The UK overseas territory of Gibraltar is a tourist magnet known for its duty-free goods. With hundreds of shops, visitors have a wide selection of options to choose from.
Most of Gibraltar’s retail establishments are located on Main Street, which runs almost the entire length of the city, from Casemates Square to Southport Gates. Stores along this pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare sell everything from clothes to crystal.
Just behind Casemates square, you’ll find an indoor public market, which sells all sorts of fish, fruits, vegetables, and other goodies.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Gibraltar is especially well-known for its inexpensive, widely-available offerings of tobacco and spirits. Since these items are tax-free, shoppers pay much less here than they would elsewhere in Europe. At the Gibraltar Airport, you can buy alcohol and tobacco for one-third of what you would pay in downtown Gibraltar. Travelers can conveniently purchase liquor and cigars as they depart Gibraltar so they don’t have to tote their purchases around during their trip.
What Else to Buy
Many shops boast excellent deals on sunglasses, even for name brands like Ray Ban. Watches and jewelry can be had at great prices. You can also find sales on makeup and perfume. As with anything else, it’s a good idea to compare prices at several shops so you get the best value for your purchases.
Crystal and porcelain are very well-priced. At some stores, items are made on-site. Shoppers can watch glass-blowing and intricate hand-crafting by some of Gibraltar’s most well-known artisans. You can find beautiful vases, tableware, and decanters, to name a few of the many items for sale. And of course, you can buy souvenirs as keepsakes of your Gibraltar trip.
Let the Buyer Beware
Before visiting Gibraltar, travelers frequently hear that certain products, especially electronics, are much cheaper in the British territory. When they arrive, however, they’re often disappointed to find that these items are no less expensive than in other parts of Europe or the US, and sometimes even cost more. Would-be buyers should compare prices in their home country or other travel destinations beforehand to avoid overpaying for merchandise. Haggling is also common as customers try to negotiate better deals.
When using ATMs and making purchases in Gibraltar, be aware of exchange rates. Some stores accept US dollars, but you probably won’t get the best rate for them. If you’re using cash, convert your currency at the bank rather than at a retail counter.
Be Cautious with Customs
When entering another country from Gibraltar, know what you’re allowed to bring in. Purchases made in Gibraltar are met with greater scrutiny at the Spanish boarder. If you’re journeying to the UK, you’re only allowed limited quantities of certain items. If you go over the quota, expect to pay a tax or have items confiscated.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Gibraltar.