Best Gifts from Madrid

Best Gift Ideas from Madrid by Naked Madrid

Buying gifts for friends and family in Madrid can be a difficult task. Pretty much everything can be found everywhere nowadays. I often see the same Spanish brand names and products when I walk around my neighborhood in New York. So I think to myself, why did I even bother lugging that bottle of Marqués de Riscal all across the ocean? If you find yourself faced with this same problem (and not inclined to buy your mom a keychain or a magnet), here’s a list of well thought-out gift ideas from Madrid. Hope it helps!

First let’s quickly name some of the more obvious gift ideas, which are also good but run the risk of being found in your hometown (scroll down if you’re all too familiar with these):

Handheld fans, flamenco shawls, ceramic tiles and dishes, paella pans, recipe books, aprons with a flamenco dancer or the flag of Spain, football/soccer jersey, wine, cured ham and sweets with long shelf-lives such as mazapán, turron and polvorones (can be bought at El Riojano or Casa Mira, two very traditional pastry shops in the city center) or a swiss army/pocket knife (best from Toledo but also sold in Plaza Mayor). While it’s always best to buy these items from independent sellers (which you will find below), if you’re pressed for time you can find absolutely everything at El Corte Inglés, the country’s major department store with locations all around.

Now let’s move on to the more original gift ideas:

1. Anything from La Violeta

Best Gift Ideas from Madrid by Naked Madrid

La Violeta is a candy shop located in the center of Madrid. It must be included in this list because it is a typical place where Madrileños buy gifts for other Madrileños. Las violetas are purple-colored sucking candies wrapped in pretty little boxes and ribbon. You can buy them plain or escarchadas, meaning sugar-coated. You can also find cajas de bombones (boxes of chocolates) and many other sweet treats. Prices range from €5 to €15.

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Address: Plaza de Canalejas, 6
Metro: Sol and Sevilla

2. Saffron or a pack of mixed Spanish spices for anyone who likes to cook

My sister, Amanda, actually gave me this idea. Her boyfriend’s family is originally from the Basque Country. Her father-in-law loves little trinkets from Spain and also makes paella every year for the whole family. So she had the bright idea of buying him a pack of azafrán (saffron). Yes, saffron! It costs peanuts in comparison to what it costs in the States. She bought it at Corte Inglés and he was over the moon when he received it. For non-purists, you can also buy sachets, which is a bag of mixed Spanish spices, also used for making paella. Anyone who likes to cook will enjoy this gift!

3. Berets; can be bought at a charming century-old hat shop right in Plaza Mayor

Best Gifts from Madrid by Naked Madrid

Founded in 1894, Madrid’s oldest hat shop–La Favorita C.B.–is now in the hands of its family’s fourth generation. It remains in its original location in Plaza Mayor and sells all types of traditional Spanish hats that make for fun and useful gifts. Amanda gave me this idea too. She bought a black beret for her stylish sister-in-law which cost €19. Although the black beret is traditionally worn in the Basque Country, where it’s called a Boina, it very well looked like it could have been bought at Top Shop. I’m sure anyone could rock this look in any city around the world, and they’d have a nice story to tell when someone asked them where they bought it.

Best Gifts from Madrid by Naked Madrid

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Web 
Address: Plaza Mayor, 25
Metro: Sol or Opera

4. Chocolate for dipping churros; can be bought at the famous Chocolatería San Gines (near Sol)

In Spanish, this is simply called chocolate a la taza or chocolate caliente. However, for English-speakers this can be quite confusing–this is not just hot chocolate. It refers to the thick chocolate that you dip churros into. When my husband’s relatives from California were visiting, they bought bags and bags of this chocolate as a present for all their friends back home. It was a hit! And it’s not exclusive for dipping churros, you can also use it for dipping strawberries, bananas–anything you like! You can buy it in bags by the kilo at Madrid’s most famous churros shop, Chocolatería San Ginés, open 24/7 and just a stone’s throw from Sol.

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Web
Address: Pasadizo de San Gines, 5
Metro: Sol
 

5. Peseta; for millions of small gift ideas made in Madrid, using fabrics from around the world (in Malasaña)

Peseta gift shop in Madrid for best gift ideas by Naked MadridNamed after Spain’s former currency–las pesetas–this charming store was founded by Laura Martínez del Pozo around ten years ago. She collects fabrics from all over the world and uses them to make unique, creative and very handy items, from tablet and laptop cases to handbags and wallets. They even sell beautiful shoes, also typical from Spain–espadrilles and alpargatas–though with a nice twist as the fabric is a hundred percent unique. Seeing as these everyday items are useful for everyone, you’re sure to find great gifts here.

Peseta gift shop in Madrid for best gift ideas by Naked Madrid

You can also find Peseta’s products sold at an awesome book store and cafe near Callao called La Central, which will talk more about below.

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Web
Address: c/ Noviciado, 9
Metro: Noviciado

6. Summer shoescan be found in stores everywhere (also in Peseta)

Best gift ideas in Madrid, Spanish Spanish shoes

alpargatas at the top and mallorquinas at the bottom

Esparto (espadrilles), alpargatas and mallorquinas are the three most popular summer shoe styles originating from Spain. All can be found in any colour and in any standard shoe store (the center is littered with typical shoe stores, especially around Plaza Mayor and Calle Carmen which is right off of Sol). The latter two styles are unisex, so you’re bound to find something for both your male and female friends and family. Since Spain is well-known for its amazing shoes, why not wow them with some Spanish summer footwear they can strut around their own city in style? Plus you don’t have to limit yourself to the traditional ones. You can find snazzier versions too. You can also check out our post on “3 Places to Find Espadrilles in Madrid” for more recommendations.

Best Gifts from Madrid by Naked Madrid

This photo is from a new store called Alpargatus which is located just off of Plaza Mayor on Calle Postas. They have all types of alpargatas, espadrilles and mallorquinas, plus other souvenirs. It’s really convenient.

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Address: C/ Postas, 20 (just a few steps away from Plaza Mayor)
Metro: Sol or Opera

Or check out another post of ours dedicated solely to espadrilles: “3 Places to Find Espadrilles in Madrid

8. Traditional gloves with silk lining from 100-year-old glove shop in Sol

Just a note–I couldn’t get a photo because the owner closed the shop for the whole weekend to go to Lisbon and watch the football match…

Believe it or not, Spain still has entire shops dedicated solely to gloves! One of Madrid’s most well-known and oldest glove shops is called Guantes Luque, nestled between the streets of Sol and Sevilla. Entering the shop is an experience in and of itself. These elegant gloves take you back to another era, when items were not mass produced and were meant to last a lifetime. Understandably on the expensive side, these traditional Spanish gloves are not only beautiful, but have silk lining which is a godsend in winter.

No web, but they’re on Yelp
Address: c/ Espoz y Mina, 3
Metro: Sol, Gran Vía or Sevilla

7. Gift Basket – 3 simple and delicious ingredients

Campo Real Olives Gift from Madrid by Naked Madrid

image from gastronosfera.com

When I asked around for good gift ideas, one expat said that he always brings home a basket of 3 items: pimientos de piquillo (roasted red peppers), aceitunas campo reales (olives) and a really fancy aceite de oliva (olive oil)After speaking with many foreigners living in Spain, it became clear that campo real olives are a major hit among the gift-giving crowd. Though if you don’t like olives, you can always replace them with a bottle of wine (my favorite red is Ribera and my favorite white is Albariño), a box of marzipan from Toledo or sweets from La Violeta (mentioned #1).

Where to buy: while you can buy these items all over the city and of course at El Corte Inglés, we recommend you go to Mercado de Antón Martín or Mercado de San FernandoThese markets are very traditional, unlike many of the others that have become over-priced and over-touristy. You can also go to Qué Rico Tó, mentioned #2 on this list.

Mercado de Antón Martín

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Address: C/ Santa Isabel, 5
Metro: Antón Martín

Mercado de San Fernando

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Address: C/ Embajadores, 41
Metro: Lavapiés or Embajadaroes

8. Spanish Comic Books

El Collecionista Comic Book Store in Madrid by Naked Madrid

For your alternative or comic-book loving friends, a Spanish comic could be a really cool gift. It’s always fun to read comics in other languages, especially because the drawings and images help you figure out the story. But of course this gift isn’t for everyone. The above photo is of El Coleccionistaa well-known comic shop in Lavapiés with a wide collection. My sister, Amanda (also in the photo), bought a few rare books for her friends here. When I asked Amanda if I could include her photo in this article, she said of course–she’d be happy to support any type of independent shop like this one which make up the backbone of a city’s personality and charm. I’ve also just found out that one of the world’s best comic stores is located in Madrid too, it’s called Akira Comics and is located a bit further out in the city.

El Coleccionista
Address: C/ Tribulete, 5
Metro: Lavapiés

9. Second-hand books with personality from Desperate Literature

Desperate LIterature, international used book store in Madrid by Naked Madrid

At Desperate Literature, a new international bookstore located in the center of Madrid (close to the Royal Palace), you can find good quality used books in English, Spanish and French, many of which are related to Spain and can make for a great, personalized gift. Also, this bookstore has a nice story behind it, as its three young owners–Michael, Corey and Craig–have opened used international bookstores in Santorini, Greece and in Brooklyn, New York. With the recent opening of Desperate Literature in Madrid, they aim to provide a literary haven for travellers, expats and Madrileños alike. Here’s a long article on Desperate Literature.

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Address: c/ Campomanes, 13
Metro: Santo Domingo and Opera

10. New books and much more from a La Central, an ultra hip bookstore/cafe near Callao

la Central best coffee bookshops in Madrid by Naked Madrid

While my first suggestion would be to go to Desperate Literature, if you’re looking for all kinds of new books in Spanish (i.e. children’s, novels, poetry, you name it) or other gift ideas such as board games, notebooks and fun nicknacks, then this is the store you should be going to.

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Address: Postigo de San Martín 8
Metro: Callao

11. Trinkets from a Funky Madrid Gift Shop called Curiosite

As far as gift shops go, this one is quite original. At Curiositeyou can get maps of Malasaña and Chueca for €12, which look great framed, as well as tons of other fun little tchotchkesThis gift is recommended for someone who has lived or spent a good amount of time in Madrid.

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Address: c/ Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 28
Metro: Tribunal

Any other gift ideas? Please share! We’ll be happy to add more to this list :)

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21 Comments

  • May 26, 2014

    Molly Sears-Piccavey

    Love this article! Makes me want to spend a morning shopping in Madrid. I´ll take note for my next visit.

    Regards from Granada
    Molly

    http://www.piccavey.com

  • May 26, 2014

    Molly Sears-Piccavey

    Love this article! Makes me want to spend a morning shopping in Madrid. I´ll take note for my next visit.

    Regards from Granada
    Molly

    http://www.piccavey.com

  • May 26, 2014

    Daphne Binioris

    Thanks for your comment! Hopefully we can add on more places for your shopping trip in Madrid :)

  • May 26, 2014

    Daphne Binioris

    Thanks for your comment! Hopefully we can add on more places for your shopping trip in Madrid :)

  • […] Madrid’s best gift ideas […]

  • […] Madrid’s best gift ideas […]

  • May 31, 2014

    Toledo | Naked Madrid

    […] lost amidst Toledo’s tiny and windy streets. If you are looking for a gift (check out Best Gifts from Madrid list), Toledo is well known for its mazapán (marzipan) and navajas (swiss army and pocket knives), […]

  • May 31, 2014

    Toledo | Naked Madrid

    […] lost amidst Toledo’s tiny and windy streets. If you are looking for a gift (check out Best Gifts from Madrid list), Toledo is well known for its mazapán (marzipan) and navajas (swiss army and pocket knives), […]

  • June 16, 2014

    Toledo | Naked Madrid

    […] Best Gifts from Madrid […]

  • November 19, 2014

    Sara Zancotti

    This is EXACTLY what I was looking for before my Madrid trip. Now I’m back home unpacking all of the gifts we bought in La Violeta and Qué Rico Tó! I can’t thank you enough <3

    • November 20, 2014

      Daphne Binioris

      Wow! That’s so nice to hear!! Hope the gifts are being enjoyed by whoever they’re for :)

      • November 20, 2014

        Sara Zancotti

        They’re for Christmas so they’ll have to wait 😉

  • […] all over the city and stocking their stalls with handcrafted wares, jewelry, gourmet delicacies and unique gift ideas from independent designers. Here are some of the best Christmas markets to mark in your calendars […]

  • […] La Central is a trendy bookshop near Callao and hands down the most modern of all on this list. It boasts three floors, a happening bar with a full menu and an impressive selection of much more than books. La Central is the perfect place to find funky mugs, quirky bags, useful calendars, board games, wrapping paper, you name it. Thus, it’s also a great place to get gifts in Madrid. […]

  • April 13, 2015

    Kathi

    Hey,
    at first thank you for the great ideas! I’m studying in Madrid and have to buy so many gifts for friends/family – it’s nearly undoable 😀

    I have another idea, you should add for great and individual gifts: The ceramic café “Pinta en copas”, which is not far away from Calle Fuencarral. You can paint your own ceramics there while the owner invites you to a cup of tea or coffee. I think it’s a great idea, because everyone likes self-made things and a self-painted cup with the bear of Madrid or any greetings is a nice, individual gift :) The prices start from 8€ for a cup to 20€ for a big plate (colors and drinks all inclusive). After 1-2 days, you can collect your painted and “burned” ceramics. I liked it a lot there: nice atmosphere and good music :)

    Homepage: http://pintaencopas.com/

    Best wishes

    Kathi

    • April 15, 2015

      Daphne Binioris

      Glad you like it!!

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  • […] recipe, it is worth every penny. A bar of turrón costs around 16 euros and makes for the absolute perfect gift at Christmas time, whether for someone in Madrid or a loved one back […]

  • December 22, 2015

    Heather

    Loved this and even better I found the gloves, the beret and La Violeta on my whirlwind three days in Madrid. Thank you so much for the tips on what to look for and where to find things – made my souvenir shopping and gift buying so much easier. I had it all researched before I left home. So wish I had read all the comments before I left – Kathi’s suggestion of the ceramics is great and I’ve only just seen it now I am back in NZ.
    Have saved the article for future reference and will acknowledge you in my blog.

    • December 23, 2015

      Daphne Binioris

      Hi! Thanks for your comment and so glad you found it useful! We try to update this article whenever we come across new gift ideas from Madrid so if you have any other suggestions please do let me know. And happy holidays!