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Barcelona: Secondhand shopping secrets in Barcelona

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Outside the Retro City vintage shop in Barcelona. Photo by that james.
Outside the Retro City vintage shop in Barcelona. Photo by that james.

I have lived in Spain for over four years now, though I’m originally from Portland, Oregon. In my native city, secondhand and vintage clothing boutiques are as common as rainy days.

When I lived in Portland, it was all the rage to shop secondhand. From frocks to socks to records and costume jewelry, purchases were almost cooler if used. This trend has caught on slowly in Barcelona. When I first arrived I knew of just one secondhand place in the center called Humana which carried a pretty good selection of seasonal fashions.

Here’s a quick guide to secondhand shopping success in Barcelona.

Humana

Over time, it seems like vintage and secondhand have become hip, though only among certain crowds. The store I mentioned before, Humana, has become a success, and now has shops all over the city. I’ve been in to it a few times, and it seems to draw folks who are trying to save a few euros rather than hipsters trying to look unique.

There are some good bargains to be had at Humana, however, provided you have the patience and the talent to spot fashion gold from worn-out junk. (I like to think that I have this gift.)

Eclectic finds on Calle Tallers

Calle Tallers and the area surrounding it also has quite a bit to offer in the secondhand and vintage department. Stroll Tallers from La Rambla to Plaza Universitat and you will find that, interspersed with all the music stores and bakeries, there are three or four used clothing shops with eccentrically dressed clerks. Retro City is one on Tallers to look out for.

Specialty Shops in El Raval and the Gothic Quarter

Heading deeper into El Raval from Calle Tallers, you’ll come upon Wilde Vintage on Joaquin Costa. The specialty here is vintage sunglasses, and with all the sunny days in Barcelona, who couldn’t use pair of sweet vintage shades?

Another area known for its secondhand shopping options is Riera Baixa. Look out for Le Swing along this Gothic Quarter calle.

Outdoor Markets

Back before secondhand was cool, there were people in Barcelona buying used goods at the city’s many outdoor markets. There are two which are especially famous for their wide selection of used merchandise: Encants Market and San Antonti Market (on Sunday).

At Sant Antoni you’ll mostly find used books, CDs and videos. Encants, on the other hand, has pretty much a little bit of everything. As is the case with almost all markets in Europe, go early. The pickings are slim the closer you get to noon. The early bird catches the worm, or in this case, the vintage 1950′s cocktail dress… Happy hunting!

About the author

Regina W Bryan

About the author: Regina W.Bryan is a Barcelona-based freelance writer and photographer. When not eating tapas and exploring Europe, she is tending her balcony veggie garden and practicing Catalan. For more of her thoughts on Spain, check: www.regwb.com and www.thespainscoop.com.

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6 Responses to “Barcelona: Secondhand shopping secrets in Barcelona”

nicole says:

Hi,

I’m a former Peace Corps Volunteer traveling through Europe. A friend and I will be leaving Barcelona on a cruise next week. This cruise requires us to wear nice clothing. After volunteering for two years, we have no nice clothing and little money. Where might we be able to locate in Barcelona (or close to) cheap, but somewhat nice clothing?

Marvin Jose says:

@nicole: you can visit my blog i got one shopping guide post right there…

Leo says:

Thanks so much for sharing this info.

I’ve lived in Oregon all my life up until now, and nearly my entire wardrobe was purchased at the Bethany Goodwill near 185th. Now that I’m living in Barcelona I’m stunned by the prices of clothing, especially since 25 euro for a sweater means a whole new previously owned get up back in Portland. I’m going to go check these places out today and see if I can spot some hipsters and a few new tees. IMO Barcelona is like Spain’s Portland, only with a lot less homeless people.

Kate says:

I am travelling for a year and currently in Europe and need to shed some weight in my bag. I have decent clothes to sell, is there any secondhand stores I could sell my clothes too?

Chey says:

I have just moved here and I need a telephone (fixed phone) for my apt and coffee maker and kettle and … all that jazz.
Can anyone tell me where I can get a landline phone – and all the other stuff if possible.
Thanks!

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