Madrid is known as the fashion capital of Spain and the famous streets of the Salamanca district, namely Calle José Ortega y Gasset, Calle de Serrano and Calle de Goya are a shopper's heaven. These streets are lined with the most familiar international labels, as well as the finest Spanish brands. Most of the buildings in this area date from the 19th century and have been beautifully transformed to accommodate large display windows.
Begin your tour at the intersection of Calle de Serrano and Calle José Ortega y Gasset. Here you will find several prestigious jewellery boutiques, including Tiffany & Co. and Cartier, as well as Spain’s very own Carrera y Carrera.
Continuing down the tree-lined José Ortega y Gasset you'll find more labels, including Burberry, Chanel and Valentino. In May of this year, a new addition will be seen between the Dior and Louis Vuitton shops, because Abercrombie & Fitch is opening this summer. This will be the brand’s fourth flagship store in Europe.
For a low-key yet tasty lunch, head to El Padre (Calle de Serrano 45, Tel. +34 914 484 016); for a more sophisticated break, go to El Paraguas (Calle Jorge Juan 16, Tel. +34 914 315 950) for a taste of Asturian cuisine.
As you proceed down Calle de Serrano, your only problem will be deciding which stores to visit: brands on this street include Ermanno Scervino, Gucci and Hugo Boss. The choice is up to you, though we recommend that you get a taste of Spanish fashion by visiting Roberto Verino’s boutique.
You will also see Spain’s most famous department store, El Corte Inglés. Translated into English, El Corte Inglés actually means “The English Cut,” referring to British tailoring. Founded in 1940, it is now one of the largest department stores in Europe. Here you will find the finest names in home décor, jewellery, beauty and fashion. For example, in Madrid, Michael Kors is sold exclusively at El Corte Inglés.
After some serious shopping its time for another break. Head towards Embassy on Paseo de la Castellana 12 (Tel. +34 917 811 594) for a unique afternoon tea experience. Be sure to browse the deli shop next door for an enticing and original selection of products.
Continuing down the street you'll find Ermenegildo Zegna, La Perla and Loewe, the celebrated 19th century leather specialist. If watches are your thing then head to Rabat. This multi-brand boutique carries only the finest watch brands, from Panerai to Vacheron Constantin.
Taking a small detour on Calle de Jorge Juan you'll discover Hackett, Kenzo and Etro as well as La Martina’s boutique, who present their latest collection in an atmosphere that is straight from the polo clubhouse. A local brand well worth visiting for home product designs is Vinçon, located in a refurbished silverware factory in an internal courtyard on Castelló, between Goya and Jorge Juan.
You cannot complete Madrid’s shopping trail without visiting Calle Claudio Coello, where you will find Guess and Shanghai Tang. Don't miss Roberto Botticelli’s boutique, which has been recently renovated according to the brand’s new look. Another worthwhile experience is Delitto e Castigo, one of Spain’s most prestigious shops with an amazing selection of products and brands.
After a hard day's shopping why not head to one of the area's fabulous tapas bars before heading to Ramses Life & Food (Plaza Independencia 4, Tel. +34 914 351 666) for a truly authentic Spanish dinner.
A final word on opening hours
Most stores open at about 10 am and work through to about 8/8.30 pm, possibly with a break from 1.30/2 pm to 5 pm. Stores may be open all day on Saturdays, and they may be open on the first Sunday of every month.