Barcelona’s most iconic shops around Las Ramblas
If nostalgia is what floats your boat, take a look at our list of some of Barcelona's most iconic shops, where little has changed since they first opened!
There are a number of shops which are so ingrained in Barcelona’s history that they’ve become part of the city’s cultural heritage.
- Here is our selection. Don’t consider this list as the be-all and end-all, though: Barcelona is packed with shops hearking back to previous centuries, there are too many to mention by name here!
A typically modernist cake shop: Pastisseria Escribà (1820)
The Pastisseria Escribà is housed in a former pasta factory, the Casa Figueras. It was remodelled in 1902, at the height of the modernist era. Its architecture, décor and products all combine to make this shop truly unique.
If you want to stop for a coffee, there’s a little terrace, and you can try one of their cakes on-site. it isn’t cheap, but for a special treat in the middle of Las Ramblas, it’s worth it.
Where? Rambla de les Flors, 83
When? Every day, 9am – 9pm
- Next, carry on up Las Ramblas on the same side of the street, being very careful to follow our advice on avoiding pickpockets. Just before you reach the Palau de la Virreina, you’ll find:
A music shop: Casa Beethoven (1880)
This shop, specialising in sheet music, also stocks a wide range of books and magazines covering all genres of music. It’s not the cheapest shop in the world, but musicians, if you’ve been looking for a particularly elusive piece for a while, this is THE place to find it.
Where? La Rambla 97, Quarter: Raval, métro Liceu
When? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9am – 8pm; Wednesday, 9am – 2pm and 4pm – 8pm; Saturday, 9am – 2pm and 5pm – 8pm.
- Cross Les Ramblas, head up the bustling Porta Ferrissa, then turn left onto the little Carrer Petritxol, which brings you out into a pretty square, the Plaça del Pí. Our next shop is impossible to miss, covering almost a whole side of the square.
Ganiveteria Roca (1911), a hundred-year-old knife shop
Ramon Roca, founder of this modernist institution, probably never thought that more than 100 years after first opening, his shop would have become a big name in cutlery.
With the immense range of mirrors, scissors, razors and any amount of related paraphernalia on sale, it would be a miracle if nothing caught your eye. The window displays are impressive, and the interior is well laid out.
The shop has a definite vintage charm, and it’s always nice to go in even if you have no intention of buying anything, just to have a look round and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. By buying something, you’ll be supporting the shop, though…
Where? Plaça del Pí, 3
When? Monday to Friday, 9.45am – 1.30pm and 4.15pm – 8pm; Saturday, 10am – 2pm and 5pm – 8pm
Between two very busy streets, la Boquería and Ferran, you can’t fail to spot our next, very colourful, shop:
A toy shop: El Ingenio (1838)
You simply cannot miss El Ingenio. Outside the door is a giant-headed model of Pablo Picasso, staring at passers by. The shop offers circus supplies, dressing up costumes, stilts, unicycles and games for both children and adults. A true Aladdin’s cave for fans of the wackier things in life!
Where? Carrer d’en Rauric, 6, in the Gothic quarter
When? Monday to Friday, 10am – 1.30pm and 4.15pm – 8pm; Sunday, 11am – 2pm and 5.30pm – 8.30pm
- Next, wander through some of the quarter’s little side-streets until you reach Carrer del Call. On the corner of Carrer Banys Nous is:
An iconic hat shop: Sombrerería Obach (1924)
This little hat shop is the youngest on our list. A postive spring chicken, it opened in 1924 in a side-street in the Gothic quarter. Nothing has changed since: the shop fittings are all original.
Where? Call, 2, Gòtic
When? Monday to Friday, 10am – 2pm and 4pm – 8pm; Saturday, 10am – 2pm and 4.30pm – 8pm. Closed on Saturday afternoons in August and September.
- Finally, head for the famous Plaça del Rei and one of our favourite old shops:
A herborist’s: Herbolari del rei (1823)
This little shop opened its doors almost 200 years ago, and was Queen Isabel II’s official herborist in 1857. Impressive, no?
The shop sells over 220 varieties of medicinal plants, condiments, dietary supplements, honey, spices, natural beauty products and essential oils. A naturopath’s dream come true!
Where? Carrer del vidre, 1, métro Liceu
When? Tuesday to Thursday, 2.3opm – 8.30pm; Friday and Saturday, 10.30am – 8.30pm
There are plenty more iconic old shops in Barcelona: take a look at our article on Barcelona’s oldest shops around the Via Laietana.
Enjoy your shopping trip down memory lane!
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About the author
Valérie, the creator of Barcelona Top Travel Tips, loves discovering new places, finding the words to describe them, and coming up with little illustrations for the website. Her favourite thing in Barcelona is the unusual, curvy architectural features of some of the city’s buildings. Some say she’s a dreamer… in any case, a city full of works by Gaudí is a great place for her!