ALL ABOUT THE TOP BARCELONA SHOPPING MALLS
Barcelona is a shopping city! Pretty much every local district is lined up along a main shopping street, be it the exclusive brands in Passeig de Gracia or the average human being shops of Carretera de Sants. There’s districts that are great for shopping, too, like the Born neighborhood. But what if you don’t want to have to find your way around?
Keep these shopping malls in Barcelona under your radar:
La Maquinista - the largest shopping mall in Barcelona
And maybe not only the largest in Barcelona, but in the entire region of Catalunya! It’s the place to go for shopaholics wanting to spend an entire day shopping and relaxing. It features 250,000 sqm (61.7 acres) of surface, almost a third of it is occupied by its 150 shops, 47 restaurants and one large movie theater. The rest is outdoor and covered areas for visitors.
The downside? It’s a 25 minute ride from Plaça Catalunya on either the subway (L1 to Sant Andreu). Or you can take the more confusing the Rodalies suburban train from Passeig de Gracia near Casa Batllo and it’s only 5 minutes to Sant Andreu Comtal on the R2N. But once you get there, it’s all about shopping. There’s nothing else to do in the area unless you feel like exploring the old district of Sant Andreu.
Galeries Maldà - The shopping mall for freaks and fans
There’s a Harry potter shop (Carreró Maldà), a Star Wars shop (El Hangar Galáctico), a Game of Thrones stores (Thronestore BCN), a Dragon Ball store (KameHame Shop), a tailor that sales wearable butterfly wings and witch hats (Costurero Real), a steampunk shop (Uchronic Time) and much more.
El Triangle - The shopping mall in Barcelona centre
After the elegant Boulevard Rosa closed little before the pandemic, the centre of Barcelona was left orphan of interesting shopping malls. The only exception is El Triangle, located in a corner of Plaça Catalunya touching La Rambla and the commercial Pelai street.
I see it as a place to stop for a break in one of its convenient cafeterias, or the place to go for two big brands. There’s one of the largest Sephora perfume stores in the basement of it. And the French FNAC occupies the second and third floors with electronics, books and music. There’s also half a dozen small fashion and shoe shops.
Las Arenas - A mall in an old bullring
It’s not too big, but it’s a great fun way to start exploring the Hill of Montjuic: the escalators inside the mall lead you to the vantage point platform on the top floor where you get impressive views of the city. Yes, there’s a panoramic glass-walled elevator that takes you there too… but it’s not free like using the escalators inside!
This shopping mall is also the perfect place to have an informal bite before or after the Magic Fountain Show in one of its restaurants and cafes.
Diagonal Mar and Centre Comercial Glories - heading out to Poblenou
The Poblenou district used to be an industrial area that has been transformed into a cool combination of cutting-edge sustainable contemporary architecture and refurbished factories and warehouses that attract local and international entrepreneurs and creatives. All this by preserving an area where you can feel “the real Barcelona” and see locals on their daily errands.
The area starts in the traffic knot of Plaça de les Glories Catalanes, famous for the “cucumber” looking building Torre Agbar and the Encants flea market. Right there you have Centre Comercial Glories, a medium to large mall with half as many restaurants and shops (30 vs 80). Food has been their firm wager to differentiate themselves from the competition.
The furthest end was a degraded area that was claimed by the city in 2004 to host the international event of the Forum of Cultures. And one of the key strategies to make the neighbors feel welcome again by Barcelona (and to attract locals from other districts, too), was opening up a large shopping mall: Diagonal Mar.
You’ll find there all the European and Spanish fashion brands such as Zara and its outlet Lefties, Mango, H&M and other. There’s also the enormous Alcampo supermarket, and the popular Mediamarket store for electronics.
BTW, if you are wondering if this shopping mall is close to the beach… Not really. There’s the Centre de la Vila mall in the Olympic Village that is close to the Nova Icaria beach, but it’s quite small and I’d only go there for emergency shopping (like you forgot your sun lotion, or your cellphone case broke), or to watch movies in their un-dubbed version.
Illa Diagonal - Where the wealthy shop
The selection of stores is similar to the ones you’ll find in other malls, however it transpires a classy feel the other malls don’t have. But don’t miss the food court in the basement, where rather than fast-food chains you’ll find branches of respectable local gourmet shops. Most of them, with their own tasting corner were you can enjoy the best Spanish Ham or an award-winning croissant during a break from shopping.
This is also my go-to mall for families with small kids. Sure, some other large malls have a play center. But in Illa Diagonal they have… a luna park! And a playground next to it. Plus one of the only two Disney Stores in Barcelona!
Need more? You’ll just be 5 minutes walk from the exclusive boutiques in Avinguda Pau Casals, and another 5 minutes from the Corte Ingles of Maria Cristina. And from there you can catch a tram to go visit the FC Barcelona Stadium!
Corte Inglés - The Barcelona Department Stores
It’s also a convenient place to buy Spanish leather, which is why their building in Plaça Catalunya is usually crowded by tourists. This particular building is mostly for fashion, beauty, accessories and food.
Two blocks down Portal de l’Angel they have another building more appealing to young people, with their electronics, music and sports departments among other. There’s also a more spacious and classy Corte Inglés in the uptown Barcelona, by the L3 Maria Cristina subway station. That’s where the wealthy Barcelonans go.
And there’s another one one 7 minutes walk from L1 Fabra i Puig station (a 20 minutes ride from Plaça Catalunya). It’s a more working class district next to one of the busiest roads into the city, but it makes part of the Som Multiespai shopping mall, including outlet stores, food courts and a movie theater. And in the Summer, it’s next to the public pool of Can Drago.
Maremagnum - The Barcelona shopping mall open Sunday
In Spain, stores must be closed on Sunday by law. The only exceptions are souvenir shops, airport shops and shops located in port grounds. And because for every law there’s a loophole… the Maremagnum mall located in the middle of the water of Port Vell is the only Barcelona mall allowed to open in Barcelona 365 days a year.
You can make it your ending point after walking down La Rambla, and access it through the wood bridge that starts at the foot of the Columbus statue. The other access is a dedicated road that starts next to the Face of Barcelona statue (end of Via Laietana). That allows you to continue your sightseeing exploring the Born District and the Barceloneta fishermen quarter.
Shopping malls near Barcelona
The southern accesses of Barcelona are filled with shopping malls, some of them opening also on Sundays. Centre Comercial Sant Boi, l’Anec Blau, BarnaSud… But most of them have little interest to the foreign visitor and are mostly aimed at locals.
Let me just outline two of them. The Finestrelles mall is accessible with the same tram that departs from Illa Diagonal, just further outside of the city. And it stands out for housing the only Aliexpress store in Barcelona (the Asian competitor of Amazon).
Gran Via-2 is a huge indoor shopping mall with 200 stores. Very popular among locals because it’s located conveniently next to an Ikea store. There’s several bus lines that take you there from the city center (L95, H16, H12…) but the closest subway station from the city center is the L1, 15 minutes walk. The other stations nearby connect with the FC Barcelona Stadium and the Hill of Montjuic, but not with the city center.
AND FINALLY! Are there any outlet shopping malls in Barcelona?
Outlet Barcelona shopping malls
The other outlet mall in Barcelona is La Roca Village, 40 minutes ride North of Barcelona. Before the pandemic they had a shuttle running from the Barcelona city center, but unfortunately it’s not available right now.
So besides renting a car and driving there, or booking a private driver, your only option is public transportation. And you’ll hate to hear that it’ll take you more than twice longer, combining Rodalies train and a local bus… But if you are in for a more boutiquey experience than the Viladecans mall, it is worth the adventure.
What are your favorite Barcelona shopping malls?
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