But it’s not all about the fashions. Madrid retail includes lots of exciting shops filled with books, homeware, art, local produce, and much more!
Whether you’re planning a blowout weekend in the Spanish capital or just looking for a small souvenir, read on for our guide to the best shopping in Madrid.
When is the best time to go shopping in Madrid?
Like lots of places, the best time to go shopping in Madrid will be when the seasonal sales are on.
These are between January and March for the summer sales, and July to September for the winter sales. Black Friday? Sure! Just like in the U.K. and America, Black Friday hits Madrid on the last Friday of November.
Must-visit shopping areas in Madrid
One of the best and most popular shopping spots in Madrid, Gran Vía is the city’s main thoroughfare and a must-see if you’re visiting for the first time. As well as lots of bustling bars and restaurants, Gran Vía is home to plenty of shops to keep you occupied.
From well-known Spanish brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Stradivarius to other favourite stores like Mango and H&M, it’s a perfect place for clothes shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful historical buildings while you browse. This is more than your average shopping street.
Gran Vía is also home to one of Madrid’s premier department stores, El Corte Ingles. You’ll find a whole range of products inside, from fashion and beauty to tech and gourmet food. It’s well worth a visit.
Calle de Preciados
Calle de Preciados is a bustling pedestrian-only street just south of Gran Vía. It’s a good idea to visit both areas on the same day. Visit this dynamic stretch for games, clothes, small boutiques, and more.
There are also lots of small tapas bars on Calle de Preciados, perfect for a break during your shopping adventure.
In the picturesque neighbourhood of Salamanca, Calle Serrano is a beautiful shopping street flanked by classical buildings. This is a high-end spot, so expect hefty pricetags. Still, browsing is free, and an afternoon spent around here is never wasted.
Visit Calle Serrano for the likes of MiuMiu, Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. There are also lots of designer watch and jewellery stores around here, as well as plenty of fancy restaurants to enhance your experience.
Since Salamanca is packed with designer shops, it should come as no surprise that lots of the shoppers around here are extremely well dressed. This is one of our favourite parts of the city for people-watching, with style inspiration around every corner.
If you allow yourself one treat while you’re in Salamanca, let it be a Lowe bag. Lowe is a famous Spanish brand that makes beautiful designer leather products to last a lifetime. Even if you don’t buy anything, a visit to the Lowe shop is sure to leave you feeling fancy.
Tip: While you’re in Salamanca, head to Lavinia. This two-storey wine emporium is one of the best of its kind in Spain with hundreds of bottles to choose from. If you have time, grab some better-than-average market tapas here, too.
Calle Fuencarral is another hub for well-known brands. Head here for modern stores like Adidas, New Balance, Levi’s, and Lush. There are lots of lesser-known designers in the mix, so you can always find something unique.
If you aren’t ready to go home, head to Calle Hortaleza, parallel to Calle Fuencarral, for some less commercial independent stores. There are lots of great bars and restaurants around Fuencarral and Hortaleza too.
Did you know? This used to be a run-down part of the city, but thanks to a recent renovation, it’s now one of the best areas for shopping.
Exploring a local flea market is an exciting way to spend a day abroad. El Rastro is one of Madrid’s best. Every Sunday, this 400-year-old market comes to life, with stalls offering clothes, accessories, jewellery, and lots more unique items.
The Rastro flea market occupies the Plaza de Coscorro and spreads out into the streets around it. Head here for a real Madrid locals experience. You’re sure to leave with a few bargain treasures in-hand.
There are lots of excellent traditional restaurants in this lively part of the city. Why not enjoy a morning at the market before grabbing lunch nearby?
Tip: Pickpockets have been known to operate here, so keep an eye on your valuables or leave them safely back at your hotel.
San Miguel Market
In Spanish, Mercado de San Miguel, this is a spectacular historic market just off Plaza Mayor. Explore stall after stall selling fresh local produce, from exceptional wine to cured meats, cheeses, and pickles.
As well as buying produce to take home, you can enjoy an excellent and memorable meal at the San Miguel Market. It’s one of the best-loved culinary spots in the city for a good reason, with plenty of tapas and other treats to try. Grab a table, settle in, and order bites from a selection of different vendors.
La Latina is one of Madrid’s most buzzing areas for drinks, dining, and a great atmosphere overall. As well as all that, there are lots of fantastic independent shops nestled in this neighbourhood.
Look out for Cocol, a bright and stylish boutique selling handmade items that are perfect gifts. There’s also a spacious Helena Rohner jewellers in La Latina.
Finally, don’t miss Botería Julio Rodríguez, one of the last traditional Spanish wineskin makers in Madrid. These make a wonderful gift, and the quality here is much better than from the central tourist shops.
Another vibrant part of Madrid, Chueca is home to lots of affordable boutiques selling everything from handmade jewellery to beautiful dresses. There are also lots of interior shops, tattoo parlours, bookstores, and vintage shops in the alleyways of Cheuca. Explore and see what you can find!
Whatever way you shop in Madrid, you’re sure to return home with some new things in tow. Whether you pick up a couple of wineskins for friends and family or treat yourself to a new Spanish wardrobe, the city’s retail includes something for everyone.
Getting Around Madrid
We love walking around Madrid, but getting around on foot isn’t for everyone. Particularly if you have tens of shopping bags to carry! Not to worry. There are lots of convenient public transport services running throughout Madrid to make your commute a breeze.
Madrid’s transport options include trains, taxis, trams, busses, and metros. You can take any of these to your chosen shopping destination thanks to hundreds of stations and stops scattered throughout the city. Still, the most straightforward way to get around is by metro.
Taking the metro in Madrid
There are over 300 metro stops in Madrid. That means there’s sure to be one close to your hotel and another at your destination of choice. Metro trains run from 06:00 to 01:30, so you can dash about all day long with nothing to worry about. Services come as frequently as every two minutes during peak times and every 15 minutes throughout the rest of the day.
Tip: If you need to travel outside these hours, we recommend a taxi as the safest way to get around.
Choosing the right metro ticket
Buying transport tickets in unknown cities can feel overwhelming. Luckily, Madrid has you covered.
Simply buy a Tarjeta Multi card when you first arrive for easy travel throughout your trip. A Tarjeta Multi is a contactless card that you can use to swipe on and off transport all around Madrid. You can buy one from a transport station machine or from some tobacco shops and other retailers.
You can buy your contactless travel card for €2.50, or get one for free when you add on a multi-day travel ticket. These tickets are popular with tourists, as they let you choose the length of your stay from a few options and enjoy paid-for transport from start to finish.
Tip: Keep your Tarjeta Multi card to hand, so you don’t need to take your wallet out every time you arrive at a transport stop. Swiping on and off like a local couldn’t be simpler!
Taking the train to Madrid
Thanks to the efficient service run by Renfe – Spain’s national train company – it’s easy to reach Madrid by train. High-speed AVE trains can get you from Barcelona to Madrid in 2h 30m on the fastest services, Valencia to Madrid in 1h 40m and Seville to Madrid in 2h 30m. Trains to Madrid arrive into one of the city’s two main stations – Madrid Atocha or Madrid Chamartín; look out for the botanical garden if you arrive into the former!
Want to learn more about travelling by rail in Spain? Read our guide to trains in Spain, your one-stop-shop for all things rail. Our Renfe page also gives you the lowdown on Spain’s national train operator, including how to find the cheapest tickets.