Shopping in Madrid: Salamanca area – around Calle Jorge Juan

by Annie.Bennett

Enjoy shopping heaven in Madrid with my guide to the best areas to shop around Calle Jorge Juan

This is the really cool area of the Salamanca district, the blocks nearest the Retiro Park, with some of the city’s most exclusive boutiques, quite a few galleries and lots of restaurants too.

Starting on Calle Jorge Juan itself, David Delfín at 31 (www.davidelfin.com) is one of Spain’s hottest designers at the moment. This huge space is a showcase for his men’s and women’s clothes, which feature sharp lines, bold colours and usually something totally unexpected too.

Red-carpet favourte Hannibal Laguna (www.hannibal-laguna.com) was born in Venezuela but moved to Madrid when he was a teenager. He has a stunning minimalist shop at Jorge Juan 35 which sells all his couture and ready to wear lines, as well as accessories and jewellery.

I’m a big fan of the Catalan designer Sita Murt, who has a shop at Jorge Juan 43 (www.sitamurt.com), particularly her knitwear and trousers, which are very wearable but always sharp and distinctive.

If you’re a shoe addict, there is a branch of Robert Clergerie (www.robertclergerie.fr) at 14, with Vialís – another of my favourites – at number 9. Both are very hot on wedges and clogs.

Gallery, at 38 (www.gallerymadrid.com) is a dramatic white space linked by a sculptural staircase, and one of the top men’s boutiques in town, with clothes by Prada, Burberry Prorsum and Dries van Noten. Downstairs, there are gourmet chocolates and wine as well as accessories.

Alleys and cul de sacs

You need to explore every nook and cranny around this area, as you never know what you might find.

Just off Jorge Juan, don’t miss the branch of the Barcelona design temple Vinçon at Castelló 18 in a converted factory (www.vincon.com), which is great for gifts. It’s a bit hidden away, but worth seeking out.

There is a Marni boutique at Calle Gurtubay 5 (www.marni.com), and a string of interesting shops in the pedestrianised Callejón de Jorge Juan and parallel Callejón Puigcerdà.

Nearby at Calle Velázquez 28, Ekseption (www.ekseption.net) is one shop who absolutely must visit if you are vaguely interested in fashion. Where shall I start? Well, you can choose from Balenciaga (who was Spanish by the way), Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Philip Lim, Balmain…

The EKS space next door stocks diffusion lines by names including Miu Miu and Luella, as well as a dangerous range of top jeans labels.

Other advice

You can also read advice on Shopping in Madrid: Salamanca area – around Calle Serrano or see Shopping in Madrid.

Annie.Bennett

I specialise in writing about Spain for national papers and magazines, including the Telegraph, Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Conde Nast Traveller, Elle and National Geographic. This gives me a great excuse to mooch around the country, talking to everyone from Michelin-starred chefs to old codgers in mountain villages.

I have been living in Madrid on and off for the last 25 years, since I went there to improve my Spanish after finishing my modern languages degree. Soon I was teaching English, translating for art magazines and galleries and researching for television programmes. That was only meant to last a year or two, but I had made so many great friends, quite a few of whom were instrumental in the cultural explosion underway at the time, that it would have been daft to leave. Almost without noticing, I started writing about what was happening in Madrid.

I am passionate about Spanish food and wine, and love trying the local specialities wherever I go. In Madrid, I eat out nearly every day in a quest to track down the best restaurants and tapas bars. My UK base is on the Gower coast in South Wales.

My Madrid

Where I always grab a coffee: Pepe Botella in Malasaña (Calle San Andrés 12), with its marble tables and red velvet banquettes, is the perfect place to read El País with a café con leche.

My favourite stroll: I love walking through Los Austrias, the medieval part of the city, for the combination of history, tradition and contemporary life. I always see something I’d never noticed before.

Fiction for inspiration: Benito Pérez Galdós was a sort of Spanish version of Dickens or Balzac. A lot of his novels are based in Madrid - including Fortunata and Jacinta, Miau and Misericordia – and many of the locations still exist, relatively unscathed.

Where to be seen: Le Cabrera for cool cocktails after shopping in the chic Las Salesas area (Calle Barbara de Braganza 2, www.lecabrera.com).

The most breathtaking view: You can see right across the city trom the roof of the Círculo de Bellas Artes (Calle Alcalá 42, www.círculobellasartes.es).

The best spot for some peace and quiet: Madrid is incredibly noisy, but the Retiro Park is perfect for picnics, quiet reading at outdoor cafés, rowing on the lake or just strolling around.

Shopaholics beware!: The outlet shoe shops on Calle Augusto Figueroa in Chueca are difficult to resist.

City soundtrack: Fito & Fitipaldis seem to be blasting out in every bar. 

Don’t leave without...Having a vermut at the Mercado de San Miguel before lunch. It’s the best way to get a handle on what the city is all about (Plaza de San Miguel, www.mercadodesanmiguel.es).