El Rastro

El Rastro is said to be the largest out door market in Europe. It opens from 8am – 3pm on a Sunday and is located between the La Latina and Tirso de Molina. It is another of my must see, must visit places in Madrid. You can get absolutely anything here, clothes, hand made jewelery, trinkets, art, furniture, comic, hardware, games, toys, music that will forever remind you of your time in Madrid and fill you will warm thoughts. It is a mixture of new, crafty things and a flea market. You can get anything that your heart desires.

Some quick tips:
1) Watch out for woodworm. From what I have been told. Wood worm is something that effects a lot of antique wood products and if you get it in your home, you are in a little bit of trouble. However I am sure that they get rid of it before they sell a product.

2) Keep your hand on your valuables, this is a pick pockets favourite way to spend the day. All those new, excited tourists with lost of cash on them.

In the 17th an 18th century El Rastro was a huge meat market which is where it gets its name from. El Rastro means Blood Stain and refers to the blood stains of the animals sold there. However it is now safe to say that none of that kind of thing happens there these days. Just streets and street filled with stalls and people.

All this shopping is bound to make you hungry and what an amazing place to be when you are hungry. The tradition when visiting El Rastro is to go for caracoles (snails). I suggest visiting the bar aptly named caracoles located near the top of the market very close by to La Latina station, sitting at the bar and ordering a portion. They are in a ever so slightly spicy in a kinda tomato sauce and are soo tasty if a little scary looking but you will just have to get over that.

Another Fantastic place to eat is at El Capricho Extremeno. This is located at the very bottom of the market I wish I could tell you the street. I will find out and edit my blog later. However you could just look for the huge queue and wait in it, it is bound to be for this tasty shop. They sell bread with just about any Spanish tapas topping you could ever wish for. For just 2€ each!! It is well worth the wait, the food is sensational and there is a real family ambiance about the place that makes you feel like you are eating fresh traditional Spanish home made food. (Which you are). I recommend the pulpo (Octipus) and the Tortilla (Spanish omelet) These are my favourite ones, but they have so much to chose from. If you visit you have to be prepared for a wait and to be assertive otherwise you will end up being there for a while.Try to get there early or you might miss out on some of the food. It is so popular that they run out of the best stuff fast.

And if you are still hungry after all this food or need to rest your feet. The traditional thing to do after El Rastro is finished, is to sit at a bar in La Latina and have a Cana with some Tapas. A very good way to spend a day. 🙂



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5 responses to “El Rastro

  1. melody

    I’ve just landed myself a job in Madrid (soooo excited!) and moving out in August – enjoying reading your blog.
    melody x

  2. Simon

    What happens next? You need to write another post and tell the world where you went next? You are in Madrid on your own and then . . .

  3. Simon

    Hi there, You need to write another post?
    Why did the 2 of you go to Madrid in the first place? Did your boyfriend stay inMadrid?
    What happened to you next?

  4. Hi Jennifer-

    Are you still maintaining this blog? If so, I’m the editor of Expat Arrivals (http://www.expatarrivals.com) – a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expats’ transition abroad. Would you be interested in linking to us? Furthermore, we’re constantly looking for expats to interview as well as local experts to contribute to our guides, would you be available for either. Thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

  5. Emily

    Hi 🙂
    I just read your blog and I’m so inspired! I’m only 16 but I really want to live in Spain. I’m from Belfast and the weather here is SOOO bad. But I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason to move? I know it’s so stupid thinking about it now but I like to dream hahaa 🙂
    So I was just wondering how you are getting on? Have you made any new friends and have you learnt the language OK?
    I know you haven’t used your blog in ages but I would really appreciate your help.

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