Xmas Shopping in NYC v Xmas Shopping in London

Believe it or not, there are less than 60 six days to go before Christmas! That means time is running out to do the all-important Xmas shopping, but should shoppers go to New York or London for a spot of retail therapy this year? Here we look at the pros and cons of both cities.

London

    Pros

  • Spacious and luxury apartments in London to book for a long weekend or perhaps even longer are always in plentiful supply because the city is made up of countless different boroughs, meaning accommodation is never hard to come by.
  • Visit iconic shops such as Harrods, Hamleys, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and shop until you drop down Savile Row and Bond Street.
  • There are various Christmas food markets dotted all over the city serving all kinds of culinary delights from all over the world.
  • Check out the Christmas lights down Oxford Street and Regents Street.
  • Chill out – quite literally – after a hard day of shopping at the Ice Bar, the UK’s only permanent bar made out of ice.
  • Can catch a show in London’s West End when you’ve finished perusing the shops.
  • Great transport links mean you can easily hop on a train to other great shopping destinations in England like Manchester or Liverpool if you fancy a change of scenery. Apartments in Liverpool and Manchester also offer great value if you want to escape London for a night.
    Cons

  • London can be an expensive place to shop.
  • The main shopping streets get extremely busy in the build-up to Christmas, as does the London Underground.
  • The London Underground only runs until roughly midnight every night.

New York

    Pros

  • New York is widely considered to be the best place in the world for shopping.
  • Visit famous shopping institutions like Bloomingdales and Macy’s and do a bit of sightseeing while in NYC.
  • More likely to get a flurry of snow in NYC compared to London, although the last few Decembers in New York have been mild.
  • The biggest and best shops are all a short walk away from Broadway, where you can see some of the biggest names in the world of theatre treading the boards.
  • Get into the festive spirit with a romantic walk around a wintry Central Park or whisk your significant other up the Empire State Building.
  • Areas like SoHo are packed with trendy bouquets with something for everyone.
  • NYC is a 24/7 city in every sense.
    Cons

  • If the temperature dips dramatically and there’s a repeat of the serious snow storms that occurred back in January of this year, it could reap havoc with your plans.
  • NYC is busy constantly.

Five Shows to See in New York

New York is truly one of the most diverse places in the world. It is famous for many things, but perhaps none more so than Broadway – the centre stage for theatre in the western world. New York City base apartments are the perfect pads from which to launch your theatrical and musical adventure in the Big Apple.

Times Square - New York
[Image courtesy of Ryan Hoard via flickr creative commons]

One thing you’ll have an abundance of on Broadway is choice. What’s more, any choice you make will be a good one because it is far from easy to get onto the biggest stage in theatre.

It’s an achievement enough to actually get onto Broadway in the first place, but staying there is another matter altogether. That is exactly what The Phantom of the Opera has done for more than twenty years. The romantically dark production is regarded as one of the world’s finest and proves popular with every audience.

The Phantom of the Opera - New York
[Image courtesy of moniquewingard via flickr creative commons]

Audiences seeking a laugh should head to see Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, which is another long-runner in the world of theatre. Amazingly, London staged its first appearance over a century ago in 1895 and the playwright’s most popular creation is still a hit amongst theatre fans today.

One of the best musicals Broadway has to offer is Chicago. It is a perfect feel good show that will get your feet tapping and your face beaming. Going to the theatre can be a great family experience, too, with Mary Poppins still a big hit. It has had a relatively short theatrical life, having only been on Broadway for five years now, but this popular Disney film favourite is slowly beginning to cement its deserved place in the Big Apple alongside the above shows.

Mary Poppins - New York
[Image courtesy of siRRonWong via flickr creative commons]

Another show that has made the transatlantic leap from London to New York is War Horse, which is an incredibly moving epic drama by Michael Morpurgo that was adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford. Broadway audiences have only been treated to this number for a few months, but it is consistently drawing in the crowds through word of mouth.

The Big Apple is one of the many must-visit places on the theatre circuit and never fails to impress every kind of fan. The quality of the productions on Broadway will make you want to go back and see them again and again.