Barcelona is one of the most famous design hotspots in the world, so we pulled together this savvy little shopping guide for you - browse below for under-the-radar design + style hubs simply bursting in famed Catalonian cool.
The crown jewel of Spain's Catalonia region, Barcelona is the rare city able to walk that thin tightrope between historic, old-world charm and a young, ever-evolving sensibility. Here, Baroque, Renaissance, and even Art Deco architectural styles rub shoulders with sleek Modernisme — a mix of homegrown aesthetics fused with international design, often via global superstars like Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Toyo Ito and Lázaro Rosa-Violin. But what Barcelona is most famous for, other than Tapas and dancing into the wee hours, are the expressionist structures and mosaics of Antoni Gaudi — which give the city its distinctly artistic vibe.
In recent years, the port hub has also become home to a thriving design scene, in the summer months hosting both the Barcelona Design Festival and Barcelona Design Week, which bring thousands of artists, curators and collectors into the city limits for a celebration of all things Iberian and creative.
With a nascent design scene yielding dozens of concept stores and design boutiques it can seem daunting to take in all its charms at once. Luckily for you, we’ve curated some of our absolute favorite design destinations from this dynamic hub that’s also easy on the eyes.
The design love child of artists Marianne Costa and partner Olivier, both of French-Catalan descent, this rustic space in the Gràcia district is a treasured concept store specializing in local artisanal objects with modern design flourishes.
Created by designer Jorge Subietas of DESEO interior, this eclectic furniture store features a veritable wonderland of decorative objects and pieces, many influenced by Spain's Arts & Crafts movement. Here, pick up vintage and contemporary glass, metal and wood pieces, as well as objects from up-and-coming local designers exclusive to Barcelona.
Stroll a little further into the hip Gràcia neighborhood and nestled in between the gallery Miquel Alzueta and vintage store OX, you’ll find holistic design shop AOO. It’s been said by locals that this is the best spot to shop contemporary design pieces (and snag local designers before they become global sensations).
Created by Argentinean artist Mercedes Rodrigo, and conveniently located near Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art, this hybrid gallery/boutique is home to over 60 international creators. Snag rare furniture pieces while you browse a highly-curated selection of sculptural and photographic works in their rotating exhibition space.
This bookshop, gallery and experimental exhibition space is the place to pick up rare and beautiful coffee table tomes, architecture and contemporary art periodicals, the freshest local design publications, and take in a tantalizing buffet of design eye candy. Also part of the El Raval gallery scene, the shop plays a crucial role in the Barcelona art community — providing a meetings spot and incubator for local and international works.
Rambla de Catalunya, 8
If you’re looking for contemporary design in Barcelona, look no further than L’Appartement. Inside, young designers with fresh ideas have created a range of furniture, decor and lighting designs to make all of your modernist apartment dreams come true.
Rosselló, 281 BIS
Inside this Gràcia store’s sleek wooden space, created by local interior designer Pilar Libano, this men’s clothing and shoe mecca provides the best selection of designer footwear in the region. Here, discerning gentlemen can peruse a carefully curated selection of bags, sunglasses, ties and footwear, all from labels such as Jil Sander, Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons and Ann Demeulemeester.
Mar de Cava, Carrer de València, 293
The brainchild of local designer and architect Mar Gómez, this concept store specializes in artisanal designer gadgets and furniture from a number of Spanish and international designers.
Carrer del Pintor Fortuny, 30
Located in the trendy El Raval neighborhood, Nuovum nurtures up-and-coming local designers known for creating functional, wearable pieces but also features one-of-a-kind art objects.
Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13
Originally created to highlight Iberian architecture during the 1929 World Expo, today this “open air architectural site”, historic market, and exhibition space features restaurants, shops, and museums, and frequently hosts exciting concerts and cultural events.
Espigó de Bac de Roda, 1. Platja de la Nova Mar Bella s/n.
Specializing in men and women’s clothing and accessories manufactured in Europe, Boo brings together an eclectic mix of established and emergent labels.
DESIGN DAY TRIP
Just 20 miles outside of Barcelona, this villa was the first structure to ever be designed by the eponymous artist. Today, its historic interior houses contemporary Spanish art and is considered "one of the most representative resources of the state of Catalan art in the second half of the 20th century.”
If you liked this, then you'll absolutely love our other design guides on PARIS, ZURICH, VIENNA, NYC and STOCKHOLM, bursting with all the best on under-the-radar places to go and tip-top treats in design, style and fashion.
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