Famous things to buy in Madrid
Unique things to buy in Madrid
- Toledo steel souvenirs
- Bullfighting memorabilia
- Real Madrid football merchandise
- Local sweets as gifts.
Madrid also has authentic souvenirs and gifts from all over Spain.
Toledo steel is a unique souvenir
A sword or object made from Toledo steel is something unique, with historical significance. Toledo steel swords go all the way back to 500 BC and were used to arm Roman armies.
In Madrid, buy Toledo steel from Objetos de Arte Toledano (opposite Prado Museum). There are shops in Plaza Mayor that claim sell Toledo steel, but I feel much more comfortable at this one near Prado.
In Toledo, Mariano Zamorano has genuine Toledo steel swords.
Do your research when you buy Toledo steel. Many visitors pay a premium for Toledo steel knives and swords. Then they and find that they have actually bought a knife or sword made in China.
Buy Bullfighting souvenirs from Madrid
Las Ventas bullring is the best place to buy authentic matador costumes, capes, swords or banderillas. All over Madrid you will also find Toro Bravo bull figurines; buy the leather, handmade ones.
Buy from Toro Shopping if you cannot go to the shop at the bullring. They sell everything from posters to actual bullheads!
Buy Football souvenirs online
I suggest you check the variety online, buy and deliver to your hotel, unless you are going to the Bernabeu stadium shop or to a Real Madrid store in the city.
Buy traditional footwear you can use!
I find footwear to be a practical souvenir. Buy popular footwear like esparto (espadrilles), alpargatas, or mallorquinas.
Buy traditional sweets at specialty shops on Calle Mayor
For traditional Spanish sweets, take the trouble to seek out El Riojano or Casa Mira. Both shops are the best; they are located near Puerta del Sol, on Calle Mayor, just a 5 minute walk apart.
El Riojano is run by the 7th generation. I go there regularly to enjoy their seasonal specialties. Be sure to sit in the tea room and eat some sweets right there.
Casa Mira specializes in turrons, nougats, and marzipan. The store looks like it has not changed much since 1855!
For contemporary sweets go to La Violeta
La Violeta on Plaza Canalejas is a modern take on candy. Their sugar coated sucking candy is popular for gifting.
Buy dipping chocolate from San Gines
This is my favourite gift to share the churros and thick hot chocolate of Madrid. The dipping chocolate can be bought as a powder from the famous San Gines Chocolateria. They have many items online as well.
Best souvenir shops in Madrid
El Corte Ingles
Visit a big branch of El Corte Ingles to get the widest range of souvenirs to choose from. I would blindly go to the one on Calle de Preciados, in Centro.
Madrid al Cubo
Madrid al Cubo has high quality, quirky home objects that capture the spirit of Madrid. The items are artistic, cosmopolitan and modern in approach. It is not for traditional things.
Madrid al Cubo is located on Calle de la Cruz 35, very close even on foot from Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.
Souvenir shops across Prado Museum (near the Neptune Fountain)
Artestilo has high quality porcelain from the top manufacturers of Spain, including Lladro, under one roof.
Alpargatus sells handmade, high quality footwear from all over Spain. They are famous for espadrilles and menorquinas.
Madrid Souvenirs has 19 stores all over Madrid. They sell a variety of souvenirs covering different themes from Royalty to ceramics to football.
El Escudo de Toledo is another nice gift shop for assorted souvenirs in Madrid.
Objetos de Arte Toledano is the best place to buy Toledo steel swords in Madrid. They specialize in medieval weapons and armour.
There is also a post office on Paseo Prado, 18-20, in the building adjacent to the souvenir shops.
Avoid souvenir shops in touristy areas
My advice is to go to reputed souvenir stores that sell authentic items. Do not be tempted to enter and buy from souvenir shops around Plaza Mayor and surrounding areas.
Tips while buying gifts in Madrid
1. Buy all your Spanish souvenirs and gifts in Madrid
Plan your schedule so you buy everything in Madrid and ship it out. Avoid the inconvenience of carrying around your purchases. In Madrid you can buy authentic souvenirs from all over Spain.
2. Ship all your souvenirs home
I strongly recommend taking all your souvenir purchases at one go, to any post office in Madrid, and then shipping them home. Some souvenir shops will ship your purchase to your home. If they do it for free it is fine. Otherwise it is best to combine it all in one shipment.
Make sure to insure the contents for a small fee. It is worth it. I know of many cases where souvenirs did not arrive at the destination. Why take the chance with losing your memories and your money.
3. Go to El Corte Ingles for the best variety of souvenirs
Save the hassle of different shops for traditional Spanish souvenirs. I recommend any branch of El Corte Ingles department store as a reliable place to buy authentic souvenirs of ceramics, flamenco items (fans, shawls), paella dishes and ingredients, cheese and saffron, soccer merchandise, bullfighting souvenirs etc.
4. Don’t miss the shops across Prado Museum
In addition to El Corte Ingles, plan for an hour or two of souvenir shopping in the shops across Prado museum. This is my favourite tip to gift and souvenir shoppers.
5. Avoid buying Madrid souvenirs online
There is a good option to by online but I will always recommend that you see what exactly you are buying. Many online items are imported and machine made; this misses the Madrid vibe and charm.
Finally, read this post for best souvenirs and gifts to buy from Spain. You will get some good ideas of things to buy and as I have suggested here.
The official souvenir store is located in Plaza Mayor at the tourist office. You will also find plenty of souvenir shops in Puerta del sol and near Prado Museum.
Real Madrid stores are also very popular among tourists. There are two Real Madrid stores at Gran Vía Street 31 and Arenal Street 6. They are popular with tourists looking to pick Real Madrid souvenirs.
The best place to buy souvenirs at Madrid
This is opposite Prado Museum. In my opinion, it is a museum of souvenirs. The shop stocks popular souvenirs like magnets, pictures, key chains etc as well as items like Toledo swords and shields, Majorca pearls and other items unique to Spain.
- Madrid al Cubo
This shop near Plaza Mayor stocks many original items related to Madrid(not Spain). Though not on the tourist circuit, it is definitely worth a visit.
- Madrid Tourist Shop
At Plaza mayor, you can walk into the shop run by Madrid Toursim Office. A decent collection for those in a hurry. Also, while you are there, you can book sightseeing bus and walking tours
All the big 3 museums of Madrid have their own souvenir shop.
- Sherry and Saffron
For items like Sherry and even saffron, grocery shops and supermarkets are cheaper. For the best collection and prices head to El Corte Ingles on Calle de Preciados, in Centro.