New York City is renowned as one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas, thanks in large part to the classic films that have firmly established its festive attractions in our collective consciousness. Even those who have never set foot on American soil will be familiar with seasonal highlights such as the ice rink outside the Rockefeller Centre, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, and the 50ft Christmas tree in Bryant Park.
Although all holiday trips to the Big Apple at this time of year simply must take in all these celebrated wonders, they're far from the only reason why so many travellers descend on the city in December. World famous department stores and designer boutiques beckon Christmas shoppers from around the world, with magical window displays and festive lights elevating an always-exceptional experience. As the birthplace of Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, to name just a few, New York more than lives up to its reputation as an international fashion capital.
Shopping paradise: Fivth Avenue
There's no better place to begin than Fifth Avenue, universally acknowledged as a shopping paradise. While at other times of year it's easy to get distracted by cultural icons like the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, around Christmas the focus must be kept firmly on Bergdorf Goodman, Bendel’s and Saks. The big department stores of New York traditionally compete with each other to design the most elaborate window displays, transforming Fifth Avenue into a winter wonderland. This year, Bergdorf has chosen the theme "Inspired", illustrated with artistic representations of art forms like sculpture, music, dance, literature and film. Meanwhile, Saks has opted for "An Enchanting Experience", launched with a dazzling light show, fireworks display and a performance from the Rockettes. The windows themselves have been decked out with gorgeous Art Deco renderings of classic fairy tales like Rumplestiltskin, Rapunzel and Cinderella.
Wow! All these Flagship stores…
Once you've admired the exteriors and interiors of these palatial buildings, move on to the equally impressive flagship stores between 49th and 60th Street. This is where you'll find household names like Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Tiffany & Co., although families with children may also need to spend some time exploring FAO Schwarz, the legendary toyshop. Most luxury fashion houses choose to base themselves in this area, although a few gems can be found in SoHo and NoLita.
The Grand Central Holiday Fair
If your tastes lean more towards the quirky and eclectic, make the most of the pop-up shops and European-inspired markets that emerge throughout the city. You could easily spend a whole day exploring the Grand Central Holiday Fair, conveniently located under cover in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Station. The city's only indoor market has over 75 stalls from local artisans and designers, selling fine art, gourmet chocolates, ornaments, jewellery and more.
NYC isn't just a haven for shopaholics – it's also one of the most stable cities for property investment in the world. With reliable air transport links to Europe and Asia, it's the ideal place for a second property, whether you need an East Side penthouse or a West Side loft. From our office on Park Avenue, Engel & Völkers is ideally placed to help you to find the perfect addition to your portfolio.