If shopping is your passion Barcelona will not disappoint. From designer’s boutiques and antique galleries to popular chain stores and the grand dame of shopping – El Corte Ingles. At the heart of Barcelona is the famous 5 km shopping zone with pedestrian friendly streets lined with shops, galleries, one-of-a-kind boutiques, cafes, restaurants and tapas bars. The shopping zone begins at the top of the Ramblas, and weaves through Placa de Catalunya along Passeig de Gràcia and up Avenue Diagonal.
The standard opening hour for shops is 10 a.m. and while many businesses close from 2 – 5 p.m. most retail shops remain open and often stay open until about 9 p.m.
Barcelona Tax Free Shopping
No VAT means tax free shopping. Non European Union residents are entitled to shop tax-free in Spain. The savings is about 18% off the price of any items purchased if the total bill exceeds €90.15. The savings benefit applies to items that you intend to take back to your country of residence. Obviously it does not include restaurant or hotel bills, food or pharmaceutical items, tickets or services.
The system works much like Portugal, France, Britain, or Italy. The VAT, in Spain known as IVA, is not obvious to consumers because it is a government mark-up on certain goods and included in the ticket price. In Spain it amounts to 18% excluding food items, books and optics which have a 7% IVA.
Most shops in Barcelona are part of the Tax Free Shopping Service which was created to facilitate customer refunds. Sometime the Tax Free logo is displayed in the store but not always. It is best to simply ask. If the shop participates in the tax free service they will have the necessary forms to be used at redemption centre in the airport. Once the receipt cheques have been cleared by customs it is possible to cash your cheques at any Bureau de Change in the currency of choice.
Barcelona Tax Free Shopping Calle Velázquez, 140 Pl. 1E-28006 Madrid t. +34 915 237 004 or www.spainrefund.com
Where to shop for what
If you are looking for International brands? They can be found on one of the most glamorous streets in the city – Passeig de Gracia. The lineup includes Burburry, Espirit, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Diesel as well as MaxMara, Chanel, Luis Vuitton, Tiffany’s Jewelry, and Yves Saint Laurent.
La Manual Alpargatera
A shoe addict’s dream. Espadrilles and Spain go together for more than six decades this workshop, shop combo has been in the business of creating and selling classic espadrilles for all ages as well as exquisite Catalan espadenyas. Address: Avinyo 7; 08002 Barcelona by Ferran.
Quality and tradition. The shop has been serving customers in the same location 1900. Colorful and very Barcelona in attitude, the attentive staff offer clothing created by recognizable labels Anne Clair, Julie Sohn, Dos Besos, and Fresh-from-the-Lab. Address: C. Gran de Gracia, 49 Barcelona.
Trendy, quirky, and artful. This shop offers clothing and accessories from up-and-coming Spanish designers including Espera Drap, and La Casita de Wendy. Address: Carrer Verdi, 3-5 Barcelona.
Creativity and originality. This boutique offers the unexpected from clothing and accessories to works from local artists, designers and poets. Address: Riera Baixa, 16 Barcelona.
Voted most popular. Bershka is one of Spain’s most popular shopping chains ideal for young woman in the 15-29 age group (Similar to Forever 21 in the US.). They provide private label fashion at a price. Address: Av. Portal d’Angel, 15-17 08002 Barcelona.
Low cost, high fashion. With multiple locations, this fashion chain espouses fashionable clothes for the workplace with and affordable price tag. Inventory varies by store. Address: Av. Portal d’Angel, 24 & 34 08002 Barcelona.
Sophisticated and colorful. This shop offers clothing, leather handbags and shoes that reflect a Mediterranean feeling with uniquely Spanish flare. Address: Av. Portal d’Angel, 16/ Carrer Pelai 08002 Barcelona.
One stop shoe shop. Looking for shoes, shoes, shoes? This now well-known Spanish original label is located near the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) in the trendy Raval District of La Rambla.
Expect to find plenty of footwear options including flats, pumps, trainers, espadrilles, and an array of cowboy boots. Address: Carrer Elisebets, 11 Barcelona.
El Corte Ingles
Barcelona’s shopping icon. With several locations Corte Ingles one of Spain’s largest department store chains offers plenty of shopping possibilities. The equivalent of Macy’s or Selfridge’s, the store is known for its range of cosmetics and delightful children’s department. Here’s the deal: Each year from the first week in July to the end of August they have great summer sales. Look for rebajas, or rebaixes in Catalan. Address: Main location Plaza de Catalunya, 14 08002 Barcelona.
Shop at the mall. El Diagonal, near Cortes Metro Station, is the location of L’illa a classic shopping center with plenty of popular shops under one roof. Stores include Bang & Oluffsen, Marks & Spencer, FNAC, Decathlon, the hypermarket Caprabo, Mandarina Duck, Disney Shop, Zara, Bershka, Decathlon, and Mango. Plus under the same roof there is a fresh food market, a supermarket, Pizza Hut and several others restaurants. Address: Avinguda Diagonal 545 -565 Barcelona.
The Boqueria Food Market in Barcelona (entrance on La Rambla) is one of the oldest markets in Europe. Here you can buy all the fresh ingredients to prepare a fantastic meal in the kitchen of your short stay apartment.
Note: This information was accurate at time of posting but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.