El Rastro, Madrid
Sunday morning we went to the flea market. It was HOT and we had to walk BLOCKS for a taxi, but the baby was still going strong and didn't seem to mind. The first picture is of me with the stroller (taken by my sister). Photos 2, 3 and 5 are the way El Rastro looked in 1964
What to buy: We bought her a straw hat like the Spanish children have and one for my daughter. (photo 4)
What to pay: I have been unable to find out what the price would be for this item today. I can't even find anywhere to buy it now, and I did not write what I paid for it at the time.
El Rastro is an open-air market and a must-see if you are in Madrid on Sundays.
I love visiting little local markets, but El Rastro is huge and suggested by all the Madrid tourist guides...Was I going to find myself in front of an attraction tailored for tourists?
After our visit to El Rastro, I can definitely suggest it to everyone because of the large variety of goods available: from flowers to second-hand clothings, from antiques to contemporary lamps and pots.
My suggestion is to go to the rastro in the early morning. We ended up there at 11am and it was too much crowded, I didn't have the chance to carefully examine all of the stalls as I am used to!
There must be several hundred vendors selling everything from old junk to new clothes. Although the signs say it starts at 7 am, things don't really get set up going until 9. Then 1,000's of people show up.
Dating back over 100 years, El Rastro is Spain's most famous flea market. Every Sunday and on holidays, booths set up along Calle Ribera de Curtidores (directly south of Plaza Mayor, branching from Calle de Toledo) and sell anything and everything, from inexpensive clothes and shoes, to second hand items, to CDs and DVDs. More interestingly, there are many antique shops and centres in the permanent shops along Calle Ribera de Curtidores, especially at the southern end of the street. Best time to go is early in the morning before the market gets too crowded.
You can find everything in Madrid: from handmade guitar till modern clothes. The level of prices is different in regions of Madrid. There are many boutiques in the region Salamanca, modern clothes you can buy in the region Chueca.
Famous markets are in the Old part of Madrid. Don’t forget to visit El Rastro market (Rivera – de – Curtidores). The history of this biggest market is many centuries long.
this is a very big market. going up in two big streets and several other street around.
all kind of things you can buy here like on a normal market clothes, shoes.
but also second hand, or collector stuff.
During more than forty years, my grandparents lived in a little street adjacent to El Rastro flea market, and we used to visit them every Saturday evening (no exceptions allowed). The bus that took us from our home to theirs stopped right there, in from of Caramelos Paco's shop window. So during years, every Saturday evening (no exception allowed) I found myself facing that delicious and colorful exposition of candies... the kind of vision that could bring light into a pair of 8-year-old eyes. I certainly cannot contain a smile whenever I pass in front of this shop, something that I've noticed as well in many other adults of the neighborhood. I reckon Caramelos Paco is also among their sweetest memories from their childhood. :-)
What to buy: Candies, what else?? :-p
Fotocasion is a great (probably the best of the city) photography equipment shop that could be found in el Rastro area. During Sundays, they exhibit some of their older models in the street, something that I find most interesting, as I simply love those very decorative and extremely unpractical cameras ;-)
What to buy: Excellent deals in both second hand and new equipment could be find here, as well as filters, batteries, memory cards, camera bags, tripods, hard to find film rolls... A picture freak paradise. :-p
What to pay: As in every other Rastro shop, it is possible to bargain a little bit the prices for second-hand equipment, always within reasonable levels.
El Rastro was crowded but fighting the crowds was worth it. I found many treasures here and enjoyed the people watching. But what I liked best was the La Latina area. The architecture was different that the rest of Madrid and was charming!
What to buy: You can nearly everything here! I found great silver jewerly and clothes at El Rastro.
What to pay: Negotiate! Never pay what they offer.
A huge flea market selling anything and everything. I was amazed at the extent of it filling the streets for a few blocks in every direction. Certainly worth a visit if you are in Madrid on a Sunday morning. Just beware of pickpockets in the crowds.
This popular fleamarket is held on Sundays and holidays from about 10AM to 2PM. Even if you don't plan to buy anything, is a good way to spend sunday mornings wandering around and finishing with some delicious TAPAS. Be careful of your wallet and handbags, the very crowded streets are a paradise for pickpockets.
What to buy: See my travelogue for more info.
What to pay: Bargain! This is one of the few places in madrid where you can do it. As most are 2nd hand things, the price is always relative...
On Sunday's in Madrid you can visit the El Rastro or Flea Market. It will be very busy with lots of people. There are streets and streets of crafts, paintings, food, and the list goes on and on. If you like flea markets this one is for you, it was the biggest I've ever seen. There are some dangers be cautious of, as there are pick pockets everywhere and you have to like crowds of people!