Spain // Madrid //


Shopping districts in Madrid are pretty defined. The biggest range of stores is along the Gran Vía and the streets running north out of Puerta del Sol, which is where the department stores – such as El Corte Inglés – have their main branches. For fashion (moda), the smartest addresses are calles Serrano, Goya, Ortega y Gasset and Velázquez in the Salamanca barrio, while more alternative designers are in Malasaña and Chueca (c/Almirante, especially). For street fashion, there’s plenty on offer around c/Fuencarral. The antiques trade is centred towards the Rastro, on and around c/Ribera de Curtidores, while for general weirdness, it’s hard to beat the shops just off Pl. Mayor, where luminous saints rub shoulders with surgical supports and Fascist memorabilia. If you want international shops or chain stores, head for Madrid 2, a large shopping centre next to Barrio de Pilar. There is a smaller, more upmarket mall at ABC Serrano, with entrances at c/Serrano 61 and Paseo de la Castellana 34 (Rubén Darío).

Most areas of the city have their own mercados del barrio – indoor markets, devoted mainly to food. Among the best are the refurbished Mercado de San Miguel (just west of Pl. Mayor) and Mercado de San Antón in Chueca (Chueca), while there are more traditional markets in the Pl. de la Cebada (La Latina) and c/Santa Isabel (Antón Martín). The city’s biggest market is, of course, El Rastro – the flea market – which takes place on Sundays in La Latina, south of Plaza. Other specialized markets include the secondhand book stalls on Cuesta del Moyano, near Estación de Atocha, and the stamp and coin markets in Pl. Mayor on Sundays.

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