> Life in Madrid
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In Madrid there are as many shops as inhabitants per square meter. Fashion boutiques, design items, antiques, perfumes, book shops, art galleries, wines and delicatessen…. You will easily find anything you like in Barrio de Salamanca –Calle Goya, Serrano, Jorge Juan and Calle Velazquez- but also in Barrio de Chamberi –calle Almirante and Piamonte-, as well as in Calle Orense, Princesa, and Alberto Aguilera, and around Puerta del Sol, for embroideries.

If you are looking for special items, you may find them in the Rastro on a Sunday morning or in Plaza Mayor, if you are interested in stamps collection. Besides, there are commercial centres everywhere: in town or in the surroundings.

Models from famous fashion designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Chanel, Hermès, Armani, Louis Vuitton can be found in calle José Ortega y Gasset. As for Spanish designers as Loewe, Pedro del Hierro, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Adolfo Domínguez and Purificación García, you will find their creations in Calle Serrano.

At more moderate prices, Zara, Promod, Cortefiel and H&M are located in the main avenues of the city. But best bargains come from small boutiques or markets.

Outside Madrid, outlets make discounts all around the year. In Factory, Las Rozas Village and Main Outlet you will find haute-couture, accessories, house decoration items, sport equipment, books and CDs. As for house furniture, Ikea –on Carretera de Burgos and Badajoz– remains the favourite place for cheap and original design.

Old books lovers will find literary treasures or second hand books in the traditional Cuesta de Moyano, close to the Botanical Garden and the West entrance to the Retiro Park.

Latest best-sellers, new discs, DVD or software can be found in Fnac Callao (C/ Preciados, 28) or in Fnac Plaza Norte (Carretera de Burgos, exit 19).

La Biblioketa (C/ Justiniano, 4), in the area of Chamberí, organises theatre plays, music and art practices for children from 18 months to 9 years, and offers books in English, French and Spanish.

As for food shopping, you can go to the Mercado San Miguel (Plaza de San Miguel), built in the beginning of the XX century (currently being renovated) – or to El Mercado de La Paz (C/ Ayala, 28), known for its high quality products, or El Mercado de Chamartin (C/ Bolivia, 9), where you can find anything.

If you like seafood, Madrid is the perfect place! It is the main harbor of Spain, although in Madrid there is no sea… Every morning, the best fish arrive from the Atlantic, the Cantabric or the Mediterranean Seas! Keep in mind that most Madrid markets are covered and open in mornings and nights, from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays they open only at lunch time.

Commercial centres opening times are different from the rest of Europe. Shops do not open before 10am. If they close at 2pm, they open at 5pm. You can go shopping till 8-8.30pm. Commercial centres remain open till 10pm, from Monday to Saturday. On the first Sunday of the month all shopping centres are open.


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