Madrid’s best known flea market, El Rastro, is located right in the heart of the city. Held every Sunday and feast days, this market features over 1,000 stalls spread over numerous streets, alleys, and plazas. Popular with both locals and tourists, this is not the place to go if you dislike crowds. It starts out quietly at 9 am but within two hours the streets are packed with people, all seeking bargains.
Everything and anything is sold at El Rastro – clothes, paintings, household fixtures, books, stamps, etc. But don’t expect to make the find of the century. Most of the stuff being sold is quite ordinary. In fact, it’s kinda hard to find anything authentically Spanish. Most of the products for sale seem to have been imported from somewhere else. Pictures from Italy and Africa, clothes from China and Korea, and home decorations from around the world. The market really is a demonstration in the effects of globalization.