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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Fodor's Choice

Area

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Eixample 85

Barri Gotic 37

Sant Pere and Born-Ribera 18

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Born-Ribera 2

El Raval 13

Gracia 8

Upper Barcelona 6

La Rambla 5

Poblenou 3

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Category

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Antiques/ Collectibles 9

Art Galleries 22

Books/ Stationery 12

Ceramics/ Glassware 11

Clothing 39

Crafts 1

Department Stores 5

Food/ Candy 22

Gifts/ Souvenirs 12

Household Items/ Furniture 19

Jewelry/ Accessories 7

Outdoor/ Flea/ Green Markets 7

Perfume/ Cosmetics 1

Shoes/ Luggage/ Leather Goods 18

Shopping Centers/ Malls 7

Spa/ Beauty 1

Sporting Goods 1

Textiles/ Sewing 1

Tobacco 1

Toys 1

Wine/ Spirits 1

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Best For

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Family 2

Green 7

Historical 18

Romantic 2

Trendy 8

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Barcelona Shopping

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Altaïr

  • Books/Stationery

Barcelona's premier travel and adventure bookstore stocks many titles in English. Book presentations and events scheduled here feature...

BCN Books

  • Books/Stationery

This midtown Eixample bookstore is a prime address for books in English, including tomes for learning Spanish and Catalan ...

Casa del Llibre

  • Books/Stationery

On Barcelona's most important shopping street, Casa del Llibre is a major book feast with a wide variety of English titles. ...

FNAC

  • Books/Stationery

For musical recordings and the latest book publications, this is one of Barcelona's most dependable and happening addresses. Regular...

La Central

  • Books/Stationery

Hands-down, Barcelona's best bookstore for years, La Central has creaky, literary wooden floors and piles of recent publications with...

La Central del Raval

  • Books/Stationery

This luscious bookstore in the former chapel of the Casa de la Misericòrdia sells books amid stunning architecture and holds regular...

Laie

  • Books/Stationery

Not overly stocked with English-language titles, this bookstore boasts a very pleasant café-restaurant upstairs; the space is often...

Llibreria Quera

  • Books/Stationery

This is the bookstore to seek out if you're interested in the Pyrenees or in exploring any part of the Catalonian hinterlands. Maps,...

Loring Art

  • Books/Stationery

This independent art and design bookshop has always prided itself on being a pioneer in Spain. Having started out with a small selection...

Pepa Paper

  • Books/Stationery

Barcelona's most famous paper and stationery store, Pepa Paper (Pepa is a nickname for Josefina and Paper, Catalan for—you guessed...

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