Barcelona is a shopper's oasis. This is a city where Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton neighbor charming little boutiques with Spanish flair and unique design. There's seriously something for everyone in Barcelona, and you usually don't even have to spend too much to look original.
The whole city however, has amazing stores throughout; the trick is to know when they're open, especially if they're smaller.
In Ciutat Vella, you'll usually be in luck if you try in the morning from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or later in the evening from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those are the most "sure" times.
Bimba y Lola — Photo courtesy of Bimba y Lola
One great store, unique to Barcelona and Spain, includes Bimba y Lola, which now has locations around the city as well as other parts of the country. This is a fabulous store if you want to return home and ensure that no one else will be wearing the same clothing or accessories as you have on.
And if you're looking for unique trinkets and tokens to stamp your stay, Barcelona's Caganers are the way to go. You'll see them throughout the city.
There's a strong Catalan tradition of giving these gifts of small statues with their pants around their ankles (as if they were sitting on a toilet). Strange as it may seem, this is a very typical Catalan gift, especially during the holiday season.
The Catalan caganer, which translates "the defecator," has been a symbol of the Catalan nativity scene for decades. Many young Catalans have no idea why, but it's something they've come to accept.
In addition to the Caganers, Barcelona has wonderful jamon Iberico and olive oil, if you're looking to bring special gifts back for loved ones.