I was in two minds whether or not to dedicate one whole post for a market, but I figured out that maybe making something out of my enthusiasm isn't a bad idea. So here we are, talking about a market! We were enormously disappointed for not finding the main street and started thinking that maybe the market wasn't even going to be open on All Saints' Day. But suddenly, a miracle happened: we found the familiar looking stalls of El rastro literally behind a corner. Let the shopping begin!
El rastro has everything: used and new clothes, leather products, handbags, handicrafts, jewelry, electronic devices, books, toys... The list goes on and on and so does this market street. I particularly found the denim jackets, scarves and small leather bags really pretty and ended up buying the perfect denim jacket for a fiver. My friend, in turn, found a Tommy Hilfiger knit for just €1,50. Crazy, right? It's really worth the trouble digging those messy and smelly piles of clothes.
The best about El rastro might not even be the ridiculously cheap clothes, but the atmosphere. They sell the weirdest objects and have the most talented buskers entertaining people, not to mention the salesmen who I found really friendly and not at all pushy. The guys in the pic are playing sad music in a cheerful way, which was something that caught my attention. You can also spot a group of African men doing their dance, singing out loud and making music with their drums. Everything is topped of with the beautiful are, which is just made for markets like this. (Although, I think anywhere in Madrid's centre is pretty if you ask me!)
Okay, I must confess that his place does attract a lot of pickpockets and scammers which, of course, isn't nice. Nothing has been robbed from me, but then again I don't carry a big bag with me and have everything in zippered pockets or a small bag. If you feel uneasy moving around in a big crowd, I suggest you go during opening times or when the market closes (9-11 and 14-16) El rastro should close at 15, but people and salesmen will still be around at that time.