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Seek and ye shall find: those who look beyond the giant malls and chain stores of the world will be rewarded with charming, distinctive boutiques peddling all manner of unique and delightful things. We ask bloggers across the globe to share their recommendations for small, independent shops that they love to visit again and again.

SOUTH AMERICA

Bogotá and Cartagena, Colombia. “Colombian fashion has gained a name worldwide, and my undisputed favourite boutique when visiting the country is St. Dom. Its current locations are in Bogotá and Cartagena, and it offers a great overview of national designing talent that appeals to every taste, with a wide range of prices and aesthetics that really give a sense of place. I recommend checking out designers Polite and Papel de punto.” – Daniela Riaño of danielastyling.com

Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Originally built in 1927 by Norwegian architect Alejandro Christophersen, Casa Cavia is a beautiful mansion that reflects the splendour of the Belle Époque in Buenos Aires, and was later transformed into an exclusive boutique that brings together the best of design, books, gastronomy, perfumes and flowers, all under the creative direction of Lupe García. The atmosphere of the place generates a sensory experience for the visitor, who after shopping can enjoy a delicious gourmet dish or a fruit cocktail.” – Jenny Aguirre, Editor 

Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Located in the popular district of Palermo, Patrón is a small and elegant store that brings together more than 50 independent Argentine designers with a selection of jewellery, accessories, decor and art. The boutique’s hallmark is authenticity: each piece has been handmade by a local artist in a limited run, and everything has been carefully curated by owner Laura Patron. If you love jewellery and accessories of excellent quality, this is your place.” – Jenny Aguirre, Editor 

Buenos Aires, Argentina.Good Wood is a design studio and furniture maker well-suited to one of the world’s most stylish cities. Inspired by the 1950s and elegant Scandinavian design, the team craft their own furniture as well as custom-made pieces, alongside furnishings from other local designers. From desks and chairs to coffee tables and bookshelves, Good Wood’s creations are as chic as the porteños who call the Argentine capital home.” – Robert Kidd, Contributor

La Paz, Bolivia. “In 2013, Mistura: manifestación creativa became the first concept store in La Paz. Mistura, a name that represents a mixture of Bolivian ideas and cultures, offers a variety of products – from crafts to jewellery, fashion designs, home decor, books and gourmet items. 165 producers and designers contribute to the selection of 100% Bolivian products. As such, Mistura is a platform for Bolivian designers to proudly exhibit their creations and, thus, the richness of our culture.” – Ana Lucía Gutiérrez of thebigbrowneyes.com

[Photos: Mistura, Lima]

Lima, Perú. Morphology is a super innovative concept store dedicated to raising awareness about nature and the environment. It is a unique and charming place; in addition to offering high-quality garments and accessories – not only from Peru but also Brazil, Colombia and the United States – there’s also a huge butterfly farm located behind the store. In addition, you’ll find a cosy restaurant with a delicious menu.” – Valeria Basurco Tambini of valeriabasurco.com

Lima, Perú. Vernácula is a concept store characterised by its own Peruvian brands, where you’ll find not only clothes for any occasion (as well as accessories, plants, pictures and more), but also where you can enjoy a relaxed day at the bar, with great music in a space full of art. If you want to decorate your home, find a gift for a friend or buy a piece of art, this shop is undoubtedly your best option.” – Valeria Basurco Tambini of valeriabasurco.com

[Photos: Larry Diseño, Santiago]

Santiago, Chile. “Located in the heart of Barrio Italia, the city’s popular design district, Larry Diseño offers objects that speak to the latest trends in international decor. They are constantly updating their catalogue with new products, including furniture, textiles, silkscreens, paintings, ceramics and decorative accessories, many of which are original designs manufactured in Chile. Larry’s own work is based on simple lines, cheerful colours and references to the past, but all with a fun and modern flair.” – Aldo Vega of elblogdeldecorador.cl 

NORTH AMERICA

Atlanta, USA. “In the heart of the Little Five Points District, you will find Wish ATL, an exclusive sneaker and apparel boutique. But it’s not just your average shoe store – it’s a breathtaking experience where ‘sneaker art’ is showcased in the form of sneakers. You don’t have to be a sneakerhead to appreciate the unique and exotic selection of shoes and apparel. Think chic meets athleisure.” – Crystal Daniels of societyofharlow.com

[Photo: Wish ATL, Atlanta]

Edmonton, Canada. “Edmonton-grown fashion brand Workhall became my Achilles heel when I travelled to Alberta – I couldn’t walk past their boutique without buying something! Focusing on high-quality basics, which their in-house seamstresses tailor on the spot, Workhall offer fantastic customer service as well as the perfect fit. With super-soft jersey, beautiful draping and a neutral colour palette, their clothes are perfect for travelling – at least that was my excuse for filling my suitcase with new purchases.” – Jayne Gorman of girltweetsworld.com

Huntsville, USA. “The handcrafted chocolates and candies at Pizelle’s Confections in Huntsville, Alabama are so beautiful you almost don’t want to eat them. Started by two sisters with a love of chocolate and art, they are an eclectic and imaginative team located at Huntsville’s Lowe Mill ARTS and Entertainment. Their daring truffles use ingredients like Earl Grey tea, cayenne peppers and Irons One bourbon whiskey, which is distilled right at Lowe Mill.” – Marissa Sutera of littlethingstravel.com

New Orleans, USA – “Take a stroll down Magazine Street in New Orleans, and you will find various unique boutiques full of special finds for shoppers. Among them is La Rivière Confiserie, a French boutique that transports you to the heart of Paris with one step through the door! La Rivière describes itself as a ‘Petit Paris market’ and offers shoppers a variety of French goods from candies to savouries, lifestyle goods and gifts. The owner makes regular trips to France to seek out the perfect items for the shop, from smaller towns in the countryside to bustling cities like Paris. It’s so delightful to savour a delicate macaron or praline while browsing the beautiful French candy dishes for my next dinner party or hostess gift!” – Jessica and Trey of amournola.com

[Photos: La Rivière Confiserie, New Orleans]

New York City, USA. Interboro Spirits & Ales is a craft brewery and distillery in East Williamsburg that offers a diverse range of beers, whiskeys and gins. With 20 beers on tap and an assortment of spirits to try, you’ll definitely want to be going down the flight route with your selections, and the friendly staff are more than happy to help you choose. Along with the core range of beers, there are always some interesting seasonal offerings, too. Keep an eye out for interesting collaborations and barrel-aged beers as well.” – Paul Kristoff of thecitylane.com

New York City, USA. “In an era where thumb-texting is increasingly the norm, entering this carefully organised and plainly decorated pencil store on New York’s Orchard Street can feel like a nostalgic trip back in time. CW Pencil Enterprise is meticulously curated by knowledgeable purveyor Caroline Weaver with single-minded focus and a rare zest: for stylish pencils of every variety imaginable and from all corners of the globe – not to mention vintage erasers, pencil cases and unique sharpeners. Whether you’re a pencil junkie on a quest for the perfect graphite or just want a keepsake from your childhood, pencil this novel little speciality store into your travel plans – everything is extremely affordable, and we bet you won’t leave empty-handed.” – Purnima Shrinivas, Contributor

[Photos: CW Pencil Enterprise, New York City]

New York City, USA. “Nestled into a residential tree-lined street in Brooklyn’s historic Greenpoint neighbourhood, Archestratus Books + Foods lures customers in to its food-focused bookstore with the scents of garlic and antique pages. Shelves are lined with bestselling and obscure cookbooks, humorous food-themed greeting cards, imported Italian ingredients and more fare and fodder for food lovers. A café in back serves Sicilian lunches, snacks and dinners, so you can page through the newest issue of a favourite food journal or talk recipe recommendations with a stranger at the communal table.” – Melissa Kravitz, Contributor

New York City, USA. “Walking into any of Bird’s chic, eco-friendly boutiques is like walking into a dream closet. Founded by a former Barney’s New York buyer in 1999, Bird has expanded into several stylish outposts, each stocking the signature style of on-trend yet nearly impossibly chic and laid-back apparel iconic of Brooklynites. Designers range from big names seen on fashion week runways (think Isabel Marant and Marni) to an ever-growing list of local and independent brands.” – Melissa Kravitz, Contributor

New York City, USA. “New Yorkers live in close enough proximity of one another to constantly covet each other’s belongings. That great vintage jacket dangling off the restaurant bar stool next to you, however, may soon become a fixture of your own wardrobe, thanks to Housing Works, the city’s collective recycling bin. Multiple locations serve as the closet-purge donation spot of choice for New Yorkers throughout the city, with designer labels, unique vintage garb and plenty of still-wearable fast fashion items strewn throughout the stores. Housing Works also carries homewares and has a bookstore dedicated to used books. All Housing Works profits are donated to help fight AIDS and homelessness.” – Melissa Kravitz, Contributor

[Photos: Housing Works, New York City]

New York City, USA. “For statement-making jewellery at a relatively low price (under $100), Verameat, a boutique by Ukrainian-born designer Vera Balyura, showcases rings, earrings, chokers, bracelets and more made from recycled and pure metals. Pieces range from rings featuring the adorable faces of French bulldogs, to a dinosaur eating a fried chicken drumstick, or bracelets sculpted into tiny hands; there’s even a Not Safe for Work Collection and line of gender-neutral wedding rings. Each piece is unique yet sometimes subtle in its eccentricity, allowing the wearer to delicately show an affinity for, say, mermaids and swords, in one tiny accessory.” – Melissa Kravitz, Contributor

San Francisco, USA. “Founded in 1989 as an independent bookstore, Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative is a bookstore, gallery and creative space that’s been operating as a volunteer worker-owned cooperative since 2013. It’s a homely shop featuring an assortment of books covering all kinds of topics, in addition to things like vinyl and magazines. A gallery at the rear provides an alternative space where artists can make momentous decisions in their practice and experiment freely in the company of their peers.” – Paul Kristoff of thecitylane.com

[Photos: Yonder Shop, San Francisco]

San Francisco, USA. “Ceramic artist Linda Fahey’s Yonder Shop and pottery studio in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond neighbourhood. Here you’ll find her exquisite handmade ceramic pieces, as well as the work of other ceramists and maker friends, both near and far. Linda hosts a series of hand-building clay workshops throughout the year. This is the perfect place to find things that embrace cool, coastal California living.” – Leslie Santarina of spottedsf.com

Toronto, Canada. “I’ve been a huge fan of beauty and grooming products since I started my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog around five years ago. Jacob & Sebastian, located on Queen St. W, has been one of my go-to spots because they carry a variety of unique grooming, beauty and skincare products from incredible brands that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.” – Michael Biro of globalgarcon.net

EUROPE

Brighton, UK. “Located just a stone’s throw away from the Pier, just off of the bustling South Lanes on Prince Albert Street, stands Workshop Living. It’s an Instagrammable utopia, perfectly showcasing homewares, fashion and lifestyle products created with the greatest care and craftsmanship from materials that stand the test of time. Their carefully curated selection is always so on point, whether you are looking to treat yourself, a loved one or buy a few home essentials, you’re guaranteed to leave with something… but most likely a few things!” – Michael Parker of Boyinbreton.com

[Photo: Workshop Living, Brighton. Courtesy Michael Parker]

Brighton, UK. Quince is my favourite place to visit when wanting to bring a little sunshine and life into the home. Owned by Anna Hudson, this enchanting little shop is bursting with the most beautiful blooms whatever the season may be, and the shelves are lined with wonderful little trinkets and antiques. Whether creating stunning bespoke floral displays for special events or bouquets to display around the home, Anna and her team have perfected bringing ‘Wonderland’ to life.” – Michael Parker of Boyinbreton.com

Brighton, UK. “If it’s stylish and unique fashion that you are looking for, one of my favourite boutiques to visit is Our Daily Edit or ‘ODE’ as it’s known to those in the area. Offering a wonderful selection of new emerging designers and contemporary brands, you are sure to find a few must-have wardrobe additions in this super-cool store, whatever your style or age. Go on, treat yourself to some new threads. You deserve it!” – Michael Parker of Boyinbreton.com

[Photos: Our Daily Edit, Brighton]

County Cork, Ireland. “Many of the Irish crafts visitors find in the capital are made in the island’s more remote regions, for example in County Cork, where the rugged landscape and rural lifestyle have long attracted artists and creatives. The Old Mill Stores is, as most locals would put it, in the middle of nowhere, but its goods – much like its customers – come from all over the world. The inconspicuous roadside shop is a destination in itself, with an amazingly diverse range of goods and a specialisation-turned-sideline in antique wood-fired stoves.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

Dordrecht, Netherlands. “My favourite boutique is definitely Rockin Items, located in the oldest city of Holland: Dordrecht (a little gem itself!). You’ll get this great feeling when you walk into the store and see their beautiful interiors: a marble counter desk, lots of greenery, industrial windows and fresh flowers all over the place. When you’re leaving this shop with your unique Scandinavian/Dutch-style outfit, combined with great accessories, shoes, underwear, nightwear, sunglasses and a Rockin Items purse, you know for sure that this a place to visit over and over.” – Angela de Vlaming of angeladevlaming.com

Dublin, Ireland. “If you aren’t just in Dublin for the pubs, but also for the unique arts and crafts Ireland is famous for, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The city centre is teeming with craft galleries, and woollen mill outlets, and the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is home to more than one local design shop. However, if you want all the best pottery, jewellery, textiles and more, all in one place, then the Irish Design Shop does exactly what it says on the door.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

[Photo: Rockin Items, Dordrecht. Courtesy Angela de Vlaming]

Munich, Germany. “Immaculately curated concept stores, edgy fashion boutiques and effortlessly cool bars occupy almost every single storefront on Munich’s hip Reichenbachstraße. Phasenreich is like a palate cleanser for your guilty consumer’s conscience in the midst of all the muchness. In this deceptively small shop, you can find anything from organic/vegan/fair trade fashion and eco-friendly gifts, to a vintage vinyl section and a café offering healthy goodies. Collect a stamp on each visit, and you’ll eventually receive an art print based on the fantastical realm the shop is named for.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

Riga, Latvia. “Buckwheat pillows, linen napkins, floral print aprons, glass earrings and handmade tagines – an eclectic mix and all available to buy at Muhamors. This quaint little store is nestled between a trendy coffee shop and much-loved restaurant in a charming wooden house in central Riga. Its small space is crowded with textiles, tableware and jewellery created by local artists. It’s my go-to for gifts.” – Lelde Benke of lifeinriga.com 

Riga, Latvia. Mr Page. I love everything about this shop, starting with their slogan: ‘Books choose their reader, not the other way around. We’re happy to be your matchmaker.’ Mr Page stocks a selection of hand-picked international fiction and non-fiction, magazines and stationery. It’s located on one of the city’s coolest streets with neighbouring bars and a coffee roastery. Everyone who buys a book is offered to model for the shop’s Instagram account with a quote about why they chose that particular book.” – Lelde Benke of lifeinriga.com

[Photo: Mr Page, Riga]

Rome, Italy. “Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio – Rome’s oldest chocolatier, founded around 1850 to serve the House of Savoy. Piera Minelli and her son Attilio Proietti continue the family tradition by handcrafting 80 varieties of pralines in the back of the shop daily; favourites include chocolate-covered almonds, Christmas nougat, decorated Easter eggs and gianduiotti – Turin’s signature hazelnut chocolate. They also make candies like lacrime d’amore and fruit jellies, and in autumn, there’s marron glacé – highly addictive roasted chestnuts preserved in a delicate syrup.” – Eleonora Baldwin of italyfoodandwinetours.com

Rome, Italy. “It is easy to accidentally walk by Polvere di Tempo when strolling the cobblestone lanes in Rome’s charming Trastevere neighbourhood, because the artisan shop is almost completely obscured by hanging ivy. But behind the curtain of greenery is an eclectic workshop run by a former architect. Adrien Rodriguez’s unique store is filled with handmade globes, hourglasses and leather-bound journals that seem straight out of another age. Even in a city as historic as Rome, such handcrafted treasures are becoming harder to find – which simply adds yet another layer of enchantment to the already fascinating trinket shop.” – Natalie Kennedy of anamericaninrome.com

Rotterdam, Netherlands. Groos started out in 2013 as a design concept store on the ground floor of a former office building slated for demolition. Along with a motley crew of local creatives, they turned the formerly abandoned Schieblock into a cultural hotspot. The shop itself sold only products made by Rotterdam designers, ranging from museum-worthy collector’s items to cheeky souvenirs. Now located in the city’s historic Industriegebouw, in a space designed by award-winning architecture firm MVRDV, the store is bigger and better than before, but hasn’t forgotten its irreverent roots.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

[Photos: Groos, Rotterdam]

Syracuse, Sicily. “In 2000, the family-run ceramic shop Dolù opened its doors on the island of Ortigia in Syracuse. In this tiny workspace, Domenica Agusta puts to practice years of study under world-renowned ceramic artisans from Caltagirone, handcrafting high-quality place settings, vases and lamps as well as custom-made pieces. Hand-painted Maiolica tiles adorned with traditional Sicilian motifs combine style, tradition and versatility for custom tabletops or for bathroom or kitchen walls.” – Gina Tringali of italyfoodandwinetours.com

Tbilisi and Batumi, Georgia. “Georgia is famous not only for their great wine, food and traditions, but their fashion industry is growing, too. Georgian designers are gaining recognition not only in Russian market, but also in Europe and America, with Tbilisi Fashion Week becoming a sought-after event. When it comes to shopping for Georgian, goods my favourite stores are located mostly in the Tbilisi old town, including Fabrika (a cool mini-community and hang-out featuring a ceramic studio shop, art studio shop, and even a plant shop); Teyo Atelier (for unique and elegant clothes from Georgian designer Teyo); and Mariam Gvasalia (another Georgian designer who makes high-quality clothes, shoes and accessories). In Batumi, I recommend New Store, a concept boutique where you’ll find the latest collections from different Georgian designers.” – Diana Horsfall of queenhorsfall.com

[Photo: Gnomo, Valencia]

Valencia, Spain. “In the heart of gentrified neighbourhood Ruzafa, design store Gnomo offers ‘everything you need for your contemporary survival’. The result is an eclectic mix of objects in a space that feels part funky garden centre and part artisan gift shop. As well as indoor bike parking and signs welcoming dogs, Gnomo sells everything from jewellery and prints of Valencian landmarks to quirky kitchen accessories. Whether you’re after a cactus mug or an origami bottle stopper, you’ll find it here.” – Robert Kidd, Contributor

Venice, Italy. “Venice can be a frustrating place to shop; it’s often hard to tell what’s authentic and what’s an imported copy. On the Rialto Bridge, shop for hand-carved cameos and Venetian-themed charms at the family-run Eredi Jovon. Learn about the women behind the glass bead trade from Marisa Convento at Venetian Dreams while you browse her collection of delicate necklaces and pins. Muranero is where Niang Moulaye creates exquisite glass beads that you can buy individually or have an entire long strand made into a necklace.” – Gillian Longworth-McGuire of gillianslists.com

Zurich, Switzerland. “Zurich’s trendsetters, bored with the gleaming international storefronts on famous Bahnhofstraße, head for the wrong side of the tracks – literally. Zürich-West, the former industrial quarter on the opposite side of the train station, has been well and truly gentrified, but retains some of its former alternative charm. Im Viadukt, constructed under the arches of a railway viaduct, has raised the profile of the area with a refreshing mix of shops like Cabinet concept store, which offers ‘Vintage & New – Special Things’ ranging from fashion and accessories to beauty and interior collectables.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Adelaide, Australia. “On the vibrant Vardon Avenue sits Leonard St. Boutique, renowned for their fanciful prints and flattering silhouettes. The brand’s founder, Amanda McCarthy, is a Melbourne-based designer who accidently fell into fashion, having originally studied ceramics and sculpture. The venture began with Amanda creating doodles and drawings, many of which soon turned into unique prints for wearable garments. Think cute hummingbirds, galaxy doodles, kaleidoscope patterns and, of course, the crowd favourite sloth print. To this day, all prints for Leonard St. designs still begin as hand-drawings by Amanda.” – Kristen Byass and Mel Zahoruj of theadelaidian.net

Adelaide, Australia. “Strolling down the streets of Adelaide’s trendy East End, you might encounter a fashionable little spot called Harvey the Label. A sleek, all-white interior is populated by neat racks of colour-blocked clothing and an accessories table in the centre, sporting rows of colourful tassel earrings and the like. It’s truly an aesthetic boutique, and behind it all is talented local designer and shop owner Mim Harvey. Mim has always had an acute sense of what’s trending in the fashion realm, having started the label as a line of affordable, blogger-style pieces. As one of the very few doing just that in Adelaide, her label soon came to be a community favourite. You’ll often see her designs floating about at festivals, nightspots and even just styled casually around the city streets.” – Kristen Byass and Mel Zahoruj of theadelaidian.net

[Photos – Left: Leonard St Boutique. Right: Harvey the Label. Courtesy Kristen Byass and Mel Zahoruj]

Adelaide, Australia. “On Rundle Street, also in the East End, you may stumble upon the quirky Miss Gladys Sym Choon. Here, a sense of organised chaos adds to the endearing quirk of this clothing emporium, with bright colours, patterns and textures filling the racks of a multi-level shopping destination. It’s a shopaholic’s paradise. You can spend hours upon hours in the store, and continually find something new and unique. But there’s more to Miss Gladys Sym Choon than an array of effervescent fashion pieces: the store is actually named after the first woman to incorporate a business in South Australia. In 1928, at the shockingly young age of 16, the eponymous Gladys first opened the doors to her mini emporium. What an inspiring story!” – Kristen Byass and Mel Zahoruj of theadelaidian.net

Brisbane, Australia. “Indie bookshop Avid Reader is a long-standing favourite among Brisbane book lovers. In bohemian West End, Avid has a laid-back vibe with a welcoming and knowledgeable staff who find page-turners to suit every taste. Defying the trend of bookshop closures, Avid has been around since 1997, and in 2015 they opened a children’s bookshop next door. With a courtyard hosting regular events and a café serving homemade treats, it’s the perfect place to find – and lose yourself in – a good book.” – Robert Kidd, Contributor

Melbourne, Australia. “Melbourne is known for its bustling markets and cool retail precincts bursting with cool boutiques. You can experience all of the above – and more – at SO:ME Space, a retail area within South Melbourne Market featuring five permanent shops, including a shoe label, fashion brand, gift shop and a ‘Terrarium Laboratory’, plus four pop-up spaces showcasing emerging local brands. Melbourne is also known for great coffee, and you can grab a cuppa right there in the market, too.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

Sydney, Australia. “Want to create your perfect T-shirt? Head on down to Citizen Wolf, located in trendy Darlinghurst. Choose your style, pick your favourite fabric and colour, and let their algorithm mathematically create your perfect fit using magic, not measuring tapes. Every Citizen Wolf Tee is ethically made on-demand in the shop using organic cotton or merino wool, and you can even wait and watch as they make yours!” – Sarah Shrapnel of loveswah.com

[Photos: Goodness, Wellington. Courtesy Lucy Revill]

Wellington, New Zealand. “Wellington is a Mecca for boutique shops. A by-law prevents shopping malls being built in the inner city, which has helped small businesses thrive in the capital of New Zealand (H&M is relegated to the more suburban Hutt Valley). Locals still favour a takeaway latte and a walk down the street rather than swiping their card online. Goodness is a classic shopping destination for Wellington women with taste, stocking wearable yet chic brands like Nineteen//46, Maison Scotch, Scotch and Soda, Curate by Trelise Cooper, NoaNoa, and Isaac and Lulu, as well as its own in-house range, The Goodness.” – Lucy Revill of theresidents.co.nz

ASIA & AFRICA

Bali, Indonesia. “If you’re looking for a pretty souvenir from Bali that is a far cry from the usual touristy stuff, stop by Jenggala in Jimbaran for unusual, high-quality and handmade ceramics and a range of decorative homewares. Peruse a variety of collections that pay ode to Bali’s natural beauty: our favourites include the textured Banana Leaf platters and serving ware, Lotus Cappuccino sets, Batik cups and saucers, and Padi collection bowls and plates. Aside from shopping, you can also indulge in their Paint-A-Pot programme: choose a ceramic, draw and paint a design, and take it home once it has been fired in their on-site kiln.” – Purnima Shrinivas, Contributor

[Photos: Jenggala, Bali]

Bali, Indonesia. “Fashion meets paradise! Tourists flock to Bali not just for its nature and culture, but also for some intensive shopping therapy. They hunt down designer pieces, not in the least to take ‘Instagram-worthy’ pictures. Rococo Resort in Seminyak offers a curated selection of many of the world’s best designer brands for men, women and children. Lamb, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, Jeffrey Campbell, Kenzo, Yazbukey, Chiara Ferragni are a few examples, as well as Vilebrequin, one of the most fancy swimwear brands in the world.” – Ayu Damayanthi of ayudamayanthi.com

Bengaluru, India. “Away from the bustle of the city, in Bengaluru’s Ulsoor suburb lies chic concept store Cinnamon, which through its charming (and sprawling) 19th-century bungalow-style layout entices browsing at a more languid pace. Besides a curated selection of handmade jewellery, trendy homewares and fashion items including jackets, kurtas, scarves and saris in wondrous textures and hues, you’ll also find entrances to some of India’s famous fashion labels such as Payal Khandwala or Sanjay Garg’s Raw Mango, and several one-of-a-kind boutiques like Translate and Ahilaya, as well as the beckoning Café Cassia and Deli in the centre courtyard.” – Purnima Shrinivas, Contributor

[Photos: The Space, Cape Town]

Cape Town, South Africa. “There isn’t much point in telling you what you can buy at Cape Town’s The Space, because by the time you get there, you may find something completely different. On my last visit, I purchased a beautiful dress by South African designer Amanda Laird Cherry and had lunch and a browse in the vegan café-cum-gift-shop upstairs. Both have since been replaced by a menswear store and barber shop. The multi-use, permanently changing pop-up space announces its rotating occupancy online, always with the disclaimer ‘Watch this Space’.” – Fiona Brutscher, Contributor

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Kia Klemenz is a stunning boutique in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens. You will find exquisite handicrafts and textiles here that make for the perfect gift – especially be on the lookout for hand-printed batik and artwork from Sabah. After you’ve done some shopping, you can enjoy some delicious coffee at the boutique’s café. Be sure to try coffee from Borneo, owner Rokiah’s homeland.” Linda Dunsmore of lindagoeseast.com

[Photo: UVLA Store, Manila]

Manila, Philippines. “UVLA Store is a peddler of nostalgia. Tucked away at the far end of Cubao Expo in Manila, it’s a vintage shop offering knick-knacks like cigarette cases, typewriters, vinyl and old soda bottles. I’m a fan of collectables, so my favourite items are the vintage toys, many of which are made from tin. No matter what you’re into or which generation you’re from, you’ll always find something here that brings you back.” – JB Macatulad of willflyforfood.net [Photo courtesy JB Macatulad]

Mumbai, India.The Museum Shop at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum – this little gem belonging to Mumbai’s oldest museum is a treasure trove of rare and nostalgic items inspired by the museum’s collections. Among the irresistible objects on offer are bronze sculptures, vintage-style brass paper weight clocks, Sindh tile-inspired teakwood trays, coasters inspired by 19th-century hand-painted Ganjifa cards from Sawantwadi, puppets, unusual fridge magnets, bidri work boxes, coffee table books and artist monologues – all bearing the imprint of traditional craftsmanship, and just perfect to take home as a memorable souvenir of your trip.” – Purnima Shrinivas, Contributor

[Photos: The Museum Shop, Mumbai]

Seoul, South Korea. “Ader Error’s shop located in the young, hip neighbourhood of Hongdae in western Seoul is part showroom, part gallery and part fashion brand. All Ader Error collections are unisex, and the anonymous group that designs these eccentric collections has done up the space on par with their unique fashion: two cars stacked on top of each other greet visitors at the entrance, and art installations can be found inside changing rooms.” – Hallie Bradley of thesoulofseoul.net

Seoul, South Korea. Vintage Bonnie is a lovely vintage store located in Ikseon-dong, one of Seoul’s hottest areas at the moment. The boutique not only offers vintage clothing and accessories, but also specialises in items and toys from the 1920s to the 1980s. If you’re looking for a unique gift or something stylish for your home, Vintage Bonnie will definitely have something for you. Located on 166-51 Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.” Linda Dunsmore of lindagoeseast.com

Shanghai, China. “A stay in Shanghai would not be complete without a visit to the enchanting, Art Deco-infused former French concession ECOshop. Every street in this magical district hides several charming little boutiques, yet tiny ECOshop on Anfu Road (one of THE iconic streets of the area) stands out in this cute crowd with their array of unique scents from natural, handmade Senlab candles, soaps, essential oils and solid perfumes. Decorative candle containers and a small display of sophisticated pieces from local jewellery designers add a creative spark to this neat space.” – Gosia Modlinska of shanghaicitygirl.com and pierogiladies.com

[Photos: Vintage Bonnie, Seoul]

Shanghai, China. “The most efficient way to experience the real vibe of old Shanghai? Explore ‘lilongs’, the city’s magical lanes with houses blending Chinese and Western structural styles. Now, what if you could add a bunch of young, local designers and craftsmen to the mix? Then you’ve found yourself a true hidden gem: it’s called Studio No. 5 – a showroom located at 169 Jiashan Road, on one of those secret lanes. This peculiar space hosts Shanghai’s favourite brands, like Fernanda Sung Jewelry and The Shanghai Gift company, and organises a full schedule of DIY workshops!” – Gosia Modlinska of shanghaicitygirl.com and pierogiladies.com

Singapore. “Littered with Books is a charming bookshop housed inside a two-storey shophouse, and it’s just as cosy and filled with personality as it looks in pictures. The shop’s long, narrow space is filled with books, piled on shelves, couches, tables and any surface available! If that doesn’t already sound like a bookworm’s dream, there are hand-written book quotes and descriptions stuck on the shelves – a thoughtful and personal touch to introduce titles to browsers.” Kylene Wu of citygirlcitystories.com


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