Barcelona is today established as a world class shopping destination. The city offers a perfect blend of major international brands, local designers and up-and-coming trendsetters.
With a history of fashion and textile industry that dates back centuries in Barcelona, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many international brands that you can find around the word are actually from Barcelona, like the quirky and colorful Desigual or the chic and casual Mango.
However, options for shopping in Barcelona, are to be found all over the city.
Passeig De Gracia
Since its very foundation in the end of the 19th century the Passeig de Gracia street has been the most exclusive street in town. Many gems of the Modernism architectural period are to be found here. Nowadays they house a vast array of stores. Starting from plaza Catalunya, we find the more mainstream brands like Zara, Guess, and Nike and the biggest H&M in town – 4 floors on the corner with Gran Via Street. The further up we move (towards Diagonal Street), the more high-end the brands get – Rolex, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Burberry, etc. A stroll down Passeig de Gracia is an absolute must for architecture lovers and shopaholics alike.
Diagonal & Sant Gervasi
The luxury shopping area of Passeig de Gracia extends up the Diagonal Avenue and into the posh Sant Gervasi neighborhood. The Diagonal also offers a choice of high end international brands and it is particularly interesting for home furniture and interior design stores. The neighborhood of Sant Gervasi is a local neighborhood, away from the touristic tracks, where you will find many high end local designers and a few international luxury brands very popular amongst the high society of Barcelona.
Gracia is one of the bohemian neighborhoods of Barcelona, plentiful with vintage stores and lucky finds. The best way to explore it is to just wander around this enchanting quarter and find what each narrow street and little square has on offer. The busiest streets with the most shops are Carrer Verdi and Gran de Gracia. However, you won´t find any big brands here but rather small locally ran shops and lots of bars and restaurants to replenish your energy and thirst. Being a largely residential neighborhood you are also likely to find better deals than in the center.
For a unique shopping experience, head to the hip Born neighborhood in the Old City. While navigating the labyrinth of small streets and narrow alleys, you will stumble upon countless local brands for both clothes and jewelry, barber´s shops and excellent shoe stores. All in all, el Born neighborhood has some of the best shops in Barcelona and is among local’s favorites for shopping, dinning and a long drink after work.
A question we often get on our tours concerns the absence of major shopping malls in the very center of the city. The reason for this is that most of it was built up in the first half of the 20th century and large shopping malls were not in vogue yet. When they did come in fashion there was no space in the center and they were built in less central areas like Les Corts (La Illa Shopping Mall) or Santa Coloma (La Maquinista Shopping Mall). There is a relatively small shopping mall at the end of Las Ramblas called Maremagnum. It is also one of the few places open on Sundays, remember that Spain is a Catholic country so most shops are closed on that day.
Last but not least, if you are looking to spend the whole day shopping for designer brands all in one place, head to La Roca Village. It’s a complex located around 35 km from the city center that features 130 boutique stores ranging from Armani to Gucci and Cavalli and many more. Open from 10 to 21 h every day, they also offer a paid shuttle service from the center of the city to help you get there.
If you are shopping for souvenirs and food in Barcelona, keep an eye on the blog as we will make a separate blog post about it soon.