Barcelona has so many shops that it is impossible not to find some great souvenirs to take home! A stroll along La Rambla towards the waterfront will reveal plenty of mass-produced souvenirs including last year’s top-selling miniature sombreros which have very little to do with the city! There are lots of predictable ‘I ♥ Barcelona’ t-shirts but a smart Barcelona football strip takes things to a much higher level! There are plenty of great foodie souvenirs to take home including some great Spanish ham and olives. Other popular buys include the local conserves like fish, artichokes and various other specialty foods, but if you are flying with hand luggage only, don’t forget the liquid rule….or your souvenirs will be confiscated. Have a look at the top souvenirs to buy in Barcelona.
1. A bottle of extra virgin olive oil
This is a great souvenir – as long as you are not just traveling with hand baggage! Spain is the largest producer of extra virgin olive oil – the best! Now you can of course pop into a supermarket to buy some, but a fun idea is to go to the Oli Sal shop (in Travessera de Gracia 170). This is an amazing shop that is dedicated to great olive oils! There are shelves of various size bottles – some in decorative ceramic jugs- plus some great other foodie gift ideas too.
2. Some irresistible Turrón
If you haven’t tasted Turrón…you must put this right soon! Turrón is Spanish nougat and there are two types; the first is soft, smooth and creamy and the other is harder and crunchier and usually packed with nuts! Turrón is usually a Christmas treat but is available all year through and what better than going to one of the city’s producers? When you get close to Torróns Vicens (at Carrer Consell de Cent 308), you know you are in the right place by the lovely smell in the air! You can buy different types by weight, but the pretty gift boxes usually contain both types.
3. A bottle of Vermouth
Vermouth or vermut in Catalan is made in the region and is a really popular drink that is traditionally served before Sunday lunch accompanied by olives, nuts, and seafood. There are many different ones to choose from including MirÓ which is made in Reus and Casa Maniol which is the really modern version in a stylish bottle, Perucci is the original vermouth that was first made in Barcelona and Vermut Casero is a very distinct taste, flavored with different spices. If you are after something a little different, visit a bodega where you will find unique blends.
4. Or some Cava
Cava is the Spanish equivalent of French Champagne and is made in Catalonia (Catalunya) and most Cavas are very reasonably priced compared to Champagne. The most popular type is brut extra which is crisp and dry as it has no added sugar. Cava can be enjoyed with a meal or simply relaxing, watching the sunset.
If you are not a fan of bubbles, Catalonia produces some really good wines, made from grapes grown on mountainous terrain – Penedés and Priorat are the best-known ones.
5. A pair of comfy Spanish espadrilles
Known as Espardenyes, these popular shoes get their name from ‘esparto’ a thick local grass that has been traditionally plaited and used to make the soles. Espardenyes have been made since the 14th century in Catalonia. Everybody wears them because they are just so comfortable. They have a canvas upper and plaited sole and are available in several different styles.
Some are totally enclosed, others are open-toed and some even have wedges rather than being flat-soled. They are available with or without long ribbons to tie up your legs! Needless to say, the color range is amazing – but don’t walk in the rain wearing them because the jute absorbs moisture and will weigh a ton in moments!
6. Something beautifully made in leather
Spain is known for its excellent leather which is really soft and supple. There are several leather artisans in Barcelona and Alexis Fasoli is one of them who can be found hard at work in his workshop in Carrera a la Volta dels Tamborets 4. All of the bags, belts, wallets, and purses that are on display have been crafted by hand. In many other places, you will see locally made sandals for men and women at very good prices.
7. A poster by Picasso
Picasso lived in Barcelona whilst he studied art and there is a Picasso museum in the city with a well-stocked shop. There are posters and postcards amongst the gift ideas to be found there.
8. A Gaudi lizard
Antoni Gaudi is a world-famous architect who designed so many buildings in Barcelona – with the incomplete Sagrada Familia being his most famous work and the most visited monument in the city. He decorated many of his buildings with el drac – models of lizards decorated with small multi-colored mosaic tiles. The best selection of replicas of these lizards can be found in the museum shop.
9. An inspirational cookbook
There are many on sale in the city, including more generic Spanish cookbooks and other titles full of tapas recipes. It is worth getting a really good regional cookbook with Catalan recipes and one that has some text explaining a little history about each dish and the traditions behind it.
10. A Catalan flag
A fridge magnet or desktop flag of the distinctive red and yellow Catalan flag is a very good souvenir from Barcelona as its residents are proud of their flag as it represents the independent identity of the region and you will see it hung from many buildings and apartment balconies.