The vibrant city of Torrevieja offers attractions galore, and with so many fantastic things to see and do it is the perfect place for an exciting, fun filled holiday. Many people choose to live in Torrevieja and it is a place of different nationalities from all over Europe, the United Kingdom and indeed, the world. With all the wonderful beaches, plazas, shops, shopping centres and markets in the city, there are always excellent opportunities to spend your well earned cash. Even lying on the beach soaking up the sun, there are welcome fruit and ice cream vendors vying for your attention, and sometimes, not so welcome rip off designer wear vendors offering sunglasses, wallets, watches and belts. In the evenings there are the polite, and often downright funny guys that cruise the different tourist bars and restaurants selling various novelty items like the brilliant toy monkey that has a tantrum and screams when you take its banana away !! They also sell some lovely costume jewellery, watches, toys, hats, Moroccan style carpets and flowers.
Local and International Supermarkets
The city enjoys a good range of supermarkets including well known international chains such as Aldi and Lidl, as well as UK favourites like Iceland where many imported brands (you even get Waitrose products in Iceland) can be found. There are also popular local chains like Alcampo, Mercadona, Consum and Carrefour. Although the products are advertised and labelled in Spanish, which can be a bit of a guessing game, all the supermarkets are generally clean, offer wheelchair access and stock an excellent range of products. So, whatever your shopping needs may include, you will surely find it in the lovely city of Torrevieja.
In Torrevieja and neighbouring Orihuela Costa each urbanisation (neighbourhood) tends to have one or two Centro Commercials (shopping centres) where the shops, bars and restaurants are all conveniently located under one roof. Near the city centre there is a large shopping complex called Habaneras with an excellent choice of shops including high street brands such as C&A, Zara, H&M, Toy Planet and Massimo Dutti. Close to the centre, visitors can enjoy an 8 screen cinema complex offering standard and 3D movies.
Siesta”Siesta” has been a tradition in Spain for centuries, as the wise Spanish generally tend to take a few hours off work during the hottest time of day. Siesta is usually from around 2 pm to 5 pm and most independent shops close during these times and re-open in the cooler evening.
Generally, shopping in Torrevieja is a pleasant experience and there are certainly no shortages of places where you can shop till you drop.
Certain things are helpful to know when shopping in Torrevieja, and Spain as a whole. Spanish holidays and festival days are called ”Red Days” and there are quite a few of them. On these days most shops and supermarkets are closed, with a few exceptions like the supermarkets located in large shopping complexes such as Habaneras Centre or Zenia Boulevard. Some other supermarkets open for a limited period in the morning and early afternoon so it is wise to ask a friend or local when the next Red Day is. Shops and supermarkets are prohibited to sell cigarettes or tobacco in Spain and apart from a few bars that have cigarette machines, the only place to buy tobacco products are from a tobacconist. This also applies to medicines of all type, including simple headache tablets which need to be purchased from a pharmacy. On the plus side, some medicines that usually require a prescription, such as antibiotics and asthma inhalers, are readily available over the counter.
One of the most handy and popular shops in Torrevieja, and indeed throughout Spain, is the ”Chino” by no means a derogatory term, the word Chino refers to Chinese discount stores and this name has been adopted as an easy way to identify these shops.
Varying in size from simple corner shops to huge warehouse like structures, they offer a staggering range of products, from the simple paper clip to complete garden table and chair sets, as well as great value grocery items. There are many other ethnic groups living in Torrevieja, and throughout the city there are shops selling specialist products from various different countries, so if it’s a certain chocolate you like, an English newspaper or a tin of the best caviar, all can be found in Torrevieja.
Browsing Torrevieja markets should be on every to do list when it comes to great shopping, and there are many small independent market stalls around the city as well as 3 main ones. The popular Friday Market is one of the largest in Europe, boasting over 1,200 stalls selling a fantastic range of items from fresh produce including fruit & veg, cured hams, cheeses and flowers to clothing, household goods, toys and trinkets. Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to La Plasa Mercado Central, an indoor market specialising in fresh fish and seafood but also offering many other products such as meat, vegetables, fruit and flowers as well as a delicious range of pickles and preserves. Strolling Torrevieja pretty boulevard is a popular evening pastime with both residents and holidaymakers, and close to the harbour area visitors will find the Night Market with stalls selling handmade jewellery, leather goods, arts & crafts, paintings and pottery.