What to buy in Spain - Ideas for the best gifts from Spain What to buy in Spain - Ideas for the best gifts from Spain

What to buy in Spain

Gift ideas from Spain and things to buy in each region

If you are planning a trip to Spain and you are wondering what to buy in Spain you are at the right place. Do you have someone n your life that just loves Spain? Are you looking to buy some cool gifts from Spain? Well, you are in the right place.

Our team of local guides has curated this list of authentic,  traditional, and awesome gifts from Spain, that can be purchased from anywhere! 

Table of Contents

BEST GIFTS FROM SPAIN

Spanish guitar

Hand made authentic Spanish guitar

One of the things Spain is most well known for across the globe is flamenco, the passionate and sensual art that originated in Andalusia. One of the essential components to flamenco, and an100% Spanish instrument, is the flamenco guitar. 

A traditional flamenco guitar is made of Spanish cypress, sycamore, or rosewood for the back and sides, and spruce for the top. This explains its characteristic body color.

The Flamenco guitar produces an entirely unique sound, that no other guitar can emulate. The build, the shape, the strings, all contribute to make that characteristic flamenco sound.

Flamenco guitars are usually lighter with thinner tops than classical guitars, which produces a “brighter” and more percussive sound quality. there is also less internal bracing which makes the guitar more resonant.

Volume has also traditionally been very important for flamenco guitarists, as they must be heard over the sound of the dancers’ nailed shoes. 

Manton de Manila

Mantón de Manila

The Mantón de manila is the characteristic silk shawl that you see wrapped around female flamenco dancers. The Mantón, however, is a garment that was popularized in Madrid, not in Andalusia as you might expect. They were originally made in China and were popular in the Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines during the colonial era. 

Mantón de Manila literally means, “blanket from Manila. The mantón has this name because silk fabrics were, in the beginning, a Chinese monopoly, prompting the Spanish Empire to restrict silk trade with China and ultimately banning it altogether in 1718.

Protests soon followed however in Manila, the middlemen in the operation, and the silk ban was lifted in 1734, though it required silk to pass through Manila. This monopoly of Manila was later consolidated with the creation of the Royal Company of the Philippines in 1795. 

It was first adopted by Chulas y Manolas in Spain, upper-class women from certain neighborhoods in Madrid, that would drape Chinese silk scarf on their shoulders as a fashion statement and a status symbol.  

Iberico ham

Iberico Ham

There are several delicacies from Spain that are known around the world and Iberico Ham is most definitely one of them. Iberico is actually a breed of pig that is indigenous to Spain that is more closely related to wild boar than it is to modern farm pigs. 

Iberico pigs are traditionally and famously fed acorns that give the meat its characteristic flavor. There is a whole, a complicated system of classification of the hams, depending on how many acorns the pigs have eaten and in what period of time. We have an extensive article you can check out if you want to do a deep dive on Iberico ham

Andalusian ceramics

Andalusian Ceramics

If you have aver traveled to Andalusia, you probably noticed the wide-spread use of ceramics as decoration. This tradition is a legacy of the Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula. Decorative tiles were hand-painted with a technique called “cuerda seca” and they were used to decorate the exterior of estates and important civil and religious buildings. Andalusia has been an important producer of ceramic since the 6th century BC.

True, handcrafted Andalusian Ceramics are some of the most beautiful and highest quality ceramics in the world. These works of art are the perfect decorative piece that gives out an authentically Spanish vibe. 

Paella

There are few gifts from Spain out there more accessible than a Paella. As we have explained in a previous article on how to make a traditional Valencian Paella, a paella is actually the pan in which the rice dish is made, it’s not called a paella pan or a paellera. No dish is more emblematic of Spain, and to make the perfect paella you need a good pan. 

In our article, we go into great detail on how to make an authentic paella from Valencia, but the proper shape of the pan is essential for the proper cooking of the rice, which should be of the “bomba” variety. If you want to go all the way, you will also need to get your hands on orange tree wood and cook outdoors.  

Paella to prepare rice
Blue Espardenyes

Espardenyes

This Catalonian creation is mandatory for any Spaniard that is headed to the beach, ready to kick back and relax. Espardenyes are the traditional footwear of Catalonian laborers and now have become what Spaniards strap to their feet to go to the beach. So much so that they are associated much more to the Balearic Islands of the coast of Catalonia, than with Catalonia itself. 

Espardenyes are light and airy and actually quite fashionable. A good, hand made pair, makes for a great gift.  

Damasquino from Toledo

Damasquina

The Medieval city of Toledo was once world-renowned for its metalwork. It was where the best armor and medieval weapons were produced. This is because Toledo was a melting pot of cultures.

Christians, Jews, and Moors lived together peacefully, and famously shared knowledge, techniques, and know-how regarding many different subjects. These three cultures developed some of the most advanced metalworking techniques the world had ever seen. 

But Toledo was also known for beautiful, more delicate metalwork as well. Damasquina is the technique of inlaying gold into burnt steel, and the result is spectacularly beautiful and makes for an excellent romantic gift. 

Abanicos

It can get swelteringly hot in certain regions of Spain in the summer. Spaniards have a number of rather ingenious solutions for dealing with the heat: the siesta, white villages, and the abanico or handheld fan. A common accessory you will see used by Spaniards use even to this day. 

It can be sort of a kitschy, touristy purchase, but a good hand made fan is a piece of art.  

THINGS TO BUY IN EACH REGION

Chulapo in San Isidro

Best things to buy in Madrid

Barquillos

An airy cookie, similar to a wafer, traditionally sold during the celebration of San Isidro. They are traditionally handmade, and barquillos arent bought they are won. During San Isidro vendors sell tries on a makeshift roulette table where all you can win are… you guessed it.. Barquillos of all sorts. 

Violetas

Traditional violet flavored candies, very typical of Madrid. With a torrid back story involving a monarch, his wife, and his lover. A story for another time. The original store that popularized the candy is still in business, located in Plaza Canalejas, in the center of the city. This shop has been selling little else since 1915.  

Manton de Manila

The signature silk blanket used by flamenco dancers was actually an invention of Madrid. The garment was originally imported from China and was adopted by Madrid Manolas, aristocratic women from certain neighborhoods in Madrid. 

cava wine

Best things to buy in Catalunya & Barcelona

Catalan Espardenyes

Espardenyes are the typical esparto footwear of rural Catalonia. Comfortable, light, and fresh, they are used to dance the typical Catalan dance, the Sardana, as well as in popular festivals. 

Coca

A flat pastry that comes in a variety of different flavors and textures. You can find wafer-thin crispy cocas, sweet cocas, savory cocas, it’s like a more versatile Catalonian pizza. 

Cava

Cava is Catalonian sparkling white wine. Cava requires very specific conditions and production methods to be considered cava, and it is some of the most delicious wine you can taste in Spain.

Paella to prepare rice

Best things to buy in Valencia

Paella

A paella, as we have mentioned in previous articles, is actually the pan in which the classic dish is cooked. Paella was invented in the marshy area, just outside of the city of Valenciaknown as the Albufera. A good paella should be made with iron, it should be wide and shallow, and should be used outdoors over an orangewood fire, for optimal authenticity. 

Horchata

Horchata is a Spanish delicacy. Horchata IS NOT Mexican, and it is not made with rice milk. It is traditionally made with tiger nuts in a process similar to that used for making nut milk. Horchata is served ice cold, with a side of fartons, a long thin pastry.

ain.

bottles of sherry wine

Best things to buy in Andalusia

Jerez, sherry wine

Sherry from the coastal town of Cádiz, specifically from Jerez de la Frontera is a uniquely Spanish product that has a long and storied history. There are different varieties, for every palate, from super dry to super sweet. We recommend trying all of them, just in case. 

Spanish / flamenco guitar

A very specific guitar, designed exclusively for flamenco. Enough said. 

Andalusian ceramics

There are several different techniques that Andalusian ceramic describes, but the ceramic from Andalucia is well known across the world for its quality and vibrant colors. The techniques and traditions that characterize this style are an inheritance of the Moorish occupation of the peninsula. 

Olive oil

Jaen and Cordoba are the 2 key producers of olivie oil in Andalusia (and Spain). Excellent quality and lanscapes full of old olive trees!

Damasquino from Toledo

Best things to buy in Castilla la Mancha

Olive oil and Manchego cheese

Two of Spain’s most famous gastronomic exports. The region of Castilla la Mancha is the Mecca for these two products, and they have to be featured on this list. 

Mazapán

A seasonal sweet made with almonds, sugar, and eggs, of Moorish origin. Enjoying a mazapán and a coffee in the medieval city of Toledo is a religious experience that everybody should experience once in their life. 

Toledo Jewelry or Sword

This might be the most “tourist-y” thing on this list, but Toledo was once the epicenter of metalwork in Europe. Toledo produced the best armor and weapons in the world and also some of the finest and most lavish jewelry (in particular Damasquina) in the world. If you are interested in either, just make sure to buy artisanal. 

Wine from Ribera del Duero region

Best things to buy in Castilla Leon

Ribera del Duero Wine

The Ribera del Duero wine region, located along the Duero River, is responsible for some of the best wines you can find in Spain, and that is saying something. 

Charro button

A typical piece of jewelry from Salamanca of Roman origin. The Roman Empire once occupied this region and is actually responsible for the winemaking traditions in the area as well. 

Yemas de Santa Teresa

A typical sweet from the walled city of Avila made with egg yolk and sugar exclusively.

Ceramics from Galicia

Best things to buy in Galicia

Sargadelo ceramics

Fantastic shapes with celtic heritage and beautiful colours are what distingues Sargadelos from ceramics elsewhere in Spain

Galician Octopus

Spanish octopus in general is a world-renowned delicacy, but within Spain, Galician Octopus is the best of the best. Served on a wooden plate, over a bed of boiled (Galician) potatoes, with paprika, salt, and olive oil. Simple and delicious. 

Rias Baixas white wine

For white wine lovers, this is a no brainer. Galicia, as a coastal region, is well known for its excellent seafood, and they have developed the perfect wine to accompany these dishes.

Iberico ham

Best things to buy in Extremadura

Iberico ham

There are many amazing, delicious, and beautiful things produced in Extramadura but none better or more well known than Iberico Hama product we have gone into detail on before. The best Iberico ham in the country is made in this region. 

Best things to buy in Cantabria

Sobaos passiegos

Sobaos are buttery, fluffy slices of heaven, and Cantabria is where these lovely little pastries were developed. Sobaos are traditionally served for breakfast but you will probably find yourself sneaking one as a snack at random times during the day. 

 

txapelas from basque country

Best things to buy in Basque Country

Txacoli Wine

A completely unique wine because of its flavor, which is almost more similar to cider, and in the way it must be served: from a certain height, out of a certain spout, into a certain glass. Txacoli can only be found in the Basque Country and is a must. 

Gerriko y Txapela

These two garments are the iconic staples of the traditional Basque garb. A txapella is a black beret style hat and the Gerriko is the traditional red, cloth belt that is so iconic. 

bottles of Asturian cider

Best things to buy in Asturias

Cider

Asturias has a noticeable Celtic influence. One way this influence is manifested is in the preference of Cider over wine in this region. Sidra Asturiana is a staple, and in Spain, there is no other option if you are looking for an apple spirit. 

Faro Ceramics

The other great Spanish ceramic style. Ceramics from faro reflect the Celtic influence in Asturias and is of excellent quality. Faro ceramic is usually decorated with floral patterns in tones of yellow, green, and blue. 

Manta from Canary islands

Best things to buy in the Canary islands

Gofio and Islacao

Gofio is a sort of porridge, made with several different cereals that has a wide variety of different preparations that go from sweet to savory. One of the most traditional ways of enjoying gofio is with Islacao, a soluble chocolate product, mixed together with milk for a filling breakfast. 

Manta Esperancera

This is a traditional item of clothing, worn traditionally by farmers on the island of Tenerife. The cape is always pastel color, with a series of lines at the bottom, and falls just above the ankle. Reminiscent, in a way, of a Mexican Sarape.

Best things to buy in the Balearic islands

Ensaimadas

Yes, this is kind of a touristy thing to bring back from the islands, but with good reason. If you can get your hands on a well made, artisanal ensaimada, lookout. 

Babutxes Mallorquinas

Moccasins from Mallorca. Few things are more comfy and warm than these lined leather slippers. 

Majorica pearls

These beautiful imitation of pearls enjoy fantastic designs. They can be enjoyed on many shops and at the “factory”

Shoes

Mallorca and Menorca are both home to important shoe brands. Shops in the seaside offer a wide variety of products and outlets can be found in less touristic areas wher you can expect to find discounted prices (yet you will need to travel and miss a day by the beach!)

 

Bottles of Rioja wine

Best things to buy in Murcia

Vidrio Murciano

Murcia is one of the most underrated regions in the country. One of the main artisanal products that are characteristic of Murcia is hand blown glass. You will find some of the best, traditional glasswork in the country in Murcia. Always an appreciated and classy gift.

Best things to buy in Rioja

Rioja Wine

There is not much more to say. Rioja is considered to be one of the best wine regions in the world, if not THE best, and wine is king in La Rioja. It’s important to note here that not all wine produced in La Rioja is Rioja wine. Rioja is a denomination of origin and a wine is required to meet certain production methods and quality standards to be referred to as a Rioja wine.   

 

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