If you visit Madrid and you happen to be there on a Sunday, you cannot miss El Rastro, the most popular flea market of Spain. Whether you enjoy new products or others that have a bit of history behind, you will surely not come out empty-handed from here. Besides the open air market, there are also a lot of antique shops in the surrounding area that you can visit.
If you are interested in finding some bargains in the market, then you should be there at opening time, between 9AM and 10AM. However, if you enjoy crowded spaces and if you want the most authentic El Rastro experience, then visiting it between 11AM and 12PM is your best bet. When you find yourself overwhelmed by the bags of souvenirs that you bought, you can take a break and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars in the area.
The closest metro station to El Rastro is La Latina, although if you reach Embajadores, Sol or Opera, among others, you can still find your way with ease. There is also a special bus that stops at Embajadores, close to the flea market, so you can have a direct line to it.
The market opens each Sunday and during any other free holidays of the year. The schedule is roughly between 9AM and 3PM, while a peak of activity is experienced right before noon. The owners of the 3,500 stalls will slowly close down up until 4PM.
Once again, the venue is an open air one that does not cost you anything to visit it. However, if you are interested in buying some antiques and other interesting things, you will surely need some cash in the pocket.