Europe needs swagger

The finer things in life: What Europe has to offer

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From those who want to show off their bank balance, to those who just want to treat themselves, Europe's designers will help your appetite for the finer things in life.

When it comes to the largest luxury markets in the world, Europe dominates with five in the top 10: Italy, France, U.K. Germany and Spain, according to Euromonitor.

From the adored Valentino couture and Prada handbag, to the prestigious Buckingham Palace, CNBC takes a look at what makes Europe stand out when it comes to the best of design.

—By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy.

Chic fashion

The Gucci fashion show at Milan Fashion Week.
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Top brands: Burberry, Chanel, Valentino, Gucci

There is no single European country which dominates the fashion world, that's why when it comes to luxury clothing and fashion weeks, consumers are spoiled for choice.

European designers from the U.K's Burberry and Alexander McQueen to France's Dior and Italy's Gucci are found in high-end shopping districts such as Beverley Hills' Rodeo Drive and Singapore's Orchard Road.

And let's not forget shoes. Jimmy Choo. Christian Louboutin. Manolo Blahnik. These European designer shoes are hunted down like Cinderella's glass slipper, with prices selling for $1,000 a pair or more.

Opulent autos


Top brands: Rolls-Royce, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar

Despite German automaker, Volkswagen, being hit by the emissions scandal, European cars will continue to find a desirable market. And when it comes to the "flashy" cars, Europe's got that covered.

U.K.-based carmakers are world-renowned with Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce rolling out of showrooms around the world. Aside from Volkswagen, other German must-have autos include Mercedes-Benz and Audi's sports car range.

Iconic handbags

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Top brands: Prada, Hermes, Longchamp

One design can have the power to propel an accessories company into success overnight. Take Prada, Longchamp and Hermes.

All three of these European businesses are desired worldwide, all of which can thank their handbags. With quality material and detail ensured in every bag, it's no wonder a store-bought Prada can go for as much as $7,950, and a Hermes Birkin starts from $10,000.

Rich tastes

Lindor Chocolates
PHOTOPRESS/Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG

Top brands: Lindt, Godiva

When it comes to rich delicacies, Europe has its many Michelin-starred restaurants, it has its eclectic range in cuisine, but if you want luxury food brands, two places can hit the mark: Switzerland and Belgium. Why? Chocolate.

Handcrafted chocolate, whether that be Swiss or Belgian ranks high in the world for its taste and decadence. Swiss chocolatier, Lindt & Sprugli sell their products in around 200 shops globally, while Belgian-brand, Godiva, is in over 80 countries and has renowned personalities, like Caroline Wozniacki representing their brand.

UK's department stores

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Top brands: Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols

In the heart of London, the affluent will often choose to spend their dough within one of its world-renowned department stores. Harrods is Europe's biggest department store and is crammed with luxury items.

During the summer, London experiences the "Ramadan Rush", whereby wealthy Arabs visit the capital to splash out their millions, with almost 60 percent of spending going to a major department store like Selfridges or Harrods, according to Worldpay.

Stunning jewelry

A model wears Bvlgari jewellery at the 130th Anniversary of Bvlgari Gala Dinner.
Caroline McCredie | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Top brands: Cartier, Bulgari, Monica Vinader

Europe can't excel in luxury fashion and shoes, without having opulent jewelry to match. Of course, many top European luxury designers specialize in both couture and accessories; however, there are designer jewelers which every diamond lover admires.

Take British luxury designer, Monica Vinader. Her jeweled masterpieces sell for as much as $6,000 a piece in Harrods and Selfridges; while another British artist, Theo Fennell can sell a ring for almost $93,000 on Harrods website.

Unforgettable architecture

Frontal view on Buckingham Palace.
Pawei Libera | LightRocket | Getty Images

Top destinations: Buckingham Palace, Neuschwanstein Castle

In the land of the royals, the architecture must match its public figures. Many iconic designs have become famous tourist attractions, from France's Eiffel Tower to Italy's Tower of Pisa and Colosseum.

However, there are some with such fine detail that they're considered as a royal work of art. Europe is renowned for its architecture, from fairy-tale castles, like Alcázar of Segovia and Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle, to majestic palaces, like Buckingham Palace and Barcelona's Palau Nacional.

Drinks that sparkle

Armand de Brignac champagne
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Top brands: Moet & Chandon, Johnnie Walker, Armand de Brignac

When it comes to alcohol and luxury living, the drink of choice is almost always champagne. While there's always some in the supermarket, the wealthy may splash out on a traditional French bottle of Armand de Brignac, Louis Roederer or Perrier Jouet, which can go for thousands.

It's not just champagne that sells for top dollar. Scotland is renowned for its whiskey, which with age can only increase its value. While French-produced Grey Goose vodka and Swedish Absolut are considered high-end drinks in many markets.

Shimmering watches

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Top brands: Rolex, Tag Heuer, Omega

For top watch brands in Europe, you'll usually find their headquarters in Switzerland. Tag Heuer, Rolex (founded in U.K.) and Omega are all renowned for their upmarket style, therefore it shouldn't be surprising that celebrities will gladly endorse their brands, including Roger Federer, Leonardo Dicaprio and George Clooney.

Switzerland is among the world's leading exporters of high-priced watches, and for a watch to be labeled 'Swiss made', it must be manufactured and inspected in the home nation, Yu Okazaki, Nomura analyst told CNBC.