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Fifth Avenue Stroll: New York's Quintessential Department Stores

  • fifth avenue
  • macys
  • bloomingdales
  • bergdorf goodman
  • barneys
Love to shop? You can't miss these iconic New York City shopping centers.

Fifth Avenue is one of the world’s most illustrious shopping destinations. Does your NYC itinerary include these must-visit stops?

Fifth Avenue is home to some of the most well-known and luxurious department stores in the world. A mecca for shopaholics, the New York-obsessed, and anyone who’s secretly dreamed of being Blair Waldorf or Carrie Bradshaw, Fifth Avenue offers an experience unlike any other, even if your budget only allows for a little window shopping.

During the upcoming holiday season, city storefronts come alive with magnificent window displays — giving you yet another reason to add these four iconic department stores to your to-do list.

1. Barney’s

barneys

Barney’s is where the posh go to shop, and for good reason. Barney Pressman opened the upscale shop in 1923 with a mere $500 investment, and began selling high-end clothing at discounted prices. By the 70s, the store held more than 60,000 suits, including high fashion styles from Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior and Givenchy. In fact, Barney’s was the first U.S. store to stock the full Giorgio Armani line. Women’s clothing appeared on the scene later, alongside cosmetics, gifts and housewares.

Times have changed since Barney’s inception, and you won’t find discounted deals at this store anymore — its price range is described as “very high end.” If you’re simply dying to be able to say you purchased something at Barney’s but can’t swing the full price tag, mark your calendar for the store’s semi-annual sale.

2. Bergdorf Goodman

bergdorf-goodman

Older than Barney’s by a few decades, Bergdorf Goodman opened in 1899 and, in 1914, became the first couturier to sell ready-made clothing. The store became known for its elegant American and French fashions, with goods tailored toward those who love the classic, irreplicable designs of Chanel and Dior. Recently, Bergdorf Goodman has added a few more designers to its repertoire, such as Marc by Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenburg, in order to attract a younger crowd. Several films have been shot inside the store, including scenes from Sex and the City 2.

3. Bloomingdale’s

bloomingdales

Bloomingdale’s history goes back even further. The store first opened in 1861, specializing in hoop skirts, and has since made a reputation for itself with gorgeous, year-round window displays. While the store sells a variety of amazing products, its price range is a bit more affordable than that found at Bergdorf Goodman or Barney’s. Bloomingdale’s offers many perks for the avid shopper, such as an option to have your purchases shipped to your house, and a baggage and coat check for extended shopping sprees.

4. Macy’s

macys

Of course, you can visit a Macy’s just about anywhere, but the original Macy’s store at Herald Square offers a singular experience. Visit during the holiday season and you may be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the hundreds of shoppers buzzing through the ten-story building. The store’s wares range from low-end to high-end, guaranteeing that shoppers on just about any budget will find what they need. In addition, the location is famous for its starring role in New York’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and features the country’s original mall Santa.

What’s your favorite activity during these festive months? Does a day of window shopping invigorate you, or would you rather pass the time baking seasonal desserts? Share the comforts and joys of your holiday season with us on Twitter with the hashtag #AffiniaHoliday. Prizes will be awarded for our favorite responses!