Madrid Souvenir Shopping Guide: Top 15 Spanish Products

Madrid Souvenir Shopping Guide: Top 15 Spanish Products

They call Spain "magnificent" for a reason, as there're loads of fascinating stuff a visitor to the country might want to take home and share with family and friends. Luckily, in Madrid one can find nearly all that Spain is famous for - wine, food, fashion, arts, sports, etc. Good thing is that some of these can be neatly packaged and taken along on a plane. To find out what exactly and where to find it, look into this guide!
Image Courtesy of: Andy R

1. Ceramics

Ceramics
Traveling Spain’s many diverse regions, you’ll discover no shortage of ornately designed colorful ceramics. Broad brushstrokes of blue and gray swish around pitchers from Granada, radiantly colored flowers form rings inside of a serving bowl from Toledo, and a mosaic-tiled clock appears to come straight from a Gaudí museum. But what if you don’t have the time to travel the whole country to find your favorite Spanish ceramic masterpiece? Cantaro, a shop located just off of Madrid’s tourist and traffic thoroughfare, the Gran Vía, stocks artisanal wares from around the country at surprisingly reasonable prices (a handmade pitcher for 12€? Score!). From pots to platters, clocks, salt-and-pepper shakers and more, you can find gifts in all shapes, sizes and prices. No stranger to ceramic-lovers, they’ll even be sure to package up your new purchase so that it’s safe for the long journey home.

Price: from a few euros to hundreds of euros
Where to find it:
Cantaro
http://www.ceramicacantaro.com/ingles/index_ing.htm
Calle Flor Baja 8
91-547 95 14
Monday – Saturday, 10am-2pm and 5pm-9pm
Closed in August

2. Fans

Fans
The shops that infest the tourist traps of Madrid are littered with fans of all shapes, sizes and colors. The selection may be large, but the quality is probably low. So what if you are looking for something more authentic? Stop by Casa de Diego in Puerto del Sol where three generations of family continue to make and sell traditional Spanish fans. Flowers, lace, ornately painted images – they’ve got every kind of fan imaginable, all made right there in the store in central Madrid. If authenticity isn’t your thing and, instead, you are more interested in quantity or price, your best and most economical bet is Madrid’s famous outdoor market, the Rastro. Each Sunday, in the famous La Latina neighborhood, the winding raucous streets turn into a bustling market. There, you can bargain your way to fan happiness. They may not be as fancy, but with basic fans costing around 2€, it might make for a more suitable gift for your long list of people to shop for.

Price: 12€ up to 2000€+
Where to find it:
Casa de Diego
http://personales.ya.com/jlleran/eng/home.htm
Plaza Puerta del Sol, 12
+34 915 22 66 43
Monday-Friday: 9am-1:30pm, 4:30pm-8pm
Saturday: 10am-2pm

3. Fascinators

Fascinators
Fancy cocktail hats with feathers and doodads have become all the rage, as of late, thanks to a certain royal wedding. And don’t be fooled – the Brits aren’t the only ones who’ve been on board with this trend for quite some time – the Spaniards have too. With Spanish weddings being quite formal, it’s not at all uncommon for women to wear a pamela (broad-brimmed hat) or a tocado (cocktail hat) in order to spice up their look. Delicately fastened to ladies’ hair, the chic headpiece adds flair to already colorful and formal wedding attire. If you’re in Madrid and itching to give the style a try, you can stop by Mamita Linda’s where you can pick out a hat to take with you, or place an order to be completed a few days later. Located in a proper Spanish piso (apartment), it will feel more like a consultation than a stop by a shop (just be sure to check in advance for hours!).

Price: from 35€ to several hundred euros
Where to find it:
Mamita Linda
Joaquín Costa 15
Tel: 915 634 512
September-November: Monday-Friday, 12am-2pm and 4pm-8pm
December-February: by appointment only
March-July: Monday-Friday, 12am-2pm and 4pm-8pm
Closed in August

4. Thimbles

Thimbles
Most people probably fall into two categories when it comes to thimble collecting: they love the idea, or they think it’s silly. You might believe you belong to that latter group until you see the ornately handmade thimbles at Gritos in Plaza Mayor. While most tourist shops sell poorly made, even cheesy thimbles to the masses, Gritos sells true collectors’ items, ranging from commemorative to customized. Fancy a certain animal? Most likely they have a dedal for you. Obsessed with a cartoon character? They’ll probably have that too. Amongst the hundreds of porcelain, ceramic and metal miniatures, you’ll undoubtedly find one that speaks to you - much to your surprise. And since the shop is located in the heart of Plaza Mayor, it’s worth a stop by just to take a look. They’re cute, they’re cheap, and most likely at least one person in your family would absolutely love one.

Price: 1.50€ - 40€
Where to find it:
Gritos de Madrid
http://www.gritosdemadrid.es/
Plaza Mayor 6
Monday-Friday: 10am-2pm, 4:30pm-8pm
Saturday: 10am-2pm

5. Chocolate for Chocolate con Churros

Chocolate for Chocolate con Churros
Madrid's favorite treat is, without a doubt, chocolate con churros. Unlike the churros you might be used to, most in Madrid don't come with a dousing of cinnamon and sugar. Instead, they are accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate. And it’s not your standard hot chocolate, either. Rather, the creamy and thick concoction seems more appropriate for a spoon than sipping. Dip in it, drink it, whatever you want - it's delicious. Now if only you could box that up and take it home with you on the plane! Good news - you kind of can. Stop by Chocolat, one of Madrid's most famous churrerías, indulge your craving for the sweet treat and, before leaving, buy a bar of their melt-it-and-make-it-yourself-at-home chocolate. Whether you dare to try and make churros yourself, or just eat the bar of chocolate on the trip home, it will be a memorable gift from Madrid that your tummy will be grateful for.
Price:
5.50€ for 500 grams
9€ for 1 kilo
Where to find it:
Chocolat
Calle Santa María 30
91 429 45 65
Monday-Sunday, 7:30am-9pm
Closes at 4pm on Tuesdays
Closed August 8th through 15th

6. Shawls

Shawls
There’s something romantic and extravagant about an elaborately embroidered shawl. Called mantones de manila, the traditional Spanish shawl gets its name from the port in the Philippines where the Spanish colony exchanged goods from the Far East (despite the fact that the item was actually made in China). First popular in Southern Spain, the garment, known for its intricate embroidery, originally gained fame among flamenco dancers and even mainstream use in everyday life throughout the nation. These days, while shawls remain a flamenco staple, they are not a daily fashion accessory and, instead, only reserved for more formal occasions. If an embroidered mantón is too dressy for you, you may want to take advantage of your trip to the Rastro for fans to also pick up some pashmina-like shawls. At 2-3€ each, you can’t go wrong. They may not be locally produced, but I’m pretty sure your friends back home will be happy to receive them regardless.
Price: 49€ - 2500€
Where to find it:
Borca
http://www.borca.es/manton.html
C/Marqués Viudo de Pontejos 2
+34 915 326 153
Monday-Friday: 10am-1:45pm, 4:30pm-8pm
Saturday: 10am-1:45pm

7. Alpargatas

Alpargatas
Come springtime, the line outside of Casa Hernánz stretches far out the door. Spaniards and tourists alike gather to stock up on Spain’s favorite summer shoe – the alpargata. Made of rope and cloth, the shoes form a staple of Spanish summer attire, particularly at the beach. Apart from the appealing bohemian look, they come in 32 colors, from candy-apple red to lime green and lavender purple. And even better, the price is oh-so-right at only 5€ a pair. Considering that they only last about a season, locals usually stock up yearly, purchasing a slew of their favorite colors. While you can find them in various locations, the world-famous shop, Casa Hernánz, sits behind Plaza Mayor, where it has made its mark on the shoe-world for over a century and a half. Just be sure to come prepared with your European shoe size and those of friends back home.

Price: 5€
Where to find it:
Casa Hernánz
Calle Toledo, 18
(+34) 91 366 54 50
Monday-Friday, 9am-1:30pm and 4:30pm-8pm
Saturdays: 10am-2pm

8. Majórica Pearls

Majórica Pearls
Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but pearls come in at a close second. Good thing, then, that you can score some for a decent price while on your trip to Spain. Majórica, a company started in 1897 on the island of Mallorca, produces its world-famous pearls by following a process similar to their development within an oyster. The man-made pearls, which closely resemble the natural version, consist of a solid glass-ball center that is covered layer by layer with a special paste made of various organic marine products (such as ground up mother of pearl and even fish scales). Employing expert techniques and other carefully guarded methods, Majórica is able to produce the ultimate pearl. The resulting perfectly rounded gems have a shine and iridescence not found in nature. The pearls can be purchased alone or in settings as earrings, rings, necklaces and more.

Price: starting from 20€
Where to find it:
El Corte Inglés,
Plaza de Callao, 2 (other locations can be found throughout the city)
Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm
Occasionally open on Sundays

9. Flamenco Garb

Flamenco Garb
Let’s face it – you’re starting to fall in love with flamenco. And who wouldn’t after spending only a few minutes in the country’s capitol? If you seek to nurture your inner flamenco dancer (it’s inside you somewhere!), or even just dress like one and pretend, you will need to stock up on the garb. Dresses, vests, hats, hair combs, shoes, earrings and castanets – just a few of the items you will need to fulfill all of your flamenco fantasies. Just imagine – you, your entourage of clapping and guitar strumming flamenco singers, and an audience! At Pertinez, the racks overflow with colorful, fluffy and polka-dotted dresses - the site of them is nearly enough to inspire soulful tapping and olés. Combined with accessories, such as sparkling hooped earrings and flowery hair adornments, the look will be complete. They’ve even got flamenco gear for little girls. Next stop, flamenco class!
Prices:
Dresses: 120€ - 400€
Shoes: 15€ - 60€
Castanets: 23€ - 40€
Where to find it:
Pertiñez
http://www.pertinez.com/
Calle Esparteros 12
91 521 03 31
Monday-Saturday: 10am-1:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm

10. Olive Oil

Olive Oil
Whether you’re a connoisseur or you just like to dabble by dipping your bread, we all can agree that olive oil is a welcome addition to our diet. Now, if only all olive oils were as cheap and delicious as they are in Spain! As the number-one producers of olives internationally (nearly twice as much as Italy), Spain serves some of the most delicious aceite de oliva on the market. If you are looking for a high-quality bottle, you can stop by La Chinata in the famously posh Salamanca neighborhood. There, you can pick from a large selection of gourmet oils. Or, if you’re just seeking something a bit smaller and easy to travel with, make a quick stop by any grocery store to purchase a six-pack of miniature 20ml bottles. They make a great addition to other gifts purchased while in Spain.

Prices:
2€ for pack of 20ml bottles
Starting at 1.25€ at La Chinata
Where to find it:
La Chinata
http://www.lachinata.es/
Calle de Pelayo 62
911 526 599
Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Saturday: 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9pm
Wednesday: 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm

11. Men’s Hats

Men’s Hats
Wandering the Madrid streets, you might discover that many Spanish grandpas share one thing in common – their hats. While most Spanish men below the age of 50 are very unlikely to sport such a headpiece, foreigners might be a bit more daring. Find your own Spanish hat (for Grandpa, Dad, or even yourself), at La Favorita, the oldest hat shop in Madrid. In the Plaza Mayor tienda, founded in 1894 and family-run, you can find gorras (messenger caps), proper sombreros (straw hats), as well as boinas (more or less what we might call a beret). The gorras are more commonly worn during the cold winter months, while the sombreros are a popular summer choice. So if a flamenco outfit, fan or embroidered shawl doesn’t seem like quite the right gift for Dad, now you know just what to get him.

Price: 4€ - 158€
Where to find it:
La Favorita
http://www.lafavoritacb.com/
Plaza Mayor 25
91 3665877
Monday-Friday: 9:30am-1:30pm and 3pm-8pm
Saturday: 9:30am-1:30pm

12. Violetas

Violetas
Almost 100 years ago, the shop La Violeta opened its doors, selling a selection of candies and other treats. After several years, one of its signature items reigned supreme – las violetas. Nowadays, that same shop is run by the family’s third generation and still sells the same famous Madrid treats that have been a source of success for the last century. There, you can pick from a wide selection of quantities and containers, which they will wrap up for you and adorn with - what else - a purple ribbon. Nostalgic Madrileños recall their childhood at the taste of one of these famous candies, and gift-givers know a box of them will always be warmly received. The little sweets, purple and in the shape of their namesake flower, are made with flower essence and therefore have the slightest floral flavor. Their small size, flowery design and dainty packaging make them an ideal gift from Madrid.

Price: boxes starting at 5€
Where to find it:
La Violeta
http://www.lavioleta.es/
Plaza Canalejas, 6
915 225 522
Monday-Saturday: 10am-2pm and 4:30pm-8:30pm
Closed in August

13. Wine

Wine
It seems the Spaniards have been keeping their phenomenal wine a secret for quite awhile - but slowly that secret is getting out. Still often the cheapest option on wine lists around the world, the vinos of the Iberian Peninsula really shouldn’t be overlooked. And for good reason, because unlike American wines, Spanish wines are almost always a hit, and rarely a miss. Even more enticing – decent bottles can easily be purchased for just a couple of euros – seriously. To peruse one of Madrid’s largest selections of wine, head over to Lavinia, where bottles blanket the two-story tall walls of the Madrid Mecca for oenophiles. From the country’s most famous wine-making regions of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero, to more unknown, but equally delicious denominations like Bierzo and Jumilla, virtually all of the wines won’t disappoint. Now the question – to drink it at the hotel, or wait until you get back home?

Price: bottles starting at 2€
Where to find it:
Lavinia
http://www.lavinia.es/
C/ José Ortega Y Gasset, 16
914 260 604
Monday-Saturday: 10am-9pm

14. Paella Basics

Paella Basics
Why not take a little bit of Spain’s world-famous paella back home with you? OK, so you can’t exactly take a doggy bag in your suitcase, but you can at least return with the ingredients. Part of what makes paella so especially delicious is the type of rice that grows in Valencia’s Albufera – the fresh-water lagoon that the rice fields call home. This unique variety of rice is a fundamental ingredient because it absorbs all the flavors as the broth bubbles and reduces. Also important to paella creation is the paellera – the flat pan used to cook it. The paellera not only ensures that the rice cooks slowly and evenly, but, if done right, allows for the creation of the highly coveted crust on the bottom of the pan - the socarrat. Between the pan, the rice and a killer recipe, you should be on the right path to making your own authentic paella.

Price:
Rice (arroz bomba): starting at 3€ per kilo
Paellera: 5€ - 70€+
Where to find it:
Rice can be found at most grocery stores
For the paellera:
El Corte Inglés, Hogar section
Plaza de Callao, 2 (other locations can be found throughout the city)
Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm
Occasionally open on Sundays

15. Soccer Jersey

Soccer Jersey
During the summer of 2010, over a million people filled the downtown streets of Madrid to celebrate the World Cup win. In fact, after each remotely significant win by Real Madrid or the Spanish national team, Madrileños inevitably take to the streets, honking, shouting, and donning jerseys, team scarves and anything red and yellow. The enthusiasm is contagious – have you caught the fever yet? If not, a trip to Santiago Bernabéu soccer stadium will surely get you in the soccer spirit. There, you can stop by the Real Madrid shop and buy yourself a jersey (for Real Madrid or the national team). Afterwards, you might want to take a tour of the stadium, which includes test-driving the plush team chairs on the soccer field. You can even take a faux picture in your jersey with one of your favorite players and bring it home to Grandma. You’re practically a part of team! Now, if only they’d send you that several-million-dollar paycheck.

Price:
Kids: 63€
Adults: 75€
Where to find it:
Real Madrid C.F. Store
http://www.tiendarealmadrid.com/
San Bernabéu Stadium Avenida Concha Espina, 1, 28036 Madrid, Spain
Entrada C/ Padre Damián, Puerta 55
Monday-Sunday: 10:30am-8:30pm
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