Expats relocating to New York City are in for a treat if they enjoy a regular dose of retail therapy. New York is probably one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world and the city really does have something to suit everyone’s tastes and requirements.

From renowned department stores in Midtown Manhattan to the weekly markets in Brooklyn, New York boasts a whole host of trendy shopping opportunities to fit a variety of different lifestyles.

Street shopping in New York City

Despite the cold winters, New Yorkers don’t confine themselves to shopping indoors at mega malls. To visit some of the best shopping spots in the city, expats must be willing to brave the elements and hit the shopping streets.

Fifth Avenue is probably the most famous shopping street in New York City. It is best known for its luxury boutiques and big department stores. Famous names found here include the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Gucci and Tiffany & Co.

Department store shopping in New York City

Macy’s Herald Square

Macy’s is a must for any New York expat. The store is huge and covers an entire block. Even if one is on a tight budget and doesn’t wish to spend anything, it’s worth visiting Macy’s just for the window displays. There are lots of other Macy’s scattered throughout the city but the flagship store in Herald Square is the one that draws most of the visitors.


Bloomingdales is famous for their little brown bags but there is also a lot more to this Midtown Manhattan department store. It's known for having the best selection of designer clothes and luxury brands so if expats have cash to burn, this is the store for them.

Saks Fifth Avenue

This is a New York institution. If one is after a luxury shopping experience then this is the spot. Located in the heart of Fifth Avenue, here shoppers are treated to some impeccable service and expertise from Saks' staff.

Markets in New York

For a different shopping experience in New York, expats should visit one of the city’s many flea markets and farmers markets on offer. Whether looking for vintage fashion or furniture, original art pieces, the freshest vegetables or most delectable baked goods, New York’s markets won’t disappoint.

GreenFlea Market

This established market with a wide variety of vendors is a hodgepodge of old and new items. Shop for a 1930s milk-glass lamp or stock up on Lancôme mascara. Buy a 1950s mink stole, an old Singer sewing machine table or a trendy new cuff bracelet made of wire. Every category is represented here and, in the warm months, the flower vendors have among the best assortment and prices in the city. There is also a small farmer’s market. 

Union Square Greenmarket

This is a farmers market of homegrown produce, gourmet foods, flowers and herbs. Much of the fare is organic. On weekends, it's also common to find food tastings and book signings. Visitors may well catch a local chef purchasing goods for their own restaurant and will have the chance to meet local farmers, bakers and harvesters.

Brooklyn Flea

This is a great urban experience with a very pleasant atmosphere. With more than a hundred vendors to browse, shoppers can find everything from impeccably preserved deco furniture to pinball machines and local homemade apparel. The chic Brooklynites make these markets a weekend meet-up must, taking the time to enjoy some of the great ethnic delicacies on offer. Visitors are sure to enjoy the people-watching as much as the shopping.

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