El Rastro

RastroHave you ever heard of the Rastro?

The Rastro: a must-see in Madrid. It is the best-known market in Spain and the largest in Europe. You can find everything you want there, from collector’s watches to old military uniforms, vintage clothes, comics, and then ending with missives exchanged fifty years ago. Notice for lovers of thrift stores. You will not be disappointed!

It takes place every Sunday and on bank holidays in the La Latina district in the heart of Madrid from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Created in 1740, it has welcomed sellors for generations. The Rastro isn’t just a flea market, it’s more, you just have to pay attention. It is anchored in the daily life of the people of Madrid. Ask the traders how long they have been selling at Rastro and you may be surprised to find some have been selling from the age of 8 to well into their 70s. The inhabitants grew up in these streets, among the antiques; many of them went there with their grandparents, their parents, and now with their children and even grandchildren. It is beautiful to see all this mix of ages, cultures, dialects in only one place.

Do you know the origin of the name «El Rastro»?

Long before hosting a flea market, La Latina was the place to find good meat. It is known as the ancient Matadero of Madrid, the remains of animals left traces of blood in the streets and this gave him the name el Rastro (the Trail). Suddenly a little less charming.

How much time do you need to visit the Rastro?

It all depends on what you are looking for and your interest in the objects you find during your walk. You can stay there for 1:30 hours or 3 hours. Keep in mind that this flea market is renowned for its size. Do not miss out on the great restaurants around the Rastro, take the opportunity to take a little break from your treasure hunt and have a taste of the local cuisine. Pssst, if you look closely enough you’ll be able to find the best snails in town!

How to get to Rastro?

  • Location: Calle Ribera de Curtidores and in the La Latina district.
    By metro: La Latina, line 5, Embajadores, line 3 and Tirso de Molina, line 1.

You may have to walk a little to get to the market entrance but these are the quickest ways to get there. What’s the best tip we can give you? Follow the crowd! If you get lost along the way, do not hesitate to ask the Spaniards for directions, they are very friendly and we’re sure they’ll be willing to help you.

Our little tips:

  • Be careful with your items, pickpockets are everywhere and will take advantage of them while you are busy looking at a stand.
  • Come a little earlier in the morning to be able to unearth the most interesting and coveted items on the market.
  • A lot of people don’t dare but… You can haggle over prices!  Generally, sellers will agree to drop €2, €3 or even more depending on your persuasive skills.
  • Take pictures, it’s not every day that you can go to such a place!

We hope that with all this information you will be able to make the most of the Rastro. Now go discover and enjoy this rare gem!

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