The 5 Best Department Stores

London certainly offers lots of fun shopping opportunities!  But what’s your best option if you’re short of time?

Let’s assume you’re visiting London for just a few days. Doesn’t it make sense to go to one of the city’s famous department stores where you’ll find everything under one roof?

Here’s an essential guide to London’s best stores, written by a Londoner:


Everybody has heard of Harrods!  It’s like a playground which you can happily get lost in for hours.  I especially recommend the Food Hall – try an authentic Italian “gelato” if you really want to spoil yourself.  Although Harrods can be expensive it’s always great fun, even just to window-shop!


Liberty became famous for dressmaking but is actually a general department store. It is not all that well-organised as a store but that is actually part of its charm. The homewares department is particularly attractive. The store is right in the centre of London near Regent Street.


Selfridges is heaven for the fashion-conscious and all those who want to browse their favourite designer brands under one roof. The store’s window displays on Oxford Street are always a spectacle.  Selfridges is also known for its special events and exhibitions which change every season. Watch out too for the famous Selfridges sales.

Harvey Nichols

This store is a haunt of London’s jetset, known as the “Sloane Rangers” or the “ladies who lunch”…you’ll see them with their fancy handbags on the 5th Floor Café!  Harvey Nichols has almost 130 years of history and is especially highly-rated for beauty items and fashion accessories.

Fortnum & Mason

One of the best stores in London to buy gifts and souvenirs, especially edible items like teas (hundreds of varieties), chocolate and those famous English preserves.  Sample some of its mouthwatering delights (including a traditional English breakfast) in the store’s restaurants.  Fortnum & Mason is famous for its amazing hampers: you can take one with you to one of London’s fabulous Royal Parks!