Shopping in Madrid
Madrid - a shopping paradise for many people; Among the moneyed people, the districts Chueca (Metro Chueca, L5) and Salamanca (Metro Serrano, L4) are famous: here, the expensive and exclusive boutiques, galleries and designer shops cavort. But expensive does not mean that expensive clothes are also good looking, a thing that immediately crosses my mind when loafing through those districts. The shop windows partly show the oddest pieces of clothes that some people would even not wear for free but are available at a three-digit-price.
But in Madrid there is also some tasteful fashion at affordable prices: around the Puerta del Sol (tube station Sol, L1, L2, L3) there are a lot of boutiques and shops. The pedestrian areas Calle Arenal and Calle de Tetuan are specially known, where one finds a lot of small shops for browsing - an ideal opportunity on the way to the Palacio Real. Close to the Puerta del Sol there is the headquarter of the shopping mall El Corte Inglés, where one really gets everything from clothes, electronic goods, literature to sports items up to household articles.
Coming from the subway station Callao (L3, L5) and approaching the Puerta del Sol, one will pass some smaller fashion boutiques that offer some fashion to reasonable prices; Popular fashion chains H&M, Zara, Mango and Esprit.
In the shopping mall Gran Vía and in the Calle Fuencarral there are the most common brands for young people, but their prices are a little higher as elsewhere. For people with less money, the districts of the tube stations San Bernardo (L4) and Tribunal (L10) in the district Malasaņa might be interesting, where one can oftenly find clothes of the previous season for reduced prices.
In Madrid, one will immediately notice the chinese shops that are equal to a mom-and-pop store and where one can nearly get everything: cosmetics, gifts, dinnerware, bathing suits or other clothes - one finds everything. But, of course, due to the reason the prices re very low it is clear that the stuff is of different quality level than the one of the shops focused on clothings.
Those who have unexpectedely bad weather and like to be in shopping malls should visit the place Xanadú. According to the statement of a friend who is a shopping lover, one can spend the whole day there, no matter if in the Centro Comecial, at the food mile, in the cinema or by snowboarding in the hall - it never gets boring. A bus takes one to Xanadú that departs from Príncipe Pío, subway station of the lines 6 and 10.
Even those who do not like to go shopping will like the Rastro, the famous flee market that takes place each sunday in the districts Latina (tube La Latina, L5) and Lavapiés (tube Lavapiés, L3). Even if one does not want to buy anything, a view to the rastro is worthwhile, where antiques, clothes, souvenirs, decoration, jewelry, tools, books and a lot of other things are offered; The Rastro begins in the mornings around nine and ends in the afternoons round half past two. Those who step out of the subway at La Latina around eleven will recognize due to the crowds of people that the rastro is in dit very popular and famous - and therewith a good opportunity for pickpockets. This is why one should in any case abstain from tking valuable things to the rastro!
But those who are a little careful will enjoy the rastro and its hustle and bustle and take a piece of cuilture of Madrid through the contacts with the different merchants.
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Author: Stefanie Kotulla; Copyright 2008-2008: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz