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Shopping in Barcelona

Shopping is one of Barcelona's greatest attractions, with a bountiful 5km (3 miles) shopping strip, stretching all the way from the water's edge at Port Vell to Diagonal.

Key areas

La Rambla has the usual selection of souvenir stalls while Barri Gòtic offer a quirkier, if more expensive, shops. For local style, try Barcelona's designer boutiques along Avinguda Diagonal.

Markets

Barcelona’s main food market, La Boqueria, off Rambla Sant Josep, is one of the most visited sites in Barcelona thanks to its colourful myriad of fresh produce and local fare. Other food markets include Concepció along Carrer Aragó and the Gastronomic Fair at Plaça del Pi.

For antiques and curios, visit the flea market called Els Encants market on Plaça de les Glories Catalanes, the largest of its kind in Europe (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 0700-1800). The Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats (Thursday 0900-2000 except August) outside La Seu in the Plaça Nova sells antiques and collectible objects. 

Shopping centres

International chains, designer shops and modern department stores can be found in the area around Plaça de Catalunya, Passeig de Gracia and along Avinguda Diagonal. The most famous shop in the city is El Corte Inglés on Plaça de Catalunya - part of a national chain, considered to be Spain's leading department stores.

Opening hours

Standard shopping hours in Barcelona are Monday to Saturday 0900-2030, with many of them closed for lunch 1330-1700. Large department stores do not generally close for lunch. Shopping malls also stay open throughout the day and the Mare Magnum is also open on Sundays.

Souvenirs

Barcelona has football related souvenirs available from the Nou Camp Stadium shop, while Gaudí-inspired gifts can be bought from the Association Gaudí showroom, Vilassar de Mar. Poble Espanyol, Montjuïc sells ceramics and craft gifts from around Spain including Catalunya.

Tax information

IVA (value added tax) of 21% is charged on most goods and services in Spain. Upon departure, visitors from outside the EU, who have been in the EU for less than 180 days, can get a VAT refund from the airport, on goods worth €90 or more.

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Oriente Atiram

Situated on the bustling thoroughfare of La Rambla, the 3-star Husa Oriente is one of Barcelona's original 'grand' hotels. Constructed on the site of a Franciscan monastery, in 1842, the 147-room hotel was once the haunt of illustrious guests such as Maria Callas, Arturo Toscanini and Errol Flynn among its illustrious guests. Although recent renovations are perhaps a tad characterless, the grand dining room and arched ballroom (now a lounge) are still potently redolent of its glorious heyday.

Hotel Arts Barcelona

The product of a hugely successful collaboration between New York design and Barcelona funds, the Hotel Arts Barcelona has won several awards. Featuring an attractive brass wave-like roof, the 44-storey high hotel pokes conspicuously into Barcelona’s skyline. Thanks to its beachfront location, all 483 rooms have spectacular Mediterranean views. Art works by leading Spanish artists adorn the public areas. Among the wide array of services and amenities is a luxury spa and four top-class restaurants, one of which, Enoteca Paco Pérez, has two Michelin stars.

Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I

Surrounded by major attractions like Camp Nou stadium and the Barcelona Polo Club, the 5-star Juan Carlos is simple yet comfortable. The 432 rooms, including 37 luxury suites, offer panoramic city and sea views. A tranquil patio restaurant, overlooking the hotel garden and pool, is just one of several dining areas and also features a wine lounge. Leisure facilities include a first-class health and fitness club and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

El Palace Hotel

Despite changes of name and management, El Palace Hotel (formerly the Ritz) has maintained all the elegance and grandeur that has made it a by-word for glamour since its opening in 1919. Huge chandeliers, opulent fabrics and a luxurious ambience throughout make it the preferred choice of the rich and famous. The bedrooms are handsomely decorated, with unusual marble bathrooms modelled on ancient Roman spas. The Bluesman Cocktail Bar is ideal for pre-prandial drinks followed by dinner in one of the two restaurants.

Hotel España

Designed by one of the leading lights of the Modernista school of architects, Domenèch i Muntaner, and once patronised by the likes of Dalí, the 2-star España enjoys a privileged location close to La Rambla and the Liceu. Some rooms are better than others, but major compensations include Ramón Casa's striking mural depicting underwater scenes and the elaborate craftsmanship in the splendid typical Catalan dining rooms. The 90 bedrooms are fully equipped; private rooms and a patio garden for meetings and celebrations are also available. It is also one of the few central establishments with parking facilities.

Hotel Praktik Garden

With affordable rates and quality accommodation, Hotel Praktik Garden introduces a new concept midway between a budget hostel and a contemporary hotel. Decked out in white-washed walls, slick lines and retro furnishing, this Barcelona hotel provides the technology and comforts budget travellers look for. Housed in a historical building from the Modernist age, the hotel stands in a quiet area, five minutes away from the city centre by foot. Free Wi-Fi is provided in all rooms and public areas.