Valencia is one of the cities in Spain that is best renowned for its shops. This is for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it is Spain's third-largest city, making it an important place to be located for major retailers as well as smaller independent ones. Valencia is also a city that has made lots of progress in recent years - it is a modern city that has been the site of lots of new developments - these include large shopping centres. It is also a city of tradition, where industries such as leather goods and ceramics have thrived for centuries - leaving a legacy of wonderful gift shopping opportunities.
This page will provide you with an overview to what it is like to go shopping in Valencia. There is advice on the best times to head to the shops. There is also details on the various types of shops that are available in Valencia, with links to more detailed pages with listings and advice. There are also some tips on where to head for an energising lunch during a busy trip to the shops.
When you are in Spain, it is important to remember the age-old tradition of the siesta. For many years it has been the norm for Spanish businesses to close for a few hours at lunchtime so that workers can go home, eat their lunch and have a nap.
If you are heading to Valencia's smaller shops, for example the artisan and antique shops in the old town (behind the Cathedral), these are likely to close for siesta. You will also find that the main designer shops (see below for further details) also close for siesta.
However, if you are heading to the larger and more commercial options, including department stores, shopping centres and high-street stores, they will be open all day.
Average opening hours for shops in Valencia: 10:00 - 21:00
(independent shops will probably close for siesta from 14:00 - 17:00).
It is also essential to remember that shops will not be open at all on Sundays and major public holidays.
Valencia offers shopping opportunities for a wide variety of tastes, ages and budgets. There are old-school markets, modern shopping centres, large department stores and high-end designer boutiques. Here we will explain a little bit about the various shopping opportunities in Valencia and what you can expect from them.
Department stores in Valencia:
Throughout Valencia, you will see department stores, most of which are El Corte Inglés. These shops are Spanish institutions and are renowned for being a place where you can head to pick up anything and everything. During your trip, you could find yourself in a department store at some point, picking up some snacks, sunglasses or sellotape. To get an overview of what El Corte Inglés department stores are like, see our Guide to El Corte Inglés in Barcelona. It is important to remember that this page is about the department store in Barcelona, so the location and opening times are different - however, you can get a general idea as to what the shops are like.
Designer Valencia shops:
Valencia has an impressive selection of designer stores. If you are after the big names like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Caroline Herrera, these are all to be found on one street in the affluent part of town. If you are interested in finding out about up and coming new local designers, this is also possible in the more cutting edge and forward thinking boutiques in the city. For an overview as to the places to head to find designer shops in Valencia, see our Guide to Valencia Clothes Shopping.
High street shopping in Valencia:
It is worth remembering when you come to Valencia that some of the world's most famous high-street stores are Spanish by origin. Shops including Zara, Mango and Bershka are all Spanish. This means that they can offer the most up-to-date collections and at impressive prices. Throughout Valencia you will find numerous branches of these chains, alongside other high-street stores selling clothes, shoes and other items for men, women and children. To find the high-street stores it is best to head to the town centre of Valencia - for full advice on what streets to go to, see our Guide to Valencia Clothes Shopping.
Valencia shopping centres:
Valencia city centre and the surrounding area offer an abundance of shopping centres. These can be reached by public transport if you head to the more central options, or by car if you are heading further out of town. If you are looking to find a variety of shopping options all under one roof, these are good places to head to. For listings of the departments stores in and around Valencia, with contact details and addresses, see our Guide to Shopping Centres in Valencia.
Markets in Valencia:
Valencia has a long-standing tradition of offering daily street markets around the city. In general, these markets take place once a week in a different part of town. They are an interesting place to spend a morning (and do remember - they are only open in the mornings) - you can listen to the locals haggling, buy some artisan products and watch the world go by. For a guide to the markets of Valencia, with listings and what day they are taking place, see our Guide to Valencia Markets.
For further details on the various shopping opportunities that there are in Valencia, plus links to pages on health food shops, shoe shops, supermarkets and clothes shops in Valencia, see our guide to shops in Valencia.
During your shopping day it is important to stop, take a breather and re-fuel. If you are spending the whole day shopping, then you will need to find somewhere to go for lunch. If you want to make like one of the locals, the way to do it is to partake in one of the restaurants' 'menu del dias'. This is a Spanish tradition that involves enjoying a three course lunch (normally with bread and wine included) at a set price. Not only can this work out low cost, it is also a chance to enjoy a long and leisurely lunch in one of the city centre's restaurants or terraces. For listings of the restaurants in Valencia, see our Guide to Valencia restaurants.
Valencia offers a wide variety of excellent shopping opportunities. If possible, set aside a day of your trip to take in the different genres and styles of shops that the city has to offer.