Shopping in Madrid: Salamanca area – around Calle Serrano

by Annie.Bennett

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

Like clothes? Shoes? Bags? You’d better have a lot of slack on your credit card before you venture into Madrid’s smartest shopping neighbourhood.

Here, shopping in stilettos is de rigueur and certainly not restricted to celebrities with a chauffeured limo purring along behind them.

Calle Serrano - busy and upmarket

This and Calle Goya are the busiest shopping streets in Salamanca, both with an upmarket high street feel. Serrano has just emerged from a bit of a revamp, aimed at making the whole shopping experience more pleasant.

There are two branches of El Corte Inglés department store ( on Serrano, as well as the ABC Serrano shopping centre at 61 (, where shops include Zara and Mango. There is a beautiful Prada shop ( at 26, worth going in just to look at the design and see if you can spot any famous faces.

Ágatha Ruíz de La Prada, one of Spain’s best known designers, has a shop at 27, with brightly coloured clothes for adults and kids, as well as accessories and household stuff. Adolfo Domínguez ( is also one of Spain’s top designers, although his clothes are at the opposite end of the spectrum, all sludgy tones in natural fabrics. He has stores all over Madrid, with two on Serrano at 18 and 96 (and also in the ABC centre and Calle José Ortega y Gasset 4), with different branches specialising in women’s wear, mens’ wear, kids’ clothes, accessories or U, the diffusion line.

Considering Manolo Blahnik is Spanish (he was born in La Palma in the Canary Islands), it is strange that he didn't have his own shop in Madrid until recently, when he opened a gorgeous space in an elegant building at Serrano 58.

Calle José Ortega y Gasset - big designers

This street is packed with international big hitters, such as Christian Dior at number 6 (, Burberry at 8 (, Hermes ( at 12, Chanel at 14 ( and Dolce&Gabbana ( next door.

Giorgio Armani ( and Valentino ( are both at 16, and next door I recommend nipping into Lavinia (, which is the most fabulous wine shop with a lovely restaurant on the first floor.

On the other side of the road, you’ve got Bottega Veneta at 13 (, Kenzo ( at 15 and Louis Vuitton ( at 17.

Calle Claudio Coello - groovy boutiques

Running parallel to Serrano, Claudio Coello is a narrower, quieter street that is packed with boutiques. Miu Miu is at 72 (, while Chus Burés, who designs stunning contemporary jewellery is at 88 ( One of Spain’s top shoe designers, Cristina Castañer, has a shop at 51 ( The Castañer family are renowned for their traditional espadrilles, but they sell trendy shoes too.

Pop into Isolée at 55 to browse the gourmet foods and groovy designs by Stella McCartney and other top names, then rest your feet in their cool café (

Don’t miss Delitto e Castigo at 26 (, which stocks only the best and hardest-to-get-hold-of pieces from the latest collections by Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, YSL, Galliano and other top designers.

Calle Lagasca - exquisite elegance

Another block along, Lagasca is one of Madrid’s most elegant streets. Amaya Arzuaga has established herself as a leading designer in recent years, with exquisite feminine clothes and accessories, and now has a men’s line too. She comes from a prestigious winemaking family, who have vineyards and a luxe spa hotel in the Ribera del Duera region. Browse around her shop at Lagasca 50 (, where the family’s wine is also on sale.

Other advice

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


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,

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

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,