Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, Gucci amongst plenty of other classy names, line this famous street. This is the Champs-Elysees of Barcelona and coupled with its designer stores, wide sidewalks and outdoor terraces it's a magnet for both tourists and locals alike. Start at the new, three-story Apple store close to Plaza Catalunya and make your way up while enjoying a mix of high-end as well as high-street fashion. Coupled with hot names, are also more affordable stores such as H&M, Zara, Pull & Bear and Stradavarious, a Spanish brand. And if you get sick of shopping, step into Nespresso for a free cup of coffee.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: If you're looking for high-end shopping, this is the street to walk on in Barcelona
Sam's expert tip: Check out George Clooney's Nespresso shop and sign up to get a free coffee.
There is no store like FNAC is you're looking for electronics and cutting edge technology. This is the best place for televisions, cameras, video cameras, laptops and ipads. FNAC is right across the way from the department store, Corte Ingles and just at the top of La Rambla, not too far from the cruise port. This is a one stop shop for everything related to gadgets and digital hardware. They also sport a wide variety of english magazines and excellent weekend getaway gift packages, which are ideal for wedding gifts. They'll also deliver to the house so be sure to order early if you want it there by Christmas
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Everything electronic you could possibly want for yourself or to buy as a gift for others is at FNAC
Sam's expert tip: You can get concert tickets on the main floor of FNAC
Barcelona's chicest walkway, full of designer shops, exclusive hotels and high-end restaurants even if you're not in the mood for buying it's worth browsing. This is a lively street with an air of elegance, yet still remains fairly unpretentious. If you're looking for make-up, electronics, and unique furniture, this is a great street to check out. In addition to the clothing and shoe shops there's a host of other stores that you won't find in the Old City. Rambla Catlunya is ideal for finding out of the way places, and niche shopping. It's also a nice place to grab a bite or a coffee while people watching.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A posh and elegant street to shop on with plenty of variety and great Christmas deals
Sam's expert tip: Try the excellent tapas at Piscolabis restaurant towards the top of the street
Sleek and innovative this designer store has pretty much anything trendy you could possibly be seeking. Vincon features avant-garde, one-of-a kind furniture, state of the art kitchenware, crafted handbags, notebooks and outdoor accessories. Located on Passeig de Gracia in one of the buildings belonging to Barcelona's architectural heritage, it's a large, two-storey shop with a separate boutique store around the corner that sells high quality linens. Vincon also has an excellent selection of furniture on the second floor as well as outdoor furniture including floor lamps, terrace lights, and barbecue covers and accessories. Their selection is constantly changing so be sure to check back every so often for new arrivals.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Barcelona's best place for avant-garde, designer Christmas gadgets and accessories
Sam's expert tip: Excellent place for trendy 'gadget' protectors and laptop bags
The largest wine selection in Barcelona can be found at Vila Viniteca. Not only is this a wine shop, but it's sister store across the street serves gourmet foods and specialty items including cheeses, cavier, meats, fish and pretty much any and all high-quality foods. Located in the Born, just off of Via Laietana if you're looking for a bottle of wine, there's a great chance this shop will have it; and if they don't they'll definitely recommend an equally good if not even better option. The shopkeepers are sommeliers in their own right and are extremely knowledgeable. Their food experts are also a wealth of information, especially when it comes to cheese.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Vila Viniteca will never disappoint during Christmas with its incredibly large stock of wine and specialty foods
Sam's expert tip: Buy a bottle in their food shop and order a few tapas and have a sit down 'pica pica' (snack) at their few available tables.
A great place to buy elegant, simple and high quality clothing in Barcelona. COS is where the designers and those in the fashion industry go to gain inspiration for the coming season. This is a large store with plenty of options ranging from pants, shirts, dresses, jackets, accessories and even some things for the house. The racks are full in COS so be patient and go room by room, as there are plenty of gems to be found. Their online store is also full of great options, even some that you can't find in the store itself, so be sure to browse both.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: COS is one of Barcelona's chicest and most elegant stores with excellent holiday specials
Sam's expert tip: Shop online as they have some amazing Christmas specials
Barcelona's most popular food market sees crowds of locals as well as tourists frequent it every day. Vendors offering tropical fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, herbs, spices and African food are all situated in the Boqueria. Open daily except for Sundays, this is a great place to explore if you're searching for quality specialty ingredients, cured meats and cheeses and even excellent wine which they have at the back. You can also get a fresh fruit smoothie to go, but be sure to venture to the back of the market as the ones at the front (on La Rambla) are double the price.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: One of Barcelona's best open air markets where you can find any specialty food ingredient for a gift or a meal
Sam's expert tip: Head to the back of the market where prices are cheaper and there are less people
Chic, elegant and original, Bimba Y Lola's clothes, shoes, jewelry, hats and accessories are unique and rarely duplicated. Check out their newest store, which is a bit bigger, on Passeig de Gracia just around the corner from their older shop on calle Valencia. Althouth Bimba's recently been expanding and opening more shops around Spain, it has yet to become high-street fashion and remains somewhat of a hidden gem. The store prides itself on featuring authentic, stylish pieces at affordable prices. If you don't like the selection at the two stores on Passeig de Gracia, check out the one on Diagonal and the one right off of the Muntaner train stop as well.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Bimba Y Lola has exclusive pieces, all of which are excellent gifts for Christmas and the holiday season
Sam's expert tip: There's a 3rd, less frequented shop on Diagonal street and it often has more in stock than the stores on Passeig De Gracia.
The famous Nespresso shop on Passeig de Gracia is hard to miss. Plastered with pictures of George Clooney's face on the front door, the store is modernly decorated and equipped with the latest machines and newest flavours. And of course, you can never leave without having a free cup of their newest blend. Nespresso is more than a store, it's an experience. The staff are exceptionally friendly and while you wait to be served you can gawk at their latest arrivals and elegantly packaged gift. For Christmas, Nespresso usually has a few special flavours on the market as well as some good freebies if you buy a certain amount of coffee.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: They have some of the best Christmas gifts available especially if there are coffee lovers around
Sam's expert tip: It's packed on weekends so go between 12-2pm during the week-days to avoid lines
If you don't know where to find it, Corte Ingles has the answer. Looking for makeup? Check out the main floor right when you walk in and you'll find rows upon rows of make up brands more than happy to provide you with free makeovers and samples. This seven-storey department store has everything on your shopping list as well as things you didn't even know you needed. From clothes, bathing suits, beach and pool wear, to furniture, appliances, electronics, kitchenware and even a supermarket in the basement (with a specialty gourmet section) if you want to kill 20 birds with one stone Corte Ingles is your greatest ally. This is about a 20 minute walk from the cruise port, or a quick 5 minute taxi ride.
Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The best place to find anything and everything you might want over the holidays
Sam's expert tip: Bring your passport or identification if you're not a Spanish citizen and you'll get 10% off all purchases