Living in Barcelona / Travels & Adventures

Shopping up a Storm – a guide to Barcelona and Buying

As Christmas draws ever nearer, I thought I would add another illustrated guide to Barcelona to the blog. Barcelona plays hostess to all the major stores you can find in Europe, but the real gems are found in the maze of alleyways and neighbourhoods.

Barcelona hides a fantastic array of little “Tiendas” (shops) stuffed with all sorts of amazing and curious goodies. Here I want to introduce you to a few of them. This post is in no way a definitive guide to shopping in Barcelona, as new shops are popping up all the time, while others move or close down, and I am no connoisseur, but all the ones I mention are worth a browse. Bare in mind also that the shops I highlight are more to my taste than perhaps others, and can only really work well in conjunction with other guides, which are super easy to find with a little research on the interwebs.

Home & Decor

image: VerdeJade

Verdejade:: A sweet tienda in Gracia, I always stop to window shop. VerdeJade has loads of cute things for your home, including crockery, cushions and art. You can also find a nice selection of clothing. C/Ramon y Cajal 11, Barcelona
La-a:: A beautiful little lifestyle shop in Gracia. You can find wondrous gifts here, including glass hanging orbs, and handcut wooden letters. C/ del Torrent de l’Olla 86 Gràcia.
Ivo & Co:: Another fun place to stop to pick up a gift. Loads of vintage and retro goodies for your apartment, as well as toys and furniture. A bit pricey, but you can find some lovely pieces to covet! C/ Rec, 20, Barcelona
Loisaida:: A vintage concept store in the middle of the Born area of Barcelona, the store is interesting in itself, with curiosity cabinets containing a plethora of vintage finds, housed in a Barcelona building from 1441, it has original walls and incorporates the sloping floors. c/ Flassanders 42, Barcelona
Victoria Ibars:: If you like all things buttons, stop into this shop on calle Verdi. You can buy yourself a handmade button lamp shade or all sorts of curious things created from buttons of all kinds. C/ Verdi 63, Barcelona

image: M.O.T.E.L

Vintage street:: Calle de la riera baixa in Raval is host to a number of vintage clothing stores, including M.O.T.E.L (pictured) You can spend a good while here browsing vintage collections of everything from boots to sunglasses. C/ de la Riera Baixa, Raval
Boo:: Boo caught my attention when I saw the mounted deer heads on the walls, this small store in Gracia sells shoes, various clothing items, books, jewellery and sometimes hosts mini gallery events. Everything is neatly arranged with an eye for detail. C/ Perla, 20, Gracia, Barcelona.
Los Patines de Celia:: This girly store stocks some great brands from Paris and London. They have a fabulous selection of shoes and the store itself is cute as a button. I have often found well priced unique items here. C/ Verdi nº 28

Toys & Curiosities
image:: Almacen Marabi

Almacen Marabi:: This teeny tiny studio shop is a magical place. The first thing that catches your eye is the marvellous (HUGE) stuffed kangaroo watching you from the street. Here you can find unique hand made plush toys, for children and adults alike.(pictured) Each one lovingly created, each one an artwork.
Sho BCN:: Sho is a gallery and shop, they specialize in collector art toys, and you can find plenty of great books on the subject as well as unique gift items, clothing, artworks and other goodies. The store’s gallery at the back of the shop always has something interesting on the walls. Sho stocks some of my and MissYucki’s artworks, and this is where I had my “Magical Creatures” exhibition. Diana the owner is very friendly and the shop is always full of eye candy! c/ trav. de gracia, 163, Barcelona

image:: MUTT

MUTT:: Located in the old Iguapop gallery, MUTT continues to host artists and photographers on its walls, but the focus is clearly on books, of which they have a wide range. Art, design, architecture are the name of the game here, so if you want to find an interesting book for someone interested in the contemporary arts, this is a good place to start (and possibly end) your search.(pictured) C/ del Comerç 15, Barcelona
Freaks:: Freaks is actually a collection of 3 stores, each with a speciality. One focuses on film, and sells books on film and dvds of hard to find movies. You can find odd horror films, as well as books on the making of your favourite sci-fi. Next door you can find a store filled with books of comics, everything from Asian cartoons and manga to some of the french classic graphic novels. Finally in the third store, you will find an amazing collection of contemporary art and illustration books. All three stores are well worth a browse. C/ Ali Bei 10, Barcelona


Antique markets:: Barcelona hosts a number of vintage and antique markets. Often markets open up over various holiday periods, and there are plenty of Christmas markets too. The one I browse the most often (it’s open year round) is the Antique market in the harbour.(pictured) Open from 10.00 to 20.00, you can find various curiosities. I once saw a stuffed baby crocodile! It’s a bit touristy, but fun too. Plaça del Portal de la Pau. Click HERE for another list of antique/vintage markets.
Boqueria:: The Boqueria is Barcelona’s most famous fresh produce market. Although each neighbourhood has its own market, this one has a certain special something to it. The Boqueria should be in your list of places to visit in Barcelona. It’s in my top 5. The Boqueria sells its myriad, colourful produce to a multitude of Barcelona’s best restaurants each day, from its home on the Rambla. You can sit and sample some delicious tapas right in the mayhem of the market itself while enjoying the crowds (keep an eye on your wallet!). Here you will find pretty much all the typical food products of Catalunya. In season, you can pick up a bag of truffles or calçots. Everything is displayed on open stalls, and a browse in the seafood section will reveal the best of Med. If you enjoy this sort of thing, take a peek at the sheep heads and rabbits, it’s not for the faint hearted, but certainly a different experience, if you haven’t seen it before! C/ La Rambla 91, Barcelona

Want to shop for products made in Barcelona online? Here is a selection of local etsy sellers:
Jeez Vanilla
Corazon de Galleta
Judy Kaufmann
Cosmic Arms
Kat Cameron Illustration

Well that was just a taste of the shopping available in Barcelona. I totally recommend that you check out the Shopikon for Barcelona. Many of the shops I have listed here are featured there, and the website is easy to navigate and has plenty of great images so you can really tailor your search to your shopping needs. I often check the guide for new shops.

However nothing can beat a walk around the various areas of Barcelona for finding a surprising tienda right up your street! Don’t forget that everything closes for siesta, and almost all stores are closed on Sundays! Happy Shopping!

BARCELONA:: Introduction
BARCELONA:: Let’s Shop
BARCELONA:: My Alternative Top 5


4 thoughts on “Shopping up a Storm – a guide to Barcelona and Buying

  1. Pingback: My top 5 – Barcelona | The Illustrated Adventures of Kat Cameron

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