If you still have some spare euros left over from the holidays, then Barcelona is the spot to spend it these days. Deep sales (called “rebajas”) happen just twice a year; in January after the Epiphany and July right before everyone goes on vacation. So we’re right in the middle of prime sales time now.
If, like me, you find sales impossible to resist, then you should definitely avoid the area around Pl. Catalunya, Pssg de Gracia and the Gothic Quarter where there are signs in every shop window beckoning passersby to save 50% or more on 2012 winter fashions.
Here’s how it works:
- Sales began on January 7. Most stores will mark down their merchandise by 20-30%.
- The sales get deeper as the month passes. Every week stores will offer better discounts, so in a way it pays to wait until the third week or so of January. However, if you wait too long your size or a certain style you’ve had your eye on may be sold out. It’s a gamble.
- Most stores offer sale items through January and February.
What’s on sale?
Just about everything! But especially shoes (Spanish boots anyone?), clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. Don’t expect discounts on food or at shops along La Rambla.
Where to buy?
Follow this breakdown of recommended shops, depending on your spending power:
Posh: L’Illa Mall in uptown and boutiques along Pssg de Gracia.
Midrange: Portal de l’Angel is the top choice for a little bit of everything. An outdoor shopping mall branching off Pl. Catalunya, take this pedestrian street into the Gothic Quarter, stopping at big name stores such as Mango and Zara on the way.
Exclusive/Artsy: The Born is jammed with pricy boutiques selling cutting-edge fashions, one-of-a-kind jewelry and exclusive lotions and scents. Most shops in this area offer superb products at prohibitive prices. However, there are a few bohemian boutiques in the mix that may tempt those with less to spend. Start at the Santa Maria del Mar church and wander from there along the side streets.
My favorite emporium to shoe sale shop is Casas. They have a wide selection of Spanish-made shoes, boots, sneakers and sandals. They do not sell cheap, fall-apart-in-two-months crap, and usually their wares are rather expensive. For this reason it’s best to peruse Casas at sales times when a pair of designer, leather Spanish boots by Vialis might be 50-70% off, making them affordable.
Read more on the Casas Web site. * Note that Casas also has an outlet store near the Lesseps metro stop that sells discounted shoes year-round.
Also in our guide: If you’re in the process of planning a trip to Barcelona, be sure to swing by our city guide to read reviews of the best budget hotels in Barcelona. All of our hotel picks have been visited and inspected by our Barcelona editor.