There's an El Corte Ingles within a 10-mile radius in Spain and Portugal. My favorite one is the one in Madrid close to Santiago Bernabeu Stadium because it has nice stores such as Dior, Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. I walked from my hotel. The people that work here are a bit snotty but if you look like you're a shopper vs a window shopper then they get a lot nicer. I ended up getting 2 purses from Louis Vuitton because I was in a hurry.
They also have gourmet items such as chocolate-covered figs, macarons, olives, artisan chocolates, marzipan, olive oil, wine and other Spanish treats to bring home. They have everything making shopping very convenient and efficient.
There's a taxi stand right outside Gucci which was great as my arms and legs were about to fall off from shopping overload.
I agree with Brandon B. This El Corte Ingles is designed for rich old people used to the old way of department stores. There's actually another one on the other side of Placa Catalunya which is laid out in a much more modern fashion.
The only reason to go here is for the comprehensive, if a bit fancy, supermarket in the basement.
Very old-fashioned department store: crowded space, poor lay-out, bad lighting, over-priced, and dismal customer service.
I can't think of a single reason to shop here.
This was a great department store with a ton of items to choose from.
Their men's selection was actually really good - no matter what style you were looking for, the available items were great. From simple and casual to trendy and chic, there were lots of great choices. Most of the items had a great European cut to them (very different from the larger American cut) and I thought everything fit perfectly.
They have a grocery store on the basement level as well as a restaurant at the very top, which actually offers some great views of Barcelona.
My go-to shopping spot whenever I visit Spain, and this location is the mother of all El Corte Ingles. It covers a city block and towers over Placa Catalunya. You can find everything you need here. During my travels I have come here for their supermarket in the basement, pharmacy, stationary, and when I once forgot my power adapter, I found one here for cheap! It's also a good place to find gifts/souvenirs.
They offer foreign visitors 10% off, plus you can get 13% of the IVA back if you get a tax free form.
Fashion-wise, you can find a wide variety of brands (both Spanish and International) from mid-range to more high end. E.g. desigual, Longchamps, Tous, French Connection, Sfera, Camper, Marc Jacobs, La Perla, etc.
There's also a smaller location off Las Ramblas that is more geared to a younger demographic, which is worth checking out too!
Spanish department superstore.
This one in particular is HUGE.
Multi-floor with almost everything available inside.
There's a restaurant/cafe on the top floor which has decent views and the food isn't too bad.
Head to the basement and they have a nice grocery store area. You can definitely find items here that you would not be able to find in the US (not surprisingly), assuming you can work out what it is!!
If you need something in a pinch then this place should suffice. If you run out of things to do (pretty hard unless you are here for weeks) then you can walk around to pass some time.
The food in the basement is the best reason to come here.
Taking up a whole side of Plaça de Catalunya, this huge building ranging over 12 (yes, 12) floors is the largest of this ubiquitous Spanish chain in Barcelona.
The range of stuff it sells is huge, with the emphasis on serving well-heeled customers: it's generally fairly pricey, although there are some bargains to be had during one of the frequent sales. Menswear sticks to well-known, traditional brands, with traditional, even middle-aged, styling - I've never seen such a wide range of pyjamas and dressing gowns - so it's better for formal wear than casuals.
Other sections - such as gifts, soft furnishings, luggage, kitchenware and electronics - offer a wider range of choice, and more reasonable prices. There are lots of useful services such as watch, luggage and shoe repairers - useful to know if you are travelling.
As you'd expect, the staff are generally very professional, though in my experience can be slightly condescending, and occasionally it seems the whole sales service can break down when they are really busy. (Why not employ more staff at sales time?)
Insider's tip: the restaurant and cafe on the top floor have an outside terrace - an excellent place to get a roof-top view of this part of the city.
This is a solid average department store that gets most of its points from being conveniently located and big. The grocery store is not great, and the people who work there are crabby and lame. The selection is decent, though I find that I also have to visit Carrefour and some Supermercatos to get certain things. It's very much like going to a super-Walmart in the US, with less selection and higher prices (because it's Barcelona), but one of most things you'd ever need.
Also note that although the posted hours are until 10:00p, they actually close at 9:30p and there are people walking around the store telling you to leave a little before that.
I'm not sure I get what all the hype is about, but it's definitely one of the bigger department stores I saw in Europe. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy anything here, but truth be told it definitely did come in handy when we needed to pick up replacements for some very worn out traveling clothes. Worth a look.
I knew this Department Store from the one in Mallorca. As I needed a pair of convy shoes for the City Tour in Barca, I didnt hesitate to try my luck here as well. Too bad didnt have enough time to explore more. One thing I noticed they need some renovations and more creativity for their interior. Exterior? Excellent, esp at nite!!! :D
Huge spanish department stroe in the heart of all the action. They have everything from groceries to souvenirs to clothes and just about anything inbetween. I would probably stick to the outside vendors surrounding this for the souvenirs because you can bargain with them for lower prices, but come here for essential things you would need in a hurry. The food court in the basememnt area is very good as well. I found the staff to be pleassant, even the ones who speak very little english. Always greeted with a smil and "bon dia".
I haven't been here since 1994, but back then it had a decent restaurant at the top level with a great view of the city. The squid steal was excellent.
a must but with desigual around the corner i would advice to finish desigual and then shop here
Fab, as with of these stores in Spain the choice is huge. I go for menswear being a man of the 'fuller figure' i go to the 'tallest/grandes' section (fat Gits), the prices are very reasonable and they have all the best brands in large sizes, I generally spend the day ( or two)
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