This past Saturday I took a stroll through one of my other favorite neighborhoods - La Latina. This neighborhood is one of the oldest, most castizo neighborhoods in Madrid. It is located to the east of Plaza Mayor and the south of the Palacio Real. It has lots of narrow, winding streets and very colorful buildings. It is also very close to El Rastro market.
Okay, so this first plaza, Plaza de la Villa, isn't quite in La Latina, but it's close! This plaza is neat because the three surrounding buildings are each from different centuries.
Spanish flag in the center
A hilly walk up to one of my favorite places - Plaza de la Paja
And one of my favorite restaurants - La Musa
This street - La Calle de la Cava Baja - is a super popular place to go out at night as both sides of the street are lined with bars and restaurants.
So yesterday, before heading to El Rastro, I stopped by the Mercado de Filatelia y Numismatica (the stamp and coin market) in Plaza Mayor and then the Mercado de Pintura in the Plaza Conde de Barajas. The stamp and coin market began in 1927, and occurs every Sunday from 9:00 am until early afternoon. The market attracts hundreds of stamp and coin aficionados who spend hours looking through the boxes of coins and albums of stamps. I bought some Cuban coins and a few old Spanish bills. Check out my photos below of the Mercado de Filatelia y Numismatica.
Plaza Mayor (from my visit the other day)
Some stands set up all along the covered perimeter of the plaza
An album to collect ALL of the different types of euro coins - how cool! I have one of these back home for the US state quarters.
It was so neat to see all of the coins from the countries that I hadn't seen yet. I think the coolest one I've seen around (as in, from a purchase that I made) was a 1 euro coin from Greece.
Some Spanish bills. I bought the green one and a bigger one from a different stand.
Wait a minute...I can still use that $2 bill in the States!
So that's a glimpse at the coin and stamp market :) Now for the Mercado de Pintura!! This was in a small plaza in the neighborhood of La Latina (pretty close to Plaza Mayor actually).
A lot of the artwork was stunning, but cost much more money than I was willing to spend. A small (maybe 8x10) painting cost 20 euros = about $28. While I understand it's handmade and beautiful, there are times when I can't afford to buy every painting I see! I do want to buy one before I leave though...
So if you've been following my blog, you've seen lots of photos of food markets - Mercado de San Miguel, Mercado de la Paz, and more. Obviously at food markets, they sell food. But there are also paintings markets and stamp markets and coin markets! But what about El Rastro - the biggest, most popular market in Madrid? What do they sell there? I went to El Rastro again yesterday (in 98 degree heat, alongside thousands of other people, ugh) and focused on taking photos of the booths. I wanted to show you what is actually available in a market! The majority of my photos are from the main part of the market - the part that sells clothes and artisan crafts. However, there are also parts that sell tools, antiques, iPhone cases, soccer gear, etc. Those parts are toward the very bottom of the market in a separate plaza. So, here is a glimpse at what you can find at the main section of the Rastro market! Note that there are lots of other artisan stands, but I don't always feel comfortable photographing other peoples' "artwork." I do have a few photos of paintings from afar though. Enjoy!
Handmade leather goods are very popular in Spain
Tons of scarves!
I have a few of these posters - the guy writes your name on the bottom part!
I love these! These are from the Arabic stands - they are supposedly good luck
Reminiscent of my time in Granada with all of the Arabic shops
Lots of street musicians at El Rastro! This is Eva Sierra - you can find her on YouTube if you search
Don't forget to buy your handy gas mask?!
SO MUCH LEATHER!
Some more abanicos (fans) - Spaniards actually use these on a daily basis! ...which you would expect since it's been in the upper 90s all week
I went down a side street that had a focus on paintings. They are all so beautiful but so expensive (at least 30-40 euros a piece, which is about 40-55 USD)
My favorite, but also most expensive, artwork
So, what do you think? And don't forget that whenever you go to a market, you must try to negotiate the price!