Shopping in Spain

Spain has a wide choice for the shopper, ranging from road-side stalls, street hawkers and open air markets to modern boutiques, supermarkets and department stores, many with an online presence.

Spanish Shops - Variety and Value

Shopping is an enjoyable experience for most of us, although possibly a little daunting when considering the needs of settling into a new home in a strange and perhaps somewhat exotic environment where you also must cope with a different language. Don't let it phase you; a large part of the warmth of Spain is the attitude and friendliness of its people.

In the towns you will find a very wide range of things to buy and places to buy them including plenty of local handicraft shops, boutiques and gift emporia who offer some great products including lace, ceramics and attractive basketwork at very good prices. You will also find shops stocked with items marked "Made in Spain" such as furnishings, furniture, hats, leather goods etc. The design of clothes, fabrics and shoes are amongst the best in the world and yet they can be bought at very realistic prices.

You will also find many goods such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and toiletries much cheaper than in Britain, for example, a particular medication Omeprazol cinfamed used by many who have a hiatus hernia (and for which no prescription is required in either Britain or Spain) costs 28.50 for 28 tablets in the UK but €9.40 (the equivalent of 6.50) for 30 tablets in Spain.

Many other items such as electrical goods are, I think, on a par with UK prices. Supermarkets and the larger hypermarkets are everywhere so if you are self-catering it's never too difficult to stock up on the necessities. Many in the tourist areas stock a good range of the better known favourite British food brand names although you should be adventurous and try the local equivalents, often at up to half the cost e.g. choose Copas de Maize which is less than half the price of Kellog's Corn Flakes.

Take note, supermarkets in Spain rarely open before 9 a.m. and many shops do not open until 10 a.m. Also whilst in some regions more shops are starting to stay open during the afternoon, it is still more usual in Spain for shops to close for afternoon siesta from 1/1.30 until 4 or 5pm, particularly in the hotter regions.

Large department stores such as El Corte Inglés are becoming more numerous in some of the larger towns and cities. They offer a range of goods similar to any shown in London's Oxford Street stores

Caution Note: Temperatures can rise above the 100deg and humidity can be high, if you suffer from any medical problem do your treasure hunting early morning or in the evening, don't be the legendary Mad Dog of an Englishman. For more information, contact your local Spanish Tourist Office.

Spanish Markets

Please note: The information given here is passed to you in good faith but it is impossible for us to keep an accurate record of seasonal changes.

Before making plans, I would suggest that you contact the local Spanish Tourist Office. You will find them most helpful in advising on all manner of local fiestas, places of interest and local markets etc.

Should you find any errors or omissions, please do let us know so that we can improve this service for our readers.

Where there are indoor markets, they usually follow the normal local shop trading hours.

Outdoor Markets

There are many street markets in the towns of Spain and by looking at the schedule below you will see they can be found almost every day of the week. These markets cater for a wide range of goods and articles, some offer antiques and bric-a-brac whilst many offer the fresh fruit and vegetable produce of their particular region. Others are virtual florist and plant garden centres.

Hours change considerably within each town. Most usually open in the morning, some during the afternoon and just the odd one or two during the evening.

Other exceptions: Market opening times or even the location may change in special circumstances, e.g. Gandia has a well renowned Saturday open market site but this changes for 3 weeks in September, moving to Avenida de las Esclavas (Avenue of the Slaves) to allow the large annual funfair to take over the usual ground. Inclement weather can also sometimes cause a market to close early or even not open at all. Ask directions and confirm times before you start out.

Warning Note As in any closely packed crowd the world over, do be careful of pickpockets and bag snatchers. Read my section on Crime Prevention.

Spanish Street Markets take place in the following towns

Monday - General Markets

Benitachell - Callosa - Denia - Elche - Elda - Jijona - La Nucia - Monover - Orihuela - Parcent - Petrer - Santa Pola - Pinsono

Monday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)
Denia at the market place against the Mercadona. Tel: 607.624.192
Moraira Antiques Market at Plaza Iglesia near the harbour every day 7pm

Tuesday - General Markets

Alicante (fruit & vegetable) - Altea - Aspe - Beniarbeig - Benijofar - Benitachell - Castalla - Elche (17.00 - 22.00) - Elda - Jalon - Jijona - Orihuela - Pilar de la Horadada - Relleu - San Fulgencia - La Union (Murcia) - Los Alcaceres (Murcia)

Tuesday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)
Moraira Antiques Market at Plaza Iglesia near the harbour every day 7pm

Wednesday - General Markets

Alcoy Benidorm Benitachell El Campello Guardamar Muchamiel Novelda Ondara Sax - Teulada Petrel - Polop de la Marina - La Mata (Torrevieja) - San Miguel de Salinas - Santiogo de la Ribera - Callosa de Segura.

Wednesday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)
Benidorm Jazz and Funk by Rastro "El Cisne" Sunday Ctra, road N-332 Benidorm/Altea Tel: 96/584.06.11
Moraira Antiques Market at Plaza Iglesia near the harbour every day 7pm

Thursday - General Markets

Alicante Cocentaina Javea Pego Rojales - Villajoyosa Villena - San Javier (Murcia) Aspe - Agost - San Javier (Murcia)

Thursday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)

Friday - General Markets

Alfaz del Pi - Benitachell - Denia (fruit & vegetable) - Finestrat - Gata de Gorgos - La Nucia - Moraira - Orihuela - Teulada - Torrevieja - Vergel - Oliva - Pilar de la Horadada ( in evening) - Los Montesinos (in evening) - Elche (17.00 - 22.00)

Friday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)
Denia Junk Market at the market place against the Mercadona. 607.624.192
Moraira Antiques Market at Plaza Iglesia near the harbour every day 7pm

Saturday - General Markets

Alcoy - Alicante - Benissa - Benitachell -Calpe - Elche - Jalon - Ondara - Pedreguer - San Juan - Santa Pola - Sax - Almoradi - Torre Pcheco (Murcia) - San Miguel de Salinas (Blue Lagoon)

Saturday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Altea Art Market every day in the summer 7pm - 12pm at the church (old town)
Jalon Junk and Antiques Market 9am - 2pm in front of the place Bodega Virgen Pobre
Moraira Antiques Market at Plaza Iglesia near the harbour every day 7pm
Polop Junk Market 10am - 2pm at the bridge in town

Sunday - General Markets

Benidorm - Benitachell - La Nucia - Teulada - Elche - en Campo de Guardamar - Cabo de Palos (La Manga Murcia) - Villajoyosa.

Sunday - Junk, Bric-a-Brac, Antiques & Art Markets

Alicante Art Market every day 4pm - 10pm at the place Paseo Gadeo
Lliber Junk Market. 8am - 2pm at the parking in down town
La Nucia 8am Junk Market at Avenida de Porvilla, road to Polop
Teulada Junk Market 8am - 2pm at industry terrain near exit Teulada at the road N-332
Villajoyosa Art and Antiques Market Sunday 9.30am at the old town

Check the list of tourist offices in Spain and request your area's up to date local details before setting out.

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