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Shopping in New York City

A city famous for its elegance and Bohemian chic, New York is a shopper's paradise, hawking everything from cutting-edge designer fashions to flea market bargains.

Key areas

The smartest shops are on Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side. Fifth Avenue is a magnet for the label conscious. Soho is the most European of the neighbourhoods. The East Village and the Lower East Side harbour street fashion, with vintage shops and music stores.

Markets

On weekends, the Antiques Garage Flea Market, 112 West 25th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), spreads an assortment of vintage goods. Along Broadway and Soho, street vendors that hawk almost everything. The Brooklyn Flea consists of several huge markets held on weekends in Fort Greene and Williamsburg.

Shopping centres

The mall at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle houses a variety of upscale shops. Famous department stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue; Macy's, 151 W 34th Street; and Bloomingdale's at 504 Broadway in Soho and 59th Street at Lexington.

Opening hours

Business areas open as early as 0800, while shops in Soho and the East Village open at 1200. Many stay open until at least 1900. Department stores are generally open Monday to Saturday 1000-2000 and Sunday 1200-1800.

Souvenirs

Classic souvenirs include clothing or accessories emblazoned with iconic New York City logos like NY Yankees, NY Mets, FDNY, NYPD or the new basketball team, the Brooklyn Nets. The ubiquitous I 'heart' NY label is plastered on everything from bags and t-shirts to luggage tags and Christmas ornaments.

Tax information

There’s a sales tax of 8.875% on most consumer goods (clothes and shoes are taxed at a lower rate - no tax under US$110, 4.5% over US$110). Visitors are unable to claim a tax refund.

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Featured Hotels

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Ye Olde Carlton Arms Hotel

A somewhat divisive 'art' hotel that lots of people really love for its location and pricing, but which you're going to dislike if you're humourless, or are a stickler for high levels of cleanliness. The rooms are individually designed with striking, and sometimes shocking, motifs, and the casual air recalls a backpacker's hostel but with individual rooms. Bohemian, definitely.

Lowell Hotel

New York hotels don't come too much classier than this 1927 landmark building, set on a leafy street in one of the Upper East Side's most fashionable spots. Discreet and aristocratic, the liveried doormen escort you to opulent rooms crammed with period furniture and antique décor. It manages to retain an understated air, though, and is the ultimate retreat for those that can afford it.

The Greenwich Hotel

This hip downtown spot fills a renovated historic building in the Tribeca neighbourhood. From the eclectic lobby with its comfy chairs and imported Moroccan screens, to the luxurious bathrooms featuring Carrara marble and hand-laid Turkish tiles, you'll feel a rich combination of style and decadence.

Crosby Street Hotel

This chic downtown hotel features 86 individually designed guestrooms and suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, original artwork and a stylish contemporary design. Guests also enjoy the leafy garden, the private screening room and a whimsically designed bar. The hotel is beautifully located on a cobblestone street just a short stroll from the great dining and shopping in Soho and Nolita.

The Paramount

There is nothing traditional about The Paramount, a post-modern showplace. For example, in the entrance, red roses are displayed vertically in vases set into the wall. The lobby bar, designed by Philippe Starck, has platinum walls and a glamorous staircase sweeping up to the mezzanine. Guests can gaze down from their tables to the music and theatre industry leaders reclining on the slightly off-kilter furniture below.

The Gershwin

Not far from the much-photographed Flatiron Building is The Evelyn, set in a historic building that has housed one hotel after the other since 1905. Recently renovated rooms feature soft cocoa colour schemes, crisp white linens and spacious bathrooms, and the location is superbly central.