Historic Barcelona shop charges tourists who look but don't buy

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
Historic Barcelona shop charges tourists who look but don't buy
Queviures Múrria in Barcelona has started charging tourists for entry. Photo: Thomas Ledl / WikiMedia Commons

A 125-year-old deli in Barcelona has put a sign in its window saying it will charge visitors €5 if they just want to go inside to look and take photos, but not buy anything.


Founded in 1898 in Barcelona’s Eixample district, Queviures Múrria is one of the city’s famed historic shops, selling local produce for more than a century.

The outside is quite a sight to behold with its original art nouveau-style advertisements for Chartreuse liquor and Marqués de Monistrol cava, which leaves tourists curious to see the inside of the establishment as well.

The problem is that so many visitors enter the store just to look and take photos, without even considering shopping there, that the workers are getting annoyed. 

As a solution to the problem, Queviures Múrria now hangs a sign on its door in English stating that anyone who is ‘just looking’ inside will have to pay €5 for the privilege to do so.

"Visit just looking (inside), 5 € x person, thank you", the sign reads. 

READ ALSO: How to avoid the tourist crowds in Barcelona, according to a local

So far, the plan seems to be working. Shop manager Toni Merino told Barcelona’s public TV station Betevé that since the sign was hung up, most tourists limit themselves to looking inside through the window instead.


According to Merino, the idea arose from a joke by the workers who were fed up with tourists saying they were "just looking".

"It doesn’t really earn us extra money, but it works," he explained.

"We have not charged €5 to anyone, because this is not the objective," he added.

Barcelona has several century-old stores that have changed very little since they first opened, and many of them attract tourists to stop and look inside.

Some of the most famous are candle shop Cereria Subirà, La Colmena bakery and sweet shop just opposite near metro Jaume I and Casa Gispert grocers in El Born, specialising in toasted nuts.

Will these other stores follow in Queviures Múrria's footsteps and start charging for entry too?

What's clear is that this is another example of how Barcelona locals feel like their city has become a tourist attraction taken over by holidaymakers, with an estimated 56.7 million annual visitors (who either stay overnight in the city or who only spend the day there). 


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