First, let me admit, that I'm not a big shopper and besides food in the food court, I've rarely purchased anything here. However, my sister tells me that one of the best jewelery shops in the city, Linde Meyer, is located here.
I've walked around this mall and the highlights for me are the 90 foot glass atrium and the overall architecture of the place.
Philadelphia has several shopping districts that have distinct personalities.
Downtown Center City-
This is where you'll shop if you are looking for big names and expensive merchandise. Fashion and fine-dining are at the core here. You'll find high-end national chains, department stores and local boutiques.
An indoor mall in center city that has lost some of it's appeal, but is a good place to go on a rainy or cold day. You'll find affordable shops and national chains stores here. There's a good food court here as well. (The Gallery got a cameo in the film "The Day After Tomorrow).
The name says it all. Chinatown is especially great for dining and purchasing asian grocies and goods.
South Street is where teens and 20-somethings go to eat, hangout and shop. You'll find lots of interesting nightlife, eateries and boutiques specializing in the things that interest young people.
The Shops at Liberty Place-
Upscale and chain retail stores shopping and food court in the two skyscrapers most highly visible in the Philly skyline. Great for shopping in winter or on days when weather is inclement.
The Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market-
Located in different areas of the city, but both have the same focus: culinary goods. My favorite places to shop!
Featuring a stunning glass dome, this landmark center is home to 70 stores including The Coach Store, Godiva Chocolatier, J Crew, and Parfumerie Douglas. An international food court with 18 restaurants is also inside the center.
What to buy: Mon-Sat. 9:30 to 7pm,
Wed. until 8pm,
Upscale downtown shopping mall with food court. Pleasant place to spend a lunch break when working downtown, as there are occasional free entertainers or events in the center "rotunda" area. Shops a bit pricey but expected considering the population (high-rise suite professionals) this mall serves.
What to pay: Philadelphia has a 7% sales tax, as opposed to the rest of Pennsylvania (except Pittsburgh) at 6%. Add to that this is an upscale, downtown mall that serves primarily the working population of the business district. But it's fun to shop around anyway, and if you're working or visiting downtown at least you don't have to go very far.