Curosite is an Aladdin’s cave of a gift shop, located in the cool neighbourhood of Malasaña. From ham-leg cushions to Gin and Ti-tonic ice trays (with ice shaped like ships and icebergs), Curiosite sells quirky gifts with a heavy dose of humour. Its gifts range from kitchenware and beach essentials to the latest gadgets for the techie in your life. A great place to browse the shelves, pick up some souvenirs or just treat yourself to a cheery treat.
Madrid al Cubo
If you’re after some Madrid mementos that are a little more unique than the typical tourist tat, head to Madrid al Cubo, close to the central Puerta del Sol. The little shop has a whole lot of love for the Spanish capital, and showcases fun, creative and design-focused souvenirs made by local artists and designers. From beautiful prints and quirky postcards, to T-shirts, books and even polka dot sangria, you’re bound to find something special to take home with you.
Unusual souvenir hunters, look no further: Capas Seseña has been making traditional Spanish capes since 1901 and has had customers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, Hillary Clinton and Pablo Picasso, who is buried in one of their capes. Each cape is handcrafted, cut and sewn by artisans in the same way they have been made for over 100 years. If you fancy an update on the original, Capas Seseña also partners with modern designers to make more contemporary styles, such as a recent range of bomber capes.
Convento del Corpus Cristi
While not strictly a shop, the Convento del Corpus Cristi, located in Madrid’s oldest district, close to the Plaza Mayor, hides a sweet secret that is definitely worth buying. The convent is home to an order of cloistered nuns, who, because they are not allowed to leave the convent, make their living by baking and selling biscuits in a very unusual way. Buzz on the door and walk round to a rotating round table, where a disembodied voice will ask you what you want. There is a list of biscuits on the wall; order the ones you’d like and the nun on the other side of the wall will spin them around to you. Spin your money back around and you’ve just bought some of Madrid’s most unique biscuits, without seeing a soul.
A great place to find an original gift or souvenir to take home from Madrid, La Intrusa showcases the work of local artists and independent designers in its two Madrid stores. You’ll find handmade jewellery in a range of quirky designs, clothing and accessories as well as books, stationery and homewares.
Flamingos Vintage Kilo
If you’re into vintage shopping, Malasaña is the area for you. Flamingos Vintage Kilo takes a different approach to the area’s other stores, however, and sells its clothes by weight. With clothes spanning the decades, from 60s leather jackets to 80s leg warmers, its a great place to browse for vintage bargains.
Flamingos Vintage Kilo La mejor selección de ropa americana de segunda mano y la primera tienda de ropa y complementos al peso, abierta en el barrio de Malasaña. Al ser ropa al peso no encuentras etiquetas con el precio y la talla. En general no son precios excesivos, sino que al ser todo segunda mano, las prendas son bastantes asequibles. Tiene distribuidores en Estados Unidos, recibiendo semanalmente grandes cantidades de ropa vintage que ponen a disposición del cliente. El proyecto lo inició Daniel Martínez tras visitar Berlín, Nueva York y Los Ángeles, cuando decidió que su carrera profesional girara entorno a la moda vintage y no de cualquier manera, sino en su concepto original: vender diseños clásicos con clara influencia del estilo americano y que el cliente pueda comprar a precios asequibles; moda al peso. Actualmente y en solo 3 años, han abierto 18 tiendas repartidas por todo el país, siendo esta, la primera de todas ellas. Calle del Espíritu Santo, 1, 28004 Madrid #0thfloor
On a quiet square near Madrid’s Plaza Mayor is Taller Puntera, a leather shop with a unique twist. The designers and artists behind the shop’s contemporary products are hard at work in their workshop in the back of the store, while you browse the products at the front. It makes every purchase feel more personal, because you’ve seen where it was made and the hands that made it. It’s a great place to pick up a new satchel, handbag, wallet or purse. The shop also runs weekend leather workshops, in which participants can learn how to make their very own leather product to take home – a unique Madrid memento.
Swinton and Grant
Part gallery, part bookshop, Swinton and Grant, located in the trendy Lavapiés neighbourhood, specialises in all things to do with street art. Its bookshop is full of tomes on graffiti and urban art from Madrid and beyond, as well as comics, graphic novels and magazines in both Spanish and English. Its gallery features both local and international artists, with a focus on modern and experimental art.