Get the London look in 48-hours with this Central London shopping guide.
From high-end brands like Burberry to mega-retailers like Zara, it can be hard to narrow down what shops are worth visiting in Central London when you only have 48 hours. But worry no more; to help narrow down some of our “must visit” shops we have compiled the perfect 48-hour shopping guide to Central London.
For the hot sales to shop in London, take a look here…
Bustling with tourists from around the world, this is an essential stop on your shopping expedition. The shops on Oxford Street vary from exclusive designers to worldwide chain stores to the occasional pop-up.
Tips: Avoid weekends and the earlier you go, the better.
Tube: Oxford Circus, Marble Arc, Bond Street
Selfridges & Co:
A frenzied excitement will arise as you approach the gem of Oxford Street that is the spectacular Selfridges. Just walking past the dazzling shop looking into the immaculately decorated windows you will feel a gravitational pull into the large luxury department store – but who’s complaining? With Dior, Hermes, Beauty, kid’s apparel, Menswear, cookware and more, you could spend days just in this one shop.
As you make your way out of Selfridges (hard to do, we know), you will pass another Oxford Street staple, the Topshop flagship store. Don’t miss out on this three-story experience filled to the brim with the latest street styles. This Topshop beats your local one not only because of the in-house vintage supply or pop up boutiques, no, it’s the blow dry bar located on the lower ground floor. A one-stop-shop where you can purchase a fashion-forward outfit and complete your look right downstairs with a new do!
Don’t underestimate this reasonably priced franchise. The Oxford Street Urban Outfitters is almost magical. They have clothing you’ve never seen in other locations and that you won’t believe you’ve been missing out on. The five floors of unique clothing designs dotted with hipster accessories throughout can supply you with just the thing came to London looking for. Oh and don’t forget to check out their retro albums too!
Tips: Britain has a 20% VAT on goods and services, so visitors from outside of the EU should be sure to ask for the proper paperwork to request this money back at the airport.
Whoever came up with the saying “don’t spend it all in one place,” had never been to Harrods. A temple of modern consumerism, this store is an incredible place to find “all things for all people, everywhere”. While your wallet may ache from all the activity, so will your feet from meandering through their seven floors of fashion. Take a break from Gucci and Chanel to visit Harrods’ in-house spa (the Signature Facial is to die for) aptly named, Urban Retreat.
Another London classic is Harvey Nichols. The serenity and sleek modernity of Harvey Nichols’ will become a reprieve for you during your shopping spree. This shop is the go-to for the quintessential fashionista; with all the brands that you love, displayed artfully about the store. Oh and don’t worry about shopping till you drop because a nutrient IV provider is conveniently located on their ground floor to help you power through a long day.
Down the road from Oxford Circus, Regent Street is another major tourist hub. The world’s FIRST shopping street has incredible architecture, famous London shops with cutting-edge fashion, and fantastic eateries all over.
Tips: If crowds aren’t your thing, but you don’t want to miss out on this fabulous destination, some stores allow you to order online and pick up in person, so you can get in and out quickly with plenty of time to visit another (less busy) area.
Tube: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Green Park
Naturally, this luxe British fashion house made our list. There is no better place in the world to purchase a classic Burberry trench than in their impressive flagship shop. With high tech features throughout the store to make their website reality, you’ll feel like you have travelled to London in the year 3000. Don’t limit yourself to one of their timeless designs and be sure to check out the exclusive Regent Street Collection.
& Other Stories:
A shop on the rise, this super-chic and modestly priced store is a great place to find simple pieces that will fit seamlessly into your wardrobe. However, once you’ve entered this & Other Stories, it may be challenging to stop at one piece. Their cosy sweaters and flowing maxi skirts will make you fantasise about moving downtown and redefining your style for good.
Location: & Other Stories
Covent Garden is an oasis for fashion bloggers, foodies, and street performers alike. This borough is our go-to for all things beauty, however, there is no shortage of fashion in this area so you can get your glam on from head to toe.
Tips: Don’t underestimate the alleyways, some of them lead to great eats and quirky boutiques.
Tube: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Holborn, Embankment
A British based makeup brand founded by none other than makeup artist extraordinaire, Charlotte Tilbury, is a favourite of the rich and famous. Their flagship Covent Garden store is what we would imagine being every girl’s makeup fantasy. While the ground floor is a standard beauty shop filled to the brim with their lipsticks, brow brushes, primers, and so much more; the downstairs is where the magic happens. The 1920’s glam decor is to die for, so trust us when we say this is where you want to go for a makeover.
The European flagship of this Brazilian shoe brand, housed in the oldest building in Covent Garden is where art and fashion have found ultimate harmony. This label has collaborated with some of fashion’s most celebrated designers from Karl Lagerfeld to Jean-Paul Gaultier. The PVC plastic used to make every pair is 100% recyclable, not to mention super on-trend for SS18. This is a unique shop you don’t want to miss.
One of the best vintage shops you’ll find in Central London is Blackout II. Having been in the same Covent Garden shop for nearly 20 years, it’s safe to say that this luxury consignment store has some of the best vintage pieces one can find. Blackout II has apparel from the 1920’s all the way to the 1980’s for both men and women; there are unique statement pieces for everyone. This quirky shop has timeless one-of-a-kind garments that you won’t find anywhere else.
The street itself has the most Royal Warrants (a sign that the Royal Family shops at the store) of any street in London. The noticeable heritage present throughout this area is rare and a sight to see while visiting the city.
Tips: Great tailors aren’t just limited to Savile Row, there are fantastic craftsmen located throughout all of St. James.
Tube: Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Charing Cross
Mr. Porter x Kingsman:
Mr. Porter has partnered with the Kingsman film series to open a shop that caters to the modern gentleman who enjoys luxurious fabrics and exclusive brands. This pop-up is tailor-made for an international man of mystery, offering apparel from the likes of Drake’s, Turnbull & Asser, Golden Bear, and many more.
Dover Street Market:
First opened in 2004 by Comme des Garçons founder, Rei Kawakubo, this multi-brand retailer is the embodiment of “cool.” Each represented brand within the cutting-edge concept store has the freedom to design their display to how they see fit, producing one of the most eclectic shops in Central London. With name brands you’ve been dying to get your hands on like The Row, Gucci, Balenciaga, and more; they have high fashion fresh off the runway.
The favoured rainboot of the royal family is none other than the Hunter rainboot. With practicality as the name of the game, this brand has two royal warrants and has been around for well over a century. Their Regent Street location shop materialises farm life in the urban environment of Central London. Get yourself a pair of these timeless boots to stay dry throughout your time in London.
A cultural hub of the 1960s this funky district was a creatives’ hotspot for decades following. Now that Carnaby Street is pedestrianized, tourists have flocked to this spot where old and new London collide.
Tips: Download the app Carnaby Echoes to relive the history of the area while you walk through it.
Tube: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus
Glamour overrides all other senses as you enter this famous emporium laden with the newest and most exclusive fashions from around the world. This Soho staple is a sanctuary of elegance amidst the bustling city, built from the timbers of two ancient battleships in 1924. Liberty’s finely curated jewellery collection and their exclusive designer collaborations with Hermes, Acne Studios, and Supreme (just to name a few) have elevated this department store to a whole new level.
Aptly named, Irregular Choice certainly has exceptional shoes that will turn heads as you strut the streets of London. From ice cream sundae heels that look good enough to eat to cute kitty high tops, this shop has some wild designs that you won’t find anywhere else. Each pair, a work of art, like the store itself. With unicorns spotted throughout, it’ll feel like you’ve gone down the rabbit hole and landed in shoe wonderland.
Affordable party attire that consists of more than a scrap of material is hard to find, but AQ/AQ offers sophisticated looks at reasonable prices. With femininity at the forefront, we love their simple mini dresses and sexy jumpsuits that are sure to turn heads. They only have one shop in London so be sure to check it out while you’re in town.
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