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Shopping for Expats in Spain

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: July 2013

There are many cities in Spain full of famous designer shops and major shopping areas. Shopping in Spain is a happy experience. You can find shops of top international brands and designers or fashion shops with either traditional or creative clothing. You can also buy some local speciality products in some smaller shops or at the markets.  If you just want some daily shopping there are plenty of superstores, markets and small shops around you.


Where to shop

The Major superstores with their websites are listed below:  


If you like shopping you must go to Barcelona, where you will find nearly 35,000 shops. The famous ‘five kilometres shopping streets’ starts from Ramblas, though Placa de Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia, and finally ends at Avenue Diagonal.

You will find top international brands such as Versace, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bally and Cartier. You can also find high quality designer shops for clothes, shoes, jewellery and others.  There are many large department stores, such as El Corte Ingles and Fnac, where you can find nearly anything you want. Their website can be found here: www.elcorteingles.es and www.fnac.com.

The capital city Madrid is also famous as ‘the shop window with a thousand styles’. There are four major shopping areas: Salamanca, Chueca, Centro and Universidad. Salamanca, which is also called ‘Golden Mile’, is full of luxury international and local top fashion shops, antiques shops, book shops, jewellery stores and galleries. Chueca district is the leader of street fashion. Centro district is the world of local hand crafts, antiques, costumes and accessories.  Universidad district is the young people’s favourable shopping area as there are many duty free shops.

La Roca Village, one of the top nine shopping villages in Europe, is just 40 minutes drives from Barcelona.  There are more than 100 top brands with amazing discounts all through the year. For more information, please see here: www.larocavillage.com.

Las Rozas Village Madrid is another well know outlet shopping village in Spain. More information can be found here: www.lasrozasvillage.com.


Online shopping

Shopping online is becoming more and more popular in Spain. Many high street stores and superstores have their own online shopping websites. A list of top 15 most popular online shopping websites can be found here: https://www.bloghug.com/spain-shopping/.

You also can shop from retailers all over the world. However, you need to be aware that this is a form of importation. Therefore, this may trigger custom duties and VAT. For more information, please contact your local Spain customs office here: https://www.agenciatributaria.gob.es/AEAT.sede/en_gb/Inicio/_otros_/_Direcciones_y_telefonos_/Aduanas_e_Impuestos_Especiales/Aduanas_e_Impuestos_Especiales.shtml.


Shopping hours

Shops normally open for six days a week. Most of the shops close on Sunday; some of the bigger stores may stay open seven days a week. Typical hours in a day are listed as below:

Mondays to Saturdays - 10:00am to 14:00pm; 16:30pm to 20:30pm

Many shops and department stores open from 10 am to 21:30 pm, or even 22 pm. Some shops may open on Sunday with short business hours. There is a trend that shops are opening more hours than before as they can decide their business hours without any restrictions since 15 July 2012. For example; some shops are open at 8 am in the morning and some are even open after 22 pm in the evening.



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