Besides all the great sights that you can absorb while in Madrid, you are bound to make your way to the shops in the city. For the book lovers, there will be plenty of bookstores to fill your time. You can also pick up many good guidebooks as well as maps on Madrid to help you in your visit.
Two popular bookstores in Madrid at the Fnac which is located at Plaza Callao and the El Corte Ingles’ store which houses a huge separate book section away from its departmental store.
The most popular items to shop for while in Spain would be the leather products that are manufactured locally. Locals as well as tourists make a beeline for the leather bags and shoes as they are of high quality. Many like ceramic wares as well as local Spanish capes and shawls. There is plenty of unique jewelry that sport Majorica cultured pearls. Although heavy, some are keen on the local furniture and antiques as well as flamenco items. These local wares make great souvenirs and good memories of a fantastic Spanish holiday.
For the pious Catholics, you will be delighted with the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical garments, crosses, rosaries and nativity scene products. On the other hand, Real Madrid football fan club can be found at Bernabéu Stadium or the Puerta del Sol’s Calle de Carmen for the club’s offerings.
Madrid offers many interesting markets such as the ancient San Miguel market that sells mainly meat and green produce, and the flea market at Rastro which opens on Sunday mornings. These markets are usually crowded with locals, tourists and even pickpockets!
Luxury goods can be purchased at the Serrano district malls which can be reached by public transportation or hop on to MadridVision’s sightseeing buses.
Most shops open from 10am to 2pm and again from 5pm to 8pm after a siesta. This is the typical Spanish schedule although departmental stores are open through lunch and close at 9pm or 10pm.
The city is alive at night; downtown entertainment prevails until 11pm which peaks on Sunday nights. You will find many couples enjoying a romantic walk along the Royal Palace promenade after dark, which is not surprising for the beautiful atmosphere around.
Others would head their way towards the local bars and nightclubs where tapas and conversations reign for the night. Flamencos are very popular entertainment in Madrid too. The Gran Vía is another favorite spot for movies with its abundant movie palaces as well as live theatre offerings, or you can opt for a night of opera at the Teatro Real but there may be other concerts performing at different times of the year.
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