This is a guide to Madrid shopping.You will find an overview to some of the best places to shop in Madrid, together with a price guide for each area. Included are the latest styles in Madrid and how it compares to other European cities. You can see a short introduction about more specific shopping for women and men, and we've given you some guidance on how to blend in with the locals.
Madrid shopping is so much fun because there are so many different styles to choose from. I personally don't like shopping, but on my first visit to Madrid, I nearly bankrupted myself, and ended up with about 6 bags of clothes that I'm sure I didn't need.
Unless you're shopping in designer boutiques, you'll find the prices reasonable. Especially in the sales. In comparison to shopping in other cities in Europe, I also think that the prices here are more reasonable, and the choice more varied.
There are five areas to head for if you are Madrid shopping: Salamanca, Chueca, the centre (near Puerta del Sol), Princesa and Cuatro Caminos. Each area caters to different tastes and budgets. I've provided an outline of each for you below.
Chueca is a trendy, bohemian area, where you'll find originals and designer goods, with prices to match. One of the best streets to head for is Calle Hortaleza. Chueca is especially good for shoes.
Chueca isn't far from the centre. If you are on Gran Via, you can walk to Chueca in 5 minutes.
Metro: Chueca (Green Line, L5)
Salamanca is a glamorous place to do Madrid shopping. It's like Madrid's answer to Bond street, and is nicknamed 'the golden mile'. The streets you should look for are: Serrano, Velázquez, Castelló, Goya, Jorge Juan and Lagasca. When I walked down Serrano, I felt like I needed a new outfit before I would even be allowed to enter any of the shops. A skirt in the sales still cost €350.00.
Metro: Goya (Red Line, L2) or Velázquez (Brown Line, L4)
To find authentic bohemian styles in Chueca, look for the Fuencarral indoor market on Fuencarral street. This is where the coolest boho's find their outfits.
Shopping in the centre of Madrid is a delight. There'll be many shops that you are familiar with. The most obvious areas to go are the Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Puerta del Sol and nearby streets. You'll find Spanish high street names like Zara, Pimkie, Bershka, Fnac and El Corte Ingles.
Metro: Sol (Red Line, L2) or (Light Blue Line, L1) or (Yellow Line, L3)
If you don't want to hurt your bank balance you should shop near the university in the area of Argüelles. Start your Madrid shopping trip on the streets of Princesa and Alberto Aguilera.
Metro: Argüelles (Brown Line, L4)
Another bargain hunters paradise is at Cuatro Caminos in the north of Madrid. You'll find it between the streets of Bravo Murillo and Orense. Near the Plaza de Castilla.
Metro: Cuatro Caminos (Red Line, L2) or (Light Blue Line, L1) or (Grey Line, L6, Circular).
The dress code in Madrid is elegant. People aim to look their best, and, at night, if it's cold they wrap up warm. You'll see people in smart suits when they are working, and smart casuals when they're not, but most people aim to look good. If you want to blend in I wouldn't bother packing your beach shorts!
Most women will love shopping in Madrid because there are trendy high street names like Pimkie, large department stores like El Corte Ingles and designer outlets.
Trousers in Spain tend to be longer which is good news if you are tall. But if they are too long, the shop will usually alter them for you for a charge of about €4.00.
One of the best places to look for exclusive boutiques in Madrid is in the Salamanca district. If you can afford to splash out you are guaranteed to find something truly different. What I love about boutiques is their originality. Even if you don't buy anything, just seeing the décor in the shop makes the visit worthwhile.
For more information see our page on Boutiques in Madrid.
Madrid has some of the best markets I have ever been to. Although they are crowded, it's worth battling your way through to see the myriad of items for sale. The most famous is the weekly 'El Rastro' which is held on a Sunday morning. You'll need about 3 hours just to walk around it, but there are some stunning clothes and every other type of trinket imaginable.
Metro: Puerta de Toledo (Green Line, L5) plus 5 minutes walk.
I know that most men don't like shopping, but in Madrid they may well be tempted. If you're after young and trendy styles head for Chueca, or something more conservative is more your thing try one of the big department stores like El Corte Ingles.
Shopping in Madrid is fun if you know which area to head for. This page gives you a guide as to what styles and prices you can find where. You will find both big department stores with everything under one roof and smaller, more exclusive boutiques with original designs.
Shopping here doesn't have to be expensive, and there are details on this page on how to find Madrid's most famous market to get some bargains. After a day scouring the shops, you'll need to rest.