London doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to affordable prices, but there are plenty of budget stores to visit if you know where to look. After growing up in the city, I'm excited to share my favorite spots for shopping with you.
The Classic Department Stores
If you want a true London experience, head to the following stores to pick up some bargains while mingling with the locals.
Harrods: Harrods is London's most famous luxury department store, but that shouldn't put you off visiting. Instead, head straight to the souvenir section, where you can grab an inexpensive Harrods-branded item as a memento from your trip. It's also worth checking out the sale sections around the store to see what's on offer.
Directions can be found here.
Selfridges: Selfridges is more affordable than harrods, but still a high-end option with the opportunity for finding good value items. This department store offers anything from fashion to electronics; jewellery to books. It's also well worth a visit as it has the largest denim department in the world, with over 11,000 pairs of jeans on offer in one giant part of the store.
Directions can be found here.
The Classic Chains
Pick a capital city anywhere in the world and it'll most likely be packed full of the same stores: H&M, Mango, Zara, and Topshop. You'll be able to find these on most of the major shopping streets in the city, like Oxford Street, and they're usually clustered close together. Great if you have a spare half an hour and want to treat yourself to something new!
When it comes to affordable fashion in the city, these are a great option if you just want to spend a few pounds on a new top. Think Zara for the nicest clothes, and H&M for the most inexpensive.
When it comes to British chains, it's worth checking out Primark. You'll find incredibly cheap clothes there, although don't expect them to last for very long.
Don't Forget Carnaby Street
One cool, pedestrians-only spot near Oxford Street is Carnaby Street. Here, stores and cafes line the wide walkways, and you can pick up anything everything from Diesel jeans to antique hippiewear. A sweet little coffee spot on this street is called Sacred is a good place to rest your shopping-tired feet while having a cardamom-flavored cup of Thai coffee with condensed milk.
Check Out the Street Markets if You Catch a Sunny Day
London's street markets are some of the best, so if you find yourself craving some retail therapy and it's not pouring with rain, check out some of these options:
Portobello Market: This is one of London's most famous markets, and it's even pictured at the top of this article. Head here for clothes and antiques shopping, as well as some inexpensive street food. If you're into antiques and collectibles, this is the place to be.
Covert Garden Market: One of the most popular areas of London also has a fun market to wander around. Covent Garden Market is where you'll find jewellery, artwork, souvenirs, food, and more!
Borough Market: If you're looking for a bargain when it comes to street food, head to Borough Market. There are hundreds of food stalls here, whether you're looking for gooseberry and mint-flavored mustard, wine-infused cheese, or a steaming bowl of chicken curry for lunch.
Looking for somewhere similar without the crowds? Try Brixton Village for delicious eats from around the world.
Petticoat Lane Market: You can find clothes and crowds abound at Petticoat Lane's market -- haggle on the leather jackets this street market's known for.
This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff.