Shop Till You Drop in Spain
The shopping in Spain and throughout Europe is phenomenal; personally, I feel like all of the trendy items come out in stores in Europe first and then slowly trickle to the United States and other parts of the world. That isn’t factually based, so don’t quote me on it, but croquet shorts were all the rage in 2011 in Spain and then 2013 began and everyone in the US wanted a pair.
While living in Europe, I found myself walking into the main shops in the calles on almost a daily basis. However, when you are on a trip sightseeing for hours every day, it’s difficult to find the time to figure out where the best stores are and make time to shop in general. Consequently, I would like to share my four favorite chain stores in Spain. These aren’t cute, unknown boutiques that have one of a kind items, but instead major retail shops that you will find all over the cities in Europe while shopping in Spain. Oh, and if you are looking for souvenirs, check out my favorites in Barcelona here.
Best Retail Stores
Known for their violin logo since a stradivarius is also a violin made by the Stradivari family, this store is my absolute favorite in Europe. The clothes are slightly classier than you might find at other shops and I like to think of the style as traditional with a flair. Also, the store smells amazing! Prices are reasonable and the accessories and shoes are on point. If you only have the opportunity to go into one store during your time in Spain, Stradivarius would be the one I would suggest.
Bershka is probably the most youthful of the four stores, but also where you will find the trendiest and cutest pieces. Sizes run small, similar if you were at a Forever 21 so keep that in mind when you are heading to the dressing room. I bought a New Years Eve outfit here in 2011, that I kid you not, have worn every year since. I know that is slightly embarrassing, but most years I just don’t care enough to actually go and try and find something else or on the off chance I do go to the mall, a new ensemble never looks as good. The moral of this not very long story is to be sure to check out their “Looks de fiesta.”
How much better is Zara in Spain? So much better! Zara’s are pretty much all four stories high and have an enormous amount of beautiful clothes. I think that out of every store on this list, Zara probably has the best quality, but with quality comes the highest prices. The one trick that I have found is to shop in the TRF (trafaluc) section for the cutest options and lowest prices. The TRF line is for young women of Zara; however, I don’t think the clothes are as youthful as Bershka and can be worn by women of all ages. Zara’s fashion is broken down by Woman and TRF (both for females) and Man.
4) H & M
Good ole H & M. While it is my least favorite on my list of favorites, there are still plenty of great finds here especially BASICS. If you need plain tees, tanks, maxi dresses etc. H & M has got you covered. They also have a great selection of bathing suits and great, inexpensive business attire should you be working abroad.
Other shopping favorites: El Corte Ingles (largest upscale department store), Mango ( more business casual), Pull and Bear (sportier style), and Primark (similar to Target or Walmart with incredible prices).
Do these stores ever have sales?
Stores in Spain have sales twice a year for an extended period of time. These sales are called rebajas and begin on January 7th and July 1st and last until the end of February and the end of August respectively. You should expect fantastic prices and insane crowds; so, if you are in Spain a few days prior to the start of the sale, I highly recommend scoping out and trying on the items that you are interested in ahead of time so you can avoid long dressing room lines. Remember when I said I would walk into the shops daily while I lived in Spain? Well, I literally bought nothing until rebajas and then went a little crazy. I knew exactly what I wanted though so I didn’t have too difficult of a time, until I then had to backpack through Europe with dozens of shopping bags and clunky heels!
Where can I find these retail stores while shopping in Spain?
Luckily, these stores are all over Spain, so you won’t have to go far to find one. That being said, here are some of the best streets/areas in many of the major cities in Spain just to help make things a little easier for you. And if you are visiting Spain, check out my guides to Barcelona and Madrid!
Barcelona: Portal de Angel, Placa Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia
Granada: Calle Recogidas
Madrid: Gran Via, Calle Preciados, Huertas neighborhood
Malaga: Calle Marques de Larios
Sevilla: Calle Sierpes
Valencia: Calle Colon
Have you been shopping in Spain? Do you have any favorite stores or favorite shopping locations to add to the list? Please share in the comments below!
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