Barcelona’s popularity as a tourist destination has boomed in recent years. Barcelona is the capital of the Catalonia region, containing some Roman remains and medieval quarters. Barcelona is well known as a cultural city and is home to several museums, exhibitions, open-air sculptures and many plays and theatre events. Barcelona is a good example of a city with a healthy blend of tradition and modernity. Innovation can be seen in the city’s imaginative gastronomy and tradition in its handmade pastries and cakes. When in Barcelona, it is definitely good to buy back some of the best things the city is known for. There are so many things that one can get from Barcelona, some of them being the cheapest in Spain. Continue reading below to find out some of the best things that are uniquely Spanish and probably best found in the country.
1. Caganer figurines
As you stroll the streets of Barcelona, especially souvenir shops, you will notice that there are some shops which sell unusual figurines. These figurines will make you stop and take a second look. There are many designs; a man with his pants down, a man squatting over his poop and so on. As much as this may seem weird, this man is a crucial part of Catalan tradition. El Caganer is a ceramic doll which blesses people with a prosperous year. In any case, whether or not one really believes that Caganer will actually make a difference in their luck, it is simply because he brings a smile to people’s faces that it is so popular. If you plan to get a Caganer for yourself or as a gift, then visit one of the many souvenir shops in Barcelona. There are plenty of them and a large variety to select from.
Where to buy: Las Ramblas and inside the Gothic neighbourhood
Cost: 5 USD to 23 USD
2. Blue wine
Blue wine is a famous type of alcohol found in Spain. It is produced by Spanish company Gïk and is probably the world’s first blue-coloured wine. This wine is made from a combination of red and white grapes using natural pigments and flavours. Blue wine is commonly available in wine shops across Spain. Restaurants also carry this drink in their menu. If you are interested in getting a bottle for yourself, you could even play around with your cocktails.
Where to buy: Major supermarkets
Cost: From 10 USD
3. Spanish sweet treat — Turrón
Turrón is a famous sweet treat that is made from a combination of honey, eggs, sugar and most importantly, toasted nuts. Almonds are used in the making of turrón although sometimes, pistachios can be used. Turrón comes in a number of types and flavours, depending on the ingredients that have been used to make them. Some turróns are hard and brittle while some others are soft and chewy. Turrón is a traditional Christmas candy in Spain and can be found in abundance, especially during Christmas. These candies come in nice boxes which make for good gifts to take back to family and friends.
Where to buy: Planelles Donat, La Campana, Torrons Vicens
Cost: About 18 USD
4. Sea cucumber, Espardenyes
Yes, we are talking about sea cucumbers as being one of the best things to buy when in Barcelona. Known as espardenyes in Catalonia and Valencia, these succulent sea cucumbers are a Mediterranean speciality. These sea cucumbers have a subtle and earthy taste, making for a perfect accompaniment to dishes such as seafood paella. They are highly prized creatures and are served in selected restaurants.
Where to buy: Paco Meralgo and Cheriff in Barceloneta
Cost: 23 USD for a plate of six or seven creatures
5. Spanish Cava
There is never a wrong time to celebrate with a bubbly. In Spain, cava is probably the most toast-worthy bubbly. In fact, it is said that during festive periods, Spaniards drink cava the most. This popular drink, cava, is the Catalan word for ‘cellar.’ Once corks were invented, winemakers, especially those in the northeastern Mediterranean region of Catalonia began making Cava. Spain produces almost a quarter billion bottles of this bubbly which have become the unofficial beverage of the holidays. As this is a typically Spanish drink, it is something which is worth buying as either for yourself or as a gift for someone.
Where to buy: L'Anima Del Vi, Els Sortidors del ParlamentF
Cost: From 17 USD
Origins of Orujo stems from Northwestern Spain. The local people of Galicia from this region pride themselves in first starting the famous tradition of making distilled liqueurs with high alcoholic content, with Orujo being the most famous one. Orujo is a strong liqueur which has an alcohol content of between 37 to 45 percent. It can be consumed raw or be used to make a traditional Galician drink called Queimada. This drink contains pieces of lemon peel, sugar, and ground coffee. These are put into a clay pot, after which Orujo is poured in. The pot is lit on fire until the flame turns blue. This is something different which one could consider buying to impress people back home.
Where to buy: Major supermarkets
Cost: From 9 USD
Rabitos are chocolate covered figs and are considered a delicacy. These chocolates originate from Extremadura and are probably the most preferred chocolates from Spain. Tender young figs are picked and then filled with a mousse made of dark chocolate and a hint of brandy. Each one is then dipped into dark chocolate sauce and then finally packed in a foil cover. These chocolates have been won the Best Confection in Show honour at the Fancy Food Show in New York. This should already tell how famous and delicious these chocolates are. Boxes of Rabitos makes a good alternative to the regular chocolates one would otherwise buy. Get these chocolates as gifts now for friends and family.
Where to buy: Supermarkets and souvenir stores
Cost: From 10 USD
8. Spanish fans
Spanish fans may seem like simple gifts to buy for people back home. However, these fans, or abanicos, are a Spanish tradition. Come to Spain during summer and you will definitely come across middle-aged Spanish women cooling themselves down with these Spanish fans. Abanicos in Spain originated around the same time that Flamenco dancing became popular. In fact, these fans are used as props by performers and nobility. They are easily found around the streets in Barcelona and come in many designs.
Where to buy: Portal de l’Angel, Portaferrisa and Pelayo
Cost: From 3.50 USD
9. Customised FC Barcelona shirts
When in Barcelona, one will inevitably think of football. If you are a die-hard FC Barcelona fan, then you might be interested in purchasing an original FC Barcelona shirt for yourself. What about if you are able to customise a shirt for yourself? There are many shops in Barcelona which will do this customisation for you. Choose the name of the player if you want on the shirt and get it personalised for you to take home as a souvenir. This makes a nice gift for someone who is an FC Barcelona fan.
Customised FC Barcelona shirts
Where to buy: Nike stores
Cost: From 75 USD
10. Coral jewellery
Jewellery found in Spain is unique and worth collecting as a souvenir. Just like the diversity among the Spanish people, Spain’s jewellery is also an interesting mix of regional, historical and cultural influences. The designs are highly inspirational and much sought-after. In particular, coral jewellery is famous in the country and a wide range of designs can be found in Barcelona. There is a much Christian influence in the designs of Spanish coral jewellery. Walk along the streets of Barcelona and you will definitely find a large number of options if you are looking to buy coral jewellery as a takeaway from this beautiful city.
Where to buy: Rabat, Solà Joiers, Daniel Vior
Cost: From 70 USD onwards
Buy like a local
When shopping in Barcelona, do not make the mistake of falling into tourist traps. Before making a purchase, check around a few stores to compare the costs and designs. As much as it is tempting to buy everything, do be mindful also about the amount of space you have in your suitcase.
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