Are you lost?
First things first. We realise that you may actually have arrived on this page in the mistaken belief you were about to find about about Souvenir, the gay nightclub in the outskirts of Barcelona. We hate to leave you disappointed, so instead of talking you through toilet roll holders in the shape of flamenco dancers, we thought you might like to take a look at our article on nightlife in the famous ‘Gaixample’.
Still up for info on actual souvenirs?
Great. Barcelona is definitely a tourist city, and on every corner you’ll find shops, stalls and stands selling souvenirs and traditional products, waiting to catch your eye. Here’s an idea of the things tourists typically buy, as well as some words of warning over what to avoid.
According to Forbes Barcelona is one of the 5 top cities for food. So why not take home some Catalan specialties for your own friends and family?
‘Fuet’ is similar to salami. The ‘fuet’ from Vic, a town near to Barcelona, is particularly well-known. There is also ‘Chorizo’, the red-coloured sausage typical of Spain, ‘jamón dulce e serrano’, cooked or cured ham, which is called ‘pernil’ in Catalan and ‘sobrassada mallorquina’, a sausage-meat made from pork, paprika and salt.
The ‘Queso de cabra’– goat’s cheese- is particularly well-reputed.
‘All-i-oli’, a sort of garlic-flavoured mayonnaise, ‘salsa brava’, a red-coloured spicy sauce that goes brilliantly with potatoes, ‘romesco’ sauce with almonds, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar and olive oil, and ‘samfaina’, a sauce made with aubergine and peppers.
‘Carquinyolis’, made with almonds, ‘panallets’, marzipan confectionary, ‘boniato’, “sweet, red potatoes” and pine-nuts. These are typical during the winter season.
Spanish sparkling wine is from this region and it would be a shame not to take a bottle home with you. Both the white and rose versions are delicious.
A souvenir from Barcelona to last forever
A piece of Gaudí
From his house: there are mugs, plates, ashtrays, diaries, candles, posters and ornaments with his mosaic themes. Specifically, Gaudi’s salamander, which is located at the entrance to Parc Guell, is a souvenir that represents Barcelona well, but is not obvious due to the fact that not everybody knows about it.
A CD with Catalan music
Every place you go, take some music from that place. Some advice? Try a CD by the duo Estopa, Antoni Font, Pastora, Gossos.
A reminder of the legendary FC Barça
This team is an institution and if you are fans of football you cannot leave back home without a Barça mug, shirt, or baseball cap.
A ununsually shaped wine bottle, typical of Catalonia and Aragón.
A hand-made souvenir from a young artist
You can find curious, yet at the same time traditional souvenirs in the bookshops for the MACBA and CCCB museums and the art libraries that are within the immediate vicinity. A couple of examples would be the works of Núria López, the name of whose art is ‘la Virgen de los Broches’ (“the Virgin of pins”), or a jewel from her Bandada collection. These latter works use Spanish birds as themes, which are at risk of extinction.
The Catalan donkey
There are t-shirts and mugs with the symbol of symbols from Barcelona.
A home-made souvenir from the Ramblas
For example a clock made from a vinyl record, painted while you wait, a frame just made from a strip of iron and some pliers, a painting ‘painted’ with a spray-can or a fan with the image of one of Barcelona’s monuments.
Books – Cathedral of the Sea or Shadow of the Wind by Ildefonso Falcones
Novels set in the Barcelona of yesteryear for lovers of literature.
such as key rings, bags, brooches, a snow-globe with one of Barcelona’s monuments. It won’t be a particularly original souvenir, but for example if you collect snow-globes it would be a shame not to have one from the Catalan capital. The same goes for postcards.
A T-shirt from Barcelona’s Hard Rock Café
Another none-too original souvenir, but a real must for lovers of the chain and for collectors. However, avoid bags with just Barcelona written on them- they’re so boring! Or a t-shirt with ‘I love Barcelona’- very tacky!
Souvenirs you absolutely shouldn’t buy
There isn’t a Spanish version of this and even though Barcelona is situated between two rivers neither of them is the Rio Bravo! Sombreros are Mexican- not Spanish.
A flamenco outfit
If you aren’t able to resist the temptation and you end up buying one, you should know that it’s typical from Andalucia and not Catalonia.
A big no to bullfighting
You can take souvenirs of this type back with you from Barcelona although bullfighting has been forbidden in Catalonia. Every spanish region has its typical animal and catalan is a donkey.
Leave yourself more money to spend on souvenirs, tapas and Sangria by booking one of our great value budget apartments.