Madrid is the best city in Spain to go shopping, but, you’ll need to know where to look.
The most known shopping street in madrid is Gran Via & Sol, where most of the biggest brands have their biggest stores in this area. Most prominent such as Zara, Mango, H&M to mention but a few are all here.
If you’re sick of walking down the street and recognizing everyone’s clothes as the latest H&M or Zara fashions, try seeking out some of Madrid’s funkier alternative shops. From vintage duds to resewn, these clothes and accessories will be sure to get you noticed, and not for because you’re wearing the same thing as the person behind you. Head to Malasaña for truly unique designs: Templo de Susu (c/Espiritu Santo, 1) is small but boats cool coats and jackets for guys as well as jeans and skirts for women. Prices are in the 15-100 range. Across the street is Retro City (c/ Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 4) which has a great selection of old t-shirts and Adidas apparel as well as great 80s-style dresses and cowboy boots. Or you can head to Lotta Vintage (C/ de Hernán Cortés 9) exclusively for women. Don’t miss their great range of hats, and be sure to check out the sale rack tucked away at the back.
If wearing someone’s old clothes isn’t your thing, try amazing handmade and original finds. Head to Corredera Alta de San Pablo to Naufrago and La Bonita, where there are some thrifty picks for clothing and accessories. Naufrago has everything from t-shirts and sweatshirts to skirts, jeans and wallets. If you’re willing to go for something a bit pricier, check out Lost People (c/Santa Bárbara, 6). Here you’ll find designs unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Spot something you like that’s not available in your size, and they’ll stitch it together for you on the spot.
It’s not really a surprise that the area around the Teatro Real, Madrid’s opera house, is a very musical neighbourhood. Just north of the opera you’ll find secondhand and collectors’ record shops, while those to the south are the places to find musical instruments. El Flamenco Vive (C/ del Conde de Lemos 7) also known as El Tato is your first and last stop to get fitted in the art of flamenco. Along with guitars and drums, they stock dresses and shoes, all handmade and made-to-measure. Their own publishing house and record company are responsible for some of the many CDs, DVDs and books on sale in the shop. Alberto Martínez and his brother David have been running the business for 15 years. Their customers range from young tourists who leave with a few postcards, to flamenco professionals such as Tomatito, Paco de Lucía and Enrique Morente, who buy their gear from them. Don’t be intimidated; everyone is welcome — their only desire is to spread the culture of flamenco.
Mercado de Fuencarral
One of the main veins of the city that links north to south is calle Fuencarral, also known as the main setting for La Movida, the youth movement in the years after Franco’s death. It’s a shopper’s Mecca, with a combination of chain stores and boutiques. But the jewel of the street lies right in the middle, near metro Tribunal. El Mercado de Fuencarral is three floors of local vendors and artists with everything from handbags to shirts to tattoos and haircuts on offer. It’s a great place to scour the racks to find that one-of-a-kind concert tee or button as well as hand-painted Converse and Vans. Some of the stuff is way out there, but the selection is incredible and the sales during the summer and winter are hard to beat. Make sure to pick up some flyers near the door of all the latest concerts, underground clubs and special dance nights.
Shopping in Madrid can also be enjoyed by visiting small, specialized stores, and busy food markets. If you prefer the boutiques and specialty shops to department stores and supermarkets, then visit the different zones and take the time to explore the huge array of shops at your disposal. Our madrid shopping guide will point you in the right direction!