7 Fun Shopping Spots Near Grand Central Station
In Midtown Manhattan, Grand Central Station, also called the Grand Central Terminal, is the biggest commuter rail station in the country. Actually, it’s the largest in the Americas. As a result, it’s not surprising that you might find yourself at this transportation hub for New York City, the East Coast, and beyond.
Not only does NYC have the largest train station, but it is also the best shopping destination in the world. So, when you arrive here, you can drop your bags off at a Grand Central Station luggage storage and hit the ground running (running towards the shops, that is).
Your only issue with shopping in this area is going to be knowing where to start. Below is a list of our favorite fun shopping venues close to Grand Central.
Grand Central Terminal
When you’re short on time and don’t want to stray too far from the station, get your shopping groove on right at the Grand Central Terminal. Packed all around the station in the Main Concourse, Vanderbilt Concourse, and along the various passageways, you’ll find some of the most recognizable stores around. You’ll find many of your favorites here, from Banana Republic to the Apple Store to lululemon. And that’s not even mentioning all the food options!
Since this is a train station, Grand Central Market is one of the easiest places to get grab-and-go food. Fantastic food vendors all collaborate here to provide an experience that resembles more of a grocery store than a food hall. Enjoy international dishes prepared fresh, easy snacks, and cold drinks as you make your way to your train or into the city.
Grand Central Market – 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
Rockefeller Center is probably best known as the home of the NBC Studios and for its magnificent Christmas tree it displays proudly during the holiday season. But this large complex in Midtown Manhattan is also ideal for shopping. With over 100 retail outlets, this spot is a great way to combine shopping with a little sightseeing. If your NYC visit coincides with the winter season, take a break from shopping, strap on some skates, and glide your way around the center’s famous ice rink. A few twirls wouldn’t hurt, either! Plus, even in the summer, this rink becomes a roller rink, so you can really do this activity year-round.
As for the actual shops, this area skews higher end but still has mid-range stores like The Body Shop, Anthropologie, and J Crew. And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll likely beg you to stop in for a roam around FAO Schwartz or the LEGO Store.
45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
Aptly named since it’s located in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood, this food and local artisan market is the ideal location to pick up a few souvenirs. Predominantly a food hall, you can grab fresh and prepared foods here that skew international, but you can also browse for fun trinkets at the retail stalls.
This gem in the Meatpacking District is well-known, so it’s often crowded, but don’t let that deter you. You may be overwhelmed by all the choices here, but try to stop by Chelsea Market Baskets for a lovely gift basket and Saxelby Cheesemonger for a fragrant cheese. You will also see lots of NY-themed shops for souvenirs that range from kitschy to classy.
5 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Located between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Yards is an exciting area to spend an afternoon or evening. Be prepared to have a healthy budget if you want to bring anything home with you from here, as this is definitely not a discount shopping area.
Hudson Yards is an indoor mall, so it’s ideal if it’s raining or snowing outside. Stop by to visit stores like Coach, Dior, and Fendi. Don’t worry if your wallet is already feeling a little empty from being in this expensive city – they also have more mid-range options like Banana Republic, H&M, and Levi’s.
Above West Side Yard, Manhattan, New York, NY
The Garment District
While many people won’t be shopping for the typical wares offered in the Garment District, this is a fabulous window-shopping experience and the chance to see something a little different. The district is made up of 20 square blocks between Penn Station and Times Square, about a 20-minute walk from Grand Central. Where else will you have the opportunity to see street upon street of stores selling colorful fabrics, every kind of button you can think of, and all the other trimmings to create unique clothing? Even if you don’t have a sewing machine at home, you can still have a lot of fun here. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to take up the craft.
Broadly defined as the area below 42nd Street, west of Fifth Avenue, and south to the mid-20 numbered streets.
Less than a mile from Grand Central Station is one of the most iconic New York department stores there is – Bloomingdale’s. The walk here will take you less than 20 minutes, and there’s lots of action to see along the way on Lexington Avenue. If you’ve never been inside one of their stores, chances are still good that you’ve heard of this mega-retailer.
Bloomingdale’s features heavily in movies and TV, and you can pick up almost anything you need (or want) here. They have housewares, clothing, shoes, jewelry, furniture, and beauty products, plus you don’t have to leave if you need a snack since they have an onsite café.
1000 Third Avenue 59th Street and Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Saks 5th Avenue
Speaking of quintessentially New York department stores, Saks 5th Avenue is even closer to the station than Bloomingdale’s. Although this luxury retail chain didn’t get its start in New York (that honor goes to Washington, DC), it has been in the city since 1924.
As you may already know, this chain is pricey, and if you can’t afford to splurge, it’s still worth checking out. The building itself is an architectural marvel, and the interior is chock full of the best high-end designer fashion brands. This is the spot to pick up a special outfit, not souvenirs.
611 5th Ave, New York, NY 10022
While the shopping near Grand Central Station is definitely more on the higher end, with options like Saks, Bloomingdales, and Hudson Yards, there are still options for those with a smaller budget. Chelsea Market, Rockefeller Center, and the terminal itself are all more affordable destinations.
No matter what you want to shop for, you’ll likely find it in this retail mecca. So drop off your luggage and carry shopping bags instead of suitcases!