Essential Travel Experience #87 – Shop 'til You Drop

    Shopping seems to be an essential part of every vacation. Whether it’s picking up a small gift for children or grand-children, or finding that perfect souvenir to remember the trip by, all travelers will at some point find themselves in a shop, browsing. Although I am definitely not a shopper, even I must do this dirty deed ocassionally.

    Actually, I try to bring back some trinket which can serve as a reminder of a particular vacation. For example, I have a series of masks which I have accumulated from various locations in my travels.

    At any rate, shopping is a necessary adjunct to a vacation so we may as well admit it and make the best of it. Here are some significant and often special places to shop which are beyond the ordinary.

    Istanbul is proud to have two (2) places on my list of required shopping Meccas. One is the largest indoor shopping “mall” in the world, the Grand Bazaar. There are “streets” within the complex which sell a particular type of item.

Grand bazaar

 Not far away is the ultimate place to buy spices, the Spice Bazaar, located across from the Bosporus Cruise boat launch. The displays, colors, and aromas are worth the trip, even if you buy nothing.

Spice Bazaar

What used to be the Cloth Market, on the Main Square in Old Krakow, is now a kind of indoor bazaar, featuring local crafts and trinkets.

Cloth Hall, Krakow

In London, Harrod’s reigns supreme. This huge department store has just about anything that anybody would ever want, and the displays are fabulous, especially in the food area.


In Vancouver, Granville Island is a shopper’s dream, with many shops in a fairly small area.

Granville Island

Underground Atlanta is a huge mall, beneath street level, with easy access to the city’s public transportation system.

Underground Atlanta

In Philadelphia, the Reading Terminal Market sells fresh food of all types, as well as prepared foods and other items.

Reading Terminal Market

Similar types of items are found at the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.

Pike Place Market


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