Manhattan Shopping Tour, New York

Manhattan Shopping Tour (Self Guided), New York

Midtown Manhattan is certainly the shopping hub for New York City, and the famed Fifth Avenue has long been synonymous with a shopper's paradise where you can find every kind of store imaginable, ranging from the affordable to ultra-fancy fashion brands and luxury goods. Whether it’s Prada, Tiffany or Bergdorf Goodman, these brands, among many others, symbolize wealth and social standing, so if you happen have a lot of money, Fifth Avenue is a good place to spend it. In any case, it is worth checking its unique heartbeat.

Passing through the ever-busy Rockefeller Center and Times Square area with designer goods and street vendors at every corner, shopping aficionados cannot miss Macy’s flagship location in Herald Square – the largest department store in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world, with more than 100 years of history. Apart from sales and bargains, look out for the old escalators and cool architectural details, especially on the ground floor.

On the last stretch of the itinerary, treat yourself with Chelsea Market’s collection of foods, chocolates, and wines. There is also an Artists and Flea Market on the west end which then leads you to the Highline. It's the perfect spot to find a locally made gift to take home or to find something unique for yourself.

Join us on this self-guided walking tour to explore some of Midtown Manhattan’s best and most famous shopping centers!
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Manhattan Shopping Tour Map

Guide Name: Manhattan Shopping Tour
Guide Location: USA » New York (See other walking tours in New York)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Fifth Avenue
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Times Square
  • Macy's in Herald Square
  • Chelsea Market
Fifth Avenue

1) Fifth Avenue

5th Avenue is a major thoroughfare in New York City's Manhattan, extending north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive and luxurious stretches of retail in the U.S., if not the whole world, which has been drawing a steady stream of fashion addicts for over a century now.

Few things can be equally fun and indulgent as shopping (or even window-shopping) at 5th Avenue, as most of the high-end designer outposts here feature ornamental window displays and, on any given day, the street resembles a couture runway. However, the experience can also be just as daunting and overwhelming, particularly for first-time shoppers, so here are some of the top shops worth checking out primarily on 5th Avenue:

- Tiffany & Co. is the incredibly famous fine jewelry brand flagship store where the iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany's” movie was set.
- Known worldwide, despite this being their only location, Bergdorf Goodman is the premier shopping destination for all luxury items. Many celebrities have been quoted as saying "Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf's".
- If you look for high-quality cultured pearls as a memorable gift for a special lady in your life, then look no further than Mikimoto.
- If you're lusting after the new iPhone or are just a tech lover, a visit to The Apple Store is a must.
- The crème de la crème of leather handbags, the outpost of French Louis Vuitton will set you back a hefty sum for a purse, but, given the timeless style, you'll be able to wear it for years to come.
- The Italian brand Prada offers a wide variety of luxury items, from fashion to shoes and handbags, and everything in between.
- Well-made suits for the well-heeled set are found in abundance at Hugo Boss, notorious since the late 1990s, courtesy of “The Sopranos” series.

Why You Should Visit:
The main artery of New York City's shopping scene with mass brands, upscale department stores and multinational retailers offering something for everyone.
Rockefeller Center

2) Rockefeller Center (must see)

This large complex of commercial buildings between 5th and 7th Avenues in New York is often described as a city within a city because of its unique design. All the buildings of Rockefeller Center have a common plan and are linked by an underground concourse, called The Catacombs.

This network of underground passageways houses numerous retailers and stores, and as such, is an attraction in its own right – both convenient and entertaining. With more than a 100 unique stores, quick bites and fine dining options (the popular spots include Blue Bottle Coffee Co., Blue Ribbon Sushi, Jacques Torres Chocolate, Eddie's Shoe Repair, USPS and more), Rockefeller Center is a premier shopping destination in the heart of Midtown Manhattan with countless ways to wander and explore, whether you crave a pick-me-up, need an ATM, or simply want to hide from the rain. From designer apparel to NYC souvenirs, everything can be found here, just steps from Rockefeller Plaza.

The venue emerged in the 1920s when D. Rockefeller Jr. leased this site to build a new structure for the New York Metropolitan Opera. After the Great Depression, however, the Metropolitan Opera abandoned plans for relocation and Rockefeller changed the design to make it suitable for housing radio and television corporations. The first building to be completed was the headquarters of the Radio Corporation of America, RCA. It has an observation deck with spectacular views of Central Park and Empire State Building. The style was similar to that of a ship with deck chairs and ventilation pipes shaped like chimneys. It was completely remodeled in 2005 and reopened as a new art deco style deck, called the Top of the Rock. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony held here every year since 1933 marks the beginning of the festival season in New York.

Guided tours take visitors around the complex and through the many art deco interiors, frescoes and sculpture that adorn its interiors and exterior.

Why You Should Visit:
This place is full of energy with laser lights and has the biggest Xmas tree in NYC during the holidays. There's also a wonderful food court inside with a great selection of various cuisines.
The view from Top of the Rock is great with 360-degree vistas. Nice views of Central Park and many famous buildings, too.

If you're going up to the Top of the Rock, book your ticket online to avoid the lines.
Alternately, you can save the price of the observation deck and grab a cocktail at the Top of the Rock (it's on the 65th floor and has spectacular city views).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-12am
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Times Square

3) Times Square (must see)

Times Square is a major commercial intersection at the junction of Broadway and 7th Avenue in Manhattan, stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. Broadway theaters and a huge number of animated neon and LED signs have long made this spot one of New York's iconic images, and a symbol of the intensely urban aspects of Manhattan. Times Square is the only neighborhood with zoning ordinances requiring building owners to display illuminated signs. The density of illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. Officially, signs in Times Square are called "spectaculars", and the largest of them are called "jumbotrons." Times Square is also the site of the annual New Year's Eve ball drop. On December 31, 1907, a ball signifying New Year's Day was dropped in Times Square for the first time, and has become part of the main New Year's celebration in New York City ever since.

Times Square's shopping scene is quite enticing and won't leave you penniless thanks to the abundance of low- to medium-priced stores specialized in clothing, shoes, beauty and fragrances. For women, the best place to start their Times Square shopping trip is the stretch on Broadway Avenue between 42nd and 48th Streets with places like Loft, H&M, The Gap, Old Navy, and Levi's. The latter four also carry men's attire, plus there are some designated menswear stores, like Champs, U.S. Polo Association, and Men's Warehouse.

Nothing livens up an outfit like the right makeup, so if you are looking for makeup or beauty buys, here are some of the options – Sephora, Mac Cosmetics, Sabon. If jewelry is a girl's best friend, then accessories are her constant companion; accessories and jewelry stores in Times Square include Sunglass Hut, Swatch, Swarovski, and Pandora. If you seek to buy watches in Times Square, check out Fossil and Invicta. Shopping with kids in Time Square can be fun if done at Disney Store, Forever 21, Hershey's or M&M. For yummy treats, check out Carlos Bakery, Junior's, Magnolia Bakery or Ben & Jerry's. Plus there are a few specialty outlets like The W Store and Yankees Clubhouse.

Why You Should Visit:
If you like the buzz of the city that never sleeps, then this is your place. Lots of people, neon signs, video screens; open 24/7.
Broadway shows in the theater district and Restaurant Row on 47th Street make Times Square a great hub to go for adventures.
Times Square is a mid-price shopping mecca with plenty of budget-friendly stores for women, men and kids!

With so many people in a small space, watch your valuables!
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Macy's in Herald Square

4) Macy's in Herald Square

Since opening in 1902, the legendary Macy's flagship store in Herald Square has been a shopping paradise for visitors and an architectural icon and landmark of New York City. A store like no other, it has continued to be a trendsetter right from the inception, and was the first building to have a modern-day escalator. With 1,250,000 square feet (116,000 m2) of retail space under one roof, Macy's is one of the largest department stores in the United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1978.

The store covers an entire city block with 11 levels of the latest fashions, featuring a dazzling array of designer brands, the choice and quality of which never fail to amaze. Restaurants and cafes can be found throughout the store and exciting events are held here almost every day.

The place is known for its great sales, especially compared to some other major New York City department stores. If you crave some refreshment or feel like having a bite, there are plenty of dining options to consider, from casual, fast-food eateries (such as Starbucks, Tabo Noodles, The Rooster’s Crow, etc.) to the more refined sit-down restaurants (Herald Square Cafe, Rowland's Bar & Grill, Stella 34 Trattoria), so there's no reason for you to go hungry or thirsty while at Macy's.

Weekdays before lunch are the least crowded times to visit.
The lower floors tend to be more crowded than the upper floors.
There is a package and coat check at the Visitor Information Center on the Mezzanine Level.
You can ask cashier to have your purchases shipped straight to your home.
International shoppers can get a discount card at the Visitor's Center for 10% off most purchases.
Chelsea Market

5) Chelsea Market (must see)

The Chelsea Market is one of Manhattan's highlights, where shopping, eating and entertainment take center stage. It is a gigantic Wholesale/Retail Food complex that takes up an entire city block. Originally, the building was the old Nabisco plant, where, in 1898, the Oreo Cookie was created. The Chelsea Market opened in 1997, with only a couple of tenants, and today you'll find here nearly 20 specialty places to eat, drink and shop to your heart's desire.

Why You Should Visit:
If you like food, you will love this place - an endless corridor and collection of foods, chocolates, and some wine shops. There is also an Artists and Flea Market on the west end which then leads you to the Highline. It's the perfect spot to find a locally made gift to take home or to find something unique for yourself.

Make sure to walk the entire market so that you see all the food options before choosing.

Operation Hours:
Mon-Sat: 7am-2am; Sun: 8am-10pm

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