Galeries Lafayette, Paris
A Paris institution, Galeries Lafayette houses cutting-edge fashion, jewellery and accessories, home decor and cosmetics, as well as a renowned food section that will have gourmands salivating. But beyond the shopping, the store is known for its Belle Époque architecture; sign up for a free guided tour of the neo-Byzantine coloured glass dome, rooftop terrace and Art Nouveau staircase.
Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele, Milan
Designed in 1860 and built between 1865 and 1877, the Galleria consists of two intersecting covered streets in the centre of Milan, joined by an octagonal space topped with a glass dome connecting the Duomo and Teatro Alla Scala. Home to some of the city’s oldest shops and restaurants, this predecessor of modern shopping malls is worth a visit for the people watching alone.
Le Bon Marche, Paris
The oldest department store in Paris and, some say, the first in the world, Le Bon Marché was designed by Gustav Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel) and opened in 1852. The food department, La grande épicerie de Paris, stocks more than 5,000 local and global products – think French artisanal jams, Spanish ham and Welsh mineral water – for the discerning picnicker.