El Rastro: Madrid’s Multicolored Market

11 Nov

El Rastro is Madrid’s signature flea market. It is a multicolored maze of people and puestos (stands) that is almost impossible to navigate without having to push your way through just a little. Tourists beware– the narrow streets make it easy for pickpockets so you should keep your belongings right where you can see them.

The market is best enjoyed when you don’t actually plan on buying anything, allowing you to truly take part in the experience. You won’t be missing out, as El Rastro doesn’t really have anything special for sale (so don’t get your hopes up) and the prices are nothing to brag about either. But the mix of tourists gawking, Spaniards pushing, vendors yelling, parrots screeching (yes, they sell birds), and bad musicians playing, will be sure to give you something to write home about.

And if you bring your camera, you can capture some of the market’s most unique and colorful finds. Let’s take a look:

Madrid Flowers

Bright pink flowers sold by one of the many florist stands

El Rasto T-Shirts

Colorful retro style T-shirts

Bull Flag Spain

Reminders of the lovely country you’re visiting

Wine Jugs

Suitable for drinking wine on the go!

Spanish Samurai Swords

Just in case you need a new Samurai sword…

Spanish Flamenco Apron

The latest style in flamenco wear (I actually have two!)

Cords for Sale

Elastics of all shapes and sizes

El Rastro Gas Masks

A gas mask in case of an emergency

sandals in market

I’m pretty sure they are a best seller

Without public schools we’re a country without a future.

candy in Spain

Pretty sugar candies


Yummy chuche. Spanish candy stores always have a colorful display!

So there you have it, El Rastro– Madrid’s multicolored and much adored flea market. If you’d like to visit the metro stop in Tirso de Molina or La Latina. It happens every Sunday from about 9:00-3:00. I would recommend it for a Sunday stroll (but be careful with your wallet!)

What do you usually buy at a flea market?

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6 Responses to “El Rastro: Madrid’s Multicolored Market”

  1. Grace Aloise November 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Enjoyed a glimpse of the market. What an unusual selection of goods! What do they do with all those elastics?? Happy to share your experience. Love, Mom

    • Lauren November 12, 2011 at 12:05 am #

      I wish I knew what they did with all those elastics! Hopefully you come visit soon and we’ll go ask…

  2. hayleycomments November 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    These pictures are awesome, great job!

    • Lauren November 12, 2011 at 12:05 am #

      Thanks Hayley… it means a lot coming from you– your pics are always amazing!

  3. Cassandra Gambill November 12, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    However did you manage to avoid the crowds in these photos?? Great shots, Lauren!

    • Lauren November 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      I went as everything was closing so most people were heading out. Thank you!

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