Beautiful Barcelona is one of the world’s great vacation destinations. With its fascinating history, delicious food, fabulous beaches, stunning architecture and exquisite art, visitors could almost forget that Barcelona is also quickly becoming a global fashion capitol. Some of the best souvenirs to bring home are the ones that can be incorporated into everyday life, so don’t miss a chance to shop in a city famed for its fashion. Here is a look at the best places for shopping in Barcelona!
Barcelona’s L’illa Diagonal neighborhood is a fantastic shopping destination. While the famed nearby promenade La Rambla can seem “touristy” with its street performers and souvenir kiosks, the avenue is also home to charming local boutiques as well as museums, art galleries and cultural establishments. Also in the neighborhood is the L’illa Diagonal shopping center, one of the most prestigious shopping malls in the city. It boasts a fabulous 170 stores, bars, and restaurants to explore. High-end clothing boutiques mix with artisan shops featuring local breads, olive oils and wines to provide a great atmosphere for shoppers.
Stretching from Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, Passeig de Gràcia is a major shopping avenue in Barcelona and hosts several of the city’s best known Gaudí masterpieces. The wide sidewalks are ideal for strolling on a sunny Catalonian day, and the many cafes and restaurants provide convenient rest stops for a busy day of browsing major international stores as well as unique local gems.
Diagonal Mar is one of Barcelona’s most distinctive districts with its triangular Fòrum building, ground-breaking urban park, beautiful new beach and massive shopping center. The Diagonal Mar shopping center, one of the city’s largest malls, offers a fine selection of shops, restaurants and cinemas, all while providing a stunning view of the beach.
Catalonia’s largest shopping center and Barcelona’s only open-air mall, La Maquinista contains 230 shops and restaurants including a pop-up space for emerging brands to test their mettle alongside established international brands. Terraces on the second floor allow shoppers to rest and enjoy the occasional live music along with refreshments, and a bowling alley and movie theater offer additional entertainment. This urban oasis is a must-see.
The hip El Raval neighborhood was once best known for its seedy nightlife, but cabarets have since made way for museums and art galleries as the neighborhood transformed itself into a vibrant and edgy multicultural hub. Some of Barcelona’s trendiest bars, music venues and restaurants can now be found in El Raval, as well as colorful street art and eclectic clothing stores. Independent record stores, second-hand shops, bohemian bars and eccentric characters add to El Raval’s artsy charm.
Barcelona’s beachfront Sant Martí neighborhood is mostly residential, which means its charming shops, cafes and restaurants cater to locals. In addition, the Encants Market of Sant Martí is a historic flea market filled with all kinds of knick-knacks and collectibles for any treasure-hunting travelers.
The Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, is the center of Barcelona’s old city. Its mysterious, winding, medieval streets and alleys are inhabited by a number of antique shops beckoning adventurous shoppers to lose themselves in the hunt. Situated among the Roman and medieval buildings are El Bulevard Rosa, an indoor arcade of more than 100 clothing shops, and one floor above it is El Bulevard dels Antiquaris, a collection of more than 70 antique shops.
As one of the world’s emerging fashion capitols, Barcelona is setting new trends while still remaining cheaper than London, Paris, Milan or Tokyo. The many different shopping areas hold temptations for any type of shopper, while the old fashioned shops still focused on building relationships with returning customers will charm weary travelers.