If you didn’t know Barcelona was a shopper’s paradise, let us enlighten you! This ever-popular Spanish destination is absolutely brimming with places to enjoy a bit of retail therapy. You’ll find picture modern shopping malls, historic boulevards lined with designer stores and thriving markets packed with stalls selling all kinds of artisan produce.
While most of the shopping in Barcelona is in central areas like the Gothic Quarter, Sant Antoni and El Raval, some venues lie a short metro journey away.
The city’s sprawling size can make it seem a little daunting to navigate. Luckily, there are a handful of hotspots to consider when it comes to shopping in Barcelona, with many located within walking distance of each other.
Whether you want to update your wardrobe with designer threads, treat your tastebuds to local delicacies or bag some bargains, you’ll have no shortage of places to browse.
Here are just a few of the best streets, markets and shopping centres in Barcelona worth having on your radar:
- Mercat La Boqueria
- La Maquinista
- Diagonal Mar
- Mercat de Sant Antoni
- Passeig de Gràcia
- Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol
- El Raval
1. Mercat La Boqueria
Boldly claiming to be the ‘best market in the world’, you can expect great things from Mercat La Boqueria, Barcelona! The indoor market is located in a fabulous Art Nouveau building on La Rambla, and it’s been a shopping mecca for both locals and visitors alike for over 150 years.
Mercat La Boqueria specialises in food and drinks, with dozens of stalls selling everything from seasonal veg and fresh meats to yummy Catalan delicacies. Look out for legs of cured ham, jars filled with plump olives, grilled calçots (local onions) and packets of sticky nougat.
It’s a brilliant place to visit if you’re self-catering and searching for ingredients to create your own meals. Staying in a Barcelona hotel? Visit Mercat La Boqueria anyway for its lively atmosphere, as well as to sample some regional foods. There’s also a good handful of restaurants in the market if you get peckish (which you undoubtedly will!)
2. La Maquinista
Those after variety will love La Maquinista. The contemporary Westfield shopping mall in Barcelona’s Sant Andreu district is the largest of its kind in Catalonia, with over 200 shops to explore!
Retailers include globally-recognised fashions brands like Bershka, H&M, Levi’s and Nike. It’s not just clothes, shoes and accessories up for grabs, though. Indulge yourself with chocolates from Lindt, browse the latest video games at GAME or pick up some groceries at the adjoining Carrefour supermarket.
Visiting Barcelona with children? La Maquinista is also home to a 13-screen cinema that shows blockbusters (although usually dubbed in Spanish).
If all that shopping makes you hungry, you can take your pick of over 50 food outlets ranging from tasty tapas bars to world-famous chains like Taco Bell, Five Guys and Starbucks.
3. Diagonal Mar
Right at the end of Barcelona’s longest boulevard and with a backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, Diagonal Mar is a must-visit for shopaholics.
The area was recently transformed from a wasteland into one of Barcelona’s most modern and luxurious neighbourhoods, complete with high-rise apartment buildings, trendy restaurants and shopping complexes. Diagonal Mar is one of the district’s main features, and it’s ideal for those hoping to splurge!
The stores are similar to those found in La Maquinista. However, Diagonal Mar’s smaller size makes it easier to navigate if you’re on a tight schedule. Clothing, electronics, sports equipment and jewellery shops all feature. The mall is additionally home to a VO cinema, which shows many films in their original language.
There’s a brilliant selection of dining venues here, too. Tuck into Mediterranean dishes at cool Cala Rossita, savour a bowl of fragrant noodles at Pure Kitchen or simply grab a hot drink from Dunkin’ Coffee.
4. Mercat de Sant Antoni
Venture southwest from the Gothic Quarter, and you’ll stumble across the less touristy Sant Antoni neighbourhood. It’s the home of the Mercat de Sant Antoni, a locally-loved gem that’s packed to the rafters with stalls selling various food, clothing and handmade gifts.
Before you step inside, take a moment to admire the market’s intricate metal façade. The beautiful structure was built in 1882 and is as much a historic landmark as a shopping centre. The market itself is the ideal location to immerse yourself in the local culture, sample seasonal produce and pick up a few souvenirs of your stay.
Unusually for Barcelona’s shopping hubs, Mercat de Sant Antoni also opens on Sundays. Stallholders swap fish, meat and veg for second-hand books and collectable stamps, making it the ideal shopping destination for bibliophiles.
You can wander west through El Raval from the Gothic Quarter to reach Mercat de Sant Antoni.
Metro station: There are three metro stations: Sant Antoni, Paral-lel and Poble Sec
5. Passeig de Gràcia
Got cash to splash? The city’s so-called Golden Mile is the place to go! Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and the monumental Plaça de Catalunya are all found on Passeig de Gràcia – one of Barcelona’s best-known boulevards.
The wide street cuts through the Eixample district and hosts some of Barcelona’s most high-end stores. Keep your eyes peeled for prestigious global brands like Burberry, Tiffany & Co. and Chanel.
If you’re shopping on a slightly smaller budget, don’t worry. Passeig de Gràcia also has a diverse selection of popular clothing and accessories, from Mango to Massimo Dutti. You could also do a bit of window shopping – and we don’t just mean staring at clothes on mannequins! The street has some of the city’s best examples of Art Nouveau architecture, including buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Passeig de Gràcia is easily walkable from Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Venturing there from elsewhere in the city? Several metro stations are dotted along the street, including Diagonal at the top end and Passeig de Gràcia a little further down.
6. Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol
For a spot of shopping after exploring the charming Gothic Quarter, make a beeline for Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol. The beautiful square lies in front of the equally impressive Santa Maria del Pi Basilica, one of Barcelona’s finest examples of 14th-century Gothic architecture.
You won’t find many shops here. Instead, the square fills up with over 40 stallholders selling exquisite art every weekend. Known as the Mostra d’Art dels Pintors del Pi, it’s a lovely place to spend an hour or so.
Dedicated art lover? Or maybe you’re searching for some more unique Barcelona souvenirs? Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol won’t disappoint. Once you’re done browsing the paintings, sketches and postcards, find a table at one of the cafés or tapas bars surrounding the square for a bite to eat.
Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol is a leisurely five-minute stroll from Barcelona Cathedral and just two minutes from La Rambla.
7. El Raval
While often overshadowed by the neighbouring La Rambla, El Raval has built up a reputation for its incredible vintage and alternative stores in recent years.
The historical neighbourhood sits shoulder to shoulder with the Gothic Quarter, equally stunning in its architecture and landmarks. The shopping scene is also not too shabby, with many stores either family-run or entirely independent.
Thrift-shoppers will be in their element along Carrer dels Tallers. At the same time, Carrer de la Riera Baixa is home to several record stores. There are also shops selling speciality items, from eyewear and musical instruments to tasty Catalan produce. What’s more, Mercat la Boqueria and Mercat de Sant Antoni both lie right on the edges of the district. So you can tick off three major shopping destinations in one day.
Want to pick up clothing and accessories no one else will have? Make El Raval a priority during your Barcelona stay. Each shop has varying opening times, but you’ll find most only open Monday to Saturday. Getting to the district is simple; stroll over from the Gothic Quarter or get the metro.
Getting around Barcelona
Getting from A to B during a shopping spree in Barcelona couldn’t be easier. Some of our top picks sit right in the centre or within easy walking distance, including Mercat la Boqueria, El Raval and Passeig de Gràcia.
For shopping destinations that are a little further afield, you’ll want to get to grips with Barcelona’s public transport system. The underground metro gives you access to all four corners of the city and is the best way to get around. Head to the machines located in any station. You can purchase either a single ticket valid for one journey, a day pass (T-Dia) or a T-Casual pass for ten trips. There are also various tickets available for groups, families and young people.
The city also has an excellent rail network with two major stations: Barcelona-Sants and Barcelona-França. The latter lies at the very bottom of the Gothic Quarter. At the same time, the former is southwest of the city centre and Barcelona’s central inter-city transport hub. Both stations operate routes to locations across Spain, including Madrid to Barcelona.
Travelling to Barcelona by train?
You can easily reach Barcelona by train from within Spain, as well as other major European cities, thanks to the many high-speed rail connections available.
If you're already in Spain and heading into Barcelona, Renfe trains offer high-speed routes from Valencia to Barcelona (2h 40m), Alicante to Barcelona (4h 25m), Malaga to Barcelona (5h 32m) and Seville to Barcelona (5h 37m). Some of the most popular international train routes include Paris to Barcelona (6h 40m), Amsterdam to Barcelona (13h 17m), and Toulouse to Barcelona (3h 51m).
Need more information about travelling to Barcelona by train? Check out our expert guide to trains to Barcelona.