Barcelona Shopping Experience Essay

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The best Spanish shopping experience: Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga

In our earlier news, we told you that the cost of life in Spain is about 10% cheaper than in the rest of Europe. Read our article to know in which sectors you’ll make the most of your money!

Before your holidays, we wrote this quick guide for your shopping experiences in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga. For every city, we found the best places for shopping, the traditional markets, the shopping malls, the flea markets and the different outlets.

Enjoy your shopping experience!

Madrid shopping experience:

  • Shopping: Plaza puerta del Sol, Gran Vía, Calle Alcalá, Calle Montera, Calle Preciados, Calle Princesa, Calle Serrano
  • Traditional markets: Mercado San Miguel, Mercado San Anton, Mercado San Fernando, Mercado De La Paz
  • Shopping malls: El Corte Ingles, ABC Serrano, Primark, Principe Pio Mall
  • Flea markets: The Rastro
  • Outlets: Las Rozas


Barcelona shopping experience:

  • Shopping: Passeig de Gracia, Plaza Catalunya, Avenida Diagonal, Born district
  • Traditional markets: La Boqueria
  • Shopping malls: El Corte Ingles, Diagonal Mar, Gran Via 2/Hospitalet de Llobregat, Pedralbes Center, Maremagnum
  • Flea markets: Els Encants
  • Outlets: La Roca


Malaga shopping experience:

  • Shopping: La Calle Larios, Plaza Mayor
  • Traditional markets: Mercado Central de Atarazanas
  • Shopping malls: Muelle Uno, Larios Centro, Vialia Centro Comercial
  • Flea markets: Mercado Central de Atarazanas
  • Outlets: Factory Outlet Malaga


Alicante shopping experience:

  • Shopping: Rambla de Méndez Núñez
  • Traditional markets: Mercardo Central
  • Shopping malls: El Corte Ingles, Centro Comercial Plaza Mar 2, Centrol Comercial Panoramis, Centrol Comercial Gran Via, Centrol Comercial Puerta de Alicante
  • Flea markets: Mercardo Central
  • Outlets: The Outlet Stores Alicante



Many very well-known international brands are Spanish! Buy those even cheaper in Spain.

  • Zara
  • Zara Home
  • El Corte Ingles
  • Camper
  • Pull & Bear
  • Massimo Dutti
  • Springfield
  • Sfera
  • Stradivarius
  • Desigual


Our tip: Don’t forget to ask for a refund of VAT if you are coming from outside Europe and buying for more than 100€.

Our tip: Don’t forget to ask for your 10% rebate at El Corte Ingles if you are an international traveller.

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Despite loving Shopping in Spain and Spanish ShoesI just realised I have barely written about these things.

If you are anything like me part of the incentive to travel or visit anywhere is the shopping.Quirky Souvenirs, yummy local food or great clothing that no one has back home.

Hotspots for Shopping in spain

A day perusing colourful Spanish shops gets more and more enticing as Spanish fashion brands expand and grow. Favourite clothing stores of mine are Massimo Dutti, especially for office wear and seperates, Nice Day Nice things for cute Little dresses and vintage style items. I tend to covet everything in Bimba & Lola, a good brand for clothes, shoes and accesories. Teria Yabar has great accesories and occasionwear too.

For other Spanish high street name see this recent post by Money Saver Spain with discounts in Spainincluding Desigual, Mango and others.

Spanish brands for Shoes and Bags

Lupo Barcelona

I adore these great quality forever bags. Made of beautiful soft Spanish leather I have two of these beauties. One for Summer in a hot bright orange. The other is a handy all year round black carry all. I have had both Lupo handbags for years and they still are immaculate.  The best bit are the compartments and clippy thing to keep your keys handy.

Chie Mihara

Amazing pretty and comfortable shoes. They are made in Alicante, Spain with soft Spanish leather. My personal take on Chie´s style is that when you are a little girl you want to wear heels and when you are not grown up you want to wear little girl shoes just like these! I have a collection of these shoes and boots. I´m hooked. Chie Mihara has Brazilian and Japanese roots and a background in ergonomy which is why the shoes are so comfortable. (btw these are sold in UK at Selfridges and a few other places) If you are near Alicante anytime head to the factory shop in Elda to get a few pairs with discount!


More shoes…. Lodi is a brand which does great quality vs price. These spanish shoes are my secret weapon for looking good at Spanish Weddings or all day work events. They are comfortable but look good and last for ages. Again made in Alicante with good quality Spanish leather.

Spanish slippers

Beautiful Slippers for Children, Men & Women. Nordika´s. Love them. The quality is great and they last for ages. They are usually on my Christmas shopping list from someone each year. Generally when shopping in spain any leather goods such as shoes, boots, belts and bags will be good value or higher quality than in other places.

So if I get chance to go shopping in Spain for a day weekend my favourite places the larger cities:

Barcelona, Madrid or Malaga.


The main centre for shopping in Barcelona is around Plaza Cataluña. The streets above are Paseo de Gracia, Rambla Cataluña and Portal del Angel make the main commercial area. This area is busy most days but more so on Fridays/Saturdays or Christmastime, particularly in the afternoon/evening from 5pm.

To avoid huge crowds I like to head up the city to the area around Avenida Diagonal just below Francesc Maçia, as far up as L´ílla. L´ílla is a shopping centre (next to Ganduxer) with a fabulous market on the basement floor. There are cafés and restaurants around the edge of the market. The central area has high end foodie stalls selling wonderful artisan pasta and fruit smoothies too. On the other floors of El Triangle you have FNAC, Decathlon, Diesel, Custo and lots of other great shops to check out. (In the basement there´s even a Lush shop for UK peeps!)

Close to Barcelona is La Roca Outlet. I also like to go there for a full day shopping experience away from the city.

Book Bus tickets here> Designer Outlet La Roca Bus Tour from Barcelonaif you prefer not to drive yourself.


If the standard High street brands don´t excite you maybe you enjoy this post about Vintage shops in Barcelona which mentions quirky areas such as Carrer Tallers and second hand stalls in Barcelona. Also the Raval and Born are great areas for a more ecclectic style. An example of this funky area is the Sweet shop on Carrer Ample where Papabubble began (now a worldwide producer).  Stroll around the Paseo del Born and the market there you´ll be sure to come across something interesting.


The high area of Serrano district in Madrid is great for gazing into immaculate shop windows. Stroll along Calle Serrano and Claudia Coello and see the latest from the high end boutiques (Metro stop: Serrano o Retiro) If you prefer the El Corte Inglés at Serrano 47 is the biggest and most stocked store I´ve seen. The cosmetics department and food area in the basement here are wonderful.

Chueca & Malasaña offer funkier Spanish shopping. Head to Calle Hortaleza and the street parallel to it, Calle Fuencarral just off Gran Vía. (Metro stop Chueca o Gran Vía) One of my favourite Mexican restaurants is close by La Panza es Primero. Great colourful fun place and they serve Mango flavoured water! (Address: Calle de Campoamor, 2)

Read more Things to do in Madrid here

The beautiful Calle Larios


The main area for shops in the city is the beautiful Calle Larios and the area around the Alameda or Plaza Constitucion. My personal favorites along this stretch are L´Occitane to get lovely natural cosmetics and I love to check out Bimba & Lola´s latest offerings too. On Calle Larios I sometimes stop off for a coffee and cake at the fabulous Lepanto.

More about the  City of Malaga and click to read this if you are into buying Gourmet Food..

Futher along the coast,  (a 45 minute drive away) you have the La Cañada shopping centre. Apart from all the usual Inditex suspects & High street names you also have Marks & Spencers too. (In Spain they are rare!)  They have a small food hall at the back of the store.

In Puerto Banus, Marbella itself you will find amazing high end boutiques with all the main International designers, some cute one off shops in the old and a huge Corte Inglés as well close to Puerto Banus.

Do let me know where your favourite place for Shopping in Spain is..

I may need to go and check it out….

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