If you are going to vacation in Spain, you will probably need to buy some foods or snacks at some point. The best place to do that is in a supermarket. Therefore, we are giving you a guide to the best supermarkets in Spain so you know exactly what to look for.
It can also be very useful if you are moving to Spain permanently and looking for some good places to buy food and household items while you are getting settled.
We are mentioning the different supermarkets one by one, ordered with the best ones first. Further down, we are describing what to look for in a supermarket, and how to find the one that is best for you, depending on what kind of stuff you are looking for.
Here we go:
Mercadona is the best chain of supermarkets in Spain. It has everything from a wide variety, to cheap prices, while still maintaining good quality.
The Mercadona stores have a lot of famous brands, and it will never be an issue to get a Coca-Cola, a Snickers or anything of that kind – they’ll have it. But Mercadona is most famous for selling products of their own brand, Hacendado. Because a large percentage of the things in Mercadona is produced by themselves, you’ll find low prices all over.
All the main cities of Spain have Mercadona’s. Many smaller cities and towns also have it. It is the number one supermarket in Spain to visit after you arrive. Great in every single way!
Several places in Spain, you will find Carrefour Markets. The sizes vary a lot: Some are completely huge, while others are smaller mini-markets in central parts of cities.
Carrefour generally has nice prices and are almost on the same level as Mercadona. The larger markets will have plenty of electronic equipments and household items, which is a big plus.
Overall, Carrefour is also highly recommended, and you will certainly see their markets a lot when you visit Spain.
In major Spanish cities, particularly in Madrid, you will find a lot of smaller Dia stores. They may be called Dia Stop & Go or something of that kind. They are quite good markets with fine prices, although the selection could be a bit wider, particularly with meats and fruits.
There are also larger Dia stores. A bit harder to find than the smaller ones, but worth it once you find them.
Dia is a very good market to go to if you need something quick, such as a snack or a drink. They have good products, and even though the selection could be bigger, it is one of the best markets to visit in Spain.
Lidl is an international chain of supermarkets that is also very active in Spain. They have some great products, but also a lot of questionable products. Overall, the selection can be boring. Another issue with Lidl is that there is often very little space in their Spanish stores, as they tend to pack things together and design their stores very inefficiently.
The positive news about Lidl – it’s cheap. And with some types of meats, such as ground beef for example, they are the best in Spain. Simply because they often keep their meat products pure and don’t mix with soy, like they do with most of the meats in Mercadona and Carrefour. For other products, you may want to visit better markets, but there are a few things Lidl do well, and for that reason they are worth a visit.
Not as prolific as Carrefour and Mercadona in the sense that they are a bit more far in between. However, Alcampo is a great market, and if you’re lucky enough to have one close, you’ll be able to do some nice shopping. Some Alcampo supermarkets are huge and can be found inside malls.
Alcampo has prices that rival the best in Spain, and the quality of products is quite decent. Overall, a market that we recommend.
The Corte Inglés supermarket that certainly has high quality products, but also high prices. We recommend it if you want quality, but since the difference is never huge, it makes the most sense to choose the cheaper markets such as Mercadona and Carrefour.
While some Supercor markets are small, there are also a few huge ones. In some malls, Corte Inglés have great supermarkets at large sizes in the bottom of their department stores. Once again, expensive – but high quality if you don’t mind the prices!
A smaller market that you will find here and there. Prices can be a big higher than the main supermarkets such as Mercadona and Carrefour, but the products can be good, and sometimes you will find good deals on prices.
There are other markets as well, but these 7 are the main ones that you will run into while visiting Spain. Thus, they are the most common supermarkets in Spain, and they each have something good to offer.
How to find nearby supermarkets
Go for a walk in the area that you are staying in, and you will always find a few markets close. Spain has a lot of supermarkets no matter where you go. Particularly in the big cities and travel regions.
If you are looking for a specific market, search on your phone or on Google Maps. It will show you exactly where it is, and even give you directions to go there.
Find the market that suits you
We recommend browsing a few different supermarkets in Spain, since they have different strengths. Overall, Mercadona is probably the best choice, but there are plenty of good markets. So if you plan on staying in Spain for a while, check out all of them, and get an impression for yourself. After you’ve visited all, it will be easy to find the one you like the best, and make that your main shopping destination for foods, drinks and household items.
If you are just staying in Spain for a short while – like a vacation for one or two weeks – don’t worry too much about it. Take whatever supermarket is closest, and get what you need.
Prices in Spanish supermarkets
Spanish supermarkets have nice prices. That’s generally how it is. Compared to the rest of western Europe, you will save money when you start purchasing in Spain. So for western European travelers, you will get a lot for the money. However, if you are coming in from Latin America, Eastern Europe or Asia, the prices are likely a bit higher than you are used to.
But – generally speaking, the prices in Spain are good. You can get very good food for a fair amount of money.
Mercadona and Lidl are the cheapest supermarkets to shop. They are followed by Dia, Carrefour and Alcampo. All of them are pretty close in prices, so it depends on what you need. In the more expensive end we have markets such as Supercor, a part of El Corte Inglés, and the markets that El Corte Inglés have themselves in their large department stores.
Supermarkets in Spain – anything to add?
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