Shopping in Madrid…Ole!

Can't miss this shop for authentic Spanish fans!

Can’t leave out shopping in Madrid. There are thousands of nice stores, I only took photos of a few. Shopkeepers are friendly and speak English if you are in major tourist areas, such as Puerto del Sol. The fan shop shown above is right on the Plaza, can’t miss it. They will also show you how to properly open it, and maybe some of the language of fans…

El Corte Ingles is a large department store with everythingEl Corte Ingles, north of Puerto del Sol (up a pedestrian only street) is a convenient store for gifts, clothes, shoes, leather goods...and jewelry! It isn't a quaint Spanish shop, but it has a great selection. They offer a 10% discount to people from out of town. You have to locate their Customer service department and get a card for any purchases. They can also help you navigate the giant store.There is one area in the store that sells nice tourist items from Madrid. There is reasonable Cafe. Check out the gourmet section of the store for candys and wine. And don't forget the jewelry. By the way, a jewelry shop in Spanish is a Joyeria! Isn't that sure brings joy to me...! Women...if you are into Pandora, Troll or Camilia jewelry, Viceroy has a nice equivalent in the store along with watches! I bought a cute blue fish, for my University of Michigan maize and blue bracelet. I really wanted a bull or something Spanish, but couldn't find anything...Handmade linens and lace

This shop, again North of the Puerto del Sol on the pedestrian street, sold everything you could think of in handmade linens and lacy things for the home. As is traditional in Europe, a sales person asks you what you would like to see and then brings items out for you to look at. Americans need to know that you greet the shopkeeper or salesperson first, explain what you would like to see and let them show you what they have. You should NOT go into a store and start looking through merchandise. It is okay in a department store if a clerk is not handy. It is not acceptable and considered rude if you start touching first. In France the salepersons or owner will likely hide or ignore you if you do this. Europeans are very friendly, including the French, if you are respectful. Please don’t be the ugly American I have seen all over Europe. These rude people will then go home and tell people that the country was horribly rude to them and ignored them. This gives the country a bad name and it was the Americans fault! Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine?

Newsstands for newspapers and magazines

If you want a newspaper or magazine, this is where you would likely find them…on the street in these cute, old fashioned newsstands. Yes, VIPS and other places may have them also, but this is the traditional place for news. I imagine the owners get to know the neighbors and exchange a bit of gossip or political discussion at these stands.

Jamon and queso shop.Jamon Iberico (Spanish ham) is their specialty. Shops with ham are prevelent, but this brand is said to be the best. Queso of course is cheese. They have many regional specialties worth trying. Many you won't find (easily) outside of Spain.Shopping is always an experience in Spain, especially if like me you don't know Spanish. Stick to main areas for better English, but usually higher prices.I wanted to visit El Rastro, a flea market, but the big day is Sunday. I have a reason to go back!Outdoor book store

This little bookstore along Calle del Arenal, West of Puerto del Sol caught my eye, since I love books. This outdoor shop with a little awning and tiny building made me hesitate long enough to explore the shop and the alley. This is the alley leading to Chocolateria San Gines…not to miss whether tired from shopping or in need of a chocolate fix!
Almost done with Madrid…Valdelavilla…coming soon!
Buenas Tardes (Good afternoon!)
Sandie Parrott