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Centro Comercial Las Arenas


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Shopping in a bull fighting ring

Published by Martha S — 4 years ago

Well, who does not love shopping? I have not yet met a single human being who would answer to this question with a 'I don't'. And what if I tell you that I know a shopping centre, which has a 360º panoramic viewpoint at the top? I am sure that you are packing your bags already. And guess what, you are going to Barcelona, more precisely to a shopping centre in Barcelona, called Centro Comercial Las Arenas.

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How to get there?

My new favourite shopping spot in Barcelona is situated just next to Plaça d'Espanya, which is a beautiful square, it has several sights nearby, and it is well connected with public transportation.

If you are reading my entries, you probably already know that metro is my favourite mean of public transport in Barcelona. Well, actually anywhere. So, you can get to Centro Comercial Las Arenas by using the green line (L3) or red line (L1).

Once you exit the station, just look around a bit – you will immediately be able to spot the shopping centre. After all, this is not some usual kind of building that you would see every day. Curious? Read more below!

First impression

I first saw this building during my very first day in Barcelona, when I was checking out the exact location of Magic fountain of Montjuic, because I was planning to see the performance later. What I wanted to do, is just to check the exact location of the fountain, and on the way there, I almost bumped into Centro Comercial Las Arenas.

My first thought was that I somehow landed in Rome and I am looking at the colosseum. Because really, this building looks just like a smaller scale, and more colourful Colosseum from Rome. My second thought was, that this is one hell of a small shopping centre, but when I went inside, I have quickly changed my mind. Because, to be honest, this place is huge! And I have to admit that the same thing has happened to me with Sagrada Familia. For the first second I saw it, it seemed absolutely nothing special, but then I realized, how massive it actually is!

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My second thought was, that this could as well be a bull – fighting ring. Because, at the same time, I have remembered Campo Pequeno in Lisbon, which used to be a bull – fighting ring in the past, but it is now made into a comercial centre. Well, another thing that I have to find out during my stay in Barcelona.

The panoramic elevator and the view from the roof

When I was writing about the Magic fountain of Montjuic, I have already written something about the panoramic elevator and the viewpoint at the top of the Centro Comercial Las Arenas. But I think that I have not written enough, because in the meanwhile, I have discovered some new things there, so here is more.

First of all, the panoramic elevator that will take you up to the roof, should not really be considered a panoramic elevator. Why not? I can think of at least two reasons now. First one is, that the roof is not tall enough, and the second reason is that the elevator is way too fast for the passengers to be able to see anything on the ride up. But honestly, people seem not to care, because the line is very long every single time I pass by. Or maybe, just maybe, they do not know that they can get to the roof for free – from the inside of the shopping centre.

The ride with panoramic elevator costs one Euro, which is an absolute ripoff for a few seconds long ride, if you ask me. I would understand that you would have to pay for a ride if the panoramic elevator would be situated in the middle of the square with no other way to get to the top, but maybe they are just laughing at people's stupidity. Oh, let's see how many people will take the elevator today.

Once you get to the roof, you can start admiring Barcelona from up there. There are several restaurants and bars at the top, so you can watch the city even when sitting and sipping a cold beer. But take a walk all around the roof at least once.

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For me, there were two parts, that caught my attention. One of them is situated on the other side of the panoramic elevator. From there, you are clearly able to see Sagrada Familia. I still cannot believe, how massive this building actually is. I mean, you can see it from almost anywhere in Barcelona!

The second part is the one that overlooks the square. And if you thought that Plaça d'Espanya is amazing from down there, you should definitely also see it from the roof. This different perspective is so awesome, and only from up there, you can actually see, how big this square really is.

At the time, when I was describing the Magic fountain of Montjuic, I had no idea what the two tall towers, that you can see from the roof of Centro Comercial Las Arenas (and also from everywhere else on Plaça d'Espanya) represent. But then, I have asked one of the locals that I have met here in Barcelona, and he told me that the towers somehow mark the start of the way to the Magic fountain of Montjuic and the National palace, which is situated just behind it.

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Shops, restaurants and cinemas

Since this is a shopping centre, you can find a lot of different shops and other places inside. And, as I have already mentioned, Centro Comercial Las Arenas is pretty big, so you will see maps in different parts of the interior. Pretty awesome, so you do not have to wander around and look for a desired shop – you can simply check its location on the map.

And, to be honest, the maps in Centro Comercial Las Arenas, are one of the most transparent ones. In some shopping centres that I have been to, they also have maps, but they are not helpful at all, because you do not even know what you are looking at. Westfield in London was definitely the first on this list of bad maps!

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The most interesting part inside this shopping complex is definitely the underground floor, where you can find a lot of restaurants. Seriously, next time I will go to Centro Comercial Las Arenas, I will count how many restaurants are there. You could roughly divide them into two groups – cafes, where you can also buy sweet treats, and real restaurants, mostly with Mediterranean food. And they are always so full. So far, I have only eaten in one of them, called Gustos Bcn, and I liked it so much that I wrote an entry about it.

There is a variety of different shops both on the ground and on the first floor, and what is the most interesting thing there, is the fact that the path through this shopping centre, is curved.

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After all, the building is oval. What I like about the shops in Las Arenas, is that you can find something for every style, and what is even more important, for every price range. I have not been to all those shops yet, but from what I have seen, even the most picky people fill find something for themselves.

There are also different beauty salons and hairdresser shops inside. As I said, everybody can find something in this shopping centre!

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The second floor is the home of several different cinemas. I do not really see the point of having five cinema halls in the same building, but who knows, maybe people in Barcelona love cinemas and they are always full. I yet have to test it out, but I am waiting for a particular movie to come out.

And, last but not least, the third floor is the home of a few more restaurants, and the roof, where the panoramic point is situated. I have already described it above, so here, I will just say that it is awesome. But do not pay for the elevator, use the stairs!

And, good news for those who cannot resist being online all the time - there is a free WiFi connection available in Centro Comercial Las arenas - you have to log in on their website first, and then you are ready to browse the internet.

A few words for the end…

What I like the most about Centro Comercial Las Arenas, is its diversity. First of all, its outside appearance is already very interesting, and if you keep in mind what else it offers (cinemas, restaurants, different shops, and the panoramic point), this is definitely your best choice, if you would like to do some shopping in the heart of Barcelona.

Oh, and bonus points for this shopping centre - they have my favourite shop ever, which smells awesome, called Lush:

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