Barcelona is an excellent city for shopping. When consumers think of luxury shops in New York, they head for Fifth Avenue. The nearest there is to that in the Catalan capital is Passeig de Gràcia. Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Gucci all have boutiques on this avenue. Among Spanish and Catalan designers, fashion brands such as Custo Barcelona, Josep Font and Toni Miró stand out, along with the Tous jewellery chain, popular around the world for their bear-shaped designs.
There also are department stores that are easy to spot and where you can find practically everything. El Corte Inglés is one of the most popular. Shopping centres can be found right across the city and one of the newest, Les Arenes, is housed in a renovated bullring.
Barcelona's local commerce model has boosted the development of shopping hubs, based around municipal markets in the city's neighbourhoods.
Some of the retail establishments have a long history behind them and still preserve the original beauty of their Modernista style, despite a century of business activity.
Anyone who loves good wine and exquisite delis will also find lots of shops in Barcelona that specialise in gourmet food.
And there are plenty of places selling the craft products from various sectors and popular trades in Catalonia: pottery, baskets made from hazel twigs, wool, leather, wood and so on.
Retail establishments in Barcelona can open from Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 10 pm, depending on the sector. Most city shops open on Monday to Saturday, from 9 am to 1.30 pm and from 5 to 8 pm, although some are closed Saturday evening. Department stores and shopping centres are open from around 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday. All shops are closed on Sundays and holidays, except for 10 authorised Sundays and holidays spread over the year. On top of that, between 1 July and 15 September, commercial establishments in the area classified as a tourist zone can also open on Sundays, from 10 am to 6 pm.
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