by Marina Diez
This famous Sunday morning flea market, located next to La Latina, one of the oldest quarters of Madrid, has everything from clothes, bags and other paraphernalia, to the funny stalls dedicated to just one single thing: there is one, for example, that sells nothing but various shapes and sizes of elastic bands!
One specific side street is dedicated to pets, with real pet shops on either side of the road, and a few people outside selling their own puppies out of cardboard boxes and sports bags. The main street, c/ Ribera de Curtidores, is the place to head to if you’d like to see antique shops in Madrid, most of which open every day of the week.
There are two extra reasons for visiting the Rastro on a Sunday morning: the first is the live music, from the organ grinder playing Chotis, a popular music and dance from Madrid, to a complete Jazz band if you’re lucky.
The second reason is food: finish your Rastro visit with either the traditional bocadillo de calamares, a battered squid baguette sold in one of the many bars lining the main Rastro strip, or head towards the atmospheric heart of La Latina for lunch in one of the many tapas bars around Plaza de la Cebada and Cava Baja.
TIPS: Go early, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., to avoid the masses. Be careful with your wallet, camera and other possessions, as this is a favourite spot for pickpockets.
Metro: La Latina / Tirso de Molina. The Rastro is on Calle Ribera de Curtidores and surrounds. See map below: