Barcelona has hundreds of stores selling an appealing array of antiques and other items of cultural and historical interest, there are various areas around the city where you can find a cluster of shops displaying anything from old porcelain dolls, vintage postcards and books, to fabrics, jewellery, and much much more.
One such place is the Bulevard dels Antiquaris on the Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample district. Open from Monday to Saturday it’s seen as one of the safest places to buy antiques in the city as items are checked for their authenticity by local experts. Take the morning to explore more than 50 antique and art shops selling an array of art treasures, limited edition prints by local artists Milo and Tapies, ethnic jewellery, toys, coins and clothes.
Also in the Eixample area is Carrer Consell de Cent, home to a choice selection of stores with an appealing selection of objects, you’ll find some of the same traders setting up their stalls on a Thursday at the cathedral and Port Vell at weekends. You should also take the time to check out the galleries on the same street between Rambla de Catalunya and Carrer de Balmes. On Sundays a vintage book market bases itself around the perimeter of the Mercat de Sant Antoni food and clothes market with a wide range of ancient books, vintage comics, old coins from all over the world, posters and music.
The Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats is held in the Placa Nova in the Barri Gotic right in front of the cathedral on Thursdays. There’s a fascinating collection of antiques and other vintage items on sale such as classic postcards and jewellery, manila shawls, watches and other bric-a-brac – it pays to haggle here as they’ll see you’re a tourist and up the price. And Carrer de la Palla in the same district is an exciting street of old-fashioned shops and fascinating curios to sift through.
Although not a shop you should find some time to catch the metro to Liceu and pay the Barcelona Museu del Calcat a visit, based in a medieval house it was originally the shoemakers’ guild headquarters. The collection includes various forms of footwear from 70’s style platform boots to Roman sandals, as well as a fascinating look at cobblers’ tools and machinery from various points in time. Check out the famous feet section where on display are the largest pair of shoes in the world, made to fit the statue Monumento a Colón and featured in the Guiness Book of Records. It makes sense to look into apartment rentals for your accommodation needs as they are convenient for those with families or anyone travelling in a group.
If you’re in the city for a few days holiday and like to shop then don’t miss Els Encants Vells flea market – otherwise known as Mercat de Fira de Bellcaire which translates into the market of charms – held every Mon, Wed, Fri and Saturdays. It has antique furniture and Barca memoribilia, secondhand clothes and religious relics – you can spend all day here getting some great buys, catch the metro to Glòries and it’s next to the shopping mall. There are plenty of bargains to be found but don’t believe everything you’re told and be prepared to haggle for the best price.
L’Arca de l’Avia is a wonderful little store, located in the Barri Gotic it specialises in antique textiles. Small, but crammed with vintage fabrics it has a huge selection of dresses, curtains, bedlinen and handmade lace. Also well-known for its original lace headdresses and shawls it’s a popular spot with brides looking for something special for their wedding outfit. Find yourself an apartment in the city centre and all these great little stores are just on the doorstep.
If you’re short of time then there are a few select companies that offer guided shopping trips around Barcelona who can show you the best places all in one day. Whether your interests are in shopping for stylish second-hand clothes, scouring the art galleries for unique pieces of art or searching for something different in the antique shops, they will be able to lead you to the best markets and unique boutiques, hidden away in small side streets and other secret places you could never discover on your own.
Mathieu Quintart writes articles for Cocoon Barcelona, the place for finding apartments Barcelona and self-catering apartments for short and long term rental. Whether you are looking for studio apartments, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom or 4-bedroom apartments, Cocoon Barcelona have just the thing for you. Browse though their extensive assortment of pictures on both budget and luxury apartment Barcelona which are available at affordable prices. Find out about appartement Barcelone today.
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