Expert Tips


Best Shopping in Philadelphia

The 10Best Places to Get Out and Shop in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a city that truly nurtures its homegrown talent. What that means for shoppers is that despite not being considered among the world's most fashion-forward cities, Philly is a locale where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures designed and finished right in the back of the store. What's more, this ethos applies to all genres of shopping. Beyond discovering your favorite new fashion designer, you can meet master furniture craftsmen, jewelry makers, and true artisans all of shapes and sizes, and from all types of crafts. And you can pick a neighborhood based on what you love to shop for and look at: Old City, for instance, is great for art galleries and cutting-edge and vintage boutiques; the shops on Main Street in Manayunk are wonderful for finding that perfect gift item. Walnut Row in Rittenhouse Square is where you'll find the fashions the fashionistas can't live without, and Antique Row is a paradise for antique collectors and shelter mavens. Plus, as an added bonus, here in Pennsylvania, you pay no sales tax on clothing. So when the retail bug hits you, take a trip out of town a bit and hit up a sprawling complex like King of Prussia Mall for a huge spread of offerings. Either way, this city is sure to have a shop or two for everyone!


King Of Prussia
King of Prussia Mall
Photo courtesy of Visit Philly

Home to more 400 stores, boutiques and restaurants, King of Prussia Mall is one of the country's largest shopping centers. Recognized as the East Coast's premier shopping destination, this upscale retail complex is anchored by well-known powerhouses like Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Macy's and JCPenney. Additional retailers located in the center include Lilly Pulitzer, Ann Taylor, Tory Burch, LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, Apple, Banana Republic, Bose and Coach, among others. There are also more than 40 dining options inside the mall, from bigger-name sit-down restaurants to smaller quick-eats as well as dessert and coffee options to refresh and refuel you and get you on your way.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: When it comes to shopping, there's literally no bigger or better place in the Philadelphia area to feed your shopping obsession.

Sharon's expert tip: If you're traveling with a non-shopper, let him/her know to bring a laptop or mobile device to take advantage of the free WiFi. If you're the shopper, wear comfortable shoes, as the mall is gigantic.

Read more about King of Prussia Mall →

Jeweler's Row
Photo courtesy of M. Edlow for Visit Philly

Comprised of more than 300 stores, this is the oldest diamond district in the country, with many stores under their fifth generation of family ownership. Stores are located on Sansom Street between 7th and 8th, and on 8th Street between Chestnut and Walnut. Shoppers can wander from one shop to the next to bargain hunt, or to search for that special piece with the look they've been dreaming about. Certainly a popular spot for those looking to purchase engagement or wedding rings, the area is home to such names as Robbins Diamonds, Safian & Rudolph Jewelers, Max Weiner Fine Jewelers and Barsky Diamonds.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Shoppers looking for that special piece of jewelry in Philadelphia know to visit this hotspot for one-of-a-kind pieces that shine.

Sharon's expert tip: Visit here not only for new pieces of jewelry, but also for alterations and changes to existing items you may have.

Read more about Jeweler's Row →

South Street Headhouse District
Photo courtesy of M. Edlow for Visit Philly

Though foodies and night owls may know of South Street for its numerous restaurants and nightspots, respectively, the daylight hours are devoted to shoppers. Try as you might, though, you won't find familiar faces like Banana Republic or Laura Ashley – No, on South Street things take on an artsier perspective. Shops here, most of them locally owned, range from tattoo parlors (there are many) to cutting edge art galleries. A neat component of the neighborhood's retail makeup is Fabric Row (South Fourth Street), which features numerous tailors, seamstresses, clothiers and upholstery shops. Parking is available nearby so you're not far from the action.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Funky and local, artsy and unique are the name of the game in this area, so shop with an eye for the fun and different.

Sharon's expert tip: Give yourself plenty of time to browse, as this area is just as much fun to look for something specific as it is to just wander around and see what catches your eye.

Read more about South Street Headhouse District →

Shops at Liberty Place
Photo courtesy of M. Fischetti for Visit Philly

Located between the Liberty Place towers in Center City's hotel district, this sleek shopping complex offers an impressive array of over 60 retail tenants, including Fire & Ice, J. Crew, Godiva Chocolatier, Les Richards, Victoria's Secret, Loft and Aveda. Completely enclosed, the center is a pleasant escape from the weather outside (especially in the winter or the heat of summer), and helps its popularity by hosting a wide slate of special events each season. Perfect for a little (or big) treat for yourself, a loved one, or to grab a necessity, Liberty Place is clean and convenient. There's also a food court should you find yourself in need of some afternoon sustenance. Parking is available in the four-level complex located under Liberty Place.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Located in the heart of Center City, this shopping venue is perfect for a quick gift or to spend some downtime.

Sharon's expert tip: In the mood for some fun? Stop by the customer service desk to find out if there are any prize give-aways taking place.

Read more about Shops at Liberty Place →

9th Street Italian Market
Photo courtesy of The South 9th Street Business Men's Association

Billed as the oldest and largest working market in the US, historic 9th Street looks, sounds and smells more or less as it did when it was founded in the early 1900s. In those days, if you were on the quest for fresh cheese, pastries, herbs, produce, seafood, meats and pastas, you could buy it from sidewalk carts and store-front businesses along the street. Today's outdoor market, which runs from Wharton to Fitzwater streets, continues to fill that niche. What's more, visitors also find folks vending everything from cookware to antiques, jewelry to sporting goods both indoors and on the sidewalk. Over the past several years more immigrant groups have moved in and opened up their shops, so now this isn't just the best place to buy fresh gnocchi, you can now also lunch on authentic Vietnamese sandwiches and spicy tacos. Plan to hit the market in the morning.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This little chunk of Italian South Philly is a great place to experience the old-school Philadelphia food scene.

Sharon's expert tip: For a real insider's view of the local ethnic scene, walk a few blocks farther south down Passyunk Avenue –" past the singing fountain –" to see caged live animals in queue to be turned into food.

Read more about 9th Street Italian Market →

Main Street Manayunk
Photo courtesy of Miles Kennedy for Visit Philly

In this up-and-coming area, shops are situated all along a half-mile on Main Street. More than 65 different storefronts offer shoppers the chance to find unique creations or interesting gifts. The trendy Manayunk section of Philadelphia is perfect for finding something for that special someone. With options ranging from home decor items to art to jewelry to personal beauty items, as well as restaurants and outdoor activity items, there's sure to be something of interest to you or those you care about. Browse, stop in for a sample, purchase a product or two, or just walk about and take in the scenery and vibe of Manayunk.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Quirky, fun, useful, pretty, functional or practical, you're sure to find a host of options on this versatile and entertaining street.

Sharon's expert tip: Not all interesting gift shops are located in Center City. This area is a fun diversion for folks not interested or not located in the center of town.

Read more about Main Street Manayunk →

Chestnut Hill
Chestnut Hill Shops
Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for Visit Philly

There are so many great things about coming to Chestnut Hill to do some Christmas shopping. Chestnut Hill is off-the-beaten-path, but not remote. It's funky, but in a way that people over the age of twenty-five can also relate to. It's young, but not off-putting, and it's a cute area to walk around in. The area offers a plethora of restaurants that are perfect to stave off hunger, lodging for those interested in making more than a day of things, and cute shops that offer unique gift ideas for everyone on your list. Lace up your walking shoes and see what this adorable town has to offer you.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This section of the city is full of wonderful shops with items you may not have thought you needed, but find that you want anyway.

Sharon's expert tip: If you come here more than a few times, get to know the shopkeepers. Personalized service is what they're known for.

Read more about Chestnut Hill Shops →

Reading Terminal Market
Photo courtesy of Sharon Nolan Rigney

First opened in 1892, the Reading Terminal Market is a great place for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. Just about any time of the day is perfect for a bite or two from this incredible culinary mecca. Several restaurants serve a full sit-down meal, but if your appetite is for something lighter, there are numerous bakeries, sandwich shops and organic produce vendors, as well as a beer garden. If shopping is your thing, you'll love the market � books, specialty foods, Pennsylvania Dutch products, Irish gifts, plants, and housewares are among the items on offer. It truly has to be seen to be appreciated, and then you'll be planning your return visit.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: This store is a must-visit for architecture buffs, as well as shoppers. It has more than 100 years of history as a retailer.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't forget to grab a sample or two as you browse. The food is a delicious as it looks.

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Historic Antique Row
Photo courtesy of R. Kennedy for Visit Philly

Billed as the city's Antique Row, Pine Street is home to numerous high-end stores and curiosity shops that cater to seasoned and novice collectors alike. But don't let the name fool you. Wedged in between the antique stores here are furniture boutiques that display handmade works created either in the back studio or in some far-flung country. Though Antique Row begins at the Avenue of the Arts (Broad Street) and continues eastward in the direction of the Pennsylvania Hospital, it's between 11th and 9th Streets that you'll find the greatest concentration of galleries, furniture stores and the like. Treat yourself to a visit to Antique Row and see what the fuss is all about.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Shopping shouldn't boring, and Antique Row does a great job of keeping things fun and interesting.

Sharon's expert tip: After you're done browsing, walk about three blocks north to Midtown Village, home to some of the best new restaurants in town.

Read more about Historic Antique Row →

East Passayunk Ave Shops
Photo courtesy of Sharon Nolan Rigney

Rolling through the city on a diagonal line, East Passyunk Avenue is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, venues, lodging options, businesses and parks. It's just a 6 minute taxi or subway ride or a thirty minute walk from Center City Philadelphia, so certainly not out of your way. This recently revitalized region now really delivers on places to meet your retail desires. Find many women-owned businesses, salons, drugstores and places to meet your medical needs, gift shops, liquor stores, clothing places, markets, shops carrying handmade treasures, shoe and footwear stores, options for food and pastries, eyewear, jewelry, tattoos, pets, bridal, biking, art and even a museum. Wander the street and let it tell you what you need, or hit up one place to get the product or gift you've been searching for. There's certainly no shortage of stores to choose from.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Options exist for everyday times as well as gifts, food and treat-yourself treasures.

Sharon's expert tip: Remember that his street was also named one of the top foodie streets in America, so be sure to take time to dine here in addition to shopping.

Read more about East Passayunk Ave Shops →


Meet Sharon Rigney

Sharon is a native to the Philadelphia area, but loves to wander from its familiar borders. She has traveled to more than 30 countries, trekked five continents, ventured out with family,...  More About Sharon