I once met a woman who lived in a house full of thimbles. Yes, that’s right, thimbles. Ceramic ones. Of course, she was a seamstress and throughout her whole life, friends and family had brought them her from all the places they had visited. Whether it was from Caracas, Valladolid or Rome. The thimbles were a souvenir that represented each of these places. How fascinating! I thought. And her thimbles were stacked in corners, on tables, on shelves. She even had them in the bath! She loved them, she told me. Her husband called her the “ceramic seamstress”.
If while you’re reading this, you are visiting Barcelona and want to give a souvenir or a gift with a local touch, forget about a Sagrada Familia keyring, or a wooden shoe horn reading "Welcome to BCN", or a ceramic thimble even. In Barcelona there a thousand and one original options.. Pieces designed by artists from the city and typical delicacies or items made in Barcelona. We’re so lucky! These are some of the trendiest souvenirs that you can find in the city. (Also suitable for locals!)
Don’t leave without some espadrilles
I think these are one of the most perfect gifts you could give me. Some espadrilles for the summer, handmade and with all the soul of the Mediterranean. And if they’re made by a shop/workshop that has been around for 40 years making shoes for people as famous as Dali? Write this name down: La Manual Alpargatera. This business is closely linked to the history of Barcelona. It was founded as a workshop that manufactures espadrilles, a traditional Catalan shoe. But it had a revolutionary idea to combine this handcrafted tradition with the fashion of the time. Now, it is a shop full of charm, with its own designs, hats and traditional accessories. It’s impossible to only buy one pair!
Where: C/ Avinyo 7. 08002 Barcelona
Alpargatas de La Manual Alpargatera. | @lamanualalpargatera
Barcelona on the wall
There’s nothing wrong in thinking that when you're no longer in Barcelona, you can keep a little piece of the city hanging up on your wall. Prints can be the perfect souvenir. And as Barcelona was and still is a real hub for designers and graphic artists, visit OMG stores and you’ll find proof of this. You’ll discover a great selection of prints from studios and artists. Take a look at this iconic design of the Estel Ferit tower by Pablo Benito (Pebe Estudio) or a map of one of the city’s neighborhoods, such as this one of the Gothic Quarters illustrated by Chamo San.
Where: Plaça de la Llana, 7. 08002 / C/ Corders, 7. 08002 Barcelona
L’Estel Ferit Illustration by Pablo de Benito. | Pebe Studio
You only need to spend a few minutes in Barcelona to see that we eat very well here. So, one of the most authentic souvenirs are those you can eat. If you fancy a delicious local cheese, some tasty smoked goods or chocolate treats, you must visit Colmado Múrria. A shop with a lot of history, (open since 1898) and that is part of the city’s modernism route no less. It is a very central and traditional store where you will go crazy trying to decide what to take with you. Good luck!
Where: Carrer de Roger de Llúria, 85, 08009 Barcelona
Image of the Colmado Múrria façade. | @stoptheroc
The best Bravas in Barcelona
“Greetings from Barcelona” is how Brava Fabrics defines itself. A young brand from Barcelona that fills its garments with Mediterranean vibes, colourful designs and innovative prints such as its own Barcelona print. Its success has skyrocketed, and its printed shirts are the brand’s icon. Visit its stores in Barcelona and find your favourite Brava.
Where: C/ Roc boronat 6, 08005 C/ Parlament 25, 08015.
One of the designs from the brand Brava Fabrics. | @bravafabrics