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US Virgin Islands

Shopping in US Virgin Islands - outlets, shopping streets and boutiques

The U.S. Virgin Islands are well-known as a paradise for shoppers. Duty-free goods attract tourists no less than warm sea and white sand. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why there are rows of shops in the port area of Charlotte Amalie. Souvenir and jewelry shops form rows and even streets. There are many cute restaurants and bars that work round the clock in this part of the city – in short, there are many ways to spend money here. If you want to stay away from crowded areas, it is better to choose a hotel in the eastern part of Saint Thomas. Tourists can enjoy a calm and tranquil vacation somewhere close to the Elysian resort. Besides hotels, it is possible to rent apartments that are often significantly cheaper than hotel rooms.
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There are an art gallery and an artisan workshop on the island, and they offer high-quality souvenirs made by professional painters and masters. Souvenir shops traditionally offer all kinds of colorful vases, glasses, flagons, souvenir chalices and plates, and original lamps. Crystal Shoppe offers quality porcelain and cut glass. This is also the location of one of the largest perfume and cosmetic shops - Tropicana Perfume. Give tropical scents a chance – perhaps, local perfumes are exactly what you were searching for but couldn’t find anywhere.
Local souvenirs are usually painted in bold colors that match the surrounding tropical nature. There are also shops like Pirate Chest that offer pirate-themed items. Locally sourced spices, woodwork, and rum (Cruzan Rum) remain the most sought after souvenirs. It is also beneficial to buy jewelry and perfumes that are cheaper on the islands than in many European countries and the continental USA. Americans come here to shop for diamonds. It is cheaper for them to buy the precious stones here. Moreover, it is possible to come to the U.S. Virgin Islands only from Miami. If you arrived here, it is not wise to waste an opportunity to buy quality items cheaper. However, don’t forget that the total value of duty-free goods must not exceed US$1,200. Copyright
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Local shops are open every day except Sunday. Typical work hours are from 9 am to 5 pm. Some shops work until 6 pm. As a rule, shops close for a lunch break from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Shops in Charlotte Amalie can remain open on Sunday if a big cruise ship arrives in the port. There are no special shopping rules like in many counties of the Middle East and Asia – all prices are fixed, and bargaining is not common in shops just like in Europe or America. Bargaining at local markets is acceptable though. Shops usually sell imported goods that are considered to be expensive. Indeed, prices for many items are cheaper in the continental USA. Many locally sourced products – milk, meat, fruits, and vegetables – are available at markets. By the way, local souvenirs are also produced on the islands.
American dollar is the official currency of the islands. It is possible to pay with all nominations of banknotes and coins just like in the continental USA. There will be no problem to exchange money in banks and exchange offices. Even small souvenir shops accept bank cards of all major payment systems. All banks accept traveler’s cheques. It is more convenient to bring cheques in dollars because this way there will be no need to exchange the money.
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Tourists are allowed to bring any amounts of money in any currency, but all sums higher than US$10,000 are subject to declaring. All imported gold jewelry must be declared as well. If you collected some items while diving, you will not be able to take them home. Customs officers will not only confiscate these items but can also impose a fine. The same rule applies to shells and pebbles collected at beaches. It is not allowed to export plants and animals from the islands.
When tourists find out about duty-free shopping, many of them want to buy as much as they can. However, spontaneity and impetuosity in shopping will not help to save. The islands have a small territory but, nevertheless, the prices on the same items can be different in different shops. As the difference can be substantial, do not hurry to make a purchase in the first shop you enter. It is always a good idea to check the stock of the nearby shops as well. Moreover, it is not cheap to live in the U.S. Virgin Islands (for example, electricity and rent are expensive), so prices on some goods may be high and it is useless to buy them here and take to the home country. This is particularly true about heavy items that might imply extra weight costs.
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Naturally, this doesn’t apply to authentic gifts and souvenirs with the Caribbean vibe that are not available anywhere else. St. Croix is famous for its rum and beautiful paintings (Christiansted). In St. John (Cruz Bay), tourists can buy interesting sculptures, glass, ceramic and wooden items. On Water Island (a small island in Charlotte Amalie harbor), there is a small shop built among botanic gardens. This shop offers original souvenirs and artworks in the Caribbean style. St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix have many charming hops that offer quality souvenirs that will remind you about your mesmerizing vacation on the islands.
US Virgin Islands guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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