El Rastro Market picture
El Rastro Market
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Key Info

Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, 18

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Shopping, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Exit the La Latina metro station and wander down Calle de las Maldonadas to one of Spain's most popular flea markets, El Rastro. Dating back to the 15th century, the market starts at Plaza de Cascorro and is primarily concentrated on Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, ending at Ronda de Toledo. The streets, also including Calle San Cayetano, are lined with hundreds of merchants selling everything from kitschy souvenirs to art and antiques and even everyday household items. 

Recent visitors' reactions to El Rastro varied: some loved the atmosphere, especially the live music, and others found the market to be mediocre, with very few bargains or finds. Some travelers warned of pickpockets, also saying that because of the crowds, it's not the best place for children or the elderly. 

The market is only open on Sundays and public holidays from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. Plan to get there early as crowds can get heavy as early as 11 a.m.

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Buen Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro)
Plaza Mayor
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Buen Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro)

To the east of central Madrid, Parque del Buen Retiro (Buen Retiro Park) can be translated as "Park of the Pleasant Retreat," and that's what it is – a sprawling swath of lush greenery filled with formal gardens, lakes, cafes, playgrounds and more. This 300-some-acre park previously housed Felipe IV's palace and gardens, and didn't become open to the public until the late 19th century.

Today, you can still rent a rowboat to the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), which holds regular art exhibitions or stop and smell the roses in the Rosaleda (Rose Garden), which has more than 4,000 roses. Plus, for those traveling with little ones, the Teatro de Titeres hosts puppet shows most weekends. 

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