Top 10 Markets in Madrid

We love the hubbub of markets. Crowds of people peruse, rather than the targeted shopping which gives malls a much more stressful atmosphere. So, here’s our top 10 markets in Madrid, where famously grumpy stall-keepers share quality wares to wide eyed grinning tourists alongside auspicious locals.

Mercado de San Miguel

Our first stop is here. Recommended by our son James who discovered it on a recent stag do.

Mercado de San Miguel

It’s a renovated early 20th century structure where many of the best shops have a stall.

San Miguel food market Madrid

We happened across another stag do just outside the market.

groom on stag do

We found the city full of stag and hen do’s and found them all to be friendly fun. Food markets are a natural draw, especially this one, where you can eat and drink on site.

men on stag do

Inside, it can get very busy, especially at weekends, however, everyone is relaxed and un-scrum like. I find that helps.

busy food market

It all feels very civilised, according to my husband who heard from my son you can walk around with your glass of wine.

bar in a food market

Naturally Spanish ham is a big feature. Expect to pay a little more than in the shops. Sometimes, tho’ paying a premium as you immerse yourself into a culture is simply worth it.

Cured meat stall

We enjoyed trying samples as we went round.

Man slicing Spanish ham

I wish I have tried these fried sea food wrapped in newspaper. Something to go back for..?

lady buying fried seafood

Mounds of mozzarella on bread, dressed up for a delicious 2 bite snack, looked fresh (and cute).

Spanish mozzarella snack

Fresh oysters are being opened and downed at a regular pace.

man opening an oyster

You can also purchase sea creatures, but this would require you to be a self catering tourist with superb knife skills.

big fresh fish on ice

Many people are just happy to take selfies and stare with fascination at the local foods.

Spanish food market

I wished I’d tried these too. If you have an idea, please leave a comment. Are they crispy? savoury? I’m not even sure if they are bread or a pastry!

baked goods in Spanish Market

Madrid food market

Delightfully, small Japanese ladies in hats were up for the challenge of Spanish food.

Japanese ladies trying European food

So, it wasn’t just me photographing the food.

Lady taking a photo at a food market

The market is loud, bustling and full of locals having a quick lunch.

Food market scene

There’s tables where friends and families catch up over a cold beer, and watch a bit of flamenco dancing on the overhead tv.

food market bar

Look out for the giant paella pan. This place is full of temptation. Desserts include chocolate and frozen yogurt.

bar in a Spanish food market

Address: Plaza de San Miguel

T: 91 542 4936

Open daily 10am-midnight (to 2am Wed-Fri)

 

FOR MORE PHOTOS KEEP SCROLLING DOWN

 

Other food markets you must check out are:

Mercado de San Antón

This market sells flowers, food and wine. In my book, this is a very heady combination.

It has a more modern look than Mercado de San Miguel, giving it a food court vibe.

Expect food from around the globe as well as around Spain (upstairs, which has views of the city)

Open Mon-Fri

Find it in the Chueca area, here.

Mercado de la Paz

This is a small market but one of Madrid’s oldest. It’s in a glam neighbourhood, but is down to earth and friendly. Expect moody lighting and great cheeses.

Open Mon-Sat am

Find it here.

Mercado de Chamartin

Find fish and gourmet products here. It’s not a romantic venue, but it is vast. It has a supermarket feel.

Possibly one for the locals looking for dinner ingredients.

Open Mon-Sat am.

Find it here.

Mercado de las Maravillas

200 stalls where locals stock up on regional specialities. There are lots of cafes too.

This place has a buzz about it, especially after work.

Open Mon-Fri and Sat am.

Find it here.

Mercado de la Cebada

This food market has it’s origins back in the 16th century, but today it’s external image is of a modern piece of street art.

It’s popular and huge. But it’s the outside that you go to see.

Open Mon-Fri and Sat am.

Find it here.

Feria del Libro

Old, new and secondhand books are sold at this market.

second hand book market

Obviously all the books were in French, but for us it was such a charming way to spend a bit of time watching the locals ponder their way through the picturesque stalls.

old book market

It’s especially charming when a new owner finds an old book that may transport them to new worlds or teach them a few new tricks.

old man at a book market

Cyclists hop off their bikes, just to take in the romanticism that only old books can portray.

Madrid book market

Madrid old book market

second hand book stall

These men were crowding round one store holder. We assumed only a first edition could get this amount of attention!

men buying old books

You’ll find it on the OUTSIDE edge of the Real Jardin Botanico (it’s shown incorrectly on google maps).

It’s open daily in the morning.

Expect some cute scenes.

a couple looking at old books

Mercado de Sallos

This is a small market under the arches of the famous Plaza Major where you’ll find only stamp and coin collectors.

This makes for an enjoyable Sunday morning attraction.

Open 9am-2pm Sundays

Find it here.

El Rastro

This famous working class neighbourhood flea market has been going for over 100 years. The name ‘rastro’ mean trail, which comes from the mess the animal innards used to make when it was a sight of a large abattoir. Ewww.

Put that out of your head tho’ cause this a now a vibrant and extremely busy market selling pretty nice stuff.

Busy flea market

There are plenty of cafes and bars down these streets.

The problem with it is, it’s the most famous flea market in Spain and is therefore very busy, it takes the abilities of a ferret to get around the stream of people passing through. Being on the lower side of short I only got to see the stalls through the limbs of the crowds.

Go with determination.

busy market street Madrid

Open Sundays 8.30-3pm

Find El Rastro here.

Ferias de Artesania

These are the Christmas fairs that spring up all over the city a week before the big day.

Check out the ones in Plaza Major and Plaza de las Comendadoras, they boast to be the most beautiful in Spain.

 

Do you have any more markets in Madrid you want to share with us? Leave a comment, as usual we’d love to hear from you!

More great Madrid guides:

Palacio Real, Madrid

Must see parks and gardens in Madrid

The best plazas, Central Madrid

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5 Comments - Write a Comment

    1. Me too, markets are one of the best ways to mingle with the locals! We need to improve our ferret skills, there was some lovely stalls I couldn’t get ANYWHERE near! x

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