Make sure to leave room in your suitcase when you head to Barcelona, as even if you are not an enthusiastic shopper, chances are you will pick up a few things before the holiday is out!
Barcelona is one of the best European cities for shopping. No matter what it is you’re looking for – even if you don’t yet know yourself – you’ll find it here. There are plenty of fantastic clothes stores, as well as bookshops, antiques dealers, jewellers and much more.
On Avinguda Diagonal you will find the most glamorous threads from brands like Gucci, Armani and Versace. The Porta de l’Àngel near Plaça de Catalunya is also a great place for designer stores and high-end fashion. Carrer de Montcada is one of the best streets to shop for jewellery: apart from a few art galleries, the whole street is almost exclusively lined with jewellers and silversmiths.
Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol boasts a wide selection of local handicrafts and boutique clothing stores. This is a bohemian street where you will also find street performers, musicians, fortune-tellers and artists displaying their talents.
Rambling La Rambla
Barcelona’s most famous street, La Rambla, is a great shopping place for bookworms and art lovers (keep an eye out for the Joan Miró murals underfoot). There are dozens of lovely bookshops along the tree-lined promenade, offering titles in English and Spanish; beautiful flower stalls abound on Rambla de Sant Josep. Also on La Rambla is Arpi, a store covering five floors of photographic and cinematic goods.
El Corte Inglés in Plaça de Catalunya is one of the biggest chain stores in Europe, and the Barcelona branch has an imposing nine floors full to the brim with every household need; groceries, clothes, furniture, electronics, music, movies and more.
The Diagonal Mar, perched beside the sea, is the largest and newest shopping district in Barcelona. In addition to the 250+ stores, eateries and games areas for kids there is also a cinema, and scenic walkways overlook the shore. The three floors of this complex are divided into household goods, fashion and beauty, and food. The newest shopping centre is La Maquinista, with 3 floors containing a bowling alley and over 225 shops where you can find anything you need. The Centre Comercial Maremagnum is another huge shopping mall full of clothing stores. The mall is also home to an international cinema, restaurants, food courts, discos, even a rooftop mini-golf course and a large aquarium.
El Bulevard Rosa offers a more unique shopping experience. This quirky shopping centre is an indoor arcade located in the historic Gothic Quarter and houses over 100 great little boutiques selling clothes and accessories. Just around the corner, on Bulevard dels Antiquaris you will find the best antiques shops in the city, where you can discover anything from old paintings to vintage furniture.
On top of all this, Barcelona is the proud home of many great markets. La Boqueria, crammed with beautiful fresh produce, is arguably the best food market in Europe. The flea market Els Encants Vells is held every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, featuring public auctions and over 500 vendors - if you’re lucky you will pick up a ganga (bargain)!
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