Barcelona’s famous for having great shopping streets – Passeig de Gràcia and Portal de l’Àngel are probably the best-known – but if you’re looking for something a little less Zara and more unique, here’s some of the best vintage shopping in Barcelona, including some of the top flea markets too.
There are two big streets in the city center for great vintage finds: Carrer de Tallers and Carrer de La Riera Baixa. Both are packed full of shops, so it really depends what you’re looking for.
Carrer de Tallers offers all kinds of secondhand or original items. From vintage clothing to old punk records to military stores, you can find pretty much anything on this street.
There are so many stores on the street it’s easy to miss the one you want. My favorite store on this street for fun vintage picks is the reasonably priced Retro City (C/Tallers 47).
Side note: Retro City is where I found an amazing sparkly crop top that led to my favorite piropo so far in Span – “¡Chiquilla, pareces una burbuja de Freixenet!” (“Girl, you look like a Freixenet bubble” – a type of fancy cava from Catalonia).
You can also find the famous Holala! at C/Tallers 73. They have high-quality, handpicked vintage clothes and items. The less unusual items are similarly priced to the high street shops, but some of the truly unique pieces can cost hundreds of euros.
I picked up an amazing pair of detailed leather cowboy boots, only to be shocked at the €850 price tag!
One smaller shop that’s become my new favorite is Über den Woken on C/Valldonzella 43. It’s got lots of great picks at a budget price. Check out this video guide to the shop:
Carrer de La Riera Baixa, down past the MACBA, is a short pedestrian street filled with almost all vintage shops. It’s mostly clothing shops, but there’s also a record store and a shop that sells Spanish leather bags. I even found a real old flamenco dress in one store!
On Saturdays from around 1 p.m. onwards, the shops spill out onto the street and have market-style stands, along with some of the neighborhood residents who set up their own tables.
There’s a big range of price points in the shops, so you can probably find something to suit your budget. My picks on this street are De Farelee, Lullaby, and Muy Interesante.
Now, let’s move on from the city’s best vintage shopping to the best flea markets in Barcelona.
Barcelona’s biggest street market is Els Encants, which is open every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s been around since the 14th century, and it’s a huge open-air outdoor flea market.
Street vendors sell everything from antique furniture to old clothing to books and CDs to random household items. It’s big and chaotic, and there are some great deals if you’re patient enough to unearth them. Check EncantsBCN for information about special events in the market.
There are also markets in Plaça Reial (10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and near Drassanes metro station (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.) on Sundays. Check Plaça Reial for old items like stamps and coins, and the Drassanes market for handmade artisan jewelry, scarves, toys, and so on.
One thing you probably won’t see in your guidebook is the thriving mobile street market scene in the city.
The issue? It can be a little tricky to find out until the last minute when these markets will be held. Usually, the markets are announced the very same week they’re held on Facebook or Twitter.
The information may only be in Spanish, but the dates are easy enough to find and there’s usually at least one vendor who speaks English around. The vendors tend to be very chatty and friendly.
The last time I went to one of these markets, I ended up in an hour-long conversation with a petite Argentine woman intent on telling me her whole life story. Between fiddling with her four cell phones and lamenting her latest love crisis, she somehow managed to sell me a ridiculous burnt orange minidress that unzips from collar to hemline. While I’m sure it would lead to many interesting incidents, I don’t want to end up dancing en pelotas in a club anytime soon!
Other hot spots to look for vintage or secondhand finds? Try poking around the trendy Gràcia or Born neighborhoods for a rotating cast of interesting little shops. Unfortunately, due to la crisis, the ones I like tend to shut down or move!
The Facebook group “Barcelona por cuatro euros” (Barcelona for four euros) announces markets as well as other cheap events going on in the city.
What’s your favorite way to shop in a city? Do you know of any great places in Barcelona for vintage or secondhand stuff?