Many locals consider this pedestrian-only strip one the city's best shopping areas. You'll find a little bit of everything here, from high-street women's and men's fashions to various specialty shops. METRO: Sol.
Local Expert tip: You can't get any more central than Calle Preciados.
The best in up-market specialty shopping can be found on this popular street. Calle Serrano is home to designer shops, art boutiques, and everything in between. This is the prefect stop to hit when looking for a keepsake of your travels.
Local Expert tip: Good for window shopping or power shopping.
El Rastro, which is located between the Plaza de Cascorro and Ronda de Toledo, is reputed to be Madrid's top public market. You can find a little bit of everything, from antiques and furniture to books and clothes. Be ready to haggle a little, and you'll find yourself walking away with a pretty good deal. There are also plenty of food stalls should you get hungry while shopping for bargains. METRO: La Latina
Local Expert tip: Get to Madrid's famous flea market early or you'll miss it.
The undisputed queen of the high street crop, Zara dominates both Spanish and international markets. Apart from low prices, its success lies in the speed with which it has copies of catwalk fashions on the racks and that fact that new stock arrives weekly. The racks can be intimidatingly full, particularly at sales time, but there are excellent shoes, bags, suits, casual wear, denim and evening outfits all in young and up-to-the-minute styles. It pays to take time to browse. Be warned that lines at the checkout are long on Fridays and Saturdays, when all Madrid's bright young things flock in to buy a new outfit for the weekend. METRO: Arg�elles
Local Expert tip: Zara is the go-to shop for many Madrile�os.
Clothes don't get any more bold and colorful than these fun designs from one of Spain's most distinctive and famous designers. Most successful in the children's arena, and more recently, in homeware, this wacky redheaded designer has been going since the eighties and has become Spain's answer to Zandra Rhodes. Typically simple cuts and designs often are emblazoned with her trademark of a single childish heart or flower. Agatha's designs come in bright pink, green, blue and yellow: no subdued palettes of grey and beige can be found here. A new branch has just opened on Calle Serrano. METRO: Rub�n Dar�o
Local Expert tip: Lots of bright colors!
Named after its original role as the headquarters of the ABC newspaper, this large and elegant building, set in the chi-chi district of Salamanca, has been converted into a shopping and leisure center with eight floors. Four are dedicated to fashion with both high street and designer boutique names, along with sportswear, gifts and jewelry. The upper floors have wonderful views over the city, which can be enjoyed from the seats of three restaurants and the lively fourth floor summer terraza. The very top floor holds a gym. METRO: Rub�n Dar�o
Local Expert tip: It has more personality than most malls.
This government-run shop doubles as a showroom promoting Spain's excellent olive oil. Stock is presented by region and Patrimonio Comunal Olivero exclusively stocks top quality extra virgin oils. There are bottles and cans of "Spanish gold" in 150 varieties from regions throughout the country, from famous production areas like Andalusia to some not usually associated with olive oil, such as Catalonia. As this is a government-subsidized outlet, prices are very accessible. Quantities range from two-liter bottles to giant five-liter cans. METRO: Alonso Mart�nez
Local Expert tip: Stock up!
This Galician designer's stores have become ubiquitous in Spain and his beautifully cut clothes are the mainstays of many a forty-something's wardrobe. He is best known for wonderful suits made in classic lines, soft neutral palettes and flattering cuts. His high quality materials stand the test of time, and are easily mixed and matched. For younger shoppers, the newer Linea U line has markedly fresher and funkier designs. It's aimed at streetwise twenty- to thirty-year-old urbanites: expect plenty of gently quirky footwear, denim and asymmetrical skirts with interesting prints. METRO: Nu�ez de Balboa
Local Expert tip: Adolfo Dom�nguez does the elegant-casual look particularly well.
One of the major success stories in Spanish fashion, Catalan designer Custodio Dalmau became famous in the late eighties for his bright and funky T-shirts emblazoned with faces, pop art and various textiles. The range has gradually expanded to include denims, dresses, skirts, coats and even menswear in highly creative styles and materials, but always with very flattering cuts. It's not cheap � a T-shirt goes for �70 to �220 � but the label is an essential part of any fashion conscious wardrobe. His clothes, now a global brand enjoying huge international success, are mainly popular with hip city kids in their twenties and thirties. METRO: Gran V�a, Chueca
Local Expert tip: Expect clothes with lots of color.
An historic European market renovated for the contemporary gourmet, foodies may think they have died and gone to heaven. At the Mercado de San Miguel you will find small, lovely shop stalls filled with fresh cheeses, meats, bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables, cakes and specialty foods for sale. Otherwise, there are plenty of tapas and Spanish wines to be enjoyed at the small tables on the premises. People come as much to ogle the wares as to eat well or buy ingredients for a special dinner.
Local Expert tip: Come with an appetite!