Shopping in New York: The Ultimate Guide 2024

The Best Places to Shop in NYC

New York City is truly the best place for a successful shopping spree. The city has something for everyone with world-renowned brands and labels on every corner, cool shops in NYC, small insider boutiques hidden in up-and-coming neighborhoods, malls and outlets located just outside the city.

Shopping in New York means you can find pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. Some worldwide trends are established here, new ranges and products are launched and the reactions of customers are tested. Shopping here is simply an amazing experience and it’s something you will definitely understand when you explore some of NYC’s finest spots for shopping.

This NYC shopping guide will show you the best places to shop and where you can score the best deals. Many stores offer a 15% discount on top of regular savings that you experience due to exchange rates and generally lower prices!

Looking for a shortcut? Here you find the 👉 best shopping areas in NYC, 👉 world-famous Shopping Stores in NYC and 👉 the best shopping streets in New York! And in my recently published article I have the 34 best flagship stores in NYC for you!

The 7 Best Shopping Areas in NYC

Every neighborhood in New York features its own best areas for shopping. You can shop for big-name brands anywhere in the city. Shopping on Fifth Avenue and the Meatpacking District, or unique boutiques in city parts like SoHo, Williamsburg, and Greenwich Village will provide you different types of stores. One of the best parts of shopping in the fashion capital New York City is that many brands have a flagship store here.

1. Shopping at Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle and Time Warner CenterThe Shops at Columbus Circle is a small, manageable mall located directly at Central Park. We like shopping here because of the well-known brands and the fact that it is not as crowded.

You can find Columbus Circle directly in the bottom west corner of Central Park near 8th Avenue.

Address: 10 Columbus Circle, New York, 10023

2. Best Shopping in SoHo NYC

Cobblestone roads in SoHoShopping in SoHo can offer you everything that will make your heart skip a beat. The entire area around Broadway in SoHo is one of our favorite shopping areas in downtown Manhattan. SoHo has its own artistic charm and is home to many stores ranging from luxury brands and boutiques to more common brands like Forever 21 and H&M – SoHo truly has something for everyone.

With some great unique cafés in the area, you will not struggle to find a spot to rest your feet after a day of shopping. Our tip: come early in the morning during the week. There is much less of a crowd which guarantees a far more relaxed shopping experience. More about SoHo here.

3. Shopping in the Meatpacking District

Shopping in the Meatpacking District NYCThe Meatpacking District, near the beginning of the High Line in downtown Manhattan, is one of the most contemporary areas in the city. It is definitely going to make you whip out your credit card with its numerous exciting shops, bars, and restaurants. The well-known TV show Sex and the City also showed the girls of the cast buying their fancy dresses here.

In addition to the expensive boutiques, you can also find a UGG Store, an Asics store with a broad selection of their newest products, and an Apple store. If you are tired of shopping, you can stroll through the Chelsea Market to find a bite to eat – the Food Market sells something to please every kind of palate. You can also combine your shopping trip in the Meatpacking District with a visit to the Whitney Museum!

4. Shopping at Herald Square

may's store from outside

The atmosphere at Herald Square is significantly more hectic than the aforementioned spots. As a hotspot for tourists, it requires some strong nerves or a serious dedication to shopping. However, if you don’t mind a slightly busier shopping experience and a higher noise level, you will find that a great shopping experience awaits. In addition to the huge department store, Macy’s NYC (which is impressive just by itself), there are many other flagship stores all around Herald Square.

The new flagship store of H&M has also opened here, which is, of course, a brand you can find internationally as well as in the UK, but the NYC shop does it better. In close proximity, you will also find Victoria’s Secret, Zara, Mango, Levis, Footlocker, Gap, and Forever 21. These are just a few of the more popular retail shops you will find here. Our tip for this shopping location is the same as the previous one, make sure to come early and during the week if possible. Once you arrive at Herald Square you will quickly find yourself adapting to the fast pace of New York as you explore the large, busy, shops.

5. Shopping at The Oculus

Shopping at Oculus in NYC

Very close to One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is the Oculus. You can’t miss the futuristic looking building. It is also a train station with connections to New Jersey, a Christmas market during the holiday season and a mall with many great stores.

For those who are looking for one of the newest shopping addresses in New York, the Oculus is the best choice!

Here you find everything you need to know about shopping at the Oculus.

6. Shopping around Brookfield Place

We love Brookfield Place: in the summer you can sit in one of the many restaurants and look at the One Word Trade Center, there are some of the best rooftop bars in New York and you can go shopping.

In Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan hides a complex of buildings in which there is a lot of choice, especially for the more expensive tastes. Here you will find luxury stores like Burberry, DVF, Gucci, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tory Burch.

Want to know more about it? Check out our Guide to Brookfield Place NYC.

7. Shopping on Lexington Avenue

On the Upper East Side around Lexington Avenue, you will find a nice mix of luxury brands and more common brands like Zara and H&M. The Upper East Side is also home to Bloomingdale’s, one of the most famous and beloved department stores of New York City. When you purchase an item here it will be placed in one of their signature, world-renowned, Little Brown Bags for you.


The Most Famous Shopping Stores in NYC

  1. Macs_161214115634010

    01 Macy's Herald Square

    This is the flagship of Macy’s department stores and it shows! At over 2100ft² this is the biggest department store in the USA! The 10 floors of shopping space have developted into a NYC icon for shopping over the past 150 years and as soon as you set foot through its doors, you will see why.

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    02 Bloomingdale's

    Bloomingdale’s is an institution in New York. The brown shopping bags that you are sure to feel like you’ve come across a hundred times in New York are very well known. There is a reason for this: the selection is huge and really valuable.

  3. Saks_Fifth_Avenue_Holiday_Windows_NYC_211212210117004

    03 Saks Fifth Avenue

    Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store, which is located in Midtown Manhattan, offers an experience like no other flagship store in the city. It’s one of the original stores responsible for helping to make fifth ave a must-visit shopping destination.

    The flagship store is a whopping ten stories high and features everything from designer clothing to accessories to home decor. You’ll find all of the top designers at Saks Fifth Avenue, including Prada, Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and more! In addition to clothing, you can also find beauty products and services here, making it the perfect one-stop-shop for all your luxury needs.

    The flagship store is often considered to be the most luxurious department store in New York City and offers an experience that is sure to please everyone who visits. With outdoor light experiences, and intricate displays adorning each floor of Saks, it’s no wonder why many consider it to be one of the must-visit store’s flagship stores in NYC. 

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    04 H&M

    Futuristic, modern and unique. I think that’s the point when you talk about H&M in Times Square. Since its opening in autumn 2013 with Lady Gaga, the H&M trends have been set here. This is where they test what works on the market, this is where the choice is greatest. A DJ creates a great atmosphere every day and the staff also celebrates their work.

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    05 Nordstrom Flagship Store NYC

    The Nordstrom Flagship store in NYC opened in 2019 and is the first Nordstrom for women in the city. It was a big move because the area is already saturated with multiple department stores but it also shows how successful Nordstrom is becoming. Nordstrom Men’s store is located right across the street.

  6. Jewellery

    06 Tiffany & Co.

    World famous and even movies were named after the brand. Tiffany & Co. is available several times in New York, but the flagship store is without doubt without the one on 5th Avenue. From low prices to unaffordable you will find everything that glitters and sparkles. To the gentlemen among you: with your wives you should make a detour 🙂

  7. Shopping

    07 Victoria's Secret

    Victoria’s Secret is also one of the brands that are firmly established in New York City. Here you can get magic lingerie, but also swimwear and shoes. You can shop in over 40 official stores throughout New York City. When it comes to shopping, Victoria’s Secret is undoubtedly one of them.


Which are the best shopping streets in NYC?

Best shopping streets in NYC

New York City is also home to Fifth Avenue, one of the most famous streets for shopping in the world. Designers like Calvin Klein, Prada, Armani, Hugo Boss, and Dolce & Gabbana have flagship stores here and are just waiting for you to cash in on their latest deals. Less expensive but equally big retail chains that you will be familiar with from the UK, are also popular in New York – this includes Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Footlocker, Nike on FifthAvenue, Adidas, Apple, and H&M, for example. One thing is for sure, you won’t be going home empty-handed and there are so many great places to shop in NYC.

As mentioned before, 5th Avenue is one of the most famous and also most expensive shopping streets in NYC. Every shopping street in New York City is as diverse as the city itself. From hip and casual in Williamsburg to super fancy at Hudson Yards. Besides 5th Avenue we recommend checking out:

  • Madison Avenue
  • Lexington Avenue
  • Hudson Yards
  • Broadway (Midtown to Downtown)
  • Herald Square
  • Orchard Street
  • Prince Street
  • Bleeker Street
  • Mulberry Street
  • Spring Street
  • West of Sixth Avenue between 14th and Houston
  • Canal Street
  • South Street at South Street Seaport
  • Oculus Plaza (and inside the Oculus)
  • 5th Ave (Park Slope)
  • Bedford Avenue

The Best Outlets & Malls in and around New York

New York City is home to many great shopping experiences and malls. Many of these malls are huge and feature numerous designer stores across their expansive grounds.

When it comes to outlets in New York, there’s currently only one in NYC, but more are located just outside of the city. You will definitely find some great deals here and not only on last season’s items. Make sure to check these out as you will often find large discounts on designer items too!

1. The Woodbury Common Premium Outlet

Woodbury OutletThe Woodbury Common Premium Outlet, which has over 220 designer stores, is less than 1 hour from Manhattan and gives you savings of up to 65%. The expansive outlet mall includes shops like Dolce & Gabbana, Gap Outlet, Nike Factory Store, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Timberland, and many, many more!

A roundtrip outing to the mall is not a hardship with regular bus connections (ShortLine/coach USA) from the Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street at 8th Avenue). If you are the owner of a New York Sightseeing Pass you can also reserve a bus to the outlets and take advantage of the included discount booklet valued at several hundred dollars.

Here you can find our complete review of the  Woodbury Common Premium Outlet.

2. Jersey Gardens Outlet

Jersey GardensThe Jersey Gardens Outlet is one of the most popular shopping destinations near New York City. Located in New Jersey, it avoids the high taxes of New York City, so that you are almost saving an extra 9% on clothes and shoes! It has multiple public transportation options. A 34-minute bus ride will take you straight to the outlet mall. You start at the Port Authority Bus Terminal (between 8th and 9th Avenue and 40th to 42nd Street (Google Maps) – the blue MTA Trains A, C and E stop here.

Once you are in the Port Authority Bus Terminal, go to the Lines 111 and 115 of NJ Transit. You need to buy roundtrip tickets (to and from) in advance and indicate the bus number you want (111 or 115). Buses drive on a regular schedule, (approx. 1 per hour).

The ride will take you a little over half an hour depending on traffic. Your return bus will leave from the same spot that you were dropped you off.

My tip: Our Shopping Guide to Jersey Gardens Outlet

3. Empire Outlets, Staten Island

Shopping in New York: The Ultimate Guide 2024There are so many shopping experiences in NYC, but when it comes to outlets, before 2019, one had to travel pretty far just to find one. This is where Empire Outlets in Staten Island comes in. The outlets become NYC’s first, which is pretty surprising when the city is filled with so many shops.

It’s been about 7 years since the planning of Empire Outlets began and now it’s finally open. Empire outlets will have an array of stores including mainstream favorites such as H&M, True Religion, and many more. Check out our New York Shopping Guide about Empire Outlets (you will love it!)

Please find the complete list of stores at the Empire Outlets here.

Getting to Empire Outlets in Staten Island: Take the FREE Staten Island Ferry located in downtown Manhattan.

My tip: For more outlets in an around New York City check out my article about the best outlets in NYC.

4. The American Dream Mall

American Dream Mall Shopping in NYC

Attention shopping lovers: the Greater New York City area is now home to one of the largest malls in the entire country – the American Dream Mega-Mall. After many years of waiting and constant delays, the massive shopping and entertainment complex is finally open. Check out my article about the American Dream Mall for more information.

5. Garden State Plaza Mall

Garden State PlazaOver 2,000.000 sq ft filled with 400 stores – Garden State Plaza promises the ultimate shopping experience. It is on of the largest malls in the state of New Jersey, and it is only 12.5 miles away from Manhattan. If you are an avid shopper, your pulse will double once you arrive in the small town of Paramus, New Jersey. You will also be saving here as you shop due to New Jersey not having a sales tax on shoes and clothing.

Due to its size, the selection at the Garden State Plaza Mall is huge. Outlets often feature many unknown brands trying to pedal their leftover products from the previous season – but not here. Our jaws dropped when we looked at the map to see which stores could be found in the mall.

6. Westfield Shopping Mall inside the Oculus

OculusHead inside the Oculus for an amazing shopping experience. Especially during rainy or cold weather, the Oculus is a wonderful place to shop, eat and enjoy the stunning architecture. Inside the Oculus you will find shops like Victoria’s Secret, Apple, Sephora, Kiehl’s, MAC, Aldo and many more.

 

MORE ABOUT THE OCULUS

Steffen Kneist Loving New York

The Best Malls in NYC

These are only three of many malls in and around the city. Check out my article about the best malls in NYC for more information. I guarantee that you will find a good mall to satisfy your shopping needs!


Secondhand Shopping in New York and the best thrift stores in NYC

Shopping in NYC: Vintage shops

In addition to the countless designer stores, New York City also has many secondhand and thrift stores to offer. Shopping in a thrift store is not only good for the environment, but also for your wallet. Take a look at my article with the best thrift stores in NYC! Here are three examples of places where you can find really good second-hand goods:

Buffalo Exchange

This second-hand store in New York is probably the most well-known. New Yorkers bring whatever no longer fits, what they no longer like, or simply is no longer worn to this store. Shoes, jeans, dresses, skirts, shirts, bags, simply everything you can imagine can be found at the Buffalo Exchange. Depending on location, inventory is more mainstream or funkier. For example, in the hip district Williamsburg, items are a lot more trendy than they are in the upper-crust East Village. But you can find deals everywhere.

Locations:

  • Queens 29-16 Ditmars Blvd.,
  • Williamsburg 504 Driggs Ave.,
  • 109 Boerum Pl. Brooklyn,
  • East Village 332 E. 11th St.,
  • Chelsea 114 W. 26th St.

The Vintage Twin

This thrift store has multiple locations in NYC and is blowing up quickly. Supermodels such as Gigi Hadid and Taylor Hill shop here sometimes, so you know it has a pretty trendy collection.

Locations:

  • 543 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
  • 1132 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10065

Beacon’s Closet

Another fantastic second-hand store is Beacon Closet in Greenpoint and Bushwick. Located near McCarren Park in Greenpoint, for example, you can find the best vintage clothes as well as newer collections, bags, shoes and much more. At Beacon’s Closet in Greenpoint they have a huge variety of styles for both men and women.

Locations:

  • 74 Guernsey St Brooklyn, NY 11222
  • Bushwick 23 Bogart St Brooklyn, NY 11237

New York City Flea Markets

Flea markets in NYC shouldn’t be overlooked as well. Sometimes going to a set location with numerous vendors is beneficial as well. Each vendor is unique and can bring unique items that would be hard to find.


Best Boutique Shopping in NYC

We love boutiques in NYC because each one is curated specifically for its customers. By picking out certain items, boutiques are a great place to go to so you’re not overwhelmed. Make sure to check out our article about the best boutiques in NYC.

Best Boutiques in New York City.


Shopping Tips for Sportswear and Leisure

Niketown

This store is absolutely huge – hence the name Niketown. Spread over multiple floors you will all the different Nike ranges sorted by their respective sports. You can buy shoes, clothes, and accessories for everything from basketball to skateboarding. Not only is the selection larger here than anything you will be used to from Europe, but the prices will also definitely make you want to buy something!

Location: 57th St between 5th and 6th Avenue

Foot Locker New York Herald Square

If you are looking for the best pair of trainers, sports shoes or a new training outfit, this store has the best and biggest selection next to Niketown. Organized according to sports with different departments for men, women, and children, this store carries it all. Prices are fair and their product selection is always up to date.

If Nike comes out with new gear or the latest trend from Adidas, you can be sure to find them here. We particularly recommend the Foot Locker location next to Macy’s as it lets you combine your shopping trip with other sights, and it is by far the biggest Foot Locker in the city.

Location: Midtown West Herald Square / 34th Street from Macy’s

Adidas Originals Store

This is one of our favorite stores because we are huge Adidas fans. We all have a pair of Adidas shoes and most of our running gear is from here too. This huge store is located in the heart of SoHo and it offers a broad and up to date selection of merchandise. The original series has brought back many classic designs and is gaining popularity by the day.

There are several stores such as the 5th Avenue store, the flagship store in SoHo and another one on Wooster Street near Broadway.

Opening times: Mon-Sat: 11:00am – 7:30pm, Sun: 11:00am – 6:00pm


Apple Store in New York

Apple Store on 5th Ave

The Apple store on 5th Avenue is world-renowned and an architectural marvel. Only a large glass cube bearing the Apple logo gives you the hint that below lies a mecca for Apple devotees. After months of renovation, the highly anticipated reopening is finally happening in September 2019.

There are now several Apple locations in New York, with the biggest store being inside Grand Central Station. Also, when you have completed your High Line Park walk in the Meatpacking District, you can find an Apple Store there too.


Shopping Tips for Everything Else

Shoe Stores in NYC

When you go to NYC, there’s one thing that’s guaranteed and it’s the fact that you will be walking around. A lot. So obviously you’ll need great walking shoes to trek the city in. We’ve made a list of some of our favorite shoe stores in NYC.


M&M’s World New York

m&m's store at times square new yorkWarning: Danger of addiction! Every time one of us visits this store we come home with far too many M&Ms in a huge bag. The M&M’s store is one of the best candy stores in NYC. They have every color imaginable and for some reason its irresistible to get a bit of each one. Why, I don’t know – they all taste the same anyways as the color is just food coloring but all of us swear by our favorite color. Most of us blame the huge plastic dispensing tubes displaying the delicious-looking sweets across the whole store.

If you are a fan of M&Ms this is definitely a must on your shopping to-do list in New York.

Location: 1600 Broadway, between 48th and 49th Street (at Times Square)


Barnes and Nobles

A wonderful store and not just for the bookworms among us! This Barnes & Noble is huge, there are books as far as the eye can see. They also have several floors dedicated to souvenirs from around NYC. You can buy postcards, magazines, toys, DVDs, picture frames, notebooks, and guest books, or grab a Starbucks for a coffee break. We really recommend browsing through Barnes & Noble as they have a really creatively chosen set of products. The store also hosts book signings and lectures if you are lucky enough for there to be one while you are there. This is truly one of the better bookstores in NYC.

Location: 555 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10017

FAQ

Where to go shopping in New York?

New York City offers countless opportunities for shopping. There are smaller boutiques & nice little thrift stores, but also big department stores like Macy’s on 34th Street or huge malls like the Empire Outlet on Staten Island. The most famous shopping street, however, is 5th Avenue, where you can find many famous brand stores.

What is the famous shopping street in NYC?

The most famous shopping street in New York City is the 5th Avenue where you can find many flagship stores of big famous brands. These include Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Urban Outfitters and Saks Fifth Avenue. The famous Empire State Building is also located here. The 5th Avenue is probably one of the most famous streets worldwide.

Sales Tax and Customs Regulations

All prices indicated on goods in New York do not include the sales taxes. You need to add an 8.875% sales tax to the total of all purchases. This number is comprised of the sales tax of the city of New York (4.5%) and the sales tax of the state of New York (4.375%). Several outlet malls, for example, the Jersey Gardens Outlets, are located outside of the city for this very reason, here there are reduced tax rates on most goods and no sales tax on clothing items!

Please be mindful of the customs regulations when you return to your country, as you are only allowed to bring in a certain amount of goods tax-free.

Opening Hours in general

Opening times are very flexible in Manhattan – some shops are even open 24 hours a day. Most, however, are open from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Saturday and 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Sundays. This means you will have plenty of time to go shopping without having to watch the time.

Profilbild Steffen Kneist
About the author

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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