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El Rastro

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The Rastro of Madrid

El Rastro is an outdoor market held on Sundays and holidays in the historic center of Madrid, in the popular neighborhood of la Latina. It is a market with more than 400 years of history in which you can find both everyday objects and curious gadgets, all wrapped in a lively atmosphere.

The market is located around the Ribera de Curtidores, a steep slope along which hundreds of stalls are spread with the most varied objects on sale, from potatoes to furniture, films, used clothes or sockets.

The denomination of the market comes from that formerly the zone that occupies the Rastro was the place in which the tanneries were located, very near the abattoir. During the transfer of the cattle to the tanneries was left a trail of blood that was the one that gave rise to the name of the famous market.

Specialized areas

Some of the streets surrounding the Ribera de Curtidores are dedicated to the sale of some specialized products. Here are some of the most interesting:

  • Calle Fray Ceferino González: Known as the street of the birds, it was formerly dedicated to the sale of animals. Today there are only a few specialized stores.
  • Calle de San Cayetano: Also known as the street of the painters, it houses different places where you can buy some paintings as well as materials for painting.
  • Calle de Rodas, General Vara del Rey Square and Plaza de Campillo del Mundo Nuevo: Specialized areas for the purchase and sale of magazines, cards and card games.
  • Calle del Carnero and Calle de Carlos Arniches: Streets specialized in the sale of old books.
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To enjoy a pleasant day, but with caution

Despite the crowds that are formed in some areas, it is pleasant to spend a sunny Sunday morning touring the posts of the trail to end up taking some tapas in the bars of the area.

It is advisable to be careful with valuables while walking through crowded streets, as it is very common that the area is full of pickpockets hunting for distracted tourists.

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