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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Cacao Sampaka

  • Food/Candy

This centrally located shop is perfect for chocolate addicts to stop and satisfy their cravings. While it's perfectly possible to dash...


  • Food/Candy

At the corner of Carrer de la Palla and Banys Nous, this café and shop sells wines and foodstuffs such as honey, biscuits, chocolates...

Casa Gispert

  • Food/Candy

On the inland side of Santa Maria del Mar, this shop is one of the most aromatic and picturesque in Barcelona, bursting with teas, coffees,...


  • Food/Candy

The shop's motto, "galetes Exageradament Bones" (biscuits that are exaggeratedly good) may seem like a bit of hype, but these rich, colorful...

El Magnífico

  • Food/Candy

This coffee emporium just up the street from Santa Maria del Mar is famous for its sacks of coffee beans from all over the globe. Coffee...

Foix de Sarrià

  • Food/Candy

Pastry and poetry under the same roof merit a stop. The verses of J. V. Foix, a major Catalan poet who managed to survive the Franco...

Formatgeria La Seu

  • Food/Candy

Scotswoman Katherine McLaughlin has put together the Gothic Quarter's most delightful cheese-tasting sanctuary on the site of an ancient...

La Botifarreria de Santa Maria

  • Food/Candy

This busy emporium next to the church of Santa Maria del Mar stocks excellent cheeses, hams, pâtés, and homemade sobrassadas (pork...

La Casa del Bacalao

  • Food/Candy

This cult store decorated with cod-fishing memorabilia specializes in salt cod and books of codfish recipes. Slabs of salt and dried...

La Cave

  • Wine/Spirits

When in Sarrià, have a stop at this original wine cellar, tapas bar, and restaurant. With every bottle in this barrel-shape space color-coded...


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