This is where Zara dumps all their previous season stuff, or damaged goods. I'm not kidding, you will find damaged goods here being sold, so please beware. Check each garment carefully before buying it. They also sell current season stuff from their basic line, like tees, tanks for summer or sweaters and coats for winter. If you are patient, you will find a lot!
What to buy: Bargain items, for example I bought a simple but elegant below the knee black winter coat for 11.99 euros. So cheap! It looked like 99 euros, i swear!
What to pay: not much
Well, its actually a regular Mango store in Calle Fuencarral, but don't miss the second floor! Thats where the outlet shopping is! They usually sell past season's stuff at a very discounted price, I've bought pants that are between 3-6 euros, tops for similar. Of course you have to really look well. Plus when its sort of off season, the place can be quite empty.
I'm not sure how they work, but I think if its currently Spring season, the regular Mango sells Spring 06 stuff while second floor sells Spring 05.
What to buy: Gosh, you can buy a lot here! 3 euro pants, 5 euro shades, I would say, if its around 20, its on the pricey side.
The shop is small but full of surprises. Wonderful silver rings with stones, idelic necklaces and bracelets...
before Summer and Chritmas there is always a flea market in the showroom (only for one week):
Almendro, 4.bajo D
What to buy: Silver Jewelry with stones!
What to pay: ready for your wallet to be empty?
I wouldn't generally recommend department stores here in the States, but I've had fashion success with them in both Brazil and Spain, go figure. To my amazement, the shoe department at El Corte Ingles rocked. Shoes are critically important. These were the store brand as well, only 59euros. Back in the good ole' days when that still meant $59USD. ;-)))
What to buy: mmmmm, SHOES, clothes, it's all good!
This is the place to be if you love Zara, they sell the collection of last season and clothes with little mistakes (like a button that's missing). It lookes really messy, but it's worth it.
I bought some Zara t-shirts for only 4€.
The picture should speak for itself... it's really chic.. the colours themselves can already lift your moods.
Agatha Ruiz De La Prada is one of the household names in Spain.. you probably see her stationery sold every.. Her clothes line for men, ladies and children are all carried in the El Cortes Ingles departmental stores.
I even got to meet and talk to Agatha in person. She's really really cool... totally friendly and no airs from her.
What to buy: Especially for those who love bright colours.. Very much different from the black and white norm.
What to pay: lip gloss and stationery costs about 2-20euros.. Clothes and bags costs about 20-150euros. This is a very rough gauge coz they have a wide range of items in the boutique.
Actually this is not a proper shopping tip, because the prices of this shop are so high that I guess that only Japanese VTers can afford them. Anyway, if you are like me very fond of shoes (I know no woman not interested in shoes) you cannot miss a visit in this luxury boutique in Calle de Serrano. You have to ring a bell and a very nice shop assistant will open you without bothering you. You can walk around, try everything and touch every single piece. Prices for shoes start from 500 euro and I did'n find boots for less than 1000 euros. So I never consider the possibility to buy them but I enjoyed the visit very much. You will find shoes difficult to find also in Milan or in Rom.
What to buy: It's a wordwide famous designers for shoes.
What to pay: No less than 500 euros for basic models.
There´re many interesting fashion shops for both men & women that are not so obvious for tourists. For young and trendy fashion Fuencarral street (accesible by Gran Via and Tribunal metro stations) is your best bet. It has all the usual young brands (Lee, Billabong...) plus a lot of smaller shops, specially in Mercado de Fuencarral, which is half way between Gran Via and Tribunal stations. There´re also some interesting shops in Espiritu Santo street.
If you want to get to "Factory" (Which is a big outlet mall), you have to get outside of the city. While Las Rozas Factory Mall is the most famous, I think is the worse of the three Madrid has. The easiest to access, and the biggest, is the one in San Sebastian de los Reyes. To get there, get the metro line 10 (dark blue); to the last station (Hospital del Norte); from there, there´s a 10 minute walk. You can also get buses 181 and 185 (going to Algete), in Plaza de Castilla. These will leave you at the door. Another great shopping mall outside central Madrid is Plaza Norte, in San Sebastian de los Reyes too; the stop is the next to Hospital del Norte (Reyes Católicos), and a 10 minute walk from there to the area called Mega Park; you can also get bus number 156 at Plaza de Castilla. Apart from lots of shops inside Plaza Norte, you have other large stores including Media Markt (electronics), Ikea and others.
Area North and East of Parque El Retiro is where the upper classes reside. It is called Salamanca. (Do not confuse with a city of the same name.)
There are many stores where your girlfriend or wife could buy stuff for a surprisingly reasonable price. Stores belong mainly to Spanish designers: Mango, Sfera, Berushka (or something close to that), and they are both fashionable and reasonably priced.
Alternatively, you can go to a department store. The main one is called Corte Ingles and its main store is located on Puerta del Sol square. But prices there are going to be a lot higher.
The Malasania is another quarter in Madrid which is also known for its trendsetting unconventional panorama and located around the Plaza Dos De Mayo.
I think it is a must while in Spain, don't miss the colorful quarter, this quarter is full of bars and clubs during night time, but at day time it has great stores to shop at.
I have no shop to list other than Zara. I would just recommend not making the mistake that i did and not shope when you can - i was concerned with space in my luggage and figured i would do all of my shopping in Paris. Bad idea. I should have done more shopping in Spain. This trip has me rethinking my entire wardrobe!
What to buy: Clothing, shoes, anything you can't get in the states.
What to pay: It's worth it!
We didn't make it, but this a tip how not to do. So here's what you should do:
1. Take a bus from the centrum of Madrid(it takes you to shops and you don't miss it), because if you go by train to Las Rozas there's no sign how to get to the outlets.
2. If you take the train take a taxi to the outlets, because we asked instructions how to get to the shops and we never didn't get there
3. Don't take the train because many taxi drivers didn't know where the shops are!
So these advices are for people who don't speak fluent spanish and don't know the neighborhood of Las Rozas.
What to buy: In Las rozas there's designer brands about 60% reduce.
What to pay: Whole day....or 5 hours.
Large department stores like El Corte Inglés are located in the Puerta del Sol... or along Princesa, Goya and Castellana.
If you coincide your visit with Madrid's major sales e.g. in October, you'll be happy to know that you can get really cheap stuffs! Look out for great Spanish brands like Mango and Zara. These 2 brand names are light years ahead of their competitors from the USA or other European countries.
Mango and Zara outfits are as hip and trendy as those you see on the fashion runways of Milan, Paris or New York (think: Gucci, Versace, Giorgio Armani etc). These 2 Spanish brands have reached iconic status amongst fans in Asia (especially Singapore!), Europe and Australia because they are able to sell their outfits at extremely affordable prices! Expect to pay 50% lesser for these outfits in Spain vis-a-vis countries like France or USA!
** (The latter countries raised the prices of Mango and Zara outfits to such ridiculous levels that it's NOT worth your while to even drop by the shops). ** I am a HUGE Mango and Zara fan and have made it a point to take note of such little details...
Who needs Gucci if you can get a Mango or a Zara for one-tenth of the price? ;-)
What to pay: If you shop for Spanish products, you can generally expect to pay 40% to 50% lesser than if you were to get it in your own country.
This neighbourhood, or barrio, is right in the centre of Madrid, just off Gran Vía. You can get there easily by Metro (Line 5, Chueca Metro station or simply walking from Gran Vía)
bars, coffee-houses, restaurants, design shops, clubs are also part of this colorful barrio.
No one shop in Madrid can explain its fashion sense, there are so many that shock your sould My favorite. Mango, also in Barcelona, is a hit for fun, fashion, young and hip clothing. Miss Sixty, I spotted it on this trip, is for the more adventurous, almost fetish-style items. Additionally, some of the best bridal couture is designed and made in Spain. Pronovias exports to the US but there are so many bridal and formal wear shops that just overwhelm one with passion for dressing rich.
What to buy: Whatever you cannot buy in your part of the US. If you live in NY or LA your fashion availabilities may not be as limited as mine. I love to buy the creative and bold outfits that you would have to special order from some over priced, low quality - club clothes catalog here in the US. There you can try on what you like, feel the quality and dance in it to happening music right there in the store. I also have found no problems using my AMEX in clothes stores in Spain, of course they may see me coming, as the card is burning through my pocket as I walk in the door.
What to pay: Shopping in Spain is comparable if not cheaper than in the US. If you are from NY or LA you will love the prices.