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Barcelona - Shopping with a difference
Barcelona, Shopping, where to shop, what to buy and all that jazz.
Shoppers put your walking shoes on as your in for a shopping trip which at the end
of you'll need a new pair of shoes so you'll have to do it all over again, I ain'
t joking it's a 5km shopping walk with
around 35,000 shops. Help! I'm a shopper, let me at it.
Shopping takes on a whole new meaning in Barcelona, with a bountiful five-kilometer
(three-mile) shopping strip,which runs the entire length from the water’s edge at
Port Vell all the way up
La Rambla to Diagnol. it's a great walk and if you are a shopper you have just entered
shoppers paradise. Get your credit card ready because you'll need it.
Most shops open 9am or 10am depending on the store and what it's selling and most
again for an extended lunch from 1.30 to 4 or 5 pm they then reopen and close again
at around 8-830pm.
The Larger department stores like El Corte Ingles and Fnac stay open during lunch,
these are two huge shopping centre's and in side you'll find just about anything
you want under one roof.
Take the Metro Catalunya (Green Line, L3).
Most shops open six days and close on Sunday but many now open seven days.
All the usual International brands are here as they are in every city nowadays, which
takes a lot of the fun out of shopping as the same clothes are in the same shops
the world over, how boring.
If you are looking for the designer labels you'll find them all around Plaça de Catalunya,
Passeig de Gracia and along Avenida Diagonal.
If you' decide to do the 5km shopping walk and half way wish you never started ,
fear not as help is not far away . THE TOM BUS - (Barcelona Shopping Bus) a special
bus service which runs up and down the shopping strip all day long. The TOMBUS leaves
from Placa de Catalunya on its journey up along the shopping strip stopping to help
carry tired but determined shopperholics along part of the way.
Barcelona Flea Markets
Every city has at least one and everybody loves them, locals and tourists alike head
to the flea markets in the thousands every weekend because everybody loves a good
market and to get a bargain. We are the same world over.
There is nothing like a real good flea market , the sights, sounds, the hustle and
bustle and the chance to do some bargaining.
Luckily for you Barcelona has several good markets and one or two super ones, we
are only listing the flea markets here, (non food ones). For a complete list of all
the other Barcelona markets consult a good guide book.
The Els Encants Market
Held on Plaça de les Glories, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am
A large open air market selling everything for collectors, brick a Brak, clothes
and garage / car boot items. Loads of street vendors hawking their wares and lovely
smells wafting from the various food stalls selling many different tasty treats.
On market days many street performers make their way down to the various markets
to dance and perform magic tricks as well as many "live statues" stand for hours
in the blazing sun.
A little further on you'll come across a section selling second hand furniture, craftsmen
as well as junk furniture selling everything from newly constructed shit, IKEA type
stuff to highly unusual and some real beautiful second hand furniture some of it
amazing to see and even better to own but most of it would be way to large to try
to bring back as a souvenir unless you have plenty of $$$$.
Take your camera as you will want to take photos of some of it to show your friends.
The artistry of some of the pieces are reminiscent of Antonio Gaudi's work.
Well worth the walk to see this alone.
Another antiques market is held every Thursday at Plaça Nova every (except in August).
Items include Catalan black pottery, handwoven baskets, Barcelona lace and lots of
other bits and pieces. Not strictly a flea market, more a collectors market with
coins and stamps a-plenty.
The"official" market closes at 2pm and as soon as it does and the local police go
off for their siesta, a load of guys arrive and set up an unofficial market selling
fake hand bags, jewellery, watches, perfume, aftershave and lots of other counterfeit
Another stop off is at the top of Avenue Portal de l´angel here there is usually
either a load of stalls selling arts and craft which are great for presents or sometimes
it gets a little bigger and turns into more of a small flea market.
TAX / VATCalled IVA (value added tax) is applied on all goods and services at the
current rate of 17%. Any visitors resident outside the EU, who have been in the EU
for less than six months can claim all the vat they have spend on items they have
bought over a certain value, currently Euro 90.
Refunds can be obtained at the airport before your departure..
Tax return forms are available from shops on request.