Salamanca Shopping District
Whether you’re looking to do serious damage or some harmless window-shopping, the Barrio de Salamanca is a worthy destination. Chanel, Hermes, Delpozo, Christian Louboutin…all the usual suspects are here, but it’s the gorgeous buildings that house the goods that make this stretch so special. And in true European fashion, more accessible, but equally enticing, High Street standbys (Muji, H&M, and of course, Zara) are also well represented. Don’t skip the side streets—this is where you’ll find the indie gems and small local boutiques.
Calle Fernando VI, 13, Chueca
Lucia Ruiz-Rivas' airy concept store is the type of place where it's easy to lose an entire afternoon. From the white exposed brick walls to the pine floors to the check-out counter, which is housed in what looks like the wooden frame of a tiny cottage, the entire shop exemplifies Ruiz-Rivas' clean, minimalist, and design-focused aesthetic. As for the wares, you're guaranteed to discover fashion, interior, and jewelry brands you've never heard of before, scattered alongside vintage finds and design-y knickknacks. If you tire of perusing the clothing racks, hang out in the little lounge space (fittingly decorated with Scandinavian-inspired furniture) and peruse the extremely well-curated selection of art and design magazines hanging from clipboards on the wall.
Calle del Postigo de San Martin, 8, Puerta del Sol
This handsome bookshop occupies a stately renovated townhouse, so the architecture is an elegant (if fittingly mismatched) mix of Baroque arches and streamlined modern walls and skylights that span three levels in addition to a basement-level event space. The adorable children's section, for example, occupies the former chapel and boasts a ceiling complete with gold-trimmed domes painted with images of angels and cherubs. The entire shop is always buzzing thanks to a cozy cafe, a rooftop bar (on Thursdays you're likely to find a band performing live music), and a packed schedule of events that brings in writers and lecturers from all over Europe.
Calle de Lagasca, 68, Salamanca
For the kinds of unique accessories you always want to bring back from a trip abroad, head to one of Malababa's two locations (one in Salamanca and one in Chueca). Designer Ana Carrasco produces her entire line of bags, jewelry, and shoes in Spain, employing local artisans for every step of the process, from tanning the leather to sewing the bags. Expect a range of styles, from delicate beaded jewelry to chunky leather boots to clutches adorned with bold geodesic clasps. You can also find a range of prices, with plenty of perfect gift options available for less than 100 euros.
Calle Puigcerdá, 2, Salamanca
Spanish designers Marga Massanet and Jacobo Cobián (who also happen to be an adorable real-life couple) only have two retail stores; in addition to the Madrid shop, you can find them in their beachy hometown of La Coruña along the Northern coast. Both outposts are done in modern, streamlined, warm wood interiors with light fixtures that look like glowing orbs descending from the ceiling. And that's before you've even begun to look through the racks of the quintessentially Spanish women's dresses and separates. Expect flowy, loose shapes made in natural-feeling linens and vintage patterns, all inspired by La Coruña's beachy, tanned aesthetic and the laid-back lifestyle that goes with it.
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