One of the greatest things about Barcelona is that when it comes to fashion, anything goes. Although Spaniards on a whole aren’t as fashion-savvy as their neighbors in Italy and France, there are plenty of trendy emerging boutiques and accessory stores springing up all around the city. Whether you’re looking for high-street fashion, exclusive one-of-a-kind designs or authentic Spanish antiques, Barcelona’s shops are as diverse as the people who walk into them. If you want to do most of your shopping in the same area there are a few key places to check out including: Portal De L’Angel, Paseo de Gracia and Corte Ingles. You can pretty much find whatever you might want within a two to three-block radius or with the case of Corte Ingles, in a seven-story building. For more exclusive shops carrying original pieces, hit up the Born neighborhood, and for rustic and hip check out the Gotico. Calle Avinyo and Ferran street in particular are lined with one-off, boutique shops featuring unique and fairly inexpensive clothing and accessories.
And if you want to find something that you most likely won’t see on anyone, go to Gracia neighborhood. The small narrow streets are deceivingly packed with amazing shopping.
Zara is to Spain what Starbucks is to the United States; you can find one on every corner, they’re always packed and for good reason. If you’re looking for affordable, quality clothing Zara always has options. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at one location, it’s very possible the one right around the corner will have an even better variation of it. Check out their shoes and coats, which are particularly ‘stylie’, comfortable and very affordable. Keep in mind that the Zara Spain stores have different items than the Zara North American locations, so you can feel like you’ve bought something authentically Spanish even if you have Zara back home.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Zara is a Barcelona staple and an affordable place to buy quality clothes
Sam’s expert tip: The location on Passeig De Gracia is a little less crowded than the ones in Portal de L’Angel.
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Exclusive, high-end shopping with absolutely amazing shoes! Try to go during ‘rebaixes’ (sales which take place a few times a year) and take advantage of the awesome deals where you can get 200 Euro shoes for under 100 Euros. There’s no denying that Uterque veers towards the more expensive side, but with designer brands and top quality bags, scarves, clothes and shoes, if you’re looking to pull off elegantly chic, this is the place to go. There are several locations, including Portal De L’Angel as well as on Passeig de Gracia. They can sometimes run out of items without getting them back in stock, so if you like something be sure to buy it at the time.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Extremely elegant clothes, shoes and accessories in one of Barcelona’s best shopping areas
Sam’s expert tip: Their purses and shoes are particularly stylish.
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Photo courtesy of Portal De L’angel
The busiest walkway in Barcelona and perhaps Europe, this is a one-stop shop if you want to spend the day consuming within a two-block radius. Located between Plaza Catalunya and the Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter, Portal De L’Angel has everything from clothing, to books, to sporting equipment stores, Gellato stops, street performers and every Sunday there is even traditional Catalan dancing, frequented by Barcelona’s over 60 crowd – it’s definitely worth a look. Although there’s mostly high-street fashion in Portal De L’Angel, you can still find quality stores such as Uterque and some nicer Zara stores. There’s also some excellent Gellato shops in this strip.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Everything you want all in one place including books, clothes, food and gadgets
Sam’s expert tip: If you go between 10am-12pm on weekends, it’s the best time to browse/shop, as the stores are practically empty.
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Photo courtesy of Rambla Catlaunya
Barcelona’s chicest walkway, full of designer shops, exclusive hotels and high-end restaurants even if you’re not in the mood for buying it’s worth browsing. This is a lively street with an air of elegance, yet still remains fairly unpretentious. If you’re looking for make-up, electronics, and unique furniture, this is a great street to check out. In addition to the clothing and shoe shops there’s a host of other stores that you won’t find in the Old City. Rambla Catlunya is ideal for finding out of the way places, and niche shopping. It’s also a nice place to grab a bite or a coffee while people watching.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A less touristy, elegant walkway with boutique and high-end stores
Sam’s expert tip: Try the excellent tapas at Piscolabis restaurant towards the top of the street
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Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, Gucci amongst plenty of other classy names, line this famous street. This is the Champs-Elysees of Barcelona and coupled with its designer stores, wide sidewalks and outdoor terraces it’s a magnet for both tourists and locals alike. Start at the new, three-story Apple store close to Plaza Catalunya and make your way up while enjoying a mix of high-end as well as high-street fashion. Coupled with hot names, are also more affordable stores such as H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear and Stradavarious, a Spanish brand. And if you get sick of shopping, step into Nespresso for a free cup of coffee.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Passeig De Gracia is Barcelona’s ‘Champs-Elysees. A beautiful street lined with high-end stores
Sam’s expert tip: Check out George Clooney’s Nespresso shop and sign up to get a free coffee.
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If you’re looking for comfortable shoes with a touch of style check out Camper. Foreigners flock to take advantage of great quality that doesn’t burn a hole in the wallet. Camper prides itself on offering designer shoes for men, women and children which are above all else, comfy and easy to wear. There are locations all over town including the Raval, Born and Gothic Quarter. There’s also a shop on Passeig de Gracia. Camper is constantly re-inventing itself with new styles arriving on the scene every few months. Be sure to check out their online selection as well as their in store stock.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Barcelona’s shoes are comfy, stylie and unique and very Barcelona ‘esque.
Sam’s expert tip: If you can’t find what you want at one location, try another one as often the stores feature different merchandise
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If you don’t know where to find it, Corte Ingles has the answer. Looking for makeup? Check out the main floor right when you walk in and you’ll find rows upon rows of make up brands more than happy to provide you with free makeovers and samples. This seven-storey department store has everything on your shopping list as well as things you didn’t even know you needed. From clothes, bathing suits, beach and pool wear, to furniture, appliances, electronics, kitchenware and even a supermarket in the basement (with a specialty gourmet section) if you want to kill 20 birds with one stone Corte Ingles is your greatest ally. This is about a 20 minute walk from the cruise port, or a quick 5 minute taxi ride.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: Corte Ingles is the largest department store in the city and the best one stop shop.
Sam’s expert tip: They have a small boutique gourmet food section on the first floor, separate from the larger supermarket downstairs
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Photo courtesy of La Maquinista
La Maquinista is a great place to shop in Barcelona’s Old City. Located near the port at the edge of the Gothic and Born neighoborhoods, this semi-outdoor mall has plenty of great shops for clothes, shoes, accessories and gifts. It’s the largest mall of it’s kind in the Old City, it even has 3D movies and new releases (dubbed in Spanish). This is a great place to shop, it’s open all week and a great place to go if you’re not sure how to spend an afternoon. There’s also several restaurants and a grassy area where you can picnic when you’re finished exercising your credit card.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: The closest thing to a mall in the Old City and not far from the water
Sam’s expert tip: It’s one of the only malls open on Sundays, but be sure to go early
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Photo courtesy of La Roca
La Roca Village is Barcelona’s best discount shopping mall. Known for it’s chic outlet shopping, the Village is one of nine in Europe, founded in 1992, the concept is unique in outlet shopping where the Village specializes exclusively in luxury brands. Home to 1000 outlet boutiques, this is one of the best places to get incredible discounts, at 60% off. It’s only 30 minutes outside of Barcelona by car, so be sure to find out about the free shuttle service, the first Sunday of every month. It’s especially worthwhile checking out during the holiday season when the deals are ‘extra juicy’.
Recommended for Best Shopping because: A wonderfully affordable place to buy luxury goods with incredible discounts
Sam’s expert tip: Ask about the additional 10% off if you take the shuttle service
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Photo courtesy of Green Bikes
A reputable and affordable bike rental and tour shop in the city. Located in the Old Neighborhood, Green Bikes rents out high-quality bikes at extremely low prices. They also provide authentic city bike tours with experienced guides and have a sister shop around the corner, in case you’d rather buy your own bike than rent one. The staff are super friendly and knowledgable and provide an efficient, attentive and reliable service. This is a fabulous company with a family-style vibe, quality bikes and a solid know-how of the city. In addition to renting bikes they also sell them and gives great tours
Recommended for Best Shopping because: An authentic, family style bike shop with personalized service and quality bikes and great knowledge of the city
Sam’s expert tip: Book your bike and your tour early as they get full in the summer
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