Retail Paradise: Experience the Best Shopping in Barcelona
After days of strolling through the museums and historical sights, you’re probably in the mood to shop. If you want to bring back a ton of souvenirs and trinkets from your trip to loved ones back home, then here are a few shopping hacks you’ll want to remember.
For the Best Shopping in Barcelona, the Passeig de Gracia and Portal del Angel offer a wealth of shops. With so many big-brand stores and local boutiques, you’ll have no trouble finding something new every day. From clothes and bags to shoes and more, they’re all here. Don’t forget to pay a visit to La Diagonal and the Carrer de Pelai. La Rambla is also a good spot if you want souvenir kiosks battling it out for space on the sidewalks with talented street artists.
Passeig de Gracia
The architecture of the buildings alone is enough to make art lovers weep. If you want to go where the trendiest shops are, then this should be first on your list. When you get tired of strolling around the high-end shops, you can always sit down in one of the cafes that dot the avenue. Designer labels like Stellar McCartney make their home here side by side with local favorites such as Mango and Zara. The shop also offers affordable local brands for those on a budget-conscious shopping spree.
Portal del Angel
Shopping doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to next month’s rent. For affordable finds, head on over to the 25-meter shopping street that runs from the Placa de Catalunya to the water. Once you see the huge neon thermometer above the sea the street, then you know you’re in the right place. Whether you’re checking out major brands or want to find local shoe shops, this place won’t disappoint you.
If you are looking for hidden treasure, then you’ll definitely find it at the El Born. Ditch the map and wander around. From funky accessories to vintage furniture, you’ll have your full of hidden gems and trinkets. Enjoy the family-run-shops and order from the local eateries to get a glimpse of authentic and local Barcelona.
If your wandering feet have brought you to the Mar Bella Beach, then what better way to cap off the day than a good bout of shopping? The Diagonal Mar is a shopping mall only about 300 meters away from the beach. If you want to see great clothing deals, then you’ll want to add this to your itinerary.
Centro Comercial Glories
If you want to go on a clothes-buying spree, then this new shopping mall is worth a look. With over 160 shops, an entire day may not be enough to see and look at every shop on-site. And if you get hungry, no worries. There are plenty of fast food options and gourmet restaurants to choose from when you’re ready to sit down after a challenging day of shopping.
Las Arenas Shopping Centre
As a shopping mall located in what used to be a bullfighting arena, this one boasts of a special history. The multi-story area is vibrant with shops along with glass elevator shafts and sleek escalators. If you want to take in a bit of shopping and excellent food, a visit to this place may be well worth it.
The El Triangle is located right above the La Rambla and contains 20 shops. If you need to replace your multimedia or electronics, then this is a good place to hit for replacements. The place also has a Starbucks. If you’ve been missing a taste of home, then swing by the café for an hour of coffee. Spend the time watching the crowds while you rest your feet up before you go to another shopping destination on your list.
Maremagnum Shopping Center
This one is convenient and accessible. Walk down La Rambla and get across the mini bridge to get there. If you want to shop on a Sunday, then this is the only mall that’s open in the area.
El Corte Ingles
If you’re looking for a department store, though, then the El Corte Ingles—as the only department store left in the country—fits the bill for you. The nine-floor store is renowned for being the largest in Europe.
La Roca Village
Anyone who loves shopping loves outlet malls. This is the place to be if you want to score luxury goods at crazy and insane prices. Some of the shops offer as much as 70 percent off on selected items that it’s hard not to feel like it’s Christmas while you’re strolling through the shops. Pair that 70 percent off with a tax refund (available to non-EU citizens) and you’ll start hearing those bags and shoes calling your name. By the time you get out, you’ll have your arms weighted down with so many shopping bags. The place has over a hundred shops so you’re sure to find something you’ll love.
Shopping in Spain won’t be complete without a trip to artisan shops. From bags with hand-painted designs to ones made of recycled materials, you can find a lot of unique items you can dress up your own outfits or put in your luggage as gifts for loved ones at home.
There’s nothing like a combination of bohemian and elegance to make you open your wallet and say: “take my money.” Call the shop in advance to set an appointment. Find someone who can help you find the chic and feminine outfit that’s perfect you. As a reminder of your trip, it’s definitely one of a kind and sure to last you far more than a refrigerator magnet.
Useful Shopping Advice
Enjoy the Range of Options
There’s a reason why Barcelona is a shopper’s paradise. From huge shopping malls to trendy boutiques, it’s the perfect place for to find everything. If you’ve got a yen to take home local fashion must-haves or foodie finds, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. Whether it’s quirky handmade stationary or espadrilles in an array of colors you’ve never seen before, the city offers you the perfect place for some retail therapy.
Plan It Out
For the Best Shopping in Barcelona, plan it out. That way, you can hit as many of the shopping places as you can. Start with the one that’s farthest to you. Then plan out your routes and travel times to get from there to the rest of the spots on your list until you get to the one closest to your hotel. When it’s time to come home, you won’t have to worry about taking a cab that’s more than an hour away from your lodgings. When you’re tired and your arms are weighted down with a ton of shopping bags, the last thing you’ll be in the mood for being a long ride back to your hotel.
Get Tickets in Advance
Make the most out of your days in the city. Get tickets in advance so you can squeeze in as many of the art and culture sights in those days as possible. That way, you have a lot more time left over to enjoy a day of shopping or two.
Set an Entire Day
Don’t kid yourself. If you tend to shop till you drop, then be realistic about your timeline and set aside an entire day—or two—to give you the time you need to go over all the shopping areas you want to see and experience in Barcelona. P.S. Don’t set anything on a Sunday. Most of the supermarkets and retail shops are closed. Use this day to go to the Sagrada Familia instead. The El Raval has a ton of mobile shops you may enjoy as well.
Know the Hours
Shopping hours generally start around 9:30 am and ends about 9:30 pm. However, not all the shops follow this rule, so you’ll want to check out the operating hours of the shopping places you want to visit.
In Barcelona, cash is still king—at least when you shop. Most retailers do accept credit cards. But if you’ll be able to move around faster when you’ve got cash in hand. Also, because the sales tax is already included—unlike shops in the U.S., Canada and Japan—there won’t be any surprises when you reach the counter.
Get that Refund
If you don’t live in the EU and you’re bringing the goods you bought back home, avail of the tax refund. If you plan on shopping a ton, that refund can be substantial enough to cover the cost of another item on your must-buy list or at least another meal. Bigger refunds mean more for your happy funds.
Get ready to pack your luggage and go. Make sure you bring more than one. That should leave you with plenty of room for your finds. If retail therapy is your brand of entertainment and fun, then Barcelona is the perfect place for you.