If you do not want to curb your uncontrolled shopping impulse, and the desire to do business, you can not miss a visit to El Rastro, the historic flea market in Madrid. It is a real kingdom of bargaining. Every Sunday you will find half the city that invades the area between Plaza Tirso de Molina, Calle de Lavapies e Calle Toledo.
There is a very long history and literary tradition that links Madrid to this historic market, one of the oldest in Europe. An ordinance from the 2000 stated it Cultural Heritage of the Pueblo de Madrid. El Rastro, in fact, is considered a sort of institution by the people of Madrid, thanks to its natural, spontaneous and disordered appearance.
There is a real crowd; people everywhere, and hundreds of stalls. The international fame is such that, on a single Sunday, 100000 visitors can also be registered. Figures to say the least impressive. It sells a bit of everything: from second-hand clothes to jewelry to the technological products used. Here there is the universal rule that there is nothing that can not be sold.
Photo ©, victorgrigras
El Rastro is renowned above all for antique products. The aspect of this market, so natural, spontaneous and disordered, is that of a time. Recommended not only for doing some business, but also for a simple walk during your holiday in Madrid. Another curiosity is linked to the name of the district; it seems that it derives from the leaning path on which the trail of blood left, the animals of the old slaughterhouses.
The market takes place in the city center, in an area easily accessible on foot and by public transport.
With the efficient Madrid metro, you can use the 5 LINE, getting off at the Latina and Puerta de Toledo stops. With the 1 Line you go down to Tirso de Molina, while, with the 3 Line, you get off at the Embajadores stop. Alternatively, you can use 17, 33, 35, 41, 60, 148 and Circular buses.
Not advised, in the city, to move with your own car. For info on the city, ticket prices and bus timetables, you can consult our official page.
El Rastro takes place on Sundays and holidays, from 09: 00 to 15: 00. There is no precise order in the arrangement of the stalls. Generally, the artisans are concentrated in the Plaza de Cascorro, one of the most popular and busy areas. Especially from tourists. Then there are some "themed" streets that preserve the old name; this is the case of the Strada dei Pittori, or that of the Uccellai, where once the birds were sold.
The whole world is a country! Pickpockets, here, as elsewhere, can always be lurking. With the due precautions and precautions, you will not have particular worries. Wallets and bags, always keep an eye on them.
After wandering around El Rastro, as good Madrilenians, we recommend a stop at Plaza Cascorro or Ribera de Curtidores. The tapas, in these parts, are a real ritual.