Barcelona is undoubtedly one of the most stylish cities in the world in all aspects. So it is not surprising the mushrooming antique shops, art galleries, and fashion boutiques in the city. Shopping in Barcelona is an experience that you will never forget.
Because of the relatively low cost of living in Spain, shopping in the city tends to offer outstanding value for your money. This is especially true regarding purchases in the annual sales that follow the main fashion seasons. This happens from the middle of January to February and from July to August.
The best areas for shopping in Barcelona are in and around the streets of the upper part of the Ramblas. You can also find them in the Eixample, in the area around the Placa fr Catalunya, along streets (like c/de Balmes, c/Muntaner, Avenida Diagonal and Via Augusta), and along Passeig de Gracia and further north.
Except large department stores, most markets, and shops in the city open Monday to Saturday. They close between 11:30 am to 4:30 pm, staying open until 10 pm, or even later.
Life in Barcelona has dramatically changed in the last decades, with the emergence of democracy and the decline of the power of the Catholic Church. These changes are mirrored in a more modern approach to dressing, clothes, and fashion.
In general, like in many places all over the world, people in Barcelona do not follow a strict dress code. It is a multicultural city so everyone can dress as they please. But, of course, outfits depend on factors like weather or office of workplace dress codes.
During the summer season, light-colored clothes are in fashion. People wear warm snug clothes in winter. But you have to remember that its people still value modesty and many of them tend to dress conservatively. Unlike Paris and Milan fashion, Barcelona fashion is more conservative.
While Barcelona is a bohemian and cosmopolitan city, you have to follow some definite “do and do not wears”. For example, do get your denim out since they are worn throughout the year and are very popular in the city in every style. Do not wear shorts in the center of the city. I suggest you save them for the beach in the surrounding towns. If you want locals to label you a tourist, or do not care what others will think, then wear shorts by all means.
France is undoubtedly the city of fashion and fashion designers in Europe and in the world. But Barcelona has made a name for itself in the fashion industry. The annual Barcelona Fashion Week – including the prominent BCN Showrooms, Moda Fad, and Pasarela Gaudí – attracts many foreigners to Barcelona.
Barcelona is among Europe’s cities of style, somewhat in the same league as Milan or Paris. It attracts the fashion-conscious around the world and their design outlets can be overwhelming for even the most determined consumer. Everything from jewels to books, local and international haute couture, designer furniture, and even cool condoms is on offer.
Several shops animate squares around the center of the city. You can find most of the mainstream shops on a “shopping axis” that resembles the hands of a clock set at 4:45. From the waterfront, the shopping area leads up La Rambla through Placa de Catalunya and on up Passeig de Gracia. You turn left at Avinguda Diagonal.
From here, the Diagonal is jammed with shops that can drain your bank account if you do not control your splurging. The T1 Tombbus service is heaven-sent for ardent shoppers. Eventually, a transportation in the form of tram may also run the length of the Avinguda Diagonal.
Passeig de Gracia, as well as the streets to its southwest, are the best shopping hubs in central Barcelona. Head to the Bulevard Rosa arcade north of Carrer d’Arago and to Barri Gotic streets like Carrer de la Boqueria, Carrer de la Portaferrissa, Carrer de la Llibreteria, Carrer de Ferran, and Carrer del Call. Placa de Sant Josep Oriol is also a nice shopping place.
Winter sales in the city officially begin on or around January 10. Summer sales start on or around July 5. The big shopping complexes and department stores are usually open Monday to Saturday, from 9 am or 10 am through to 9 pm or 10 pm at night. Smaller shops close for around 2 hours at lunchtime (from 2 pm to 4 pm).
Here are some shops in the city:
- Antonio Miró (Address: Consell de Cent 349, Barcelona / Phone: 93-487-06-70)
- Comité (Address: Notariat 8, Barcelona/ Phone: 93-317-68-83)
- Custo-Barcelona (Address: Calle Ferran 36, Barcelona / Phone: 93-342-66-98)
- Jean-Pierre Bua (Address: Diagonal 469, Barcelona/ Phone: 93-439-71-00)
- Muxart (Address: Rambla de Catalunya 47, Barcelona / Phone: 93-467-74-23)
- Sala Parés (Address: Petritxol 5, Barcelona / Phone: 93-318-70-20)
- Laie (Address: Pau Claris 85, Barcelona / Phone: 93-318-17-39)
- BCN Books (Address: Riera d’Horta 32, Barcelona / Phone: 93-476-33-43)
- Hibernian Books (Address: Carrer Montseny, Barcelona / Phone: 93-217-46-96)
- Buffet y Ambigú (Address: Parada 435, Barcelona / Phone: 93-243-01-78)
- Casa del Llibro (Address: Passeig de Gràcia 62, Barcelona / Phone: 93-272-34-80)
Wines & Liquors
- Vila Viniteca (Address: Agullers 7-9, Barcelona / Phone: 90-232-77-77)
- Lavinia (Address: Diagonal 605, Barcelona / Phone: 93-363-44-45)
If you love a good market, you should visit Barcelona. The city has all the hustle and bustle, the sights and music, the smell of the freshest native food, and the products you would never find in other cities. This city gives you the thrill of bargaining, pleasing both the novice and the experienced market goer. Below are some of the most popular Barcelona markets:
Mercat de Sant Josep/La Boqueria (Address: Rambla, 91 08002 Barcelona, Spain)
Probably Barcelona’s best-known market, this market is great whether you are just wandering through or sourcing ingredients for a meal. Located just off La Rambla, it is an assault on your senses, with smells coming from fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit. It is also filled with colorful sweet counters that will attract any child or adult.
Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep (Address: La Rambla de Sant Josep, Barcelona)
This charming little market is a hub of street painters and their easels. There usually are less than 15 artists, but these Catalan painters cover every medium and style, from oils to watercolors, depicting sweeping landscapes to market stalls. You can chat with them if you are daring enough to test your Catalan or Spanish. If a caricature or portrait is what you are after, head to the southern end of La Rambla every evening.
Mercat Del Encants (Address: Plaça de Les Glories Catalanes C. Dos de Maig, 186)
Mercat Del Encants is one of the city’s largest and perhaps the best-loved flea markets. This market is pleasurably bizarre. You can find here the power tools sold next to cosmetics sold next to antiques. Bargaining can be very fun. Most stalls usually pack up at midday, but the market carries on until the afternoon. Take note: many stalls are closed in August.
Fira de Santa Llucia (Address: P. de la Seu, Barcelona)
Fira de Santa Llucia is the city’s Christmas Fair. You will find here all you need to have a festive mood. The Christmas fair in Barcelona is a truly Catalan affair. The market can get crowded at weekends. The Cagnares are interesting items in the market. They are little figurines defecating, which the Catalan people traditionally use in their nativity scenes.