Madrid is a shopper's paradise where cosmopolitan shops display genuinely Spanish traditional goods alongside the most innovative brands. You will find everything from antique dealers and auctions, prestigious jewellers and shoe shops to large department stores.
It is essential to spend at least a morning or a free afternoon shopping to round off your visit to Madrid. In fact, visitors can plan their shopping trip as part of a tour through the different shopping areas in the city, some of which are full of history like Madrid de los Asturias. Many establishments offer foreign visitors not from the European Union a tax-free service, and in practically all shops you can pay with a credit card.
Madrid boasts several highly characteristic shopping areas, like Gran Via and Calle Preciados, or that of Azca-Orense, but it is in Barrio de Salamanca, and more specifically Calle de Serrano and its surrounding streets where you will find the main fashion shops in Madrid, the most elegant boutiques and the most luxurious jewellery establishments.
Top international designers (Cerruti, Chanel, Armani, Escada, Versace, Vuitton, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent...) and also the leading Spanish designers in the international fashion world - Adolfo Dominguez, Javier Larranizar, Loewe, Roberto Verino or Sybilla, amongst others - have their shops in and around Barrio de Salamanca.
In Madrid small shops exist alongside shopping centres, the latter specialising in fashion in which buyers find boutiques and shoe shops, accessories, perfume, jewellery, costume jewellery and gifts under one roof. Let's not forget the many good quality antique shops and art galleries. Those wishing to have everything 'to hand' can opt for a trip to the large department stores, like Corte Inglés.
The Old Shops in Historic Madrid
The whole historic centre (where you will discover tourist attractions such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace and numerous old streets and squares full of local colour) is packed with small, traditional shops, many of which still retain their 100-year-old decoration and in which you can find the most unusual and surprising items.
The old pharmacies, in which they still sell magnificent formulas, and sweet shops specialising in traditional confectionery alternate with shops selling religious objects and haberdasher's shops displaying mulicolour shelves full of ribbons, buttons, lace, skeins, buckles and an array of useful items for sewing.
Silversmiths and jewellery shops claiming to have been suppliers to the royal household and the most ancient nobility open their doors next to establishments of knife and blade makers. There are also umbrella and walking stick makers, milliners and craftsmen offering traditional items like guitars and castanets, bullfighters' suits and flamenco dresses, fans and Spanish capes.
Wander around these streets, gaze at the shop windows, go in and ask and perhaps buy something unexpected; you could combine this with a stop-off in one of the many bars, taverns and old cafes which abound in Old Madrid.
Most shops open between 09.30 and 13.30h in the morning and 17.00 to 20.00h in the afternoon on weekdays. During the summer months, many establishments will stay open much later in the evening. On Saturday opening hours are restricted to the morning shift and Sunday is literally the day of rest.
Larger establishments, department stores and supermarkets will stay open all day, Saturday included, and are allowed to open on the first Sunday of every month.
Banks open a little earlier in the morning, around 08.30h, but
close for the day at 14.00h. Some branches open on Thursday evening
(e.g. Caja Madrid) or Saturday morning. Each bank normally has
a small plaque outside its offices indicating any special opening