Calle Larios in Malaga

Shopping in Spain: what you’ll find


Coming to Spain? We suggest setting some time aside for shopping while you’re here. Fashion, crafts, gourmet food and drink, decorative objects… Variety, quality and uniqueness, with long opening hours and shopping areas with everything you want. These are the top tips for a shopping experience in Spain.

Go window shopping to see luxury brands and boutiques; soak in the scents and colours of traditional markets; note the clash of old and new where folk craft meets avant-garde design; wander historic streets in search of music, books and antiques; and enjoy department stores and malls with all the services you might need. The shopping experience in Spain is as wide-ranging as your imagination. There’s just one thing you need beforehand: a little extra room in your suitcase.

From city centres to shopping centres

What are the best areas for shopping in Spain? In most of the cities and towns you visit, the best options are in the centre. Also, most large cities have more specific shopping areas, some of which are quite specialised: the luxury shopping neighbourhoods like the Salamanca district in Madrid or Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona; places with modern, alternative design and fashions, like Soho in Malaga and Malasaña in Madrid; areas full of traditional shops, such as around Plaza Redonda in Valencia, and Barcelona’s Gothic quarter; and artisan workshops, in neighbourhoods like Triana in Seville. Another option, especially if you’re looking for fashion and accessories, perfumes and cosmetics, or electronics, is a visit to the large shopping centres and department stores you’ll find in many cities.

Barcelona shopping area

Shopping centres usually have long opening times and all sorts of shops (including leading Spanish and international fashion chains), as well as services like parking (which may be free or paid for), good public transport links, restaurants, and even activities for children in some cases, to make a day of shopping more fun for the kids. In cities like Madrid or Barcelona there are also large shopping complexes completely devoted to the outlet stores of well-known fashion or décor lines, with something for every budget.

Street markets

You can also find street markets at your destination. Almost all Spanish cities have one or more weekly or monthly street markets. Some specialise in second-hand items or antiques, fashion, or organic produce, and others offer an endless variety of everyday goods, clothes and accessories, fruit and vegetables, and so on, but they are all busy and lively, often with a festive atmosphere, and sometimes buskers and performers. Some of the most notable are the famous Rastro, in Madrid; Els Encants (La Fira de Bellcaireel), in Barcelona; La Alcaicería in Granada; Las Dalias in Ibiza; the Thursday market in Seville; and the Rastro de Mestalla, in Valencia.

Fabrics in a street market

Fashion, food and crafts

From “where” to “what”: what do we recommend buying on your trip to Spain? Fashion, crafts and gourmet foods are always among the top picks, although the choice depends on your tastes, and of course, on the places you visit: there’s so much variety that we suggest checking what the local specialities are at your destination before you plan your shopping.

Streets in the Malasaña district of Madrid

Fashion and accessories

You won’t regret buying fashion and accessories “made in Spain”. From exclusive lines by Spanish designers of international prestige to the pret-à-porter Spain exports to half the planet and which you’ll look just as chic in at home. And if you fancy yourself as a coolhunter, have a wander in the hip districts of the big cities (Malasaña in Madrid, Raval or Gràcia in Barcelona, Russafa in Valencia, Soho in Malaga…), where local designers have their own small boutiques and you can find unique, original items. If you’re looking for a more traditional souvenir, don’t forget that each region has its traditional local costume, from the world-famous flamenco dresses of Andalusia, with their ruffles and bright colours, to the white cottons of the ‘Ad Lib’ style in Ibiza, the silk damasks of Valencia, the Basque txapela (beret), the traditional San Fermín waist sash of Navarre, or the parpusa (flat cap) of Madrid’s chulapos.

Crafts in Barcelona

In the overlap between fashion and craft, many Spanish regions produce exceptional leather goods: backpacks, bags, belts, footwear and small leather items make a great choice in most parts of Spain, including Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha. Or perhaps something to decorate your home? Pottery from Talavera de la Reina (in Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, and a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage item), or from Sargadelos (Lugo, Galicia), Manises (Valencia) or Úbeda (Jaén, Andalusia), or damascene steel from Toledo (Castilla-La Mancha) are some of Spain’s most traditional crafts, and you can find them in the form of household items, decorative objects and even jewellery. Other crafts to buy in Spain if you want a traditional local item with personality include wicker and cane baskets, lamps and decorative items in the region of Valencia, esparto woven into anything from bags to rugs in Castilla-La Mancha, and boxwood pieces such as bowls or clogs in Navarre.

Ceramics from Sargadelos

Food and drink

If you’re looking for gourmet souvenirs you’re in luck. Spanish cuisine is a prime exponent of the Mediterranean diet, and these foods and wines are an excellent choice to buy for yourself or as gifts. Every region has something unique to tempt you, so take a little Spanish flavour home with you, starting with Iberian ham in any of the four Designations of Origin (Dehesa de Extremadura, Guijuelo, Jamón de Huelva and Los Pedroches), or delicious local cheeses: manchego (Castilla-La Mancha), cabrales (Asturias), torta del Casar (Extremadura), Idiazábal (Basque Country and Navarre), and many more. Another essential purchase is a local wine (the most famous wines might be Rioja or Ribera del Duero, but almost every Spanish region has a Designation of Origin which you’ll enjoy exploring) or olive oil, the liquid gold of the Mediterranean. And the list goes on, with traditional spirits and liqueurs (such as orujo from Galicia or patxaran from the Basque Country), sweets (tarta de Santiago cake in Galicia, candied fruit in Aragon, honey in Castilla-La Mancha…) and even some gourmet tinned foods (asparagus from Navarre or anchovies from Cantabria, for example).

Young woman tasting wines

While there are no restrictions on taking foods between EU countries, you should check the regulations if you’re going somewhere outside the European Union. (See information from the destination airport to check whether you can bring food in checked luggage, as well as weight restrictions, customs declarations, etc.).

Shopping with experiences

If you want to add something extra to your shopping experience, you can combine it with many other activities available in Spain. Maybe you’d like to use the services of a personal shopper? Especially in large cities, these professionals can advise you and guide you to the best shops for fashion and décor, or the most exclusive boutiques.Before you buy a wine, a cheese or a special oil, would you like to try them? In Spain you can go to tastings of these and other products, where you can learn about them, appreciate their characteristics and decide which ones you want to buy. Another great option is a memento of Spain’s artistic, cultural or historic heritage from museum or gallery shops, or ceramics or leather items direct from the artisanal workshop so you can enjoy the experience of seeing them made. You just need to find what you like best at each destination; the possibilities are endless.

Culinary experiences

Tips and recommendations

Useful tips

Before you get started shopping in Spain, here are some basic tips: - One of the most surprising things about shopping in Spain is how long opening hours are. Most places are open from Monday to Saturday, from 09:30 to 13:30 and then from 16:30 to 20:00, but in most tourist destinations shops are open much later, and many cities let them set their own hours. - In some tourist resorts, especially on the coast in high season, it’s not unusual to find shops open well into the evening, even after 22:00. - Major shopping centres and department stores are open all day from 10:00 to 21:00 or 22:00, and many open on Sundays too. - In Spain prices are set and haggling is not expected. - If you live outside the European Union, you can claim back the tax on your purchases. Consult the conditions.

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