El Rastro

Flea Market / Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area
El Rastro One of the most famous flea markets in the world, El Rastro sells everything from clothes, jewelry, and antiques to music, DVDs, and vintage 1970s Playboy magazines. Madrid Spain 40.4088221 -3.7074531
4.22 13
El Rastro - Flea Market | Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Madrid.
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Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review One of the most famous flea markets in the world, El Rastro sells everything from clothes, jewelry, and antiques to music, DVDs, and vintage 1970s Playboy magazines. Every Sunday, multitudes of people from all walks of... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Su 9am–3pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot

Party Earth El Rastro Review

The Scene

One of the most famous flea markets in the world, El Rastro sells everything from clothes, jewelry, and antiques to music, DVDs, and vintage 1970s Playboy magazines.

One of the most famous flea markets in the world, El Rastro sells everything from clothes, jewelry, and antiques to music, DVDs, and vintage 1970s Playboy magazines. Every Sunday, multitudes of people from all walks of life descend on the sunny Plaza de Cascorro in search of the best deals on any goods imaginable.

Although plenty of modern products are on sale, the market has maintained its old-world feel and customs, so haggling is still in vogue and only adds to the fun.

The aptly named El Rastro (The Trail) starts in the Plaza de Cascorro, gradually wends its way downhill through a handful of winding medieval streets, and ends up – 3,500 stalls later – at the 19th-century monument of the Puerta de Toledo.

Even browsers who don’t intend to buy anything will find that taking a leisurely stroll through the market is a unique experience full of the sights and sounds of vendors and buyers from all over the world negotiating for antiques, handcrafts, fabrics, and even paintings.

El Rastro is definitely worth checking out at least once, so interested shoppers should wake up – or stay up – early on a Sunday and plan for a long siesta later in the day.

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Tip from Emma:

Everything is negotiable, so never pay the original asking price and start the bidding low.

  • Crowd

    International tourists, locals, and bargain hunters, all ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Browsing and haggling.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Numerous cafés and bars along the market route offer coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. Also, keep an eye out for pickpockets in El Rastro. Keep purses and backpacks zipped up and be aware of who is around.

  • Prices

    No entrance fee.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Early morning from 9 to 11am.

El Rastro User Reviews

Average rating:
Hippie, Happy and Diverse
Jasmine D. Aug 27, 2013
If you can manage to stumble out of bed early after a crazy Saturday night out then you should definitely make it down to El Rastro to check out the huge flea market which is sure to bring you a true cultural experience. Here you're sure to find everything, from children's toys, jewelry, clothes to hardware tools -- I swear there's something here for everybody. If you haven't figured it out by now this is not your ordinary Sunday market. It begins up in La Latina and winds all the way down to Lavapies; and with all the narrow side streets Madrid is notorious for you could wander around all day and still not see it all. Don't worry if you get hungry or tired there are plenty of cafe's and restaurant the relax and people watch. After a weekend full of nonstop events, El Rastro street market is a great place to come to walk around and unwind but just beware of the pick pockets, they're always on the prowl.
A Thrifter's Dream
Victoria S. May 14, 2013
My family lives in Madrid, so every summer I'm there. And every summer my siblings and I look forward to Sundays because Sunday means a trip to the center of the city for El Rastro. Dozens of streets, crawling up and down hills, fill with posts selling hippie clothes, beaded and braided bracelets, colorful birds, vintage instruments, comic books, and on and on. A real symphony for the eye. One of Madrid's traditions. Make sure to pick up some churros on the way there! Have to keep the taste buds busy while you're strolling. And you should end at Plaza Mayor for a cold cañita to refresh in the heat of the summer. A Madrid must-do.
Loving El Rastro!
Tamar A. Mar 12, 2013
Join thousands of Madridiens every Sunday in El Rastro - the Huge flea markt is awesome! I really love it there. you can find anything from old records, light switches, comic books and vintage sofas to boutique jewelery and purses. The vibe is fantastic, very friendly people, selling very weird stuff in sunny Madrid - It really is great fun! It is hard to go through it all at once, so if you have more then one Sunday make sure you visit it twice. It is really really packed so hold on to your wallets, and your children. They have some food venders and closely situated cafe's and Super markets, so you can truly spend a few hours roaming the market.
An Eclectic Flea Market that beings you a whole Cultural Experience
Telina M. Mar 4, 2013
El Rastro is one of the largest open-air flea markets in Europe. It is a Madrid institution, open every Sunday and Public holidays from 9a.m. until 3p.m. You can find everything from clothing, original artwork, tacky souvenirs, faux designer purses, electronics, to any kind of junk you could imagine. It is all for sale. The old idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, absolutely epitomizes what El Rastro is all about. El Rastro means “the trail” and it is located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo. Many travel writers will say El Rastro is one of the key things to do in Madrid. It is definitely a cultural experience, but if waking up early on a Sunday morning to be shoved around in crowds isn’t your thing, you might want to stay in bed. You are not missing out. You can find the same souvenirs all over Madrid, just a little higher in price. If you do plan on making it to El Rastro go early to beat the crowds because it will get busy. Most Madrilenos do not leave the discoteca until the wee hours of the morning, so 9 a.m. is a good time to go. You can barter as well. If bargaining is what you do best, I would suggest you go early, between 9 and 10, to make sure you get the best deal and have the time to haggle. Once the crowds start coming in, it is far more difficult to get the attention you need and most vendors will not spend the time negotiating a price with you. And if you are even the tiniest bit claustrophobic, you will definitely want to go early. It is also better if you have some knowledge of key words of Spanish. Good key words and phrases to know would be offerta (a deal), es barato (it’s cheap), es caro (it’s expensive) and cuanto cuesta (how much). Note that El Rastro is insanely packed and can be quite chaotic. Remember, this is a flea market with hundreds of merchants with a mishmash of eclectic junk. It will take time to battle the hectic crowds in order to find a treasure. However, it is great for people watching. Just stand back and watch it all happen BUT don’t get too engrossed watching others. Take extreme care with your belongings; wallets and purses. Thieves are rampant here and it’s a hot spot for pickpockets. My advice is to hold on to your things tight and bring as little as possible. El Rastro is one of the largest open-air flea markets in Europe. It is a Madrid institution, open every Sunday and Public holidays from 9a.m. until 3p.m. You can find everything from clothing, original artwork, tacky souvenirs, faux designer purses, electronics, to any kind of junk you could imagine. It is all for sale. The old idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, absolutely epitomizes what El Rastro is all about. El Rastro means “the trail” and it is located along Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores, between Calle Embajadores and the Ronda de Toledo. Many travel writers will say El Rastro is one of the key things to do in Madrid. It is definitely a cultural experience, but if waking up early on a Sunday morning to be shoved around in crowds isn’t your thing, you might want to stay in bed. You are not missing out. You can find the same souvenirs all over Madrid, just a little higher in price. If you do plan on making it to El Rastro go early to beat the crowds because it will get busy. Most Madrilenos do not leave the discoteca until the wee hours of the morning, so 9 a.m. is a good time to go. You can barter as well. If bargaining is what you do best, I would suggest you go early, between 9 and 10, to make sure you get the best deal and have the time to haggle. Once the crowds start coming in, it is far more difficult to get the attention you need and most vendors will not spend the time negotiating a price with you. And if you are even the tiniest bit claustrophobic, you will definitely want to go early. It is also better if you have some knowledge of key words of Spanish. Good key words and phrases to know would be offerta (a deal), es barato (it’s cheap), es caro (it’s expensive) and cuanto cuesta (how much). Note that El Rastro is insanely packed and can be quite chaotic. Remember, this is a flea market with hundreds of merchants with a mishmash of eclectic junk. It will take time to battle the hectic crowds in order to find a treasure. However, it is great for people watching. Just stand back and watch it all happen BUT don’t get too engrossed watching others. Take extreme care with your belongings; wallets and purses. Thieves are rampant here and it’s a hot spot for pickpockets. My advice is to hold on to your things tight and bring as little as possible.
Among the truest Spanish experiences around!
Pamela G. Feb 23, 2013
The Rastro is not only a great place to shop but also a showcase for Madrid’s many uniquely Spanish qualities. Skip the malls and get your heart’s desire of souvenirs, abanicos, artwork, and miscellaneous trinkets while strolling under the promised Spanish sun, the soft scent of chorizo and calamari bocadillos (Spanish style sub sandwiches) tickling your nose. As one of Madrid’s premiere spots for locals and tourists alike you’re guaranteed to hear a mix of languages, both familiar and completely unexpected, but all of which are cut by the boisterous Madrileño vendors shouting prices and special offers you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the city. And if you grow tired of the seemingly endless rows of jewelry, leather goods, and other Rastro staples, escape down Calle Amazonas, past the all-too-convenient public restrooms, smoking paraphernalia (because it just wouldn’t be Spain without an ode to tobacco and other “herbs”), and enter what seems to be another market altogether. A bit less crowded, Plaza del General Vara de Rey is the heart of the Rasto’s antique section and hosts a plethora of junk… but also hidden gems. As you walk along the stands, now mostly shaded tarps on the floor, every inch covered in old coins, silverware, and other oddities, you’ll notice the vendors too have changed. Rastro veterans, they’re a good 20 years older, wear newsboy caps in place of the common baseball cap, and often drive an even tougher bargain. But fear not, start the bidding low (though not insultingly low) to prove you’re not just another easily swindled foreigner, and you’ll likely make out with a good deal and an extra dose of respect from the country’s toughest ambassador—the elderly Spaniard. From the plaza you can take off down any of the connecting streets, all of which are uncharacteristically hilly for Madrid, to find furniture, art, and antique shops that open their doors specifically for the Rastro and spare you the trouble of venturing inside by laying their merchandise outside for your viewing (and buying) pleasure. But if all this shopping has finally tired you out, stop at any of La Latina’s many restaurants for a cañas and tapas break or head north toward the famous Plaza Mayor or Royal Palace, each located within 15 minutes by foot. As if the shopping and cultural experience weren’t enough, the Rastro’s convenient location is just one more reason to make it your starting point for a leisurely Sunday through Madrid’s city center.
Crazy busy but a must-see
Jody P. Dec 11, 2012
I loved going to El Rastro when I was staying in Madrid. I went a couple of times and was completely overwhelmed. The flea market is always COMPLETELY packed so be very careful with your things (read: pickpockets). I mean, you are fighting your way through people just to walk, let alone shop. It is a lot of fun though. They have everything you could possibly think of at El Rastro from junk jewelry to vintage magazines and vinyls. If you aren't into crowds and flea markets, this is not the place for you. But if you like that kind of thing (which I do!) it is a great, fun activity to do while in Madrid.
Great! but a bit sketchy
Kaile K. Nov 30, 2012
El Rastro is definitely worth a visit if you love shopping/want to see more of Madrid, but you should beware of pick-pocketers if you visit. It's a great place to get clothes or souvenirs though, and everything is SO cheap. There's always a ton of people there, so I would suggest going only if you can handle the large crowds! Definitely worth checking out though!
Bargain hunting on a Sunday morning!
Shylean J. Nov 17, 2012
No, madrilenos do not rest on a Sunday! It seems like everyone heads to El Rastro, a huge flea market in La Latina, to stroll through the streets filled with random tents selling everything from meats to old antiques, to bargain hunt! Every week it is stocked with new things, so you will never be bored and never able to see it in one go! Afterwards it is a Sunday tradition to poor into the many tapas bars in La Latina and grab a cana, or two, or three...and see where the rest of the day takes you...
The ultimate flea market
Lauren H. Nov 7, 2012
Anything and everything can be found her. From art to clothes to bedding, literally anything imaginable. Its open every sunday and never seems to get old because you never know what youll end up seeing. Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate.
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