Since Barcelona is one of Europe’s major cities, it’s been subject to globalization. That means that many of the goods you can buy here (including chocolate, liquor, and clothing labels) are the same you can expect to find in other world capitols (like New York, Moscow or Hong Kong).
Happily, though, in Barcelona we also have many places where you can shop for different and locally unique souvenirs—from food to bags, from soccer jerseys to cured meats, from vinyl records to fine shoes. These are the sorts of things that you can only find here.
Below you have my selection of places that are worth visiting because they offer something singular, distinctive, and local. In this global world, you don't want to bring something home from your trip only to discover that it's available two steps from your apartment. With these items below, I can assure you (almost certainly) that that’s not going to happen.
A company founded by locals and run by locals, Vaho was the first in Spain to recycle the city’s council banners to make bags, wallets, and all kinds of portable luggage. Because there are now many companies doing the same throughout Europe, Vaho is almost exclusively sold in Spain and especially in Barcelona, the city where the brand was born. These durable goods cost very little money, but even just walking around the shops is a cool experience.
If you are interested in Spanish food, you simply must shop at Quílez. Located for over a hundred years in the heart of the city (la Rambla Catalunya), this exquisite food market offers the best tinned goods, the best hams, and the best wines. You may pay a bit more here, but this is the place to find everything you’re looking for—and get the perfect culinary souvenir to take home.
This record store is a personal favorite of mine. It carries thousands of records in all kinds of music styles, all in a very old-school, grass-roots style atmosphere that allows every visitor remember the era they grew up in. The shop also sells tickets to almost every concert in the city, so if you want to know about or attend any gig in Barcelona, this where you can learn more.
One main reason to visit the football stadium is for the store, one of the largest in Europe. If you’re an aficionado, bring home a t-shirt of Barcelona's team with your name on the back or buy one for a friend. It’s just one of the unique souvenirs you can find here.
This store carries its own brand of sneakers, which are very popular in Barcelona. The shoes (sport shoes, mostly) have good, stylish design and durability—but best of all, they’re very difficult to find outside of Barcelona. If you have friends who love sneakers, this is a nice place to pick up something special for them.