gear, bridal trousseau, pet accessories, toys, food and drink, health and beauty items, packaged gifts, stationery, housewares, home appliances, furniture, and much more.
On the 3rd floor you can see and even play the Bechstein grand pianos.
What to pay: If you visit London Harrods is a must. Even if you do not belong to those wishing to spend an entire week-wages on one outfit, it is worth going to have a look around, it does not cost anything to stroll only.
You can buy ALMOST EVERYTHING but very expensive!!
Main Store: Monday to Saturday 10.00am – 8.00pm, Sunday 12.00pm – 6.00pm
Selected food halls: Monday to Saturday 9.00am -9.00pm, Sunday 12.00pm-6.00pm
If you happen to live in the Knightsbridge area then Harrods is a useful little place to stock up on life essentials - pate fe foie gras, Buluga Caviar, etc.
Within the store itself the Food halls are perhaps the most impressive section with their hanging hams, game, seafood waterfalls and the like. 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.
Their Christmas Santa is also the 'ticket' as a 4-year old explained to me : "We are going to see the real Santa in Harrods...not those men dressed up who help him." - How can you argue with logic like that ?
What to buy: Much of the stuff you can buy elsewhere, often at a lower price, but many want something with the 'Harrod's' logo on it. They do a lot of trade in this way, whether the items are true souveniers or just other products in Harrods packaging.
My wife got very annoyed with me recently whenI told some toffee-nosed woman that the Christmas puddings were better in Aldi (the discount store) for One pound 99 rather than the 8 quid she was about to spend on a Harrod's one. My wife called be an ignorant peasant. Too true, I'm afraid.
This is a must-see !! The food hall, the cosmetics, designs, clothes,...
The Harrods was completed in 1905 and its interior decoration icludes Art Nouveau and Art Deco syles.
Harrods is today one of the most celebrated stores. It's annual sale attracts thousands of shoppers.
Just to let you know : taking photos isn't allowed.
It's open from Monday to Saturday from 1à amt o 7 pm.
Harrods was a real experience! Wandering around all the different departments was like going on an adventure. The whole store is a series of rooms each representing different types of merchandise.
'Shoes and apparel' may lead on to the 'jewellery' section then on to 'menswear' and so on. You could get seriously lost in there and believe me I did. I think I spent more time trying to find my way in, out or through the place than I did actually shopping. Well the average person like myself doesn't actually go to Harrods to shop more likely to just have a look around and dream about actually being able to shop. The prices were to be seen to be believed and it surprised me to see some people actually buying stuff.
What to buy: They have just about everything! From duck eggs to diamonds.
What to pay: Unless you have money to burn - you won't really do any serious shopping.
Why not visit Harrods the world's most famous shop?
a really good exursion :)
What to buy: Knightsbridge is probably best known for Harrods and Harvey Nichols department stores. When you leave the tube, you can take a pedestrian tunnel that goes from the platform directly to Harrods' entrance, or you can use the other exit for Sloane Street and Harvey Nichols. Like Bond Street, all the big-name fashion designers can be found in Sloane Street, but if you prefer equally elegant shops, on a smaller scale, head for Beauchamp Place.
Harrods, owned by Mohamed al Fayed since 1985, may be the most famous Department Store in the World. I made at least three trips to London before I ever stepped foot into it. To be fair, I must say that I am not a shopper. But a trip to Harrods is not just a shopping trip. It's more like a visit to the Museum of shopping!
Huge, with a map available as soon as you walk in the door, the store is filled with amazing, elegant items. Walk through acres and acres of perfumes, cosmetics, purses, accessories, socks, shoes, sunglasses, linens, clothing, furnishings.... and you haven't even yet embarked on my three favorite Harrods destinations.
The Food Court
Holy Moly! This place is incredible. Do NOT miss a stroll through Harrod's food courts. Several rooms are set up like individual markets and cafes and restaurants. Amazingly they have recently added a Krispie Kreme! You feast on sushi, cheese, a seafood bar, rotissery fare.... on and on. And each will net you a free pass to destination #2....
Very luxuious and costing 1 GBP to enter, take a break in this lounge. Try out one of the lovely perfumes set out by the mirrors.
I love the bookstore here. One of the greatest things is that there are often paperback books that have been signed by the author. I have found a couple of favorites that make great gifts. I could spend hours in the Harrods Bookstore.
What to buy: Harrods has loads of logo stuff. If that's what you're looking for, wait until you are leaving and buy at Heathrow. After passing through security, you will find a lot of the same things Duty Free. When you consider that VAT is 17.5%, that's a considerable savings.
What to pay: Most things are pricey. Some are more standard.
Last visit July 2011
Harrod's is the most famous department store in the world, even on my first journey to London back in 1988 I had heard of it and made a point to stop by just to look as I certainly couldn't afford to shop there back then!
I didn't make it back to Harrod's until 2005, I'm not much of a shopper and even less so when I get hit with abysmal exchange rates. But we had some time to kill before dinner on our first day in London and we were in the vicinity so we popped in. I imagine I was impressed on my first visit, my first time out of North America, but on my 2nd visit I think amused was a better word. Gaudy doesn't begin to describe the elaborate Egyptian themed interior, ride the escalators up for the full effect. And I was pretty much speechless after seeing the tacky display devoted to Di and Dodi, the wine glass they sipped from the night of their deaths and the engagement ring.
The connection to Di and Dodi, of course, is that the current owner of Harrod's, is Dodi's father. But there was a man named Charles Harrod back when the department store was founded in 1834, he moved the store to the current site in Knightsbridge in 1849.
But oh, was I impressed by the food hall, even if you don't intend to buy anything, go take a look, it's just a heavenly place to be! And I dare you not to come out with anything in hand, for me it was a very small sampling of Neuhaus Belgian chocolates.
What to buy: Well, I had to buy something from Harrod's to get one of those distinctive green bags with Harrod's written on it, didn't I? So I bought a couple of cute Christmas ornaments, bears with Harrod's written on their feet, and Harrod's stuffed bears for a couple of my friends that just had babies. If the pounds had been dollars the amount would have been palatable so I just ignored the exchange rate and didn't look to see what my extravagance cost me when I got home.
What to pay: A lot!
When l lived in London l stayed well clear of this department store. Most people who shop there are wealthy not a place for me. My friend insisted that l buy her a souvenir. I forced myself to take the tube to Knightsbridge and in l walked, my backpack searched and l was sent to a small area full of souvenirs well away from the expensive stuff. I happened to notice that the owner of Harrods Al Fahid had a shrine to Princess Diana and Dodi. I had to have a peep and thought how tacky it was. Pictures of both of them and the ring he was going to give her and a glass she drank out of in Paris... Personally l think they both should be left in peace without reminders, especailly in a department store.
What to buy: If you really want to vist Harrods l would recommond the food hall. The interior is fab and the food... well it is affordable.
What to pay: Not much unless your wealthy.