Christmas shopping in New York

36547224 - new york city - dec. 25, 2014: new york city landmark, radio city music hall in rockefeller center decorated with christmas decorations in midtown, manhattan nyc.

When I think about New York, I think about Christmas: the entire city transforms into a fairy-tale, with the gigantic Christmas tree from the Rockefeller Centre, the ice rink in Central Park, the fairy lights, the different Christmas markets. Add snow to it and everything becomes magical under the big fluffy snowflakes.

I have always wished to go to New York before the winter holidays, to feel the festive atmosphere and to do my Christmas shopping there. And with the cheap flights between London and New York I can shoot two birds with one stone: buy presents for my dear ones and also feel the magic of Christmas in this amazing metropolis (also hope for the weather to delight me with snow, as we almost never have a white Christmas in London).

I can imagine walking on the Fifth Avenue, admiring all the beautiful decorated Christmas window displays and enter each department store to search for special gifts. Did you know that some of the department stores in New York recreate in their window displays classic Christmas tales, with moving elements?

This year for example, Saks Fifth Avenue has chosen a very delicious theme for their window display, including colourful lollipops and cotton candy, animating “The Nutcracker sweet” alongside its six windows from the Fifth Avenue. Macy’s on the other is displaying a touching “Believe” theme, centred around Santa Clause and his workshop, to inspire watchers to have faith in the magic of Christmas. Barneys theme is “Love, Peace and Joy”, where different famous artists have reinterpreted these concepts in their own creative ways.

The Christmas Markets in New York can’t be missed also. Borrowing the idea of a German Christmas market, the Union Square Holiday Market awaits its visitors with mulled wine, warm cider, hot chocolate and a huge selection of artisan crafts. You can buy here unique handmade gifts, from artwork to home goods, gourmet treats or winter scarves, hats and gloves.

Did you know that even if with the falling of the pound due to the unfortunate Brexit, it is still cheaper to do your Christmas shopping in New York rather than in London? The Post Office Travel Money together with the researchers from Cheapflights have created a great Christmas Shopping Brand Guide comparing prices of different brands in both London and New York, finding out that on average it’s 43% cheaper to shop in the Big Apple.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this is a sponsored post for which I received financial compensation. However, all the comments and opinions in this article are my own.

Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.

117 Comments

  1. That New York is actually cheaper than London is really surprising , and especially during Christmas Season. I really enjoyed reading your post because NY aka Big Apple is a bit like that lifetime dream that never will come true. Flying that many hours to be spending a weekend or so over there, really turns me off. But still , I would so want to go ! That infographic is brilliant !

  2. Your description of NY Christmas makesme want to go there. 🙂 I miss everything that looks like Christmas. I’m living in a place without Christmas so no change of decorations here.
    The prices look good too. Now, I really want to go. 🙂

  3. I’d love to be in New York for a festive season. Even though I could imagine it being the busiest of the busiest lol. Who knew fares were cheaper in November from Lon-NY

  4. NYC really is very festive at Christmas, and it does sound so very tempting to visit during that time. It is surprising that fares are lower at this time, I would think they would be inflated because of this very reason. It would be a very fun trip though!

  5. One of my dreams is to go shopping in New York, and christmas would be the ideal time to go as I bet it is even more amazing. And the bargains you can get would make it even better x

  6. This is mad! I’ve always wanted to go to New York during the holidays, but seeing how much cheaper shopping is just makes me want to book a flight for next year. Seriously.

    – Elodie x

  7. I have to say I wouldn’t mind heading to NY for some shopping! Living in Chicago, I get a bit of that NY feel but I have never been to the city to get the real experience.

  8. I would love to go to NY to do my Christmas shopping but it’s just not plausible what with work and childcare. My daughters uncle lives in New York though and we are always getting him to bring things home with him as everything is so cheap xx

  9. I go to the States a couple of times a year for work – although not at Christmas time, I definitely need to research the best value things to buy out there after reading this! And of course, NYC at Christmas would be an absolute dream!

  10. New York, New York. You are definitely right, when I think about Christmas I think about New York. Thank you for the post, it was really informative. I WISH I was in New York this Christmas.

  11. Really interesting! Love the tips about which brands to buy in New York instead of the U.K. and which ones are actually more expensive. At the same time I’m a wimp and avoid the East Coast once it starts heading into winter!

  12. Yes I have heard about this thing, many stuff in NY is cheaper than London during Christmas Time; anyway next year everything will change in UK, money change too!! We will figure it our, right now it’s great live a Christmas in both colourful and fantastic cities!! 😀

  13. I’ve lived in a NY for a long time and it’s definitely one of the best places to shop especially during the holidays! The displays are just going to leave you stunned! There’s really nothing like Christmas in NY!

  14. That’s some great prices! Quite some savings! My friend has been to NY over Xmas and new years and I would love to go! Hopefully next year. I really want to ice skate in central Park and see the shop windows with their amazing designs! Ree love30

  15. It’s lovely visiting New York around Christmas time. I went with a fried a few years back and it was great. The Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre was gorgeous but I wasn’t brave enough to go ice skating.

  16. I would love to see the window displays for Christmas! I haven’t been to New York yet–love your first photo in this post! The city’s decorations must be so fun!

  17. Going to New York is very high on my list! I’ve never actually really thought about going there in the Christmas season but you opened my eyes. I would love to see those classic Christmas tales in the shop displays. I love the whole atmosphere! I love Christmas Markets as well. Who wouldn’t want to go to New York and visit the Christmas Market and feel the atmosphere. Especially when it’s that cheap!

  18. While I must admit, I’m not much of a shopper, my American girlfriend is and always tells me about shopping in New York. Certainly, Christmas time seems like a wonderful time to go there and sure to put even the most cynical old codger in the festive spirit. Not entirely sure my bank account would be so happy about it though!

  19. Wow. This post was a revelation! I always thought everything about New York was expensive! Thanks for letting me know about the huge price difference of some items/brands if bought from NY or London.

  20. Such a wonderful post. I love how you compared prices between London and New York. I love New York especially during the holidays. The beautiful window decorations are alone worth the visit but if you could find some bargains too, all the better. Nice information and enjoyable post.

  21. I live here in NY and I can tell you that shopping here is great all year round BUT the prices are higher during the holidays ! It is worth visiting though because seeing NYC decked out for the holidays is something everyone needs to experience at least once!

  22. Wow! Although I won’t be in either city for the holidays, this was such an informative post! I had no idea! I definitely would have assumed it would be the other way around. And I absolutely love the comparisons you gave as examples, since I’m a visual person!

  23. I have heard so much from friends who have visited New York during the Christmas holidays and seen their pictures it is such a visual treat for the eyes. What an interesting fact to know that London is a lot more expensive a place to go to during the holidays

  24. When I went to New York last October I was mesmerised and wondered what Christmas time is like. Such a lovely infographic and wouldnt mind exploring some of those offers

  25. NYC is the best place on the planet earth during christmas time, but shopping in NYC can also cost you a little more, but from the items listed by you in this article is definitely going to help me to my trip to NYC next trip!
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful tips Cheers 🙂

  26. I knew shopping in New York was cheaper than London or anywhere in Europe for that matter but the differences you have showed is really huge, Oh my! You can totally make a trip out of all the money you will save just by shopping in the states.
    xx, Kusum

  27. New York City is such a great place for Xmas shopping. While you’re there you should stick on local brands – just like you mentioned the European brands are more expensive over there, but I that’s pretty logical.

  28. I’ve never been to New York before. I have always wanted to go though. I think shopping would be a great and fun experience there.

  29. My family and I want to plan a trip to NYC for next Christmas. I have been dying to go for years! I have a friend who moved to NYC a few years ago and he absolutely LOVES it. I can only imagine how cool that Saks 5th Ave. display looks in person!

  30. It’s a dream to be in NY during Christmas and always imagined things will be expensive. This is quite a tempting side to the city’s shopping scene which you have written about. I know London is expensive, but THIS much of a difference can as a surprise!

  31. quiet a comprehensive guide for those looking to shop in New York during christmas time in comparison to London. with all the details around discount and what to look for, I think your post will help people a lot. And you have taken into account the whole logistics calculation as well in the comparison

  32. New York at Christmas would be a dream come true! I can’t believe that it would still be cheaper for us to do our Christmas shopping in the Big Apple 😮

  33. Stunning colors! You captured the magic in NYC. I’ve always wanted to do NY at Christmas, now I’ve seen your pictures I want to even more! I have only one fear that I would finished broke. I am compulsive buyer and must restrain myself from New York.

  34. The comparison between prices is just “WooW”! That’s something new for me! Incredible…
    I would love to visit New York finally…!!! (… in the future) Maybe next year?!
    Beautiful post my dear!! Wish you an amazing afternoon and the rest of the week! <3

  35. I’ve been to New York shopping on the 23rd Dec last year. It was too busy. I love the detailed price comparison so I know where exactly to get stuff for a bargain. Thank you

  36. Wow, nice idea. Cheap in NY. I actually went to NY once back in HS for a class. It was in December, around Christmas time. It was so beautiful. The lights! I will never forget my trip! (The whole class went to see a living taping of a TV show called Hope & Faith — Kelly Ripa and Faith Ford.) 🙂

  37. New York has been my ever dream City since then. I wonder how beautiful the streets are during Holiday season just by reading your blog post. I wish I could visit this City very soon. Who would have expected that shopping in NY is more cheaper than in London? This is awesome!

  38. The prices are just jaw-dropping! I’ve never celebrated Christmas in a foreign country but this sure is tempting. I just hope this would still exist in the future. Even if we celebrate Christmas in various ways, the world will unite for Christmas shopping especially if the prices are that low!

  39. Enjoy shopping! And exploring the New York city! It’s really a place to be especially when you write such a compelling story about it during this Christmas season. Merry Christmas in advance!

  40. OMG! kill me now, I would sooooooo love to shop and visit NYC! especially during this time. Reminds me of warm memories like home alone 2 and other festive movies that have made NYC seem almost magical

  41. This is interesting, I didn’t know products can go low so much when shopping during this time of the year. I hope those who are staying near can purchase those good branded stuff at a better rate. I haven’t been to NY but have been to UK. So fun that they have cheap flight tickets to travel all the way to NY.

  42. As a man, there are times I like shopping. But then again, shopping is mostly not for girls. I’ll have my girl look at these items and let her tell me what’s best and not. xD Seeing the difference, it’s really cheaper in NYC at certain cases.

  43. I have always wanted to go to New York at Christmas! It’s been a dream for such a long time but I always thought it would be too expensive! I can’t believe some of the price differences! Maybe next year will be the year I’ll go.

  44. I don’t know if I can afford Xmas shopping in New York but I think I would still be game for some window shopping. That should be a lovely experience.

  45. I knew that a lot of people fly to New York to do their Christmas shopping but I always thought they just did it for the fun of it. I didn’t know it’s so much cheaper as well!

  46. I knew all this time about new York being among the cities with a lot to offer for shopping but I certainly didn’t know that it would be cheap. I always thought that things would be expensive.

  47. Wow, to us as Americans New York is scene as an expensive place but when you look at some of those prices above…43% is a bargain for Brits. And, as you said, you get to check out New York in winter AND also get that shopping done. A win-win situation!

  48. Walking and just window shopping is my favorite things to do during the holiday season because of all the lights, decoration and festivities! New York at this time is worth braving the weather and visiting!

  49. If I’m going to visit New York during Christmas season, I would like to experience the lighting ceremony of that famous Rockeller Christmas Tree.

    Just like in a movies.

  50. We are always fascinated by the glimmer, decoration and vibrancy of Christmas. Christmas in Newyork is a dream and if we were there for real shopping will definitely be on list. We were aware that London is costly but not that its cheaper in NYC. We would definitely make use of this advantage.

  51. New York looks so magical at both Christmas and New Years! Shocking I’ve never been since I’m only a stones throw away in Ohio… One day!

  52. Christmas Shopping in New York is on my bucket list. I’ve never been it it definitely seems like it’s most magical at this time of year! And if love to see all the lights – and not forgetting the bargains!

  53. Ooo very helpful guide to Christmas shopping. A lot of these facts kinda went against my instinct, but now I’ll know for the future. Being in Australia, I miss cold Christmases anywhere!

  54. Ahhh…it has been on my list forever to go to NYC for Christmas. The energy is already so amazing. I can’t even imagine at Christmas just how magical it is. This is a great guide for holiday shopping!

  55. In my younger years, when I regularly made trips to Chicago, one of my favorite holiday things to do was to look at the holiay window displays. I’m not much of a shopper, so I wouldn’t go to NYC for that, but I would go to check out their window displays.

  56. Your featured picture just says it all. Want to celebrate Christmas in a grand way thenNYC is the place to be. the city looks so vibrant in the shades of reds and greens. and Yes The budget shopping even makes it better. Love you post. Merry Christmas in advance And Merry Shopping. 🙂

  57. Absolutely! New York must be one of the most christmas-feeling cities these days!! I would also love to go there for this period and enjoy the environment and do some shopping, stopping for a coffee in the Central Perk :D:D:D

  58. Having lived in both these places, I can totally attest to things being cheaper acroas the pond and back again. It’s kinda crazy how that happens haha. I looooove Christmas time in London, there’s just something so whimsical about it. Though the window decorations in New York maaaaaay be better haha.

  59. I’ve seen the picture of the giant Christmas red baubles a few times around the internet now and they look so cool! Would love to see them myself one day! Also, in terms of Christmas in New York, it just looks magical! I hope you have a lovely Holidays! 🙂

  60. Christmas in NY looks magical. Although at the moment with the dramas in the lead up to a family Christmas exploding all around me Christmas just about anywhere other than home sounds appealing lol. As an Aussie it would be lovely to experience a cold Christmas for a change!

  61. I lived in the USA for 10 long years and never visited New york, now that I’ve moved to France, I regret it, it’s a beautiful city! This is a good post, although I don’t share the idea of buying gifts to each other, because we don’t need them. Cristhmas turned into a craziness for shopping things and decorations, people forget about the real meaning that is Jesus.

  62. Christmas in NYC in general is just so fantastic, especially the decorations and people watching. I have friends from the UK and they always try to make it around this time because it is definitely much cheaper for a lot of their clothes and gifts for family and friends.

  63. Radio City at Night!! I can’t believe your article is illustrated with exactly this picture. Is the place I love, I dream about, I spent good hours of night sitting at the little stone tables at the corner on 6th Avenue, what is called Avenue of The Americas. Been there, Loved that. Soon we’ll visit New York together <3

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