If you think Spain is just a place to pick up a flamenco guitar or a straw hat you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Whether you’re at one of the open-air markets or upper-end shops in Barcelona and Madrid, shopping is always an adventure. Here’s a look at the shopping scene in Barcelona and Madrid.
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Shopping in Spain is a more relaxed and more economical affair than in the rest of Europe.Bargaining is widespread here and you’ve got a good chance of finding some real bargains.
Shopping In Barcelona
Here’s a city that’s reinvented itself in the last decade and a vibrant shopping scene has emerged in the process. You’ll find all the big names here – Chanel, Max Mara, Loewe, Benetton, Zara, and Diesel – jostling for your attention and your credit card.
You’ll find that boutiques line the avenues along with futuristic malls and beguiling markets. And if you ever get tired of garments, you can head to the throng of antique shops and art galleries.
Te Circuit del Born is the place to go if you want garments and accessories to transform yourself into a Spaniard. You’ll find it in the Ciutat Vella?s Ribera district. It is home to many small studio and shops retailing the creations of local craftsmen and artisan. Specialties include silk items, and designer shoes and clothing.
For a richer experience and a glimpse into Catalonia’s mercantile past, head for the streets around the Barri G?tic. These streets are packed with traditional offering from fish, candles and herbs to bullfighter’s capes.
Opening times for shops in Barcelona is around 8 am and they tend to close a few hours after sunset.
Shopping In Madrid
Spain’s capital is home to an estimated 50000 stores selling everything from the latest fashion clothing, paintings, ceramics and guitars.
Madrid offers the best up-market shopping outlets in Spain. Most of the designer fashion shops lie in the eastern Salamanca district. Here the international temples of fashion such as Prada, Armani, and Louis Vuitton, share space with popular Spanish designers like Sybilla, Amaya Arzuaga, and Victorio & Lucchino.
But if you’re weary of grand boutiques, you’re in for a treat on Sunday mornings in the form of the El Rastro street market. For this event the Calle de Ribera de Curtidores closes to traffic and is transformed in to this great open-air bazaar offering everything from live chickens to pirated movies, antiques of dubious antiquity and erotic post cards. What’s more, it’s a truly Spanish event. But keep a close eye on your wallet and camera.