This post is dedicated to the shopaholics, roaming the cities for good shopping spots and combining sightseeing with some money-spending exercise. This might get a little tricky when you are new to a city or when the shops´closing times are early enough to interfere with your tourism agenda. Luckily for those visiting the Spanish capital, there is time for everything and I am here with some neighborhood tips. In Madrid, the majority of shops are open from 10am to 9pm uninterrupted (except for some of the small family-run-businesses) seven days a week.
Keep in mind that Spain is home to the INDITEX Emporio, MANGO, Custo, Desigual, LOWE, Adolfo Dominguez…and the “Made in Spain” trademark on leather shoes…after all who knows about Jimmy Choos and Manolos knows that the making of well designed, comfortable but yet good-looking shoes was revolutionized by a Spanish born-shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik. Spanish women love to shop. We might not go into Prada, LV or Chanel as much as we gazed through their windows but we definitely buy out all the “fast renewable fashion” from ZARA and its sibling brands or alike. You will find anything you need: clothes, bags, shoes, accessories, books, technology, cosmetics, gastronomy ingredients and accessories, souvenirs…you name it, you have it! Welcome to Madrid´s shopping list!
- In the neighborhood of “Salamanca” lies the High Couture Fashion Mecca of Spain. All luxury brands are located on the expensive streets of this area, mainly all gathered at Calle Serrano and Calle de Ortega y Gasset. If you are looking for that iconic black Prada bag, the latest SS 2014 collection Chanel backpack or a pair of cat-eye-shaped shades, you have come to the right place. These streets are the Madrid´s equivalent to London´s New Bond Street or New York´s 5th Avenue.
- For trendy fashion but more moderate prices, you can shop at Calle Fuencarral and on few of the perpendicular streets. You will find established local designers and the trendy ones conquering the street-stylers. This area could be the equivalent of London´s King´s Road or Covent Garden. It is shown with a red line on the map below. A “must” place to visit on this street is Mercado Fuencarral (The Fuencarral Market), with different stores with a unique style (shown with a red square on the map).
- If what you are looking for are shoes, then you have to go the street Augusto Figueroa, one of the perpendiculars to Calle Fuencarral. There you will find different shoe shops to the ones seen on the different neighborhoods of Madrid. It is shown with a green line on the map below.
- Calle Gran Via is like London´s Oxford Street combined with the theaters showing Madrid´s latest musicals. You will find shops like ZARA, H&M, Stradivarius, Mango, Salvador Bachiller and the ones of this kind. This street is always crowded with tourists and pickpockets operate in the area. It might not be the most comfortable area to stroll around with the shopping bags. It is marked with a blue line on the map below.
- Spain´s largest and most famous department store is EL CORTE INGLES. There is at least one shop in every large Spanish city. There you can find everything: food, sports material, clothes and shoes, cosmetics, kitchen appliances,furniture or technology. There are several stores spread around Madrid, the largest one being the one on Castellana with a few luxury brands on the ground floor.
- Shopping Malls are increasing in Madrid, the majority being located outside the city centre for which a car is essential (or outer city busses): Plenilunio, Xanadu, Plaza Norte, La Vaguada, El Palacio de Hielo.
- Outlets for fashion, maybe last collection, are also located outside Madrid city centre: San Sebastián de los Reyes Sytle Outlet, Las Rozas Village
There are many other places to shop in Madrid, in almost every neighborhood there is a possibility. Only the best located shopping areas for a sightseeing route are commented here. Please give me a shout if you need any other tips.
ENJOY YOUR SHOPPING!!