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Madrid shopping guide – where and what to shop

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In Madrid, style and budget go hand in hand. The selection of clothing, shoes, food, wines and souvenirs in different styles at different prices in the Spanish capital will send any shopaholic through the roof. The downtown area boasts hip boutiques and small shops open until late where international brands mix with local merchandise. There is a lot more to shopping in Madrid than what meets the eye. It doesn’t matter what you are looking for: gloves, buckles, tassels, strings, shawls or espadrilles – you name it, they have it.

Daniel Camiroaga

My Destination local expert on

Madrid

The Golden Mile

 

The Golden Mile is the Beverly Hills of Madrid. In this buzzing area you will find luxury items and exclusive fashion. The most famous shops of international designers and Spanish couture boutiques are scattered through the streets of Serrano, Velazquez, Ortega y Gasset and Juan Bravo. If you are looking for souvenirs, you will find some unique shops and boutiques offering antiques, pottery and luxury items in the surrounding streets such as Lagasca, Nunez de Balboa and Castello.

 

Fuencarral and Chueca

 

This modern area is the Soho of Madrid and the birthplace of the latest trends and cheeky fashions. Head to the Fuencarral market and you will find the most irreverent and original articles in small shops. Neighboring Chueca is the most fashionable district of the city where you can find anything from stylish to elegant and casual clothing. Just off the Chueca Square, great outlets sell bags and luggage with expensive-looking designs at bargain prices or stock pieces by Spain’s up-to-the-minute designers. From shop to shop, you will find accessories, hand-painted shoes, books and new clothes from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

 

Lavapies y Embajadores

 

This area is home to Madrid’s largest flea market, El Rastro. Highly popular amongst locals, the fame of this Sunday market transcends the shopping field and features in many Spanish songs. New and old merchandise in the form of clothing, footwear, pets, antiques and baubles flood the stalls of the market.

 

Sol

 

Sol is the beating heart of Madrid, and today its streets have a pronounced commercial nature that majorly targets tourists. All the major retail chains have a place in this buzzing and historic area. Two of the streets leading off Puerta del Sol - Atlantico and Carmen - are the busiest streets in Europe as shoppers flood the way with bags from two stores: El Corte Inglés – the biggest department store in Europe offering everything you can think of from clothing to music and jewelry – and Fnac – specialized in electronic devices and entertainment. The surrounding streets are full of chain stores and small shops where you can find cameras, clothing, souvenirs and books, among others.

 

Gran Via and Triball

 

One of Madrid’s main avenues, Gran Via is known as the Broadway of Madrid boasting boutiques of all types. Old-fashioned dolls, magazines, Spanish brands, discount outlet stores, massive bookshops with an English section and expensive jewelry shops. North of the Gran Via, Triball is an alternative shopping area and an odyssey for fashion lovers with their emerging designers’ shops. Vintage clothes in ultra-girly shops neighbor hip boutiques with clothes in natural fabrics.

 

Malasaña

 

This area is rapidly changing from hippy central to one of Madrid’s trendiest and most chic areas. Funky shops neighbor designer stores and lovely traditional shops that sell all kinds of espadrilles. As you stroll down the streets, you will find Fairtrade fashion and accessories from Vietnam and Cambodia, plus a mindboggling array of pop-inspired stuff, including t-shirts, posters and toys. The liveliest streets for shopping are Corredera Alta de San Pablo, Calle Espiritu Santo, Calle Manuela Malasaña, Calle Divino Pastor and cross streets. This is a great hunting ground for gifts and cards, as well as shoes, bags, and adult and baby clothes, all designed by the owners of the shop or by selected groovy labels.

 

Madrid shopping tips 

 

If you are looking for genuine souvenirs, avoid the shops around Sol, Plaza Mayo and Gran Via, which offer generic knick-knacks. Instead, in La Lattina you will find shops which sell handmade things such as paintings. If you have your mind set in the arts, look in the gift shops of museums.