March 12, 2014 Crystal Phuong 0 Comments

As the blog title itself, today I'm going to take you on a virtual shopping tour to Madrid, the most lively and beguiling city of Spain, which I believe it's always in our must-visit places list. I've been dreaming of visiting Spain for the longest time for one reason: watching the live flamenco dance show while having the most popular drink Sangria. But now, I have another more attracting reason to visit Madrid: El Corte Ingles Castellana department store.

That's right! What a trip to Madrid without visiting this shopping heaven? Being crowned as the largest chain of department stores in Europe and ranked fourth worldwide, El Corte Ingles truly makes every Madridian proud. Located in Madrid’s business and financial heart, the new El Corte Inglés Castellana store in Paseo de la Castellana has emerged as a model of innovation and modernity. One of the largest and most unique stores in Europe, it occupies a large part of a 22-storey landmark building enclosed by a backlit cylinder. In this way architecture and art are placed at the service of customers to create experiences and fulfil dreams which are yet to find expression. 

With more than 80 centers throughout Spain and Portugal and more than 8.000 international brands, El Corte Ingles has everything you need, from the high-fashion brands, premium watches, jewelry to gourmet food. It promises a fantastic shopping experience that is exactly similar to the one in your dreams. All of my favorite fashion brands can be found there: Cartier, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Dior, Gucci, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry and many more. These stores, installed in a distinct and unique zone, each offers their own ambiance and decor. Each brand displays the most coveted pieces and models in the field of luxury accessories. I'm dying to see them for real, up close and personal. 

I can go on and on about how many amazing things El Corte Ingles has to offer, but none of the department store shopping experiences are complete without a treat for the palate. The Gourmet Experience in Castellana combines tasting with the sale of gourmet products. It allows you to enjoy different types of specialties from around the world such as Iberian cured products, seafood, smoked foods, grilled meat and fish, cheeses, high quality Asian cuisine and freshly squeezed fruit juices. For an Asian cuisine slave like myself, this is heaven. 

As if all of the above things are not wonderful enough, Spain even offers the highest tax refund in Europe, resulting in luxury goods being cheaper: “For every €10,000 you spend in Spain you will receive a €1,570 VAT tax refund. This compares to a tax-refund of approximately  €1,300 for every €10,000 you spend in France” (According to Global Blue). How does this sound, my fellow shoppaholics? It's too good to be true, isn't it?

I don't know about you, but I'll start saving for my Madrid shopping trip this year (I hope) from today. 
Want to know more information about El Corte Ingles? Check out their website and download their mobile app: "Castellana El Corte Ingles" on iTunes or Google Play.

If you've traveled to Madrid and visited El Corte Ingles, please share with me your experience in the comment section below. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

***: This blog post is proudly sponsored by El Corte Ingles. Photos and information about the department stores are provided by El Corte Ingles.