18 July 2012 by Luke McCormick
New York is one of the few cities of the world that can boast the honour of having the most nicknames with some degree of certainty. One of the main reasons for people to visit the Big Apple is to rack up a monster of a credit card bill at its many shopping malls and boutiques.
The only issue is choosing which ones to shop at, and so to help you out, here is our top ten places to shop in New York.
In a city called ‘The Big Apple' it would be a crime to not have an impressive Apple store. A huge glass box on Fifth Avenue is your entrance to the store, which is entirely below street level. It's also open 24/7, so if you've an urge to buy an iPad at 4am, you're in luck.
This independent book store boasts eighteen miles of books, and as you wind your way through its several floors of rare, out of print and new books, you can definitely believe the claim. Don't go in there with a specific book in mind but instead wander around the eclectic mix of titles and find yourself some lesser known literary gems.
While Macy's is no longer the largest store in the world, it's certainly still one of the most impressive. You know those Christmas movies that always have a scene set in a department store with window displays and a Santa's grotto? Macy's pioneered these iconic images. Also, their annual Thanksgiving Parade is a delight for shoppers and tourists alike.
Tiffany's store on Fifth Avenue was one of the first to mark its prices on all items, stopping the widely accepted practice of haggling. Unless you're looking to max out a credit card or two, Tiffany's is a great place for window shopping or for a very special celebratory gift. And no, you can't actually have breakfast there.
Tucked away from the New York's chaos, C.O. Bigelow started out as an apothecary store in the 1830s, and has since expanded to provide a range of health and beauty products that have a very homemade feel to them. The store boasts that Mark Twain was a regular, and it is a great spot to pamper yourself a little.
It's not a problem if you don't know your Cheddar from your Gouda, because the staff at Murray's do, and they'll even recommend the best wine to complement it. Murray's also has its own ‘cheese cave' beneath Bleecker Street where they prepare, wash and ripen all of their cheeses.
Once you've had your fill of diamonds, pop into Kiosk in SoHo for a unique and unusual experience. The owner travels to the far flung corners of the earth and brings back quirky and unusual items they come across. Where else can you get a Swedish birdhouse and an Indian snake charmer under the same roof?
Toys "R" Us
You don't need to be a kid or even have kids to enjoy a visit to the Toys "R" Us megastore in Times Square. With a 34-foot robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, and giant, life-size board games, it won't be difficult for even the surliest of people to crack a smile and giggle like a five year old at Christmas.
Hell's Kitchen Flea Market
It's not all about luxury and chic style. The Hell's Kitchen Flea Market in Manhattan is where you can find some real treasures without breaking the bank. Vintage clothing and antiques are popular in the Flea Market, and it was named by National Geographic as one of the top ten shopping streets in the world.
A street almost exclusively dedicated to luxury brands, Madison Avenue is where you go to sample the delights of Dolce & Gabbana, Armani and Prada. If you enjoy the chaos that is New York shopping, head to Madison Avenue on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) for big discounts on the big brands.
This guest post was written free of charge by Jamie Gibbs, the resident blogger and armchair explorer for Confused.com, where you can compare credit cards.