The Best Markets in Spain
One of the best things about Spain is the number of markets it has. Could it be our great weather that allows us to find outdoor markets with antiques or artisan goods year-round? We don’t know the answer, but we do know which ones we want to see. Check out our list of favorites:
The Rastro in Madrid: Let’s start with the market that may just be the most famous in Spain, so much so that there are even songs dedicated to it. It dates back to 1740 and it is said that you can find almost anything you can think of there. Although today, many think it isn’t as good as it once was. But it’s always interesting to take a look. You’ll find it on Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores on Sundays and holidays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Los Encantes in Barcelona – Fira Bellcaire: This is a famous market in a city famous for shopping. It was born out of the fusion between Los Encantes market, dating back to the 13th century, and the Fira de Bellcaire, created in the 19th century. This is a classic that is continuously changing, and it also offers some great options for foodies. You’ll find it in Plaza Glòriesde Barcelona on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
La Alcaicería of Granada: It could be called a Spanish souk and it’s got a very interesting history. In the times of Al-Andalus, the king of Granada owned the market. It was where coveted silk was processed and where all types of luxury items could be found. After the reconquest, it remained a very important center for commerce, but it progressively declined in importance and quality until 1843 when it suffered a fire. However, it rose from the ashes and although it now occupies a smaller space than the original, it charms tourists and locals with its variety of goods. If you like history along with shopping, you can visit it every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is located of course, on calle Alcaicería.
Mercadillo la Mola in Formentera: The Balearic Islands have become a point of reference when it comes to artisanal products and this market is proof of just that. Beautiful pottery, glass and metal pieces can be found in this market that’s so “in” many people consider it a place to be seen. It is place of simple Mediterranean glamour and it is held every Wednesday and Sunday in the afternoons from October to May in the town Pilar de la Mola in the east of the island.
Mercado del Jueves in Seville: This market is an institution for many reasons. It was inaugurated by King Ferdinand III of Castile in 1254, and it is also cited by Cervantes in his novella Rinconete y Cortadillo. You’ll find a true miscellaneous mix of retro and vintage finds there. Obviously, it’s held on Thursdays. It’s open from 7a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located on calle Feria.
Mercadillo de Mestalla, in Valencia: Although it’s famous among people who love great vintage and retro, people also say you can find anything imaginable there, as ridiculous or unimaginable as the item may be. It takes place every Sunday and on holidays in the parking lot of the Mestalla Stadium. If you like the sound of it, you better hurry and get there soon: according to rumor its days are numbered because of various urban projects in the area.
Of course, there are many, many more markets to explore; practically every city has a market. But we recommend you start with this great list of the most famous ones first.