Practical Life in Barcelona


Shopping in Barcelona


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Barcelona offers shopping opportunities at some of the finest international shops of the world, as well as local handicrafts. Most stores specialize in one item, meaning that you may need to go to many different stores to complete a shopping trip.

Most people pay in cash, but some stores may accept credit card.

Hours

Most shops and shopping malls are open from 10:00 til 20:30 or 21:30 hours. Traditional shops open from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 16:30 to 20:30 hours. Most are closed on Sundays. Ciutat Vella offers the exception with small fashion shops, souvenir shops and small supermarkets open on Sundays.

Specialties

Barcelona has a special heritage and many unique specialties.

  • Olive oil: Some of Spain's best olive oil comes from Catalonia's Lleida province
  • Leather: Leather has long been one of Spain's most highly valued products and items are available in belts and handbags to handmade shoes and fine jackets. The top spot for such purchases in Barcelona is Loewe, which mails its goods throughout the world.
  • Hats: Genuine wide-brimmed Spanish sombreros or traditional campesino's berets can be found in the old Jewish quarter of El Call.

Areas

Different areas offer different aspects of the shopping scene.

  • Barri Gotic - All along La Rambla there are tourist souvenirs, largely inauthentic.
  • Eixample - Bigger chains and designer stores, particularly along the Passeig de Gràcia and Avda Diagonal.
  • Sarrià and Sant Gervasi - In these uptown barrios there are exclusive boutiques and shoe shops.
  • Raval - Specializes in edgy, youthful culture, from galleries to skateboard shops
  • Portal de l'Angel - A pedestrian area, there are high-street chains (Zara, Mango, Benetton).

Flea Markets

There are several different markets you should certainty visits, but beware that they are often a good place for pickpockets. Bargaining is expected.

The Boqueria market (Mercat de la Boqueria) is one of Europe's best food markets. Fresh-squeezed juice, full meals. and great deals. If you go near closing time at 20:00, motivated sellers offer the best price.

Sant Antoni Market on Ronda Sant Pau/Carrer Comte d'Urgell is open Monday through Saturday, from 07:00 - 14:30; 17:00 - 20:30, and Friday: 07:00 - 20:30. This is an even larger food market that has less tourists.

Fira de Nautumismo Located at Placa Reial, open on Sundays from 10:00-14:30. Offers coins and stamps and other goods.

Mercat Del Encants Located on Placa de les Glories Catalanes, it is open Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat from 08:30. It is one of the largest flea markets with a range of items. The market is meant to carry on until the afternoon but most stalls tend to pack up at midday. Also, a lot of the stalls close for August.

Shopping Centers

El Corte Ingles - Takes up several floors in several locations around town like in Eixample and Inland Suburbs.

Diagonal-Mar - at El Maresme station, offers high-end names. Glories - at Glories station, it has high-street names, supermarkets, food courts and play areas for children.

Update 17/10/2011



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