Planning a trip? Build a personalized plan with Maya - your AI travel assistant by Live the World

Chat with Maya

A Sunday at El Rastro

3 minutes to read

Travel Tips For Madrid

Find the best deals here for unique accommodations around Madrid and book your stays in advance.
Build and book a hotel+flight package from scratch with Live the World.
Get personalized advice based on this article from AI assistant Maya
Get the most authentic Cities experience. Check out these guided tours and skip-the-line tickets around Madrid.
If you use the above links, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!

If you’re a fan of the flea markets and a vintage culture lover then you should definitely pay a visit to Madrid’s El Rastro Sunday Market! El Rastro is the biggest and of course the most impressive flea market in Madrid; it’s even said to be the biggest one in Spain! It takes place every Sunday morning from 9 to 2 and it attracts thousands of visitors every week. A great variety of things can be found in El Rastro; from clothing to furniture, fabrics and even electrical appliances.

El Rastro market, Madrid
El Rastro market, Madrid
Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain

In the past it was almost exclusively a market where anyone could sell antique objects that no longer used, or exchanged for other objects. At the moment, although second hand things are still being sold, the majority of the products are actually new; clothes, jewellery, handbags, decorative figures etc can be found in really low prices and of course in a good quality.

If you love wandering in the city’s streets then El Rastro is the place to be; Stalls with a huge variety of things, lively people and of course street artists performing around the market; after all how could they be missing? The music is an important part of the Spanish culture and of their daily life; it couldn’t be missing from such a big market like this!

El Rastro is a place made by the people for the people; although it can get very crowded, it is a great place to go for a stroll and get some unique Spanish souvenirs on any sunny Sunday morning or bank holiday.

This lively open-air market is over 400 years old with stands that sell everyday objects as well as unique and curious items!

And now get ready cause an historical fact is coming up, explaining the origin of the market’s name; I’m pretty sure you’ve been wondering what does El Rastro means; well, so did I. After a short research online here’s an interesting fact that I came upon;

The name of the flea market “El Rastro” meaning “the trail” comes from the tanneries that used to be exist in the area. When the animals were transported from the slaughterhouses to the tanneries, they would leave a trail of blood and hence the name of "El Rastro”. Interesting right?

After shopping there’s only one thing to be done; well just a reminder…do not forget that you’re in Spain, the land of canas and tapas…As a result you cannot leave the market without trying some of the city’s specialties along with a cold glass of beer! Well, it’s just a MUST. It’s like a cultural obligation that you just have to follow. The only thing you have to do is just choosing the bar of your preference…after that, do not worry cause the tapas coming along with your drink will find their way to you!

Suggestion; Stay around the neighbourhoods of Lavapies, La Latina and Puerta de Toledo; There’s a variety of bars that you can choose and the tapas will just impress you! After all they’re the closest ones to the market so they’ll definitely be full of people and great energy!

Have fun!

We recommend to book your stays in Madrid in advance as it can get booked up quickly during certain periods. If you use this link, you pay the same price and we get a small commission - thanks for your support!

Want to plan a trip here? Build your own hotel+flight package with Live The World, or reach out for personalized advice from one of our travel experts.

Interesting towns related to this story

The author

Chrisa Lepida

Chrisa Lepida

My name is Chrisa and I come from Greece. As nature lover, winter sports addict and Erasmus obsessed, I’m always writing about these topics.

Plan a trip with Maya - your AI travel assistant

Chat with Maya

Stories you might also like