Spring in Paris
Putting vintage into your spring wardrobe is now easier thanks to the move of classic clothes boutique Paris Vintage into the centre of town. With all its stock bought on regular trips to London and Paris, there is something for everyone: Paris Vintage offers Chanel, Christian Dior and Prada as well as gorgeous (and cheaper) non-label items.
Rosselló 237, www.parisvintage.net
Gallery-shop ‘Como me ves, te verás...' is a celebration of all things Mexican. With hand-made homeware, accessories and artwork, the space is a riot of colours and textures. Pride of place is given to the catrinas, or skeleton dolls, which highlight the curious Mexican relationship with death.
Sant Pere Més Alt 36, Tel. 93 319 0819
Not just for your nerdy younger brother or your embarrasing, should-know-better-for-his-age boyfriend, comic book stores are coming back into fashion for everyone. Well, Hollywood seems to think so: viz. Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, Batman. But even if that isn’t your thing, don’t be put off by the novelty comic hero toys on display: Watergate Bookshop is the perfect hybrid of arty bookstore, lefty conspiracy theory hideout, and gift shop. Tucked away beneath the arches of a pretty square in the Raval, it offers the discerning book lover a stack of tomes on graffiti, photography, illustration and architecture. Plus postcards, t-shirts, the aforementioned toys, and, of course, loads of comics, rare or otherwise, for those grown-ups who just refuse to grow up.
Watergate, Plaça Vincenc Martorell 2, Tel. 93 343 5838, www.watergatebcn.com
GOT A FULL DAY OF SHOPPING ON YOUR AGENDA? Don't miss these main shopping areas.
Las Ramblas - Wind your way through the side streets for a more unique and personalised shopping experience-- boutiques, vintage stores, and antique shops are literally around every corner as the rent is lower off the main Rambla.
Passeig de Gràcia - The main street in the classy and upscale Eixample district, where high-end designer names like Chanel, Valentino, and Hermes abound. Multiple retail chains like Zara and H&M also line this attractive avenue.
Rambla Catalunya - A quieter, greener version of Passeig de Gràcia, is a pleasant stroll for those looking for high-fashion names and Spanish luxury brands.
El Born - On the fashion upswing, this cool neighborhood is the place to go for hot new designers in shoe, skatewear, and street fashion.
Corte Inglès - This enormous department store is hard to miss on Plaça Catalunya, and another one can be found not 2 blocks away. Head here for, well, basically anything you might need, from groceries to makeup to formal wear. Just prepare for higher prices on familiar brands, and try to save your splurges for the more unique Spanish designers in the plentiful Barcelona boutiques and shops.
If the convenience of a large shopping centre sounds appealing, you might visit one or two of the following.
L’Illa This gleaming white huge block is home to over 100 big-name shops. Diagonal 545-557, Eixample. Metro Maria Cristina. www.lilla.com.
La Maquinista Catalunya’s largest and newest mall. The three levels of this open-air complex house 225 shops, as well as a cinema, a bowling alley and a Carrefour hypermarket. Passeig de Potosí, Sant Andreu. Metro Sant Andreu or Torras i Bages.
Diagonal Mar This huge shopping centre is located where Diagonal avenue ends, close to the seafront, and has more than 250 stores, cinemas, game spaces for children and a big esplanade with views to the sea. Diagonal Mar Centre. Metros Selva de Mar and Besós Mar. www.diagonalmarcentre.es
Maremagnum The emblematic shopping centre in Barcelona's Port Vell features big international names as well as boutiques for emerging designers. Unlike most shops, Maremagnum is open on Sundays and holidays. Moll d'Espanya, 5 Port Vell. Metro Drassanes. www.maremagnum.es
Pedralbes Centre Due to the fact that it is neither excessively big nor includes other leisure activities, Pedralbes is a more relaxed version of the other shopping centres. Av. Diagonal, 609-615. Metro Maria Cristina. www.pedralbescentre.com
Gran Via 2 Ten minutes from the airport and right next to the Montjuïc/Gran Via district, Gran Via 2 boasts 200 shops where you'll find the top Spanish and international fashion brands. Av. de la Granvia, 75. www.granvia2.com