Vintage market in Barcelona
Searching for perfect vintage pieces in Barcelona is a little like searching for the Holy Grail: if you even believe in its existence (which many don’t), it’s difficult to pinpoint its exact location. While in recent times, there has been a quietly thriving vintage trend in Barcelona—with stores popping up around the city, supplying clothes that are special and unique, garments that whisper secrets to us from decades past—it is far from hitting the mainstream.
For some this is a relief, but for others it means that it’s difficult to get their hands on quality items. The ubiquitous vintage market, present in many other European cities, has made practically no headway here in the Catalan capital. The Encants flea market used to be a prime location for picking up cheap, quality items, but has slowly fallen into decay in the past 10 years.
Vintage events, however, seem to be steadily growing in popularity. For one day only and usually located in a hotel lobby, a small gathering of vintage enthusiasts and store owners will stuff their rails with their best vintage garments, hoping to tempt onlookers into snapping up one-of-a-kind pieces. Although relatively new, Vintage Sundays at Café Milans appears to be the only weekly event that is managing to survive on a consistent basis. Keeping up-to-date with these events can sometimes be a bit of a headache but Mercadillos and Markets (mercadillosandmarkets.blogspot.com) manages to centralise much of the information about different events.
The best vintage options are still to be found in the specialised shops dotted around the city. Three of the best are Paris Vintage located in the Eixample, Magnolia Antic near Passeig de Gràcia and Heritage in the Gothic quarter. All have one thing in common: their exquisite garments come with hefty price tags. But don’t be deterred; there are some other excellent vintage stores along Riera Baixa in Raval, such as Galalith, Lullaby and Lailo, and on Saturdays, the entire street becomes a vintage market.
Blow by Le Swing, Le Swing and Le Clinique are not to be missed in Born, while the Gothic and Gràcia neighbourhoods also offer some very special stores. It may seem like we’re actually spoilt for choice but there’s still a long way to go to reach the popularity that vintage enjoys outside Spain.
Café Milans: Milans 7; Paris Vintage: Rosselló 237, ent. 1; Magnolia Antic: Provença 290; Heritage: Banys Nous 14.
For a list of more vintage shops in Barcelona, click here.