Shopping in Madrid
Shopping in Madrid offers something for all budgets.
The smartest shopping district is Salamanca, around Calle Serrano. Designer names like Armani, Chanel, Versace, Hermès and Hugo Boss, including the elegant cuts of Spanish designer Adolfo Domínguez, are located on Calle Ortega y Gasset.
Another trendy area is Chueca, especially Calles Almirante and Conde de Xiquena, for outlet shoe shops while the place for youth fashions and new boutiques is on and around Calle Fuencarral. Explore the streets around Calle Toledo behind Plaza Mayor for a bit more local character.
The main areas for antiques are Salamanca and the arcades on Calle Ribera de Curtidores - Nuevas Galerías, at number 12, and Galerías Piquer, at number 29. Bargain hunters should make for the Rastro, Madrid's famous flea market. The market is open on Sunday mornings (closing at 1400).
The most convenient area for tourists is around Calle de Preciados, between Sol and Gran Vía, home to El Corte Inglés department store, and high-street names like Zara, Gran Vía 32, and Casa Jiménez.
Madrid's shops are generally open from 0930/1000 to 1330/1400 and 1630/1700 to 2030/2100, with major stores open throughout the lunch hours. Shops on Calle Preciados and around the Puerta del Sol are open every Sunday, while in other areas they usually open on the first Sunday of every month.
For a huge range of traditional espadrilles, don’t miss Casa Hernanz, Calle Toledo 18, while Capas Seseña, Calle Cruz 23, opened in 1901 and is the only shop in the world to sell capes exclusively. Buy fashion wear, wines, leather wine bottle holder called bota, olive oil, cured ham or cheeses if you're looking for souvenirs in Madrid.
VAT (IVA) of 21% is charged on most goods in Spain. It is possible for visitors from outside the EU to claim a tax refund from many central shops - shoppers should look for the Global Refund Tax Free Shopping stickers in windows and ask for Tax Free Cheques and keep with receipts to be presented at airport customs upon departure. Further information is available from Global Blue (www.globalblue.com).