El rastro, literally ‘the trail’ is a famous market in the centre of Madrid. It originated hundreds of years ago and has a long history. It is currently held every sunday and holiday on the Plaza de Cascorro and the Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores. The market was a lot bigger than I expected at first. And although a lot of market stalls sell the same products, there are so many different things you can buy here.
Clothes, purses, wallets, jewelry, pottery, hats, souvenirs, food, everything and much more is to be found here. We went to the metro stop La Latina and immedeately saw the stalls. That way you start at the side of the Plaza de Cascorro and walk towards the Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores. That means you’re walking downhill, so if you have difficulty walking uphill, this might be the best route. Then you could go to the metro stop Puerta de Toledo or Acacias. We walked downhill first, looking only at the stalls on the left side and then uphill again, checking out the stalls on the other side. I saw so many nice things that I didn’t really know what to buy. Eventually I bought a pretty necklace that matched my shirt.
El rastro takes place in the morning, from about 9:00 until 13:00. So if you’re a little early, it won’t be as warm outside yet. When I was in Madrid with my dad, it was extremely hot, around 40°C. We were really glad that there was some shade because of the trees and the higher market stalls.
We didn’t spend that much time on the market. We walked along the whole market in about 45 minutes, but that was probably because we didn’t stop very often to look at the products and were just strolling and looking around. If you really love shopping, especially at markets like these, it will probably take you longer to see everything. I’d definitely recommend going to El Rastro.