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Shopping in Barcelona

Aug 18, 2007
St. Joseph Market is one of, if not the most popular markets in town. It is best known as Mercat de la Boqueria. Opened originally in 1836, it is a roofed catalan market with interesting architecture and atmosphere, not to mention a wonderful variety of products to choose from. Here you will find reasonably priced food, flowers and handmade stuff.

If you're traveling with children, be sure to hit up the central sidewalk of Las Ramblas Ave, almost in front of La Boqueria market. There you will see many street stalls selling all sorts of small animals from birds to lizards to hampsters and dogs. Many locals say this is quite like an American petting zoo.

Walk around the Old Town (Gotic-Ribera-Born) and you will find a less known but equally interesting market. Mercat de Santa Caterina, which was closed for many years, was re-opened in 2005. The most interesting feature of this less crowded market is the colorful and wavy ceramic roof. Once inside the market, your choices are much the same, but you will not find yourself fighting all the tourists at the more popular market, Mercat de la Boqueria.

Walk towards the steps of the Santiago and you will come across small craft shops that appear to be old homes. Go inside and drink in all the wonderful handmade items, from silver jewelry and handmade toys to flamenco fans, paper-mache masks, textiles, beads, glass plates and mosaics. These will serve as great sourvenirs and will likely be the topic of conversation for years to come.

If you love chocolate, stop by Cacao Sampaka. The treats you will find here are exceptional and are only found in Europe. More specifically, there are less than 10 shops that carry these divine works of art. Because Cacao Sampaka are the manufacturers of chocolate, they control the entire process, from choosing the beans to the packaging of the product; and it shows. Only here can you find friend corn with bitter chocolate, salted sunflower seeds with bitter chocolate, lemon peels covered in chocolate, chocolate sauces, jams and spreads.

Caelum is the Latin word for Heaven and the folks that opened Caelum Shop/Cafe knew exactly what they were offering. Everything in this shop has been created by monks and nuns from several monestaries and nunneries throghout Spain; jams and preserves, cakes and biscuits, marzipan and liquors. The packaging makes them great gifts and recently they've added a cafe on the ground floor so you can try before you buy. If you take the stairs down even further, you will find yourself back in time in the old Jewish bath house; these baths date back some 400 years.

Before you leave, make sure to visit Fantastik. This is the place that has labeled itself 'bazaar bizarro' and in it you will find trinkets, toys, gadgets and colorful goodies, both useful and useless. The price tag ranges from expensive to dirt cheap so there is something for everyone. Pick up cute things from around the world including matchboxes adorned with rhinestones from India or woven technicolor plastic floormats, lanterns and chests made rom soda cans from Africa. Bring a friend home a Luchadora mask from Mexico or any one of their posters, t-shirts or memorabilia.

When in Barcelona, shop as the locals do. Visit and enjoy the outdoor markets and the crafty little shops and bring something unique home for everyone on your shopping list!
About the Author
Gaizka Pujana is the co-owner of Barcelona Homes, S.L. which is a company
specialized in providing short term tenancy solutions in Seville and Barcelona through its
web pages apartment rental Barcelona
apartments Barcelona
Apartment Barcelona
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