Among the many street markets in Madrid, also known as flea markets, we find the famous Rastro Market, immortalize by Joaquín Sabina in its Con la Frente Marchita song, in which he mentions two aspects that define perfectly El Rastro in Madrid: it is only opened on Sundays and there you can find the most original and astonishing stuffs (conventional and fashion stuffs, second hand clothes, antiquities…).

toda espana madrid compras  Rastro Madrid Flea Markets in Madrid Shopping Madrid
Picture by pulvirenti on flickr

El Rastro differs from the other markets in Madrid: indeed, it has been declared cultural heritage of the city of Madrid in 2000. Despite the fact, it looks a little bit disorganized and a kind of improvised, it is actually the testimony of 150 years of informal trade in the premises of what used to be an animal slaughterhouse. In order to be able to go to the market, you must get up early, because the shopkeepers start to settle at 8 a.m. and the street market opens around 9 a.m. so that it would be great for you to rent an accommodation in the centre of Madrid. The bigger part of visitors came before 11 a.m. and sales use to end around 3 p.m. And remember that it´s an activity that you can only do on Sunday in Madrid.

toda espana madrid compras  Rastro Madrid Flea Markets in Madrid Shopping Madrid
Rastro Market in Madrid. Picture by nicoaye on flickr

The Rastro is one of the vastest markets in Madrid: it goes from the Plaza de Cascorro and extends to the neighboring streets: the Carnero street brings together the old books stallholder, the San Cayetano one brings together painters and on the Plaza General Vara del Rey, you will meet comics collectors and will be able to barter. On the Ribera de Curtidores Street, there is a building of the 40´s with more than 50 antiquities shops inside.

toda espana madrid compras  Rastro Madrid Flea Markets in Madrid Shopping Madrid
El Rastro Market in Madrid. Picture by uitdragerij on flickr

Despite the fact that the sale of food is prohibited on the stall of the market, Madrid on Sunday offers a lot of option to have a drink or to enjoy a lunch. One of the greatest places to eat is the Capricho Extremeño (30 Carlos Arniches): the restaurant offers a large variety of cheap tapas.

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