Shopping is great here
London is one of the best places for shopping sprees. Many people will tell you that it's very expensive. True enough, but the stores offer so many sales that browsing a bit allowes you to do quite cheap and really great shopping.
Tottenham Court Road: Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road is the nearest thing you'll find in London to the Far East when it comes to shopping for electronics.
Most of the shops are run by Indians and other Asians although I've noticed recently an increasing number of Russians and Eastern Europeans. Prices aren't generally displayed and a degree of haggling is expected.
If you opt to shop here, do your research thoroughly so you know what is a good price for whatever you're after. Haggle like hell and make sure you get all the normal guarantees, etc.
To illustrate why it is important to research prices, here is an example. I went shopping for an external CD drive for my laptop. The salesman in the first place I went to showed me a TEAC CDRW and told me it was normally around 120 pounds but I could have it for 90. I told him I wanted to look around the other shops at which point the price immediately dropped to 80. I insisted I wanted to look around and with the prospect of me leaving (and an intervention from the manager) it was reduced to 70. I left anyway to look around. I went into virtually every store in TCR to see what else was available. A little later I saw the same TEAC drive for 50! While I was looking to see what was available the price variations were enormous between shops. They obviously just try to con you at first and this ploy may be successful with some customers. Be very careful. You may be able to get better deals from the high street shops who won't try to pull a fast one. Alternatively, if you have time, on-line shopping seems to be the best way to get a good deal these days.
What to buy: Computers, cameras and electronic goods.
What to pay: You should pay less than high street prices but please read my comments above. If you are not careful you will end up paying more.Related to:
- Family Travel
Various: Stop in Shops...
There are shops everywhere near Pickadilly Circus. They're also everywhere at Trafalgar Square and Westminster areas. Also several near the river. You can waste your entire time in London in shops if that's your cup of tea. ;-)
What to buy: I only wanted photos, so didn't really buy anything - but did pick up some Earl Grey to drink on the trip.
London: London - The World's best shopping city.
Bring as much money as you can when you visit. London is officially the best place in the world to shop. Many things are very expensive too. Bring as much money as you can means you'll enjoy yourself lots more. Happy shopping!
Get money back from VAT
Remember to save all your receipts (Value Added Tax: VAT) and when your in the airport dicking around tell your flight leave, go to the VAT station and get your refund for you tax.
Europe's Value Added Tax ranges from five percent to 22 percent per country, averaging 16 percent overall. A bit of a stealth tax, VAT is wrapped right into the purchase price. So if the VAT is 20 percent, the tax portion of an €100 item would be €16.70, not €20 as you might expect. Rates change, so check with merchants when you're there.
Know where to get your refund. If you buy merchandise in a European Union country, process your documents at your last stop in the EU, regardless of where you made your purchases.Related to:
- Budget Travel
EVERYWHERE!: CANTERBURY, more than just a tale....
I went to this little town to see the Cathedral, but I ended up power shopping. It's all pedestrian streets, so the shops are so easy to jump in and out of! Great stuff, great buys. I took it all back to London with me and mailed it home.
Burlington Arcade: Shopping in Sunshine (if you can afford it!)
If money is not a problem and you want to buy nice clothes, shoes or jewelry you should visit the Burlington Arcade. As the name says, you are always under a roof so you never get soaked. You'll see a large number of tiny shops which all look very traditional. By the way, you are not allowed to run, whistle or unfold your umbrella in the Arcade. Two 'Beedles' are watching you! And remember: just looking is ok too.
What to buy: Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry
What to pay: Just do not forget your creditcard and suffer later!
London Camera Exchange: Best general photographic shop
I've found the branches of the London Camera Exchange very helpful in buying camera equipment, film, processing, and photographic paraphernalia. The staff are knowledgeable and operate with a refreshing lack of condescension - pretty rare these days.
What to buy: Cameras and camera equipment, including second-hand stuff (they don't make 'em like they used to!). Professional film. Processing if you want something more than just your holiday snaps - especially the speedy service for enlargements. I use the Reading branch mostly, but it's the same lab they use (in Cornwall!).
What to pay: As much as you want.
James Fox & Co: Old-fashioned tobacconist
Now I smoke far too much and I wouldn't want to encourage anybody, but there's something special about an old-fashioned tobacconist shop, and they are almost an extinct species.
Don't you just love the "cigar store Indians" that appear so often in Raymond Chandler? These are US expats, since their home country now has a virtual "No Smoking" sign at all the ports!
Winston Churchill had an account here - paid in full at his death - andthe famous cigars were supplied from here.
All of East London n south: The lucky deal
Try n make a trip to East London when you are catching up with Greenwich or Canary Wharf . Cheap, good and reasonable shoppin for asian wear, electronic goods, and furniture anitques. You also get cheap calling cards to destinations all over the world. This is a different world altogether.
all on Marylebone High Street: So you can't go to Harrods ..
OK so you can't go to Harrods (I forbid it) and you can't get near Selfridges .. where should you go?
Try Marylebone High Street. It's just north of Oxford Street and has lots of great design shops and more upmarket chains like Aveda.
My favourite is a ceramics shop called Yo No Bi. They've lots of interesting pieces (including glass) from new designers at reasonable prices.
That's the pic, too.
The best of the best: Top 10
This is a list of the top 10 London shops according to londontown.com:
Top 10 London Stores
2. Fortnum & Mason
5. Harvey Nichols
8. Marks & Spencer
9. Paul Smith
Half price ticket booth in Leicester Square: Theatre tickets
Half price theatre tickets are sold here every day for performances on the same day. However, it is unlikely you will be able to get tickets for the big, popular shows. It's a question of supply and demand and for the big shows there is so much demand that there is no reason to sell the tickets off cheap.
Open every day from 10am to 7pm.
What to buy: Theatre tickets
What to pay: Half price of face value plus a service charge up to £2.50.
Seven Dials: 7 shopping streets
The Seven Dials shopping streets offer a broad range of shops with most of them being pedestrian area. Besides the shops there are hotels and theatres in the area.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Women's Travel
Honest John's Records: Reggae and more at Portobello Road
Honest John is in business since 1974. He trades in Blues, Folk, Jazz and Reggae records and more.
Mo-Sa: 10AM - 6PM
Su: 11AM - 5PM
What to buy: Records.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
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