Located in the heart of the country, Spain’s capital, Madrid, is a perfect destination if you want to immerse yourself in the unique Spanish culture. As one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, the city is home to incredible architecture, historical monuments, and world-class beaches. While Madrid has a lot to offer to tourists of all interests, most travelers like to indulge in shopping. It’s no wonder the city was ranked by the British magazine “The Economist” as the second-best shopping capital in Europe- just after Paris. Whether you want to get yourself a souvenir or just looking for a gift for your loved one, Madrid has it all. From century-old shops and markets selling fans to ultra-modern malls selling designer clothes, the city offers travelers the best shopping experience that caters to every budget. So, if you have a trip planned to Madrid and looking for what to buy, we have some of the best gifts and souvenirs that will help you take a part of Madrid back home with you. So, without wasting much time, here are the top 10 things to buy in Madrid.
If you were to enter all the houses in Spain, you would notice that each has at least one ceramic. The country is famous for making breathtakingly beautiful ceramics with different styles sure to blow your mind. Be warned that the crockeries, fruit bowls, cups, and bowls come with fine designs that may entice you to buy many of them. You will find several stores in the city that have to specialize in the making of ceramics. If you are planning to stay a little longer, you can even paint your own piece of pottery!
Spanish Hand Fan
As you walk through the streets of Madrid, you will notice that all tourist shops are littered with handmade fans of all shapes, sizes, and colours. For centuries, the country has been producing handmade fans and they have grown to become a great economical souvenir from the region. While you will come across traditional Spanish fans in several shops, you should consider visiting Casa de Diego. This shop has been selling hand fans for over two centuries. Thus, you can expect to find some very traditional Spanish handmade fans with the most exquisite designs.
Alpargatas, also known as Espadrille, are casual, flat shoes that are mostly worn by Spaniard women. The footwear is made of ropes and cloth and is a staple of Spanish summer attire. While they were considered peasant’s footwear at first, today there are modern-day versions of this footwear that are trendier. In fact, there are several towns in Spain, especially the beach towns, were espadrilles are preferred to flip-flops. You can buy Alpargatas from several shops in the city centre.
If you love pearls then you will be excited to come across some magnificent pieces with decent prices on your stay in Madrid. These man-made pearls are made by Majórica, a company that was established back in 1897 on the island of Mallorca. The pearls closely resemble the natural versions since they are produced by a process similar to the one they undergo during their development within an oyster. They consist of a solid glass-ball center covered layer by layer with a special paste that is made of various organic marine products. The result is perfectly rounded gems that feature a shine and iridescence that cannot be achieved anywhere else. You can either purchase the pearls alone or buy them in settings as rings, earrings, and necklaces.
Spain is home to the very passionate music and dance style, flamenco. It is a globally recognized art that has grown to become part of the Spanish culture. In fact, after spending a few minutes in the country’s capital, you will definitely want to immerse yourself in the flamenco dance scene. We recommend you to visit one of the many flamenco shows in Madrid. The city is also the best place to buy flamenco dresses, shawls, shoes, or even dolls.
Did you know that Spain is the number-one producer of olives, producing nearly twice as much as Italy? And although Madrid is a rather small city, it features a wide range of foods including olives. The olive is grown in the south-east part of the city and produces olives marinated with sweet aromatic herbs including fennel, thyme, and oregano. Whether you are a connoisseur or you just like dipping your bread, a high-quality bottle will make for a great addition to your other gifts from Madrid.
If you want to have a taste of Madrid’s sweet treats then you can’t miss out on the violet candy. This treat is sold in a popular shop known as La Violeta. Established over 100 years ago, the shop sells a wide selection of candies and other treats that are to die for. Unlike other candies, their treats tend to look gorgeous and come in great packaging not forgetting the indescribable taste. So, if you are looking for a sweet treat to buy as a souvenir, you definitely know where to head over to.
Spain is known to produce some of the best wine in the world and its capital, Madrid, is the best place to enjoy a refreshing glass. The wine is available in red, rosy, and white varieties. There is even a Spanish firm that has shaken the wine industry by introducing a blue wine called Gik. The wine is made from a combination of red and white grapes with some natural flavors and pigments. If you want to buy this unique beverage and take it back home as a gift, you will only find it in a few stores and restaurants in the city.
If you are a football fan then you definitely love two of the capital’s big teams, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid. And if you happen to visit the city, you shouldn’t leave without buying a football jersey or accessory from one of the clubs. The two teams have official stores on Gran Vía where you can buy items such as shirts, pens, and alarm clocks with the team’s logo.
The local art
Being home to several famous artisans, painters, and illustrators, Madrid is the best place for those who want to invest in an exclusive work of art. No matter which street you pass, you are bound to come across impressive displays of art showing the best side of the city. If you are looking for a fancy piece that you can take back home as a gift to your loved ones, just check out the many local art shops. You will find incredibly detailed and beautiful paintings with colors and patterns that you will fall in love with.
Guide to Shopping in Madrid Spain
Exploring Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital, unveils an exciting shopping experience that’s both diverse and culturally rich.
Kick off your shopping adventure in the heart of Madrid on Gran Vía, often dubbed the “Spanish Broadway.” This bustling street is a shopper’s paradise, featuring everything from renowned fashion brands like Zara and Mango to chic Spanish designers showcasing their latest creations. As you stroll along Gran Vía, don’t forget to venture into its charming side streets, where you can stumble upon quaint boutiques and captivating stores.
For a taste of authentic and traditional Madrid, you must explore El Rastro. This enormous flea market comes alive every Sunday, offering a treasure trove of antiques, handmade crafts, clothing, and collectibles. Among the maze of stalls, you’ll find vintage jewelry, retro furniture, and unique souvenirs. Bargaining is an art form here, so brush up on your negotiation skills and be prepared to leave with exclusive finds.
Mercado de San Miguel
Food enthusiasts will find their haven at the Mercado de San Miguel, located near Plaza Mayor. This historic market is a culinary paradise, showcasing Spanish delicacies such as fresh seafood, Iberian ham, tapas, and sweets. It’s the perfect spot to savor Spain’s iconic dishes and collect top-notch ingredients to bring home as edible keepsakes.
Mercado de la Paz
For an equally delightful food-shopping experience, visit the Mercado de la Paz in the upscale Salamanca neighborhood. This traditional market boasts fresh produce, exquisite cheeses, wines, and gourmet products. Whether you’re in search of the ideal bottle of Spanish wine or artisanal cheeses to pair with your tapas, this market offers it all. The friendly vendors are always ready to share their expertise and recommend the finest local products.
Madrid’s Golden Mile
If luxury shopping is on your agenda, Madrid’s Golden Mile in Salamanca beckons. Here, you’ll find designer boutiques like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. Even if you’re not planning to splurge, strolling along the Golden Mile is a visual treat. The tree-lined streets and opulent shop displays create a charming atmosphere that’s perfect for leisurely exploration.
El Corte Inglés
To go deeper into Spanish culture, pay a visit to El Corte Inglés, Spain’s largest department store chain. The flagship store on Gran Vía offers an extensive selection of Spanish products, including fashion, cosmetics, and gourmet food items. It’s an excellent place to pick up high-quality souvenirs and gifts for friends and family.
In summary, Madrid’s shopping scene mirrors the city’s dynamic and diverse spirit. Whether you’re in search of cutting-edge fashion, vintage treasures, delectable culinary delights, or luxury items, this tourist shopping guide will lead you to the best spots to discover. When you visit Madrid, be sure to set aside some time for a shopping adventure that will leave you with cherished memories and unique mementos from your Spanish escapade.