Barcelona is a haven for shopaholics, with its streets boasting everything from high-end designers and well-known high street brands to quirky craft shops and bustling markets. But where are the best shopping areas in the city? Here's a brief guide to some of the most famous places to splash your cash.
Barcelona Shopping Line
Any dedicated shopper should book accommodation in Barcelona near the city's Shopping Line. Running for 5 km all the way from Port Vell to Montjuic, there are hundreds of outlets for you to visit during the course of your break. The name was coined by the city's tourist board in 1999 as a way of marketing the destination as a shopper's paradise - and I think it does the job!
In Bulevard Rosa, for example, you'll find items from the Made in Barcelona brand, as well as stores such as Isla, Tanganika and Podium, which are ideal for the discerning fashionista who is looking for something a little different. In the El Triangle centre, you'll come across a host of international outlets, including Desigual, Massimo Dutti and Havaianas.
La Roca Village
Although this is technically a part of the Barcelona Shopping Line, I think it deserves a mention of its own due to the 100-plus retailers that have stores here. This should be the first port of call for any bargain hunters out there, as it's packed with discounted outlets, where you can get up to 60 per cent off collections from previous seasons.
Calvin Klein Jeans, Lacoste, Burberry, Superdry, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Swarovski and Tag Heuer are just a handful of the designer shops you'll find in the centre - so prepare your plastic for a workout when you spend a day at La Roca.
If buying handcrafted goods rather than designer labels is more up your street, head to Poble Espanyol, nestled in Parc de Montjuic. This was initially constructed as an open-air museum for the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929, but it's also home to more than 40 craft workshops. Among the things you can see being made are ceramics, glassware, jewellery, textiles and sculptures.
Picking up a piece or two from these talented craftspeople is an excellent way to take a truly unique souvenir of your trip to Barcelona home with you. If you fancy a short break from shopping, pop into the Fran Daurel Foundation to admire the various contemporary artworks on display.
Els Encants Vells - Mercat de Fira de Bellcaire
Els Encants Vells - Mercat de Fira de Bellcaire is a flea market that has the distinction of being the largest of its kind in Barcelona, while a bazaar has been held on this spot since the 14th century, also making it one of Europe's oldest trading areas. Els Encants Vells is another great spot for bargain hunters, with stallholders willing to negotiate on their prices.
You'll find an eclectic mix of goods on sale here, with everything from antiques and music to clothing and electronic equipment on offer. It is situated near Placa de los Glories and traders set up shop on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 09:00 and 17:00 local time. To be in with a chance of seeking out the best bargains, it's advisable to get there early. If you're more interested in the atmosphere, saunter down later in the day to enjoy the afternoon sun as you browse the various stalls.