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Shopping in Spain - Where to Buy the Best Local Goods

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The Spanish currency is the Euro, although you might find that bartering with a sheep or cow gets you further. Only joking! Spain is a very modern country with all the types of shops you might expect to find back home. Clothes are often cheaper than you'll find in other European cities, while the huge department store El Corte Ingles will sell just about anything you ever wanted.

If you are after something traditionally Spanish to take home to your friends and relatives, take a look at this list below.

Arts & Crafts

  • Leather (piel) - nationwide, particularly Andalusia. The Sol area of Madrid is good too.

  • Lace (encaje) - Catalonia has a strong tradition in lace-making.

  • Textiles (textil) - Catalonia is the best region for this

  • Furniture (muebles) - Valencia.

  • Toys (juegetes) - Alicante has a tradition of fine toymaking.

  • Shoes (zapatos) - Alicante and the Balearics are the main sources of Spain's finest shoemakers.

  • Handmade jewelry (joyas artesanas) - Cordoba has a tradition of excellent handmade jewelry.

  • Pottery (alfarería) - Fajalauza in Granada has some beautiful pottery, made with old-fashioned techniques to create blue, green and purple glazes.

  • Antiques Antigüidades - some great galleries in Madrid, near Plaza Santa Ana

  • Rugs and Carpets (alfombras) - Cáceres, Granada and Murcia.

  • Tiles (azulejos) - Triana, Seville, made by the local gyspy community.

Food

  • Ham (jamón) - Alpujarras and Granada (which gets its ham from Alpujarras) has the best ham, though it is available nationwide. Also, other pork products - in particular chorizo (spicy pork sausage)

  • Spices (especias) especially saffron (azafrán) - Valencia and Granada

Drinks

  • Tea () - Tea is not especially popular in Spain, except for in Granada. Pick up all sorts of great teas here - black, green, white or red. My favourite is 'Pakistani tea', which is black tea with cinnamon and vanilla, available only in Granada (and not in Pakistan, as far as I am aware!)

  • Sherry (jerez) - Jerez, the home of sherry.

  • Spanish Brandy (brandy español) - Available nationwide. My mother tells me it is better than the French variety, and she's been drinking the French one all her life!

  • Wine (vino) - especially from Rioja.

  • Havana Club Rum (Ron de Havana Club) - real Havana Club rum is illegal in the US (Bacardi managed to get the copyright off the Cubans through the Supreme Court) but the genuine article is available throughout Spain.

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