Madrid is the best city in Spain to go shopping, but as it is a big place, you'll need to know where to look. Here you'll find details of where to find all the best shopping malls and districts in Madrid.
Madrid's Shopping Districts
Many of these parts of Madrid are on the route of the Madrid Sightseeing Tour Bus.
- Las Rosas A large shopping center with all of the biggest of Spain's brands. This is outside the city center, so you might want to use the bus to get there.
- Gran Via & Sol The biggest brands have their biggest stores in this area. Most prominent are the Inditex chains owned by Amancio Ortega Gaona, such as Zara, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius. This behemoth of the Spanish clothing industry is now expanding into other parts of Europe, but their mother ships can be found on or near Gran Via. Be sure to look skyward on Gran Via - many of the buildings are at their most interesting on the roof. This is also where you will find Madrid (and Spain's) biggest cinemas.
- Principe Pío A bus and train hub, there is also a modern shopping mall built above it. The most central large covered shopping mall in Madrid, perfect for when you don't want the rain to spoil your shopping. The quickest way to get to Principe Pío is by the metro shuttle from Opera metro station.
- Ortega y Gasset This is the classy district, where the likes of Victoria Beckham and the other footballers' wives go shopping. Not far away, on c/Serrano you'll find ABC Serrano, a three-floor shopping mall with some of Europe's most expensive clothing outlets.
- Fuencarral & Hortaleza Just off Gran Via is the hipster paradise of c/Fuencarral and c/Hortaleza. To the right is Chueca, Madrid's gay district, to the left is Malasaña, the trendiest part of town. In the middle is where they do their shopping. Though many of the trendier stores are being pushed out by the big brands, you can still get some funky and quite individual clothing in the Fuencarral market. Don't be put off if the first thing you see is exorbitantly expensive, there are bargains to be had. Cheap shoes, in particular, can be found on c/Hortaleza. The nearby streets of Almirante, Piamonte and Argensola. Also, quite a way away but satisfyingly out of place is the hippy market in Plaza Felipe II near Metro Goya.
- Opera The area around the opera house is great for buying musical instruments, especially locally produced guitars.
- Santo Domingo A bit of a ghost town right in the center of downtown Madrid, it's not pretty or exciting, but there are some good record stores.
- Xanadu One of the largest indoor ski resorts in Europe with a healthy shopping mall adjacent to it.
- El Corte Inglés Spain's omnipotent and omnipresent chain of department stores - they're so big they count as districts of their own. If you can't get it in one of their many branches, you're unlikely to find it anywhere. Many try to avoid the chain in an attempt to keep alive the smaller stores, but it is often difficult to do so. Nothing beats El Corte Inglés for convenience, no matter how begrudgingly you go.
Flea Markets in Madrid
- El Rastro The big Sunday morning market found between Tirso de Molina and La Latina metro stations. No longer the bargain hunters' delight it once was, but the Rastro is still a Madrid institution that needs to be seen.
- Cuesta de Moyano Book Market Near to the Retiro park and botanical gardens is this row of huts selling interesting books, many of which are out of print. You can also find a similar permanent book stall at the Iglesia de San Gines. Don't forget to flick through your new purchase at the Chocolateria de San Gines while chomping on churros y chocolate.
- Coin and Stamp Market in Madrid In Plaza Mayor every a Sunday morning
- Chinchon Market In the Plaza Mayor of this town to the south of Madrid. on Saturday mornings.
- Alcala de Henares On c/Mayor, in this town to the east of Madrid, again on Saturday mornings.
- Rastrillo de Tetuán A mini version of the Rastro, on c/Marqués de Viana, near metro Tetuán. Sunday mornings.
Claiming Back Tax From Goods Bought in Spain
You may be able to claim your sales tax back when shopping in Spain. If you spend a lot of money, this can be a big deal.