Shopping in Barcelona
Barcelona is a spectacular city for many reasons. The nightlife is rich and varied, the food is exceptional, the beaches are beautiful and right next to the city and the weather is hot 9 months a year. Apart from these things another great advantage the city has is in the variety of its stores should you choose to partake in a little retail therapy on your vacation. These go from department stores and malls to boutique shops selling unique items made in store.
Passeig de Gràcia was planned to be the most elegant and most beautiful avenue in Barcelona and it still remains so today. It features La Casa Batlló and La Casa Milà, both designed by the hugely celebrated Gaudi, as well as other impressive modernist buildings. The road itself can be traced back to the Roman era, but nowadays it is an extremely popular shopping street, with prestigious designer shops as well as more accessible brands. The beauty of Passeig de Gràcia is that you are able to see the cultural side of the city at the same time as enjoying the shopping opportunities which Barcelona has to offer. This is very much the high end of shipping for along the streets you will find brands such as Armani, Gucci, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein to name but a few.
If you are on a budget then Portal del Angel is your spot for cheap shopping in Barcelona.This 250 meter long shopping street runs downhill from Plaça de Catalunya (towards the water). You’ll notice it from the enormous neon thermometer lurking above the street and the sea of shoppers and their bags.
You’ll find all the deals at major clothes shopping chains like Pull and Bear, Zara, Massimo Dutti, Springfield, Benetton, H&M, Bershka, Mango, and more.
It’s also a cool place to find local shoe shops, mobile phone retailers, and even the Disney Store.
If it is a mall you are looking for then La Maquinista is the most recent addition to Barcelona’s many shopping malls. Although it is not as central as other malls, La Maquinista certainly has its perks. Not only is it unique to Barcelona for being the only open-air mall – it is also one of the biggest of Catalonia. Strolling through La Maquinista on a warm, sunny day is the perfect way to spend a day shopping, so make sure that you do not miss this mall on your shopping spree!
Diagonal Mar is a fashionable and unique addition to the famous Diagonal Avenue, which can be found in a neighborhood influenced by post-modernism. Conveniently located opposite the beach, Diagonal Mar offers many shops for daily needs and clothing, a range of restaurants and a multi-theater, so that everything necessary for a great day out in Barcelona is easily accessible. The building itself is very close to the Diagonal Park, where you can enjoy a stroll, looking at the metal sculptures within the park, before exploring the shops of the Diagonal Mar mall.
If it is more boutique shops you are looking for then deep in the Barri Gòtic, a beautiful and historic neighborhood of Barcelona, is the Square of Saint Josep Oriol. This is a typical Catalan artist’s square, where many musicians, painters and fortune-tellers settle to share and sell their work. The bright colors and constant activity in the pretty square are part of its attraction and charm, not to mention its many boutiques and cafés. Here you will find individual handicraft shops standing alongside designer shops, but all of which are very appealing and tempting to shoppers.
El Raval was previously considered an area which tourists should best avoid, now it has become a rather exciting area of Barcelona after almost 30 years of regeneration and a original gastronomic offer. Despite its reputation for being a darker and less safe area of Barcelona, a bohemian and artistic scene has recently exploded in El Raval, thanks to the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art in the area. However, the creativity does not stop here – scattered around El Raval are individual and vibrant one-off boutiques which draw in those who are seeking to purchase some of the more creative items and clothes of Catalonia.
If you don’t mind taking a little trip to get the best discounts then head for La Roca Village. This luxury outlet shopping village with over 100 shops is found about 40 minutes northeast of Barcelona in a town called Santa Agnès de Malanyanes. Here you’ll find premium outlets offering discounts of up to 70% off regular stores. There’s a great atmosphere with the cool mosaics and deco tiling. They’ll also give you a tax refund if you’re a non-EU citizen. A great location to combine with a trip to the nearby beaches of the Costa Brava.It’s great if you’ve rented a car but there’s also a Sagales bus leaving from Calle Casp 34 (near metro Urquinaona) which costs €16.00 aboard or €15.00 bought online for a return ticket. Buses run once an hour from 9 am to 8 pm. Tickets include a shopping guide, free WiFi, and discount booklet.
If you want to find a gift for a loved one back home then it is best to go to a boutique shop such as La Pinza’T. This artisan shop is famous for its hand-painted technical bags made from recycled lorry materials like seat belts and buckles. 35 different street artists decorate the unique pieces here. These double-stitched bags are great for cameras, ‘bike ready’, and practically indestructible. There’s only one location of this sustainable and fair trade shop and it’s found in the Born district of Barcelona – the perfect place to pick up a gift for a loved one. The address is Carrer de Grunyí 7 and it is open from 11-7pm Monday to Friday.
So take a break from the beach and the night clubs and spoil yourselves in a little retail therapy on your trip to the city!