Quick or quirky…shopping in Barcelona

Do it your way…

Barcelona boasts 35,000 shops and a five kilometre shopping route from the Ramblas up to Avenue Diagonal. If that’s a few thousand shops and a few kilometres too many, here are three one-stop suggestions:

Las Arenas, a mall in an historic bullfight arena near Plaça Espanya, opened in 2011.The complex includes 115 shops, a variety of restaurants, a 12 screen multiplex and a Museum of Rock where you’ll find Elton John’s golden bathtub among other oddities. There’s a panoramic vista from the ‘skywalk’ on the roof terrace. Free access via the interior escalators or take the exterior lift for a small fee.
Website : Open: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 22:00 Restaurants Monday to Thursday 10:00 to 00.30; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 to 03:00

GranVia 2 is a huge mall opened in 2002, featuring a ‘classical’ design with Roman and Greek references’: it’s punctuated with obelisks and sections of the ceiling mimic Rome’s Pantheon. There are over 180 shops, from Aire to Zara. Have a meal at one of 24 cafes and restaurants and follow that with a visit to the 15 screen cinema. Website Open Monday to Saturday.10.00 to 22.00

Before malls there were department stores. Barcelona’s biggest and best is the Plaça de Catalunya branch of El Corte Inglés; if you plan much shopping this is where you can pick up a Carta de Compras…a booklet of stickers. One will be affixed to each purchase you make; then you collect and pay for them all at one time in the second basement. A nice view of Plaça de Catalunya comes free with your coffee or lunch on the roof terrace.. Website: Open: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00

Unique to  Barcelona

Coses del Casa is in a picturesque 19th century building on a lovely square in the Barri Gotic . It sells a wide variety of ‘things for the house’ – towels, aprons, quilts, cushion covers and specialises in Catalan fabrics.. there’s also a good range of travel accessories and soft toys for children. Plaza de Sant Josep Oriol. Website: Open Monday- Saturday from 10:00 to14:00 and from 16:30 to 20:00

If your shopping list includes wooden postcards, a bamboo bike and a bowl made of a carved coconut, head straight to ‘Home on Earth’. You’ll find these and other unusual gifts all made in direct collaboration with the craftsmen involved. The first ’home on earth’ shop opened in 2010 in the Raval , a second, in the Gothic quarter in 2014. Find them at C/Hospital 76 and C/Boqueria 14; tel:(+34) 933 158 558; Open Monday-Thursday 09:30-21:00, Friday-Saturday 09:30-21:30; Sunday 10:00-20:30

Vintage shopping combines the pleasure of treasure hunting with a walk in the city. If you’re near Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum, stroll down Carrer de La Riera Baixa, a pedestrian street lined with shops selling vintage clothing, leather bags, jewellery and the like. On a Saturday afternoon it morphs into a street market; if you are serious about vintage call in at one of the Holala! vintage shops, There are two: 47 Cl de Taller and Cl. Valldonzella 6. Website Open 11:00 to 21:00 Monday to Saturday.

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