AOL PICK from our Editors
The best Barcelona shopping can be great fun—if you’ve got the euros and don’t mind the wacky shop schedules. Stores are typically open from 10AM to 2PM, close for a few hours for lunch, and then open again from 5PM until 8PM (larger commercial chains keep a more regular schedule). Each neighborhood features boutiques and stores reflective of its distinct personality: El Raval’s are generally young, hip and edgy art and music shops; Grácia features charming boutiques with a bohemian twist; and both La Ribera and L’Eixample cater to more upscale and established department stores and boutiques. Head to Passeig de Gràcia to hit up all the high-end designer names you know and love. Walk along Avenida Diagonal for more great deals. Barcelona’s two major department stores are El Corte Ingles and Fnac, both of which can be found along the 5km stretch of Passeig de Gracia that’s a popular shopping strip.
Suite, run by atelier, painter and illustrator Marta Gustems, offers a definitive collection of Barcelona’s most cutting edge designers, including La Casita de Wendy, Maravillas Miller and more. These are not fashions and designs for the faint of heart, meaning you'd better be up for some eclectic creations.
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Mercat Del Encants
Barcelona has a thriving “mercat” culture—and there’s a variety of wondrous flea markets to check out. Our favorite is the Mercat Del Encants. It’s slightly out of the way, but worth it for the rows and rows of interesting junk. You can find everything from old batteries to antique furniture and practically everything in between. On our last trip, we found several great pieces of vintage clothing, all in perfect condition.
Tucked away in the charming Gràcia neighborhood, this café-cum-boutique focuses on sustainably made products. You can purchase everything from eco-friendly clothing to books to smartly made bath products from this tiny shop. And once you’ve exhausted your wallet, you can head to their backyard garden oasis (with a cool drink from their in-house café) in hand, to relax and ponder your credit card bill.
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Vinçon’s splashy window displays never fail to attract people walking by. Once inside, you’ll be wowed by the hundreds of smartly designed, well-constructed objects. Vincon sells everything from modern furniture, to cured ham stands (yes, this is a real thing).
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Neighborhood: La Rambla and El Raval
Their bright patterns and garish colors aren’t for everyone, but Custo Barcelona’s designs are undeniably reflective of Barcelona’s style. The label was started by brothers Custo and David Dalmau in 1981, has amassed a celeb following (Charlize Theron and Christina Aguilera are clients), and there are now eight locations in Barcelona and others around the globe. The flagship location is right in downtown Barcelona. Custo designs for both men and women, although we’d rather not see a man in a neon pink tee.
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