Some people can spend up to an hour in a new supermarket, looking at all the different products, marveling at the exciting exotic and pre-packaged mysteries. Other people prefer to go in and out in the blink of an eye, going straight for the items on their list, not taking time to wander around. For either type of people, we have a created a guide detailing information about the supermarkets that exist in the center of the city.
Dia is a Spanish supermarket with their own brand range as well as some household brand names. Dia is known for being very cheap as well as being a great for supermarket staples and dry goods. They are usually much smaller than your average supermarket but are, nonetheless, a good option if you need to stock up during the week. There are plenty of Dia supermarkets around town but the ones located closest to the city center can be found at Carrer de la Comtessa de Sobradiel, 3, Carrer del Carme, 34, and Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 18.
The Spanish equivalent of a Lidl/Aldi, this enormous supermarket offers a selection of Spanish products and well-known brand names. Mercadona is a great option for buying in bulk, which means that it is perfect for stocking up on your jumbo toilet rolls. They also offer a good selection of fresh and frozen meat and fish. The stores tend to be situated a little bit outside the centre but still within walking distance of the Ciutat Vella. You can find a Mercadona near Arc de Triomf, at Ronda de Sant Pere, 31, another one near Hospital Clinic, inside Mercat Municipal de Ninot at Carrer de Mallorca, 135, and one at Carrer de Calàbria, 129, near Parc de Joan Miró.
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This supermarket chain which was founded in Catalunya now has stores in Madrid and Navarra with a combined total of over 300 stores. Caprabo is part of the Eroski Group, and despite not being one of the most popular supermarkets out there, it offers quality products for a moderate price. There are several Caprabo supermarkets around town. The ones located closest to the city centre can be found at Carrer de Casp, 33, Carrer del Consell de Cent, 301, and Carrer de Freixures, 2.
This French supermarket chain has had great success in the city, with one of their most popular stores being located right on Las Ramblas. Due to the large influx of tourists, this store houses some hard to find French and English products such as Ribena and a wide selection of salted butter and cheeses. It also has a great pharmacy and cosmetics section. Watch out for the regular promotions on their own label products and be prepared to handle the crowds in the Ramblas store during summer. Other smaller Carrefour supermarkets can be found at Carrer de Bailèn, 33, near Plaça Tetuan, and Calle Gran Vía De Las Cortes Catalanas, 573, near Universitat de Barcelona.
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El Corte Inglés is one of the more expensive supermarket options available in the city, yet if you’re a gourmand or if you feel like treating yourself, then this is the place to go. These supermarkets are home to a wide selection of organic, gluten-free products, a fantastic wine selection, and some of the best mainstream Spanish products, like Jamón Iberico, conserves and truffle oils. They have a beautiful fish counter and a great selection of meat available in El Corte Inglés at Plaça Catalunya, which is really the only department store they have in the center that includes a supermarket.
Tips for the shoppers
In Spain, supermarkets do not give out free shopping bags, in an effort to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment. Though each bag usually costs only a symbolic price, such as 5 or 10 cents, it is encouraged that you bring your own bags when shopping, be them plastic bags, totes or even backpacks. Another option is to bring a shopping car, which will make carrying your groceries back home that much easier.
If you plan to go shopping, go online and check the schedule of your supermarket. Some close during lunch time, which is around 1:3o/2 pm and only open again around 5 pm.
If you hate waiting in line, try to avoid rush hours, such as the hours closest to lunch time and after 6 pm.
Other than that, enjoy your supermarket shopping experience!
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