When it comes to shopping in Downtown Orlando, the options can be a little restrictive. If you’re after one of the city’s famous malls or outlet stores, you’ll need to take a short drive out of the city centre as most are found around the prominent International Drive.

    That said, the Downtown Orlando area does have a good line-up of more niche places to shop, such as boutique stores, local markets and local fashion design stores. Check out our pick of the best spots to find a bargain, or at least something a little different in Orlando's historic core and central business district.

    1

    East End Market

    East End Market is a 2-storey market-cum-arcade that aims to showcase the best of what Central Florida has to offer in terms of cooked food, art, and fresh produce. The market also features some world-class restaurants, a large event space, a live-cooking area and office space. Check their website for upcoming special events.

    Location: 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 8 am to 7 pm, Friday–Saturday from 8 am to 9 pm, Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 321-236-3316

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    If you’re in the downtown area anytime on a Sunday between 10am and 4pm, be sure not to miss out on Lake Eola’s very own farmers’ market, located at the corner of E. Central Boulevard and N. Eola Drive. Expect handicrafts, locally sourced produce, plants, a pet section, ready-to-eat food and live music and the beer garden. It’s definitely one of the best shopping options in Downtown Orlando – just a shame it’s not every day!

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    Location: 20 N Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801, USA

    Open: Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm

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    photo by Michael Rivera (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    For malls, the immediate Downtown area is a little lacking (head just outside of the centre to find Florida Mall or the Mall at Millennia for better choices). One of the only options in the area is still a short taxi ride away, located just next to the city’s second airport. Orlando Fashion Square is a modest mall that specialises in cheap to mid-range fashion and is anchored by Dillard’s, JC Penney, and Macy’s. There’s also a movie theatre on-site and plenty of restaurants for a post-shopping energy boost.

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    Location: 3201 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm, Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 407-896-1132

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    photo by Miosotis Jade (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Downtown Orlando’s Church Street is well known for many things – it’s historic old train depot, it’s long list of restaurants and cosmopolitan bars, as well as a good range of late-night clubs attracting a younger crowd. Most of the action here happens after dark, but if you’re heading this way in the day, there are plenty of shopping options to keep you busy. You won’t find any big malls or outlet action here – think more small arts and crafts shops, fashion boutiques, antique dealers and souvenirs stores on both sides of the road, most of which are clustered towards the western end of Church Street.

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    Location: Orlando, FL 32801, USA

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    photo by Xiquinho Silva (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveller

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