Madrid is rapidly becoming a premiere city for fashionistas and designers, and that is reflected in the shopping options. Upscale shoppers with an eye for the latest designs and unique fare will want to go to Milla de Oro, or the Golden Mile. Here one will find exclusive boutiques, luxury jewelers, and two elite malls, El Jardin de Serrano and the ABC Serrano. It has been said that strolling down Milla de Oro is like being at Fashion Week in Milan. It is where the elite go to shop, see, and be seen. It is easy to see why Madrid has been called the Rodeo Drive of Europe.
At the other extreme is the wonderful flea market, El Rastro. Beginning at the Plaza de Cascorro, vendors line the streets on Sunday mornings, selling everything from antiques, leather wares, imported items, and textiles to clothing, souvenirs, and paintings. As Europe’s largest outdoor market, El Rastro is quite an experience in shopping and in Madrid culture.
A middle ground can be found in the Goya and Salamanca area, where upscale boutiques co-exist with fashion outlets. Many shoppers flock to the Castellana area, as well as Arguelles and Princesa, where they will find malls, department stores, fashion outlets, accessory stores, and cinemas. Pubs and cafes line the street, offering refreshment to weary shoppers at the end of a long day.
Most shops in Madrid accept major credit cards and larger stores will be open from about 8:30am to 8:00pm. Most smaller shops close for siesta, a charming tradition that you, too, should participate in. Take a rest, and resume shopping in the cool of the afternoon. Madrid shoppers know, too, the best time of year to splurge. Large annual sales are held in both winter and summer. The months of January and February, and July and August, allow shoppers to find outstanding deals on clothing and shoes. Imagine walking away with a pair of spectacular leather shoes for less than half price. It is any shopper’s dream!