Making any kind of selection in Madrid is certainly difficult. This city provides a good deal of services, like restaurants, nightclubs, etc. And of course, we find several stores there too. At the end of the day, everyone seeks a place where one can share time with others, and all of us end up being drawn to comfortable, familiar spots. Looking for an original gift? You have Fnac, Natura… In need of new clothes? Stradivarius, Zara, Bershka, perhaps even Humana… And, what about furniture? We have IKEA, Leroy Merlín, and Maisons du Monde, among others. Nevertheless, the aim of this article is to offer different alternatives that cannot be found in other cities. The most unique and peculiar alternatives, only available in Spain’s capital city.
It would be a good idea to start our itinerary in the street called Eloy Gonzalo, next to the square of Quevedo. After that, our legs will guide you across San Bernardo until we reach Gran Vía. Then we will walk through the street of Alcalá to finish up in Goya, where the last store on the list awaits us. Let’s get into it already, shall we?
Our first stop is located in Eloy Gonzalo, where we will find the store called Kamir Decoración y Regalos, which has been there for over 50 years. This store sells all kinds of decoration items, including furniture and kitchen equipment. Its most peculiar aspect is perhaps the fact that its designs and collections mix the retro style with modern aesthetics.
We will leave furnishings behind and move to the famous street of Gran Vía, really close to Plaza de España. More precisely, to the street Martín de los Heros, just behind Plaza de los Cubos and the Cines Renoir Princesa. Here, just in front of the Cines Golem movie theater, we will find the bookstore called Ocho y Medio, which perfectly fits in this movie setting. In fact, they mostly sell books related to the audiovisual world. Their shelves are full of books reflecting on the movie industry, directors, and even movie scripts. This store has been opened for more than 25 years, and one can find true hidden gems there.
Now we will follow the backbone of our tour: Gran Vía. Leaving Plaza España behind, moving to the left, we will reach Malasaña, which probably is the area with more vintage stores in Madrid; we will only address two of them here. The first one is La Antigua, a store that was founded in 2010 by designers Silvia Calles Closet, Lady Desidia and Lucetemas. With its clothes, accessories and jewelry, La Antigua is the perfect alternative to multinational fashion companies. Indeed, it’s a great place to add a new layer of personalized style to our wardrobe.
Further in the same street, Corredera Alta de San Pablo, there is a store called Curiosite Regalos Originales. Its name, meaning “original gifts”, makes it pretty easy to understand the place’s main theme. Curiosite is just that: a store we can go to when we need ideas for original gifts. Most likely, we will find here things we did not even know we wanted, since Curiosite has a little bit of everything: a moon lamp, a brain-shaped cuddly toy, board games, pessimist cups, and a whole lot of nerdy items.
Not far from them, already in Chueca, we will find another peculiar store: Casa Postal. Similar to the previous one, the name of this place leaves little room for imagination, since they sell and purchase all kinds of postcards and old pictures. This is actually a great store for tourists that wish to get hold of a different souvenir. Besides, the owners themselves collect and study postcards, and they have been doing so for almost 30 years.
Let’s cross Gran Vía and head to the opposite side, next to Plaza Mayor, where there are three stores of our interest. One of them is Gracias Mamá, which is somewhat similar to Curiosite, offering a wide range of original items.
Another certainly original store is Gritos de Madrid, which is really close to Gracias Mamá. It was founded in 1985 by ceramist Eduardo Fernández, and it’s now managed by his offspring: Carolina, Nacho and Carlos Fernández. Its specialty is heraldic decoration, which can be seen in their curious, beautiful tiles with varied designs.
After that, only about 300 yards away from Gritos de Madrid, we will find Curiosity Shop. This store in the Latoneros street keeps treasures from the past, mainly old toys, some of them as collectibles and others for kids to play with. It’s a good idea for making a surprise gift for our parents or grandparents, giving them a nice toy from their childhood.
There are no few stores in Barrio de las Letras. One of the most remarkable places here is La Integral. The store opened in 2005, and it offers a wide range of items, like vinyl records, fanzines, clothes and books. Either way, it hosts products made by local designers, as well as independent artists. It’s the perfect place for finding the most special and unique gifts.
We will end up this tour by visiting two of the most peculiar stores in the area of Goya. The first one is Casa Escudero, a store selling decoration items and gifts, as well as antiques. Casa Escudero, in the street of Alcalá in the neighborhood of Salamanca, provides a service of personalized designs.
Last but not least, we will go in La Estrella Misteriosa, a store that is specialized in the fictional universe of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of Franco-Belgian comics that are considerably popular in Spain. There we can buy all kinds of products related to this comic, such as action figures, comic books, calendars, and shirts. In addition, La Estrella Misteriosa hosts different activities for fans and is eager to purchase any related object.