If you’re Eurailling around Europe in December, there are few activities as festive as Christmas shopping. There are endless markets over this time, but there’s something special about visiting an established shopping center or department store that goes all out to draw you in. Even if you’re not planning to buy, a visit to one of these shopping centers and stores will fill you with Christmas spirit.
1- Galeries Lafayette, Paris
This upmarket department store is one of the fanciest in the French capital. It recently turned over one billion euro in a single year. It features some of the world’s most exclusive brands and products, and the 10-story building is remarkable at any time of the year. A special charm descends on it over Christmas, however. A large tree sits in its center, and lights, decorations and, music help set the festive mood for Christmas shopping.
2- Bijenkorf, Amsterdam
Bijenkorf is one of Europe’s most enthralling destinations to visit around Christmas. The Dutch department store creates remarkable window displays each year. You can expect plenty of glitter, lights, traditional decorations, and modern installments. Even if you’re not in the market for the latest Jimmy Choos, there’s enough there to keep you captivated. There are also events leading up to Christmas if you’re there a few weeks too early, including the turning on of the lights and visits by Saint Nicholas.
3- Harrods, London
Harrods in London is a massive department store with legendary Christmas displays, perfect for christmas shopping. It covers a staggering five acres in the English capital, and it transforms according to the season. Christmas is without doubt one of the best times to visit. They open up a special department catering specifically to the event, and even if you’re not wealthy enough to splurge on the products it’s still worth a visit to witness the December spectacle.
4- Selfridges, London
Selfridges is another famous London department store that pulls out all the stops for Christmas. Each year they open up a Christmas department that picks up momentum towards the holiday season. The theme and displays change each year and have people waiting in anticipation until the grand reveal. All displays feature a range of Christmas stories involving their various high-end products in fun and entertaining ways sure to light up your Instagram feed.
5- KaDeWe, Berlin
Few countries do Christmas as well as Germany, and the KaDeWe department in Berlin store is no exception. There are more than 60,000 square meters of retail space in this shopping haven and its size alone makes it a store worth visiting at any time of the year. But come Christmas, they shift focus to all things festive. It’s the perfect destination to do a bit of window shopping, check the latest trends, and to soak up all that commercial Christmas spirit.
6- Printhemps, Paris
It takes a lot to stand out in one of the world’s shopping capitals. But when it comes to Paris’s Printhemps, they set the standard for window displays and Christmas shopping. The store focuses on lifestyle, fashion and beauty, but come December, most flock there to peer through the glass and see what creative display they’ve come up with for the passersby. The displays are among the best in the world, and the Christmas stories they tell charm both the young and old.