I visited Madrid in February, as part of my European adventure with my best pal, Lauren. We booked to visit Madrid mainly because the flights and accommodation were super cheap, and we fancied an adventure. We didn’t really have any expectations, and from research we decided to go exploring. Turns out, we found ourselves a shopping gold mine!
Our hotel was situated on one of the main streets – Calle Gran Via – the most awesome location! The hostel is called MuchoMadrid, and the link to information about the property is here. On our first night when we headed out for some dinner, we saw that we were right in the middle of shopping central. So the next day, we headed out for a shopping extravaganza, and stock up for the rest of our travels.Because we were travelling on a budget, we packed a months worth of supplies into a carry-on suitcase. For those who don’t know, a carry-on is tiny, so we couldn’t bring a lot, and had to wash as we went. It sounds very practical, and in doing so it did save us a tonne of money. However, we realised we had severely under-packed, and the amount of retail available in Madrid meant that we could pick up some more items on the cheap.There are a few main shopping streets in Madrid, all linking up to the main street: Calle Gran Via. This article by the Telegraph, is really useful for deciding where to shop, so definitely give it a read if you decide to visit Madrid.
There are a lot of shopping opportunities in Madrid, and the stores on the Gran Via are huge – including a massive H&M, Zara, Stradivarious and Pull&Bear, and the biggest Primark I have ever seen! We also found a really cool make-up shop next to our hostel, as well as NYX and KIKO make-up stores. It was in Madrid that I brought my first lipstick because everything was so cheap!Between us, we found some really great bargains in Pull&Bear, Primark, and in particular Stradivarious, and managed to grab some tops for 3 euros. Madrid came at a really useful time during our adventure, because everything was really reasonably priced, and we could get some awesome pieces really cheap!
As well as the conventional stores, Madrid had a lot of independent boutiques and shops dotted all round the city. The best way to find these was by heading off the beaten track down the side streets, to discover the hidden gems. The Telegraph article is a good read for the best independent places because we didn’t stay long enough to adventure too far from the Gran Via. I’d love to go back to visit the boutique stores one day.Our visit to Madrid crossed over a Sunday, so we were able to visit a wonderful flea market around Ribera de Curtidores. It was full of handmade crafts, clothes, pottery, jewellery, and because it started raining – umbrellas. The stalls went on for ages, and I brought some beautiful original bracelets, and some cute little trinkets to take home to my family. If you have the chance to visit Madrid on a Sunday, definitely head down to the flea market, and you will find a mixture of vintage and new pieces.
It’s easily accessible, as there is a tube stop at the beginning of the market. Obviously, just bear in mind that it’s going to be really busy and there will be pick-pockets. Don’t let this stop you from visiting though, it’s just something to always be aware off in busy places.A little side note: if you turn left and follow the last bit of the market along the side of a road, the turn left again as if you are going round in a block, the streets leading back up to the beginning of the market near the tube stop have some really awesome street-art that is definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.
Have you visited Madrid? What was your favourite part? Or, what is your favourite store to shop in?
I’d love to know in the comments!