Luxury Buys along Passeig de Gràcia
Passeig de Gràcia is Barcelona’s answer to Paris’ Champs-Elysées. It’s a great place to people-watch, shop and scope out high-end fashion. Here, international luxury storefronts like Gucci, Prada, and Burberry mingle with well-known Spanish brands like Adolfo Dominguez, Roberto Verino and Custo Barcelona. More economic brands like Zara, Mango and H&M round out the offering.
Vintage and Indy Finds in Raval
If you’re more interested in vintage and indie looks than sleek Armani suits, Raval is the Barcelona neighborhood for you. Around every corner you’ll find store windows crowded with quirky antiques and stylish second-hand shops like Holala, and Lailo. Weekends on Rambla de Raval, check out Raval’s Independent Design Market from 11am to 9pm.
Before you wander elsewhere, take a few hours to tour MACBA Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum (the large white building surrounded by skateboarders), or an exhibit at CCCB, Barcelona’s Contemporary Culture Center. Just keep in mind that Raval is one of Barcelona’s gritty up-and-coming neighborhoods. It may be a great place to shop by day, but it can be borderline unsafe by night, especially for women and tipsy travelers.
Bargains at La Roca Shopping Outlet
If you adore high-end looks but don’t have the Euros and cents to make it happen on Passeig de Gràcia in the city center, hop a bus to La Roca. Just outside Barcelona, you’ll find deals on brands you covet but can’t afford at regular prices. There are over 80 brands that boast a sixty percent price reduction year-round, not to mention seasonal sales at after Christmas and mid to late summer. La Roca is a pretty traditional outlet experience, so shoppers are well advised to check the forecast and wear comfortable shoes, as they’ll be walking around outside to get from shop to shop.
Posh & Artisan Wares for Sale in Gràcia
Gràcia is like a less edgy, exponentially more expensive version of Raval. A village incorporated into Barcelona city in the late 19th century, this neighborhood is popular with hipsters and hippies with fat wallets. Located north of the city center, it’s crowded with cozy artisan shops where you can buy locally made clothes and accessories. Specific streets to explore include Carrer d’Asturies and Carrer Verdi. Don’t miss Any Tichy’s Pinc Store or Oslo, a sort of artist’s commune, where you can buy hand-made wares directly from forty-some artists and artisans. Note: Oslo doesn’t accept bankcards.
One-stop High-end Shopping at El Corte Inglés
Move over, Nordstrom’s. Make way for El Corte Inglés. The name of this Spanish department store chain means the English cut. It pays tribute to the store’s background selling men’s suits. With a massive store located right on Plaça Catalunya, El Corte Inglés is an amazing one-stop option offering a multitude of brands in shoes, makeup, clothes, and even gourmet eats. Stop at one of the cosmetic counters for a makeover; ogle shoes; or browse to your heart’s content. Before you flee the premises in hopes of saving your credit rating, make your way to the cafeteria on the top flour for a café amb llet with panoramic views of the city.
Bonus Barcelona Shopping Tips:
Las Arenas—This shopping mall is housed in a renovated bull-fighting ring near Plaça Espanya. Its rooftop bars are a great place to take in the magic fountain show at Montjuïc.
Els Encants Vells Flea Market-If you enjoy haggling for your vintage finds in an ultra-modern setting, this shiny mirrored market is the place for you. Open Mondays Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 6
Carrer de Argenteria in El Born—This is yet another great place in Barcelona to find one-of-a-kind jewelry, shoes, clothing and art.
Side streets in the Gothic Quarter near Plaça del Pi—The Plaça itself is crowded with street artists selling fairly generic Barcelona-centric artwork. Venture a little further away onto the side streets for interesting shops selling antiques, local designs and vintage clothes.
Useful Information for Shopping in Barcelona
1. Operating hours are different here. Most shops open considerably later than in many other cities (after 9, in some cases after 10). Smaller neighborhood shops often close for lunch for a few hours between 2pm and 5pm. Many shops are only open mornings on Saturdays. Pretty much everywhere is closed on Sunday.
2. Major sales are held twice yearly, in January-February and July-August.
3. Taxes are usually included in the listed prices.
4. Some stores don’t accept credit cards, especially not for purchases under 10 Euros.
5. To use a credit or debit card, you need a passport unless you have an official European I.D.
6. Traveler’s checks, American Express, and Discover cards aren’t accepted most places.