When it comes to shopping, Barcelona is fast becoming one of the most popular cities in Europe for everything from high end fashion outlets, quirky and luxury boutiques, and independent market vendors. The most famous area in the city is of course Las Ramblas, a tourist hub that encompasses a long stretch of shopping malls and arcades reaching from Placa Catalunya all the way down to Barcelona’s harbour. It offers the perfect mix of shopping and sightseeing, with restaurants to stop in, performers and street artists to see, and cultural landmarks to visit. Las Ramblas is the ideal tourist destination, but a little exploring will take you through Barcelona’s other popular shopping hotspots.
Fashion & Style
For the more dedicated shopper, Barcelona offers many exciting areas across the city. To find famous brands like Armani, Chanel and Gucci, head to the top of Las Ramblas and visit Placa Catalunya, a large square at the heart of the city. Placa Catalunya boasts several shopping plazas with a fantastic range of shops and outlets in which to splash the cash. From here you can easily get to most other main streets, where a lot of the city’s independent boutiques reside. You should also visit the historical Passeig de Gracia, widely known as one of the most important shopping streets in Barcelona, where you’ll find flagship stores for some of the most popular designers and retailers, such as Chanel and Zara, and luxury brands including that of local Spanish label, Loewe.
If you’d rather stray off the beaten track, Barcelona’s alternative shopping areas, in the winding streets of the El Born, offer an afternoon of exciting discovery and variety. Originally a medieval settlement, with the architecture to match, you can find independent labels, boutiques, one-of-a-kind shoe shops and hidden cafés, making El Born a delight to explore. Another alternative to the main shopping precincts is Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, the Barri Gotic. As the original centre of Roman-era Barcelona, the area is a cultural hotspot, and the tourist trade has helped develop the area as a shopper’s paradise. Find boutiques, music stores, antiques markets and small designer labels – enough to keep you browsing all day!
Food & Drink
Discover Barcelona’s famous food markets, in particular the historic La Boqueria, an enormous public market offering the widest selection of foods in the city. La Boqueria can be accessed from Las Ramblas, and is recognisable by the beautiful metal and stained-glass sign, and number of market stalls towards the entrance. Here amongst the noise and colour you can buy exotic foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, local meats and cheese, freshly caught fish, and all manner of sweets and baked goods. For the full experience, you can also visit the pop-up tapas bars and treat yourself to a cocktail or two!
With so much to see, a Barcelona city break is ideal, and will allow you to take your time and see all of the sights. Barcelona has the added bonus of stunning beaches and rich cultural history, so you can shop and relax in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
S. Gibson is a travel content writer for the easyJet holidays website and writes about city breaks to Barcelona.