Category: Shopping in Madrid

El Rastro

This famous Sunday morning flea market, located next to La Latina, one of the oldest quarters of Madrid, has everything from clothes, bags and other paraphernalia, to the funny stalls dedicated to just one single thing: there is one, for example, that sells nothing but various shapes and sizes of elastic bands! One specific side [...]

Spring Style in Madrid

Spring is here! Shed the heavy clothes, the blacks, grays, and browns of the winter months, and bring out the warm weather wardrobe! As the Converse sign proclaims, “The color is here, the heat is coming.” Spring/summer fashion 2008 in Madrid is all about color, color, color. For the women out there, the racks are [...]

The Things You Miss: Expat Goods in Madrid

Spanish food is wonderful. Well, except for callos (tripe)! Which is what I think King Juan Carlos was actually complaining about. “¿Por qué no tienen callos?” is what I am sure he was saying as a comment on Señor Chavez’s hospitality. But we can’t all share regal tastes! And sometimes we British don’t always want [...]

Yarn Shops and Knitting in Madrid

Seeing as knitting is a current craze for young people, I recently defied my non-crafty genes and picked up some needles. Knitting—known as tejar or hacer punto or just punto in Spanish—hasn’t exactly become hip in Madrid to the degree it has in other cities of the world, but there’s a decent selection of different [...]

Where to Buy and Sell Second-Hand Books in Madrid

If you didn’t bother bringing your whole library with you to Madrid, have no fear. Madrid is home to several quality second-hand English bookshops for all your literary needs. The story doesn’t end at books, either: you can take advantage of free WiFi, intercambio and quiz nights, and liquid refreshment, too. And when you finish [...]

Five Vintage Clothing Shops

Second-hand shopping is a fun pastime in any city and Madrid is no exception. Now the prices are nowhere near the rock-bottom steals I’ve found in cities in the U.S., but sometimes prices here are negotiable. Here are five shops to check out: 1. Underground: This place is packed with clothes from the ’50s to [...]

Natural Foods in Madrid

A Spanish friend of mine calls herself a vegetarian. But, she says, “I make an exception for jamón.” There you have it: it can be a little tough to be a true vegetarian in this country. In Madrid, though, life is not so bad for those who seek vegetarian-friendly shops or restaurants. First, you’ve got [...]

Madrid’s Holiday Market and Christmas Tree Shopping

The holidays are upon us and it’s time to decorate your piso. Christmas trees, holiday lights, nativity scene figurines. Where in Madrid can you shop for decorations? In a word – Plaza Mayor. The scene of a traditional, frenetic holiday market, the various stalls of the plaza offer all of the above and more. You’ll [...]

Alambique – Cookery Kit and Classes in Madrid

We’ve covered the bases for you on food shopping, but with what equipment are you going to prepare and serve all that lovely food you’ve just bought? There are, of course, many places to buy kitchenware in this town (from your neighborhood “Euro Bazaar” on up the scale). But if you’re looking for high-quality, hard-to-find, [...]

Out-of-hours Madrid: Part I – Shopping

The scene – or variations thereof – will be familiar to many a non-native Madrileño. Late for a meeting yesterday, I realised I’d run out of deodorant. Horror struck. Not because I’m afflicted with particularly bad BO (to my knowledge), but because it was just past 2:30pm, the time when almost everything becomes unavailable, almost [...]

Madrid Neighbourhoods: Malasaña – Still Putting the Mad in Madrid?

The mindless graffiti and affable goths seem a lukewarm legacy of La Movida Madrileña (the capital’s post-Franco wild years) which kicked off in Malasaña in the Seventies. However, some of Spain’s cultural revolutionaries (the ones who didn’t die of heroine overdoses) are still to be spotted slinking around the barrio, ensuring that the party spirit [...]

How to avoid looking like a tourist in Madrid

To avoid obviously looking like a tourist, choose a sleek bag over a fanny pack or backpack (men may opt to carry man-purses). Don’t ever wear socks with sandals or white socks, period. To really blend in, you’d do well to emulate current trends (as filtered down from the annual Cibeles fashion week) by checking [...]

Ioli: Stride in Style

Dragon slayers’ convention? First dinner with a prospective mother-in-law? If you’re the kind of girl who likes to have the perfect footwear for every occasion, Ioli might just save your life. Because this is the only place I know in the world, let alone Madrid, where you get to design your own shoes. Walk into [...]

Buying Art at Madrid’s Rastro Market

Sidewalk merchants are an inherent part of Madrid life. The top manta vendors offer sheet after sheet of DVDs, sunglasses, and bags. Late night Sol sprouts folding tables tempting the temporarily buzzed with a jolt of energy in the form of a bocadillo (roll). Gypsies sell fruit on the street corners. And there is, of [...]

Avoid: El Corte Inglés – Service with a Scowl

I try to boycott this poor excuse for a department store, but a few months ago I happened to be in El Corte Inglés getting some help with my tax return (a free service that I urge residents to exploit). Passing the make-up section with a softened heart, I decided to buy a mascara. Until [...]