Barcelona Shopping Walk, Barcelona

Barcelona Shopping Walk (Self Guided), Barcelona

A long-time prime cultural destination, Barcelona is also en route to becoming one of Europe's top shopping spots. Each new day, fashionable designer stores, from well-known international brands to local start-ups, are filling the city streets. If you're a fan of shopping, you're in for a treat when visiting this beautiful city. Here are some of the most popular shopping locations in Barcelona.

If you want something nice from Spain, La Ramba, one of Barcelona's most iconic streets, is the place to go for stores that are both chic and local. Here, you'll find everything from clothing and accessories to souvenirs and local crafts.

Another charming spot for shopping is Saint Joseph Oriol Square (Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol) in the Gothic Quarter. This place is known for its art market on Saturdays; on other days, you can explore small boutiques and artisan shops, perfect for finding unique and locally-made items.

Among other interesting destinations is Angel's Gate Avenue (Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel) with a large El Corte Inglés department store overlooking Catalonia Square (Placa de Catalunya). It is also home to other international shopping brands like Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Benetton, which makes it a must-visit for fashion enthusiasts looking for trendy clothing and accessories.

Gracia Avenue (Passeig de Gracia) is where you'll find some of the most luxurious boutiques in the city. This tree-lined avenue is lined with upmarket stores like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany, making it a favorite shopping destination for those with a taste for luxury.

Meanwhile, Antiquarians Boulevard (Bulevard dels Antiquaris) is a haven for antique lovers. This charming street dotted with antique shops and art galleries leads to Diagonal Avenue (Avinguda Diagonal), the impressively broad and elegant thoroughfare lined with a mix of upscale boutiques, shopping centers, and international brands.

Today's Barcelona is an excellent place to explore a variety of shopping options, from high-end fashion to antiques to unique souvenirs. So, whether you're loaded with cash or not, pack your bags, and don't forget to explore Barcelona's vibrant shopping scene on your trip! Your shopping adventure is going to be fun all the same.
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Barcelona Shopping Walk Map

Guide Name: Barcelona Shopping Walk
Guide Location: Spain » Barcelona (See other walking tours in Barcelona)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • La Rambla
  • Placa de Sant Josep Oriol (St. Joseph Oriol Square)
  • Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel (Portal de l'Àngel Avenue)
  • Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square)
  • Passeig de Gracia (Gracia Avenue)
  • Bulevard dels Antiquaris
  • Avinguda Diagonal (Diagonal Avenue)
1
La Rambla

1) La Rambla (must see)

La Rambla, Barcelona's main thoroughfare teeming with colourful shops, cafes, restaurants, and an eclectic mix of visitors, embodies the city's adventurous and independent spirit. Stretching 1.2 kilometers from the Columbus Monument at the Old Port ("Port Vell") to the bustling Catalonia Square ("Plaça de Catalunya"), it pulsates with energy, particularly during the peak tourist season. As you stroll along, be aware of the charming pavement cafes and enticing souvenir kiosks that beckon travelers, but also remain vigilant against the occasional presence of pickpockets—keeping your eyes open is always a wise precaution.

The prices here are a bit steeper than elsewhere in the city, but then again, excitement does come at a price, and La Rambla sure gives tonnes of it. As renowned Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once expressed, it is a street that one wishes would never end. Ahh...

Tip:
You must traverse La Rambla to reach the famous La Boqueria market, which has a plethora of places to eat and many great options. However, for excellent food at more affordable prices and the opportunity to savor your meal in a relaxed setting, venture to the Mercat de Santa Caterina, just a 10-minute walk away from La Boqueria.
2
Placa de Sant Josep Oriol (St. Joseph Oriol Square)

2) Placa de Sant Josep Oriol (St. Joseph Oriol Square)

Saint Joseph Oriol's Square and the adjacent Pine Square ("Plaça del Pi") are among the most vibrant and captivating areas within the Old Town ("Ciutat Vella") of Barcelona. These squares are bustling with popular outdoor cafes and often serve as venues for markets selling natural products or artworks, as well as impromptu concert halls for musicians. It is intriguing to note that this lively atmosphere exists atop the grounds of a former graveyard.

The square itself was named after Josep Oriol, a 17th-century priest who dedicated his life to caring for the sick and needy in the nearby parish of Santa Maria del Pi. While his statue adorns one of the doorways overlooking the square, it may require some effort to locate.

There are several attractions here worth noticing, namely:
~ the bronze statue of Angel Guimerà, an esteemed figure in Catalan literature, created by Josep Cardona i Furró;
~ the 16th-century Fivaller Palace, commissioned by the Fivaller family and now housing the Agricultural Institute, standing at Nº4;
~ Bar del Pi, one of the city's most iconic bars, occupying an 18th-century building at Nº1;
~ a plaque on the wall of the of Santa Maria del Pi Church marking the historic and rather lucky escape of builder José Mestres, who fell from the top of the church and miraculously survived without sustaining serious injury;
~ the "Square of the Unknown Soldier" inscription painted on the northern wall of the church by a soldier during the Civil War in 1939 (although the inscription was covered during Franco's regime, it was restored to its original form in 2009); and finally
~ Placeta del Pi, tucked in behind the church, with its outdoor tables, convenient for a coffee or tapas.

Tip:
Carrer de la Palla, located near the square, is a charming street adorned with a variety of shops offering antiques, clothing, and books.
3
Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel (Portal de l'Àngel Avenue)

3) Avinguda del Portal de l'Àngel (Portal de l'Àngel Avenue)

Portal de l'Angel is not only one of the largest shopping streets in Barcelona but also one of the biggest in Spain, known for its high prices with an average rent of over €250 per square meter. Despite its reputation, the street offers a mix of both expensive luxury brands and popular high street shops, including Zara, H&M, Pull&Bear, Bershka, and a Corte Ingles department store.

As a fully pedestrianized street, visitors can leisurely stroll along without worrying about traffic, enjoying the architectural beauty of the buildings. Whether you choose to indulge in shopping or simply window-shop, the experience is yours to decide. However, keep in mind that shops in Spain are typically closed on Sundays, except for special occasions like the start of the summer sales.
4
Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square)

4) Placa de Catalunya (Catalonia Square)

As well as serving as the most connected transit hub for Barcelona's metropolitan area, Catalonia Square is "the heart of the city" in a wider sense. Undoubtedly one of the busiest and vibrant locations, it acts as a starting point for Barcelona's main arteries, such as La Rambla, the Gràcia Boulevard, and the Angel's Gate ("Portal de l'Àngel"). It's also the connection point between the Old City and its gridded 19th-century extension known as Eixample, which is home to some of Europe's most exquisite architecture.

As one of the largest and most bustling squares in Spain, Plaça de Catalunya is teeming with endless restaurants, hotels, shops, cafes, and entertainment venues, making it a vibrant place to explore. In the center of the square, you'll find pavement stones arranged in the shape of a star, which is believed to mark the center of the Catalonian capital.

For high fashion, design, jewelry and department stores, the principal shopping axis starts here – so if you're in for some retail therapy, this is the place to go. An initial orientation point for visitors is the white-faced El Corte Inglés, Spain's only surviving department store, a colossal fortress-like behemoth that houses everything you would expect – from books, music and food to high fashion, jewelry, technology, and homeware. The store is famous for its decent customer service, but also the 9th-floor cafeteria where you can get a seat by the window and enjoy a panoramic view over the square below. On the opposite side is El Triangle, a commercial center that is home to FNAC, a mega media store with several slick floors of books, music, and technology.

The square is also known for its fountains and statues, attracting flocks of tourists and pigeons in their thousands. As the afternoon progresses, it gets increasingly crowded and colorful, perfect to get a sense of life in Barcelona as there are always lots and lots of details to observe.

Tip:
While the fountains are beautiful during the day, make sure to witness their display at night when they come alive with alternating colored lights.
5
Passeig de Gracia (Gracia Avenue)

5) Passeig de Gracia (Gracia Avenue) (must see)

Formerly known as Camí de Jesús (or "Jesus Road"), this wide, tree-lined avenue originally connected the Old City and the former village of Gràcia even before Barcelona's ancient walls were torn down. The urban development project initiated in 1820 provided impetus for Gràcia Avenue into the vibrant boulevard it is today. By the early 1900s, it had already become Barcelona's most fashionable boulevard.

Aside from the beautiful wrought-iron street lamps installed in 1906, one can also notice here the greenish-gray pavement tiles designed by Antoni Gaudí, depicting abstract sea creatures which add a great deal of uniqueness to the area.

Delightful for strollers, this avenue is now home to many of the city's upscale stores, comparable to Paris's Champs-Élysées or New York's 5th Avenue. While dining here can be a bit pricey, there are affordable options tucked away in the side streets, offering a diverse range of cuisines, from Syrian and Ethiopian to innovative Asian fusions.

More notably, this is also the top place for Modernist architecture, concentrated along the main street and some of the adjacent streets as well. Buildings, balconies, stained-glass windows and carved doors are all within sight, including major highlights like Gaudí's La Pedrera and the Block of Discord ("Manzana de la Discordia"), showcasing the works of the world's top Modernist architects. With the most mansions here belonging to Barcelona's wealthiest citizens of the late 19th to early 20th centuries, there's no shortage of richly and tastefully decorated facades to behold. Day or night, Gràcia Avenue offers a fantastic opportunity for architecture buffs to crane their necks admiring Barcelona's urbanism.

Tip:
This boulevard is particularly magical in summer when the locals compete between themselves decorating the streets as part of the Gràcia Festival, which, together with the live music played everywhere, makes it a really fun place to be.
6
Bulevard dels Antiquaris

6) Bulevard dels Antiquaris

Be sure to keep an eye out for the staircase that leads you up one floor to discover the hidden treasure trove of a 73-store antiques arcade located off Gràcia Avenue ("Passeig de Gràcia"). Within its walls, you'll encounter a fascinating array of authentic antiques, ranging from dolls, icons, and paintings to Roman or Visigothic artifacts, Asian antique furniture, African art, cricket kits, fly rods, and vintage toys. Each item comes with a certificate of origin and a written guarantee, ensuring their authenticity. While haggling is a common practice, be prepared for a challenge when negotiating with the resilient Catalan antiques dealers.

Tip:
Notable among the shops is ACANTO ANTIGÜEDADES, a major clearinghouse for buying and selling a wide range of items from paintings, furniture, silver, sculpture, and bronzes to wood carvings, marble, clocks, watches, tapestries, porcelain, and ceramics.
7
Avinguda Diagonal (Diagonal Avenue)

7) Avinguda Diagonal (Diagonal Avenue)

Avinguda Diagonal, one of Barcelona's widest and most significant avenues, divides the city diagonally, cutting through the grid-like pattern of surrounding streets. Its construction began in the mid-19th century and served as a display of wealth for the affluent who paraded in their luxurious carriages along the avenue.

This iconic avenue is renowned for its showcase of Catalan Modernism, featuring numerous buildings in this architectural style on both sides of the road. It has also become a premier shopping destination in Barcelona, offering a wealth of department stores, malls, and designer boutiques. As you stroll along the avenue, you'll find an abundance of cafes and restaurants where you can relax and admire the impressive architecture.

The uptown section of Avinguda Diagonal traverses the vibrant business and shopping district of Barcelona. The prominent L'Illa shopping center stands alongside the avenue, with its stepped design reminiscent of New York's Rockefeller Center. Designer fashion stores abound, particularly around Francesc Macià Square ("Plaça de Francesc Macià") and Pau Casals Avenue. At the end of the latter, you'll find Turó Park, an ideal spot to rest and rejuvenate, complete with a small children's playground and a café-kiosk. Behind L'Illa, don't miss Concordia Square ("Plaça de la Concordia"), a charming oasis amidst the towering buildings of uptown, featuring a church bell tower and local businesses such as a florist, pharmacy, and hairdresser. Enjoy a quiet drink at one of the outdoor cafes in this picturesque square.

Walking Tours in Barcelona, Spain

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