Barcelona Shopping

Characterized by originality and relative affordability, shopping in Barcelona has developed into a jubilant fashion, design, craft, and gourmet-food fair. The fact that different parts of town provide distinct contexts for shopping makes exploring the city and browsing boutiques inclusive activities.

The Ciutat Vella, especially the Born-Ribera area, is rich in small-crafts shops, young designers,

and an endless potpourri of artisans and merchants operating in restored medieval spaces that are often as dazzling as the wares on sale. Even the pharmacies and grocery stores of Barcelona are often sumptuous aesthetic feasts, filled with charming details. Although the end of rent protection has seen many heritage establishments close, a new law will at least ensure that their unique architectural and decorative details will remain intact. Hat shop Barrets Obach and candlemakers Cereria Subirà are two old town traders who have remained charmingly unchanged over the decades.

Shopping for design objects and chic fashion in the Eixample is like buying art supplies at the Louvre: it's an Art Nouveau architecture theme park spinning off into dozens of sideshows—textiles, furnishings, curios, and knickknacks of every kind. Any specific shop or boutique will inevitably lead you past a dozen emporiums that you didn't know were there. Original and surprising yet wearable clothing items—what one shopper described as "elegant funk"—are Barcelona's signature contribution to fashion. Rather than copying the runways, Barcelona designers are relentlessly daring and innovative, combining fine materials with masterful workmanship.

Browsing through shops in this originality-obsessed metropolis feels more like museum-hopping than a shopping spree, although it can, of course, be both. Design shops like Doméstico and Jaime Beriestain delight the eye and stimulate the imagination, while the area around the Passeig del Born is attracting hip young designers from all over the globe. Passeig de Gràcia has joined the ranks of Paris's Champs Elysées and Rome's Via Condotti as one of the great shopping avenues in the world, with the planet's fashion houses amply represented, from Armani to Zara. Exploring Barcelona's antiques district along Carrer Banys Nous and Carrer de la Palla is always an adventure. The shops opening daily around Santa Maria del Mar in the Born-Ribera district range from Catalan and international design retailers to shoe and leather-handbag designers, to T-shirt decorators, to dealers in nuts and spices or coffee emporiums. The megastores in Plaça de Catalunya, along Diagonal, and in L'Illa Diagonal farther west are commercial cornucopias selling fashions, furniture, furs, books, music, and everything else under the sun. The villagelike environments of Sarrià and Gràcia lend intimate warmth to antiques or clothes shopping, with friendly boutique owners adding a personal touch often lost in mainstream commerce.

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Barcelona Shopping

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Base Elements Urban Art Gallery

  • Art Galleries

Robert Burt, originally of California, founded this gallery in 2003 to provide a space where young street artists and graffiti-meisters...

Galeria Joan Prats

  • Art Galleries

La Prats" has been one of the city's top galleries since the 1920s, showing international painters and sculptors from Henry Moore to...

Galeria Toni Tàpies

  • Art Galleries

After the prolific Catalan painter Antoni Tàpies died in 2012, his son Toni decided to change the direction of his successful gallery...

Galeria Trama

  • Art Galleries

Another Petritxol favorite, Trama, with occasional exceptions, tends to hang paintings that look as if they might be happier in low-price...

Joan Gaspar

  • Art Galleries

One of Barcelona's most prestigious galleries, Joan Gaspart and his father before him brought Picasso and Miró back to Catalonia during...


  • Art Galleries

This international giant occupies an important position in Barcelona's art-gallery galaxy with exhibits of major contemporary artists...


  • Art Galleries

A relatively new kid on the block, the Galería N2 already has established its position as a beacon at the crossroads of tradition and...

Projecte SD

  • Art Galleries

This gallery, located in one of the Eixample's most beautiful little passages, doesn't go easy on its visitors. No show at Projecte SD...

Sala Dalmau

  • Art Galleries

An old-timer in the established Consell de Cent gallery scene, Sala Dalmau shows an interesting and heterodox range of Catalan and international...

Sala Parès

  • Art Galleries

The dean of Barcelona's art galleries, this place opened in 1840 as an art-supplies shop; as a gallery, it dates to 1877 and has shown...


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