Law graduate with a passion for travel, photography and writing. Browse through some of my photography on: instacanv.as/rayna_26
Published January 18th 2013
The store that has it all
El Corte Ingles are a fabulous chain of department stores that can be located all around Spain. Imagine an amalgamation of Debenhams and Waitrose all under one roof. You can expect many floors, each dedicated to a category of products and then a supermarket on the ground floor. This particular store is located on Avinguda Diagonal, one of Barcelona's most important roads.
The entrance to El Corte Ingles. In case you are wondering the name translates to 'the English Court'.
This El Corte Ingles has 7 different floors and the entrance will lead you to Floor B. Here you'll be able to find items including perfume, cosmetics, bags and accessories. The bag section is separated in to categories; designer brands, high street brands and bags on sale. This method of separation is consistent throughout the whole store, for example with clothes and shoes. It is quite easy to find what you are looking for even if you don't speak Spanish. And on that note if you are on holiday in Barcelona, this is a great place to pick up some presents for friends and family back home.
If you love fashion then have a browse on floor 1 with clothes for women and floor 2 with clothes for men. The European feel to fashion trends can instantly be recognised whilst perusing through the displays. Designer brands such as Armani, Calvin Klein, DKNY and many more can all be found on these floors. You might just be tempted to treat yourself to something (I was). Also on display you will see clothes and accessories by Desigual, a popular Spanish high street brand. Desigual stores can be found in UK, USA and around the world, this store locator can be used to find one near you.
Have a lookout for signs stating rebajas (in Spanish) or rebaixes (in Catalan*), these indicate items on sale and everybody loves a bargain!
Floor 3 is dedicated to babies and toddlers with clothes, pushchairs, toys, cots and many other items on display. There are even designer clothes for toddlers, like these tiny DKNY jeans.
On floor 5 there are electronics for home use such as hoovers, TVs and sound systems. Anyone looking for a camera, mobile phone or maybe some accessories for these gadgets will find what they are looking for on this same floor.
There are many useful kitchenware items available from coffee makers to dinner sets.
By now you're probably thinking this store really does have everything but there is more. The supermarket on floor S1 literally has anything you could possibly need on a daily basis; there is even a toiletries section and a pharmacy.
In the fresh produce area you'll find fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. The seafood counter smells so fresh it makes you feel like you're at the beach!
There are many aisles of food and household products. Most international brands are available, such as Kellog's and Nestle.
In one of the aisles there are special dietary products stocked; such as gluten free and sugar free biscuits.
Having looked at all the products available it comes as no surprise why El Corte Ingles is one of Spain's largest retail groups. It's worth visiting just for the experience. 1 handy tip for all the 'seize the moment' travellers, most of these stores have at least 7 floors have a look out the window on the top floor to get a fabulous view of the city. This particular El Corte Ingles and most others have a restaurant. The store in Plaza de Catalunya near Las Ramblas has one on the 9th floor offering this breath taking panoramic view.
After a shopping session you can have some coffee/lunch and admire the view.