El Rastro Market: Madrid
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
El Rastro Market is perhaps the most well-known flea market in Spain. Vendors sell new and used items, ranging from vintage silverware to old flamenco records. The over 400-year-old market is open on Sundays and will likely be packed with visitors from around the world when you visit. It´s likely you´ll get lost inside, but don´t worry - you´ll find a few hidden gems along the way. Street performers line the streets, so be sure to stop to enjoy the local artists while you fill your suitcase to the brim.
History of El Rastro Market
El Rastro´s creation was based on some interesting history. Farmers used to bring cattle hides through the old city to the nearby tanneries. The blood from the hides would stain the streets in the area that is now considered El Rastro Market. We promise the streets
won´t have any blood on them now, but there will most definitely be a herd of people!
Merchandise of El Rastro Market
Each street and area surrounding the market is known for a particular type of merchandise.
Calle San Cayetano boasts a large selection of paintings, drawings, and anything related to art. If you´re looking to show off some interesting clothing and accessories to your friends, these can be found in The Plaza de Cascorro. Bird fan? Check out Calle Fray Ceferino Gonzales, while bookworms can explore old and rare finds on Calle Carnero and Calle Carlos Arniches.
Tips for El Rastro Market
The market opens at 9am and runs until about 3 or 4pm, depending on the season. The height of the crowds is usually at 11am, so we recommend arriving as early as possible. If you want to bargain with vendors, arriving early is a must. The market will be too busy later on to have a discussion. Like any big city, we highly recommend watching your belongings and only bringing the necessities with you, just to be safe.
You will never be bored at El Rastro. People have found live birds, underwear, vintage typewriters, old WWII memorabilia and much, much more!