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By Regina W Bryan in Barcelona—
July in Barcelona means humid days on the beach, lots of visitors in the city, tons of cool music and cinema festivals and the second best sale of the year.
Sales are held in Barcelona twice a year, in January and in July. Of course, these are the times of the year when locals are least likely to spend money, as they have just broken the bank on Christmas, or as is the case now, are saving their euros for a month of vacation in August.
So the timing is bad, but the sales are so good that they are too tempting to resist. On the first of July prices drop by 30% to 50% and go down from there throughout the month and into August. While small sales are held throughout the year, they are nothing in comparison with the deals to be had this month. Plus, all clothing and shoe stores offer the sale, so you can really go on quite a spree. Some stores with home furnishings may also offer deals at this time, but mostly it’s all about fashion.
Here are some tips to keep in mind about the sales:
The good stuff goes fast!
That does not mean that you need to wait in front of El Corte Ingles at 6 a.m. to be the first one in the door. The sale lasts for more than a month, so there’s not really a rush. However, if you really want a cute pair of jeans you saw, look alive because your size may sell out in the first couple weeks.
Deeper discounts as time goes by
As the month of July moves along, stores will knock more off their prices. I’ve bought some expensive clothes at Massimo Dutti and pricey boutiques late in the sales (like August) at very cheap prices. This is a matter of luck, too, because by late July and August the pickings are slim.
What’s your shopping style?
What sort of shopper are you? Do you like to be outdoors or in a department store? Do you do malls or small boutiques?
The three most central shopping options are Portal del Angel (just off Pl. Catalunya) for classic, mid-range shops such as Zara, Mango, Casas; Passeig de Gracia (just up from Pl. Catalunya) for chic stores such as Gucci and Chanel; and the city’s leading department store El Corte Ingles, right on Pl. Catalunya.
If you’re into malls try Diagonal Mar, a direct 20-minute ride on the yellow Metro line from the center of the city. La Illa is also a popular, posh mall not too far from downtown. For boutiques and cutting edge fashion, browse in El Born (Juame I Metro stop) or Gracia (Fontana Metro stop) neighborhoods.
Passport to savings
Depending on the shop, if you pay with your credit card you may have to show your passport, so keep this in mind when you head out to seize those bargains!