Nearly fifty years ago a young man named Amancio Ortega Gaona opened up a small boutique, which sold bathrobes in La Coruña. In 1975 he launched the now world famous Zara brand in the same city.
Some 35 years later his Inditex group runs some 4350 stores worldwide encompassing such famous brands as Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Berska, Zara Home, Pull and Bear, Uterque and Stradivarius. It is an incredible story that runs parallel with other famous Galician fashion designers such as Adolfo Dominguez, Roberto Verino, Purificacion Garcia, Antonio Pernas, Florentino and Olgar Rios and has inspired a new generation of fashion designers.
It follows that whatever your unique style of fashion maybe, you will be guaranteed to find a shop in Santiago that will satisfy even the most demanding of tastes. Great brands, high quality clothing and an eclectic mix of accessories that ensure Galicia stands tall in the high fashion stakes. The majority of retail outlets are in the new town, centered around the four key shopping streets; Doctor Teijeiro, Montero Rios, General Pardiñas and República del Salvador, this shoppers paradise completes its journey in Plaza Roja where there are plenty of cafes and bars to enjoy at the end of your days shopping. Here is a selection of some of our favourites...
Santiago de Compostela
Ría de Muros y Noia
Elsa va de boda: web General Pardiñas, 22. Ph: (+34) 981 570 413. A delightful boutique in the new part of town owned by two sisters, Carla and Paula, who will happily be your personal shoppers as you seek the very latest creations from labels such as Sui, Farah Khan, American Retro, Melissa O and Philip Treacy. Carla and Paula have an eye for shop design as well as clothes design and their outlet is a ravishing theatre of fashion.
Boutique Squina: El Hórreo, 17. Ph: (+34) 981 573 031. A small boutique which punches above its weight, situated close to Plaza Galicia. Selling modish everyday wear at appealing prices, there is something here to suit most wallets and tastes. Stocked are well-known Spanish, Italian and French brands: OkyKoky, Aninoto, Individual, Phard, Sita Murt, and Denny Rose.
D-due: web Frei Rosendo Salvado, 4. Ph: (+34) 981 593 061. A true Galician label by local designer Charo Froján is featured in this upmarket boutique in the new part of town. The stylish interior reflects the cachet of what’s on sale: classic, sophisticated styles that are hand-finished with a contemporary edge. Bring your chequebook!.
Mimolett: web Avda Rodrigo de Padrón, 5. Ph: (+34) 881 031 695. The charming, instinctive and original Mimolett is a tiny store in the old part of town catering for those who prize their individuality. French brands like Vanessa Brino, Ba&hs and Les Petites rub shoulders with exciting new Spanish labels such as Evra and Masscob and this is where to come for that defining, classy, extra-special piece that sets you apart from the rest.
Bimba y Lola: web República del Salvador, 19. Ph: (+34) 981 573 005. Setting trends across Spain and expanding rapidly throughout Europe is Galicia’s own Bimba y Lola brand. A favourite with the young and fashion-conscious its trick is to provide a unique twist on current styles and offer affordable items that can be mixed and matched to create your very own look. The production quality is high and the label has a great reputation for its shoes, bags and accessories.
Uterque: web General Pardiñas, 36. Ph: (+34) 981 593 116. The latest incarnation from the Inditex group concentrates on funky accessories that are exclusive to the label. Handbags, shoes, leather goods, costume jewelry and a selection of textile and fur garments are conceived by designers in La Coruña and displayed in their shops whose decor was inspired by old English libraries. Designs from Uterque are wonderfully affordable and fun, proving once again that the old master Senor Ortega has his finger firmly pressed on the pulse of high-street fashion.
Florentino: web Rúa Nova, 57. Ph: (+34) 981 552 598. A top independent men’s fashion label continuing to go from strength to strength, Florentino (founded by Florentino Cacheda in 1970) is a Spanish success story. Growing out of Barcelona, the company now has a presence in a dozen or so countries and its reputation is for high-quality clothing and timeless design.
Sombrerería Iglesias: Rúa do Vilar, 34. Ph: (+34) 981 581 394. From the fashionable and the new to the classical and the old, some shops just stand the test of time because their products are simply of the highest quality. This store opened its doors in the old part of Santiago in 1912 and has barely changed appearance in all those years, offering up the finest hats and walking sticks known to man or indeed woman. Well worth a visit.
Amboa: web Rúa Nova 44. Ph: (+34) 981 583 359. Surrounding the cathedral are an array of souvenir shops selling the famous jet, silver and gold handicraft of the local artisans. Amboa stands out from the crowd offering a complete range of delightful pieces at very affordable prices.
Baraka Xoias: web Rúa do Vilar, 78. Ph: (+34) 981 577 510. We love this charming little jewelry shop on Rúa do Vilar. Both the shop and the items offered there ooze personality and individuality. Its pieces fuse classic design with contemporary imagination and you should find something that appeals which is beautiful, handcrafted and unique, whatever your taste.
González Orfebres: Plaza de Feijoo, 2. Ph: (+34) 981 584 792. The small handicraft shop of Gonzalez Orfebres, in Plaza de Feijoo in the old town, has been authenticating and certificating precious stones since 1951 and specializes in the jet-black azabache gem. A great place to look for precious-stone artifacts, where you can buy with confidence that your piece is not only authentic but is likely to grow in value as the years go by.
Katuxa Plateros: web Rúa do Vilar, 45. Ph: (+34) 981 576 506. A woman in such demand, that she now marches her love of jewellery and her exclusive work up and down the catwalks of the fashion world. Katuxa Plateros is an outstanding local artist who creates elaborate and intricate works of art for ladies to wear. Her classy little boutique in the centre of town reflects the elegance of her pieces.
Gábbata: Plaza Roja, 7. Ph: (+34) 981 594 588. At the sharp end of fashion. Including brands like; Just Cavalli, Pura López, Miss Sixty, GF Ferre and Salvador Sapena.
Don Antonio: República del Salvador, 37. Ph: (+34) 981 596 846. Affordable and trendy Spanish brands such as Sacha London, Pedro Miralles, Mascaró, Pablo Fuster and Magrit.
Seijas: República Argentina, 18. Ph: (+34) 981 599 562. Footwear for the classic look, brands include Barrats, Looky, Muxart and Camper.
Clothing and accessories
Librería Couceiro: web Plaza de Cervantes, 6. Ph: (+34) 981 586 237. Modern-looking bookstore that houses some of the oldest books in town including antique editions dating back to the 17th century. Has works in English, French, Italian and Latin and, as well as the rarities and giant coffee-table tomes, stocks a wide range of popular, contemporary works in the children’s, cultural, tourist, fiction and arts genres.
Librería S. Pablo: web Rúa do Vilar, 37. Ph: (+34) 981 552 180. Rua do Vilar is the best street in town for tourist information and this bookstore, located half way down the street, covers every conceivable guide on Santiago and Galician culture in a multitude of languages.
Follas Novas: Montero Ríos, 37. Ph: (+34) 981 594 406. Perhaps the most famous bookstore in town, Folla Novas is situated at the top of the water-falling slope that leads down to Plaza Roja in the new town. A favourite place for students and their associated courses, it is also one of the few places in town where you can buy a holiday reading book in your preferred language.
Galician food products
Seco: S. Pedro de Mezonzo, 3. Ph: (+34) 981 591 267. Seco is packed with Galician products of the highest quality and is a focal point for the local community. You can sample and then buy a variety of Galician delicacies including the famous breast-shaped Tetilla cheese, local chorizos, cured hams, pates and the traditional Santiago almond cake. It also has a selection of local wine labels, liquors, jams and condiments.
A Troia: A Troia, 8. Ph: (+34) 981 587 159. A lovely little biscuit shop in the old part of town. You would never imagine that there could be such an enormous range of delicious homemade biscuits until you arrive at this delightfully simple emporium.
Casal Cotón: web Franco, 44. “Try before you buy!” is the motto of this family run delicatessen that has a selection of stores in Santiago. Its sumptuous cake treats range from the famous Santiago Almond tart to other uniquely named incarnations of baked loveliness: Tarta del Apóstol, Caprichos (whims) de Santiago and the Perlas (pearls) de Compostela. They also have a dine selection of wines, liquors and cheeses fro the region, all of which you can try before you buy! Marvelous.
La Mora: Rúa do Vilar, 50. Ph: (+34) 981 565 724. La Mora is a traditional Pasteleria with a history dating back to 1925. It has been given a new lease of life by the younger members of its family who own it, and now combines its ‘pasteleria’ expertise with a very pleasant coffee shop experience. The quality of the exquisite chocolates, pastries, sweets, deserts and ice creams stay true to its heritage and it continues to surprise with newly baked inventions like the Bogas de Compostela (Tears of Compostela).
Puntillas y artesanía gallega Rosa Fandiño: Huérfanas, 32. Ph: (+34) 981 580 907. The ancient delicate skill of Galician embroidery continues today in a few rural villages. Though, sadly, it may be becoming a bit of a lost art, you can still enjoy and purchase some of their work from this little store in the old town.
Zamo Tamay: web Rúa Nova, 14. Ph: (+34) 981 570 141. For a really authentic local artisan gift go to Zamo Tamay who display a variety of art works made by local artists. Here water-colours, lithographs, photographs, sculptures and little treasures all depict Santiago in a unique and interesting way.
Sargadelos: web Rúa Nova, 16. Ph: (+34) 981 581 905. Bold, bright and beautiful. The famed ceramic brand of Sargadelos has been closely entwined with Galician culture since 1806, transforming rich Galician clays into beautiful handmade and hand finished chinaware, figures and jewellery. To take home a piece of Sargadelos is to truly take home a piece of Galicia.
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