Besieged by pester power? Don't worry, help is at hand—this London institution has six floors of the latest dolls, soft toys, video games, and technological devices (plus such old-fashioned pleasures as train sets, drum kits, and magic tricks), with every must-have on the pre-teen shopping list. Some may find the offerings to be overly-commercialized (it's heavy on movie and TV tie-ins), and the store only got rid of its separate pink and blue floors for girls and boys
in 2011 after a protest campaign. Nevertheless, when British children visit London, Hamleys is at the top of their agenda. It's a madhouse at Christmastime, but Santa's grotto is one of the best in town. There's a smaller branch in St. Pancras International train station.