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Visiting the Rastro in Madrid

Published on June 4, 2024 by Laura

Visiting the Rastro in Madrid

If you are planning a visit to Madrid, you can’t miss the famous El Rastro flea market.

This open-air market is one of the oldest and most popular in the city, a place full of life that allows you to immerse yourself in the authentic Madrid culture. Here you can find everything from antiques and curiosities to vintage clothes and local produce. What’s more, El Rastro is the perfect place to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city while you stroll through its streets full of stalls and shops. Let’s discover it!

History of Madrid’s El Rastro

The historical origin of El Rastro dates to 1740, when the flea market was first documented. Initially, it was a street market for the sale and exchange of products related to the slaughter of cattle, such as leather, hides and tanned leather. In fact, the word Rastro means slaughterhouse, alluding to the slaughterhouses that were in this area of the city.

In the 20th century, the Rastro began to spread to the adjacent streets of La Latina and began to appear in the works of intellectuals, writers, and painters of the epic. It was also at this time that it was established as a Sunday market.

Today, El Rastro in Madrid brings together more than 1,000 vendors around the Ribera de Curtidores and Plaza de Cascorro, the main hub of this flea market. It has become the most important open-air market in Spain, known all over the world.

Location and how to get to the Rastro in Madrid

The Rastro Market is located in the vibrant La Latina neighbourhood, in the heart of Madrid. To get there, you can use several public transport options. If you choose the metro, the closest stations are La Latina (line 5) and Puerta de Toledo (line 5). You can also take buses 17, 18, 23, 23, 35, 50 or 60, which will leave you just a few steps from the market.

But if you prefer a pleasant stroll, you can walk from Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol; it will take you about 15 minutes. Remember that the Rastro is an open-air market that spans several streets, so it doesn’t have a specific entrance. Just follow the crowds and you’ll soon find yourself among the stalls.

Opening times of El Rastro

El Rastro is open every Sunday and public holidays, from 9am until 3pm. It is important to arrive early to avoid the crowds and have a chance to explore all the shops and stalls before the best items are sold out.

What you can find in the Rastro Market

At the Mercado del Rastro you can find everything, it’s like a big open-air bazaar. From antiques, vintage clothes, crafts, handmade jewellery to old books and vinyl records. You can also find second-hand furniture and unique decorative objects that will add a special touch to your home.

But not only that, El Rastro is also famous for its art stalls where local artists sell their work. So, if you are an art lover or just looking for something unique to remember your visit, El Rastro in Madrid is the place for you.

The best shops and stalls in El Rastro

In the streets of El Rastro, in addition to street stalls, there are also several shops that stand out for their uniqueness.

Some must-stops are La Recova, a shop famous for its antiques and vintage objects, as well as El Rincón del Rastro, an antique shop full of treasures to decorate your home. Other famous vintage shops in El Rastro include Montenegro Antigüedades and El Laberinto Decoración.

At Morueco Cerámicas you’ll find handcrafted pieces from all over the world. Comic book and comic book collectors should visit Comic Hunter and Libros Alcaná, where they will find true collector’s items. Finally, for lovers of second-hand clothing with personality, stop by Underground Moda Vintage.

Remember, these are just a few recommendations, the real charm of the Rastro lies in getting lost in its streets and discovering your own favourite places.

Come explore Madrid’s El Rastro

After a busy day exploring El Rastro and getting lost in the streets of La Latina, you’ll find the best accommodation at the SmartRental apartments in Madrid.

Ideally located near the Rastro Market and other popular destinations, our apartments in the centre of Madrid offer all the comfort you need to relax after a long day of shopping and sightseeing. Whether you are travelling alone, as a couple or in a group, SmartRental has something for you with flats for two to eight people. All accommodations are fully equipped with all the amenities you need to feel at home. All you have to worry about is enjoying your stay in Madrid.

Visit our rooftop Ella Sky Bar and La Catorce Restaurant & Sky Bar to enjoy gastronomic experiences on the heights of Madrid. Restaurants with views where you can enjoy a delicious meal or a cocktail with the skyline of the capital as a backdrop.

Book your stay at SmartRental!

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