Spain’s El Corte Inglés stores

By Samantha Sartain
This item appears on page 51 of the September 2013 issue.
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I lived in Madrid and Zaragoza for seven years in the ’60s and ’70s, and in 2010 I traveled in Spain for six weeks from mid September through October. On that trip I spent some time independently and did a sightseeing tour with Explore! and a hiking tour with Exodus, both booked through Adventure Center (Emeryville, CA; 800/843-4272) and both great, actually! 

I’m familiar with Spain, and I’m writing to let ITN readers know about a chain of super-fantastic department stores there called El Corte Inglés [website in Spanish]. Each is huge! In most of the cities we visited, I usually made a detour to one of them. 

Their stores always seemed to be very neat and orderly. All the employees were eager to help, and for customers who didn’t speak Spanish, they would find an employee who spoke English. (I speak Spanish.) They were always helpful in pointing out which way I needed to go.

The basements have very large selections of wine, deli and other food items. It was much cheaper to pop in there for deli and eat my selections at a park nearby than to visit a restaurant for lunch. I was able to stock up on granola bars, and the supermarket section took credit cards. They also have really good-quality clothes and good prices on tourist items. 

On my 2010 trip, I found ATMs inside El Corte Inglés. I felt that it was safer to use theirs than the ones on the street, and the store did not add a fee.

Each also had a photocopy machine. It was usually upstairs by the cameras, etc.

When my Explore! tour ended in Sevilla, I went to the travel department in El Corte Inglés and they booked me rail tickets and hotel reservations in Málaga, where I joined my Exodus tour.

SAMANTHA SARTAIN

Colorado Springs, CO

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I lived in Madrid and Zaragoza for seven years in the ’60s and ’70s, and in 2010 I traveled in Spain for six weeks from mid September through October. On that trip I spent some time independently and did a sightseeing tour with Explore! and a hiking tour with Exodus, both booked through Adventure Center (Emeryville, CA; 800/843-4272) and both great, actually! 

I’m familiar with Spain, and I’m writing to let ITN readers know about a chain of super-fantastic department stores there called El Corte Inglés [website in Spanish]. Each is huge! In most of the cities we visited, I usually made a detour to one of them. 

Their stores always seemed to be very neat and orderly. All the employees were eager to help, and for customers who didn’t speak Spanish, they would find an employee who spoke English. (I speak Spanish.) They were always helpful in pointing out which way I needed to go.

The basements have very large selections of wine, deli and other food items. It was much cheaper to pop in there for deli and eat my selections at a park nearby than to visit a restaurant for lunch. I was able to stock up on granola bars, and the supermarket section took credit cards. They also have really good-quality clothes and good prices on tourist items. 

On my 2010 trip, I found ATMs inside El Corte Inglés. I felt that it was safer to use theirs than the ones on the street, and the store did not add a fee.

Each also had a photocopy machine. It was usually upstairs by the cameras, etc.

When my Explore! tour ended in Sevilla, I went to the travel department in El Corte Inglés and they booked me rail tickets and hotel reservations in Málaga, where I joined my Exodus tour.

SAMANTHA SARTAIN

Colorado Springs, CO