Tips and Inspiration for your European holiday

Most of us love a bargain and when it comes to fashion, particularly 'brand name' items, who can resist? Whilst your European holiday is probably going to include visits to plenty of churches, museums and monuments, why not take some time out for a bit of retail therapy and head to one of Europe's many outlet shopping villages?


Factory outlet shopping in EuropeImage © Production Perig / Dollar Photo Club 

Europe offers a number of different outlet shopping centres with stock and discounts varying, but if you're nearby, they might just be worth a visit to see if you can bag a bargain.

Ladies, you might need to be a bit persuasive to convince your male travelling companions to partake, but with the promise of designer labels at reduced prices, it's definitely worth the effort. And if hubby or boyfriend aren't convinced, the outlet villages are home to plenty of coffee shops where they can sit and watch the beautiful people whilst you shop till you drop!


Just remember you have to get everything you buy home and airlines are very strict with their luggage limits. Forking out for excess baggage charges could easily negate any savings you make on your purchases.


Many of Europe's outlet villages feature stores by the big-name European brands like Armani, Prada, Gucci, Bally, Dolce & Gabbana and Adidas. Here's a few outlet shopping villages to consider visiting:


Milan, the fashion capital of Italy, and perhaps even the world, offers plenty of shopping choices, and when in Florence, you can visit the Prada factory store or the Barberino Designer Outlet.


Just over the Italian border into Switzerland, Foxtown Outlet Shopping Village has over 130 stores to browse, with discounts of 30 - 70% available.


Paris is home to La Vallee Village where more than 100 prestigious brands offer their previous seasons' collections at reduced prices.


Visitors to Germany can choose from a number of outlet shopping options including Wertheim Village near Wurzburg; Ingolstadt Village (between Nuremburg and Munich); and Metzingen, located south of Stuttgart.


Bicester Village, just an hour from London, is one of the world's premier luxury shopping destinations. A daily coach service takes shoppers from London directly to the Village.






What's your favorite outlet shopping experience in Europe?  Please tell me about it in the comments below.






# Carmel Murphy 2018-05-12 06:41
Hi Carolyn - thank you for all ur great info - in your opinion where would you buy leather jackets & Boots - Europe or here in Aussie?
# Carolyn 2018-05-14 12:15
Hi Carmel - glad you've found the website useful.
I posted a question on my Facebook page to see what other travellers to Europe thought and the general consensus is that there are still some really good leather bargains to be had in France, Italy and Greece. Some readers left some quite specific info about which shops and markets to go to so I'll post some more details below. Happy shopping!
# Carolyn 2018-05-14 12:20
Here are the comments from my readers:

Jim: Italy is still a fantastic place for buying leather goods, but it's best to look for them in shops in non touristy areas or towns, and preferably around the end of June/early July. Outlets are also good places to find bargains. Also try the local markets as there's usually plenty of leather (shoes in particular), that are made in Italy at markets and they're sometimes at incredibly cheap prices compared to Australia.

Carol: Mazamet in France is also known for its leather. Back in the day the sheep came from Australia- not sure if it still does. Some of the streets are named after our capital cities!

Deborah: I had some beautiful leather bags made in Athens, they cost 35 Euro each. The guy who made them also had bags, wallets and jackets and even homewares like leather vases on display. The workmanship is superb and you can't go past the price, you even get to pick the leather you want, not just the colour. His name is George and his shop is just up from the Plaka and around the corner from Athens Center Square Hotel.

Henny: We bought my leather jacket in Sarlat la Caneda France they where a family owned business beautiful coats and other clothing we can also take it back for a service at any time if we like bit to far to go I’d say.
It’s 30mins from the dordogne river.
Also Rocamadour beautiful leather.

Jayne: We were in Florence two years ago and the market straight after the Ponte Vecchio was full of leather jackets, handbags, purses and plenty of other things. It looked fabulous, I didn't buy anything that day but we're going back soon so I'll be buying this time.. 
# Carolyn 2013-11-01 13:29
Hi Suzanne,

Probably the best place to start learning more about Europe and the things to see and do is to grab a few brochures from a travel agent. That will give you an idea of where you might like to visit. I also add a new destination article to the blog each week which might give you some travel inspiration, too!

For more info on factory outlet shopping, I find the websites of each specific country generally have some useful information.

Thanks for stopping by.
# suzanne gomes 2013-10-31 22:49
i would love to learn more about Europe.Give me as much info with regards to factory outlets,tourist spots ,food,history etc