“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” –Samuel Johnson
One Sunday, my roommate, a few of our friends, and I decided to brave the pickpockets and crowds to go bargain shopping at El Rastro. As Europe’s biggest flea market, El Rastro encompasses the streets of an area in Madrid known as La Latina from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. every Sunday. It is better to go earlier to beat the crowds, but being college students wanting to spend our weekend mornings asleep, we didn’t get there until about 1:30 p.m. We decided to test out the bus system instead of taking our usual metro, but we got a little bit confused. Thankfully, a 9-year-old Madrileño genuis guided us to our destination.
Fun (or maybe not?) fact: El Rastro means “the trail” in Spanish because the leather makers would drag the dead animals through this street leaving behind a “rastro” of blood. I promise there are no remnants!
You can find pretty much anything you could ever want at El Rastro whether it’s striped clothing
a touristy Spanish poster hot off the press
a used book
or some decor for blank walls.
I decided to buy un abanico (above) for 2 euros and una falda (below) for 10 euros. Unfortunately, I forgot to test my bargaining skills when I was there, but I guess it’s just another reason to go back!