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Shopping in Madrid

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January and February sales!

The first months of the year are the best for shopping in the capital because, with the passing of the Christmas season, the prices plummet and all the big brands do their best to get rid of their winter stock, making way for their new spring-summer collections in the windows.
But not only are clothes affected by the discounts in price, which can be between 20 and 70%, the sales affect practically all businesses and all types of products.
The idea of "sales" came about in New York in the past century's 30s when a large department store director realized that it was much more profitable to liquidate the surplus than to store it, especially in sectors as changing as fashion.  In Spain, sales appeared a decade afterward, a product of the competition between the large department stores El Corte Inglés and Galerías Preciados, brands founded by two Asturian cousins after their return from emigrating to Cuba.  El Corte Inglés continues to be the largest commercial store in Spain, which absorbed its competition in the 90s.  It has points of sale in the principal commercial areas of the capital.

Wide Variety

Madrid offers a wide selection for shopping, from fashion, designer, second hand shops and large markets...  You can distinguish five big shopping zones: Princesa, the Center, Salamanca, Chueca and Cuatro Caminos, each one with their own particular characteristics:

  • Princesa: the area with the greatest offers for all pocketbook sizes, with well-known clothing brands (Mango, Benetton, Zara...) which abound on the Princesa and Alberto Aguilera streets, as well as the large El Corte Inglés department stores.
    To get there: Argüelles metro.
  • Chueca:  the fashion zone, with original designer articles (its offer of shoes especially stands out) in a Bohemian style.  The streets of Hortaleza and Fuencarral (with the Fuencarral market) have the most varied stores.
    To get there: Chueca metro stop, very close to the center.
  • The Center: to combine tourism with shopping, the central zone offers you a multitude of opportunities, with a wide offer on Gran Vía as well as in the Puerta del Sol side streets.  On top of El Corte Inglés and Fnac in the plaza Callao, you will find first rate Spanish stores with very affordable prices, like Zara or Bershka.
    To get there: metro Sol or Callao.
  • Salamanca: the most "luxurious" zone for shopping, with big name stores and runway fashions.  The streets to shop on are: Serrano, Velázquez, Castelló, Goya, Jorge Juan and Lagasca.
    To get there: metro stop Goya or Velázquez.
  • Cuatro Caminos is the option for shopping good prices in the northern region of Madrid, in the area surrounding Plaza de Castilla.
    To get there: Cuatro Caminos metro


Casasmadrid makes lodging available in the commercial centers of Madrid, such as their Goya, Arenal, Sol, Plaza Mayor, Luisa Fernanda and Nuñez Balboa apartments.

In the summer, the sales return: In March, prices return to their usual order, but do not despair if you arrived late or if you are planning to visit Madrid in the summer: June 21 to August 21 the sales return!

El Rastro, a must visit

It is the main market in Madrid that takes place every Sunday throughout the year in the historic center.
Its origin goes back to the 15th century with the establishment of the "ropavejeros" (sellers of old, used clothing).  Previously, they were located in the tanning or tannery zone around the streets of Ribera de Curtidores, close to the slaughterhouse, because transporting the animal carcasses, dragging them with their skins from the slaughterhouse to the tannery left a rastro (trail) of blood.  It seems that this is the origin of the name.
Today, El Rastro is a melting pot of stands where you can buy wares from clothes (new as well as old) to furniture, paintings, magazines and used books, animals, antiques, and all other curious items.  It is also a tradition to have a martini or an aperitif (the traditional caña of beer accompanied by a tapa) in one of the zone's many bars.

- Where:  in the Embajadores neighborhood.  The perimeter of El Rastro is marked by three large streets: Calle Toledo, Calle Embajadores and Ronda de Toledo.  It surrounds the Cascorro, General Vara and Campillo plazas as well as the streets that join them, the Ribera de Curtidores being their center point.

- When: Every Sunday throughout the year, from 9AM to 3PM.

- Warning: The zone is frequented by pickpockets.  Never lose sight of your belongings.

- To get there, it's close to the metro stops: La Latina, Tirso de Molina, Puerta de Toledo or Embajadores.

- Lodging from Casasmadrid close to El Rastro: Mancebos, Toledo, Calatrava, Latina.

Shopping Routes:  If you want more detailed information about places to shop, on www.descubremadrid.com, you can download the complete guide to shopping routes in Madrid, supplied by the Board of Tourism of Madrid. 

Author: Eva Martos
Photography: Ebalmas

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