Madrid often plays second fiddle to Barcelona when it comes to attention. And it’s hard to fault travellers; Barcelona can be hard to resist.
However, Madrid’s character is all her own, mostly evident throughout the city’s many markets. After you step into these markets, you might have a hard time agreeing with the masses.
One of the best experiences for travellers arriving on flights to Madrid is taking in the subtle charms of its neighborhoods and markets.
El Rastro: The famous Sunday flea market in Madrid presents an alarming and impressive mishmash of junk. Europe‘s largest flea market, the El Rastro market has become an institution in the city. Its centre lies at Plaza de Cascorro and Ribera de Curtidores. A maze of streets litters in clothes, luggage, antiques, home goods and much more for buying.
Mercado de San Miguel: Just beyond Plaza Mayor, Mercado de San Miguel has reinvented herself over the years. Falling into disrepair, the Beaux-Arts market with its wrought iron and glass facade was rescued, restored and revitalized just in time for travellers today to appreciate its splendor.
From fish to cookbooks, you will find vendors all intertwined by the market’s towering wood and iron roof. By day, this is the place to buy your food just in time for dinner, all while maybe sipping on a café con leche. By dinner, Mercado de San Miguel is a haven for those looking for beer and tapas. Mini-restaurants make this a unique and tasty location for dining while in Madrid.
Cuesta de Moyano Book Market: While Paris may have those iconic booksellers set up along the Seine, Madrid has its own spot for book worms and dealers near the Retiro park. Throughout dozens of stalls, booksellers set up in huts selling second hand books. Many of the titles are out of print, making this book market a true rarity.
Mercado de Maravillas: Set up in between the districts of Cuartro Cominos and Tetuan, the Mercado de Maravillas is one of the last of its kind in Madrid. The old style market is massive, boasting a large selection of fish for the fishy. At the same time, you can park yourself at a counter and sip on some of the finest coffee in the city.
Mercado de la Paz: The Mercado de la Paz sits on the western edge of the fashion forward Salamanca area of Madrid. The stylish yet organised market packs in the stalls and locals. The Mercado de la Paz does not just provide a look at local living but also at what produce attracts the locals including massive amounts of cheese, ham and fish.
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