With all of the other advantages that a Gibraltar holiday has,
from the chance to visit enchanting historical attractions like the Moorish
Castle to simply catching some rays on the beach, it’s easy to forget that the
territory is also a major shopping destination. Those using the Visit Gibraltar
website to learn more about this aspect of the territory may be especially
enticed by the prospect of VAT-free shopping, and the products and stores
aren’t bad here either!
For one thing, if you’re a Briton, Gibraltar shopping will feel
oddly homely in many ways, thanks in part to the currency being the Gibraltar
Pound, a Sterling equivalent that makes expensive currency conversion
unnecessary. But a touch of déjà vu could also be attributed to the presence of
familiar big brand names like BHS, Next and Marks & Spencer. These stores
co-exist nicely with independent handicraft and souvenir shops, alongside more
The commercial epicentre of Gibraltar is Main
Street, and you’ll struggle to find better value shopping anywhere on the
Mediterranean. Main Street is pedestrianized and runs the entire length of the
town, and don’t forget that there are many adjoining lanes to explore, in which
‘old world’ and quaint shops thrive, providing the perfect antidote to those
modern hypermarkets. All in all, it’s the ideal place to shop for cosmetics,
jewellery, electronics, tobacco, spirits and so much more.
At the beginning of Main Street is Casemates Square,
which is a gorgeous social square sporting various attractive bars, restaurants
and shops around its perimeter. This is a great place to find artisan shops on
your holidays in
Gibraltar, with it also being home to the Gibraltar Crystal Factory, where
skilled glass blowers can be observed at work.
You only need to head just outside Casemates Square
to sample the delights of the Gibraltar Public Market, a traditional indoor
market that was inaugurated in 1929. It’s a hub of local life and a fine place
to people watch, or you could take your pick from the range of local
delicacies, fish, fruit and vegetables on offer.
A much more recent destination for keen Gibraltar
shoppers to investigate is Ocean Village, where you’ll find such intriguing
stores as Signature Exclusive Menswear, Espirit and Aphrodite Beauty in an
impressive luxury yacht-lined marina setting.
For all of the excitement over the most recent
developments, however, shopping in Gibraltar is in many ways as steeped in
history as the rest of the territory. Gibraltar’s history of shopkeepers and
traders dates back to the 19th century when the Rock was a prominent
trading port, and modern Gibraltar’s shopping centre retains the businesses of
many descendant families from a highly cosmopolitan mix, encompassing Spanish,
Italian, Portuguese and other communities.
Really, once you’ve obtained your Gibraltar visa, is there
anywhere better than the territory’s shopping areas to get acquainted with when
you first arrive? We certainly don’t think so, here at Visit Gibraltar (http://www.visitgibraltar.gi)!