Practically every traveller to Madrid has ended up in El Corté Inglés. El Corté Inglés is Spain’s most popular department store. Established in 1935, it can now be found all over Spain, it even has its own brand of out-of-town hyper stores. The store sells a vast array of goods and services, from clothes, houseware and CD’s to holidays, food and electronic goods.
Its stores can be seen in Puerta del Sol (2 stores), Plaza de Callao, Arguelles, Goya and Nuevos Ministerios, to name but a few. One of the things that really annoys me about the store is the way the staff always ask if they can help you. A good tip is to speak to them in English and if you can speak Spanish, speak to them in English anyway!
One of the great attractions of El Corté Inglés is the food counters, which have a fabulous selection of food – their delicatessens are second to none. Around Christmas time (in Spain this extends to January 6th) the store in c/Preciados in Puerta del Sol decorates one entire side of the building in a theme, for example Cinderella, and a few times every night the whole façade, with all its animated characters, comes to life. The kids really love it and, if the truth be known, so do the adults.
Christmas fun at El Corté Inglés