Rastro – what is it about this famous flea market
Rastro is the famous Sunday Flea Market of Madrid, every sunday from 9am to 3pm here.
Madrid is not the first cirty in which a flea market becomes an attraction. Often flea markets make it to the top 5 things to do in a city!
Really? Why is that?
First of all often these markets are not just places with a bunch of junk for sale. There is sometimes live music, restaurants and bars never miss the opportunity to be open during these markets. Rather the opposite, you will see new businesses flourish in the area especially thanks to these markets. So often there is plenty to do, eat, see and drink! And yeah, you can buy grandma-style souvenirs on the side too!
If you collect anything, these places could be of your interest as well. Usually you can find many specialized sellers that might have exactly the right piece you might need. In the case of the Rastro, the antiquities are the main focus of the market and not only, in fact the hole area is full of antique shops and labs that work the whole week just to restore and prepare products for the Sunday market. The neighborhood of Lavapies and La Latina where the Rastro takes place is a part of the city in which for centuries the experienced artisans have crafted furniture of all kinds, decorations and…. you name it.
Decades went by but the beauty of this area remained the same. If you walk around these narrow and steep streets during the week, you will see many carpenters work on repairing a chair or a table, upholsterers lining a chair right on the streets that are mostly pedestrians. It’s very elegant watching these masters that probably have been doing these jobs for generations, I honestly find it healthy in a way, but also amazing. Imagine how many jobs did the invention of the internet create, yet in some corners, also in capitals, you can find people that dedicate their life repairing, searching, exchanging, old goods.
The name “Rastro” is the ancient official name of the district. In the past, around the year 1470 in these area there were 3 different slaughterhouse, with attached whole sale meat businesses. The animals left a trail (in Spanish: Rastro) of blood in the streets, this why this area was with the time given this nickname. Later on in 1507 Beatriz Galindo, a member of the Royal Palace that was responsible for the care taking and education of the royal younger ones, was able to achieve to move further down the slaughterhouse. Of course with the centuries the city grew and now the slaughterhouse (matadero in spanish) is still relatively center, but it hosts nowadays a Cultural centre that I strongly recommend you visit. www.mataderomadrid.org
What can you find here? In this market apart from a constant abundant crowd, you can buy absolutely anything. From touristy souvenirs, to handmade crafts, T-shirts, vinyls discs, all sorts of toys, collectibles and memorabilia. But especially antique furniture, Vinyl music, vintage decoration and a selection of very talented businesses that buy old furniture in bad shape, and give it a contemporary modern twist, with new fabrics and colors.
The market is especially crowded from 12 to 14 but it is all pedestrian of course so you can get around reasonably well.
Tell us what you thought of this market, and if you need help in order to find something absolutely rare and precious make sure to write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org