Whilst no trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to Gaudi´s masterpieces or a sangria on the beach, many tourists flock to the city with only one thing on their mind: shopping. A shopping metropolis, Barcelona is swarming with enough shops to make a shopaholic hot under the collar and for even Victoria Beckham to break a sweat . If days of traipsing up and down La Rambla has left you with sore feet, try one of the many retail complexes, located throughout the city, housing all your favourite brands and more. From restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas and children’s playgrounds, enjoy a top class shopping experience and make a day of your spree. What´s more, despite Barcelona being one of the top locations in the world of fashion, it is relatively cheap compared to Europe’s trend setting capitals, London, Paris and Berlin. So here you have it, Barcelona´s top 6 shopping centre’s where you can shop til’ you drop and run retail riot.
Diagonal Mar (Av. Diagonal, 3): With its fabulous location just next to the Mar Bella beachfront, people flock here daily because what’s the one thing better than shopping? Shopping with a view. Diagonal Mar is the newest and trendiest shopping complex in Barcelona and with its enormous scale, it’s more than able to satisfy your needs. Boasting as many as 250 shops, it sells all your favourite well-known international and Spanish brands including Primark and Zara making it somewhat difficult to end your day empty-handed. For those perhaps a little less shopping mad, you can always sneak off to the cinema for a meal at one of the many restaurants that´ll leave your taste buds singing with joy. If that’s not enough to entertain you, the second largest park in Barcelona, the Parc de la Diagonal Mar, is situated next to the centre and provides an idyllic and peaceful setting to relax in.
L’illa Diagonal (Av. Diagonal, 557): With its design inspired by the Rockefeller centre, feel like Carrie Bradshaw living the high life in New York during your time at L’illa. Home to over 170 shops, two 4* hotels, two schools, a sports centre and a conference centre, it has many other facilities and purposes besides pleasing the serious shopaholics amongst you. Home to Bershka, Double Agent, Oysho, Primark and drum roll please…Marks & Spencer, making every Brit’s dreams come true. And if you can’t decide whether you’re more a-line or bodycon, a personal stylist service is available at the information point. For all you foodies out there, you’ll be pleased to know that the basement is dedicated solely to food. The task of choosing where to eat will make your taste buds tingle in itself with the extensive selection of cuisines offered. On the unlikely occasion, that you can´t quite find everything that you´re looking for here, you will find ‘El Corte Inglés’ nearby, a department store similar to the likes of Harrods or Macys.
Maremagnum (Moll d’Espanya, 5): Popular amongst tourists and locals, it is a shopping lover’s haven and one of Barcelona’s favourite retail and leisure complexes. Its scenic location at the foot of Las Ramblas, just next to Port Vell, makes it the ideal day out with friends or family. Indulge in a spot of retail therapy taking your pick from all the latest trends followed by a leisurely mooch around the old harbour after an exhausting few hours of cash-splashing. If you’re feeling peckish, grab a bite to eat from one of the many gourmet restaurants on the open-air terrace. If you’re dining there in the evening, you can enjoy live music performances whilst overlooking spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Maremagnum is particularly lively in the summer months with its selection of bars and clubs, known as the ‘The Village’, which keeps Barcelona’s partygoers entertained until the early hours of the morning.
Las Arenas (Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, 373-385): Designed by the Catalan architect, Font i Carreras, this exceptional Modernista building was previously a bullfighting arena, founded in 1900. With 126 stores from Sephora to Calvin Klein, a 12 screen cinema, cafes, restaurants and the highly entertaining ‘Museum of Rock’ for all you music lovers out there, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place to satisfy your shopping desires. Enjoy an evening meal at one of the rooftop eateries on the 5th floor where there is a viewing area with stunning panoramic views of the city. Overlooking Plaça d’Espanya, it is conveniently located just a short walk from the Magic Fountain and the Fira de Barcelona if you’re all shopped out. Las Arenas offers underground parking to its visitors.
Bulevard Rosa (Passeig de Gràcia, 55-57): Located on Barcelona´s most exclusive street and home to some of the most prestigious brand names, you know that you can expect the best here. With more than 100 fashion boutiques, all quaint in size and selling only Spanish brands, it´s definitely worth popping into for a unique shopping experience with its eclectic mix of clothing, shoes, accessories and jewellery. Be warned, it tends to target shoppers with a higher budget so perhaps steer clear of this shopping centre if you intend to totally revamp your wardrobe. That is unless you´re planning on going all ‘Pretty Woman’ on us. You can also find there a selection of classy tea shops such as Bubó where you can recharge your batteries with an afternoon cake and coffee.
La Roca Village: Today´s customers are looking for that little something extra from their shopping trip that goes beyond what they buy, and La Roca Village are experts at this. Situated around 40km outside Barcelona, it is worth the trip if you want an authentic, luxury shopping experience whilst paying anything but luxury prices. The Village features over 130 luxury and lifestyle boutiques where you can enjoy up to 60% off the recommended retail price of both major international and Spanish brands including Ralph Lauren, Burberry and Diesel. Shops are distributed along a picturesque, outdoor boulevard so try to choose a nice day to visit- you´ll be spending plenty of time outside. It also offers several additional services to make your experience at La Roca as enjoyable as possible including La Roca Village Shopping Express® daily tour from the centre of Barcelona, VIP parking, a personal shopper service, multilingual staff, hands-free shopping (allowing visitors to shop without carrying their bags) and a tourism office which provides visitors with all the necessary information during their stay in Catalonia. The complete selection of services also includes a range of restaurants and cafes tailored to the needs of everyone, with Spanish, Catalan, Asian, Italian and Continental cuisine served.