Our Discoveries in Spain

Over the past three years, my husband Mark and I have taken several trips abroad. One thing we love doing on our travels is visiting markets—they are the perfect places to mingle with the locals and bring home a handmade or pre-loved gift that serves as a reminder of the experience. 

This summer, I may or may not be experiencing a bit of nostalgia for our time in Spain...so I just wanted to share some of the gems we explored on our trips to Madrid and Barcelona.

El Rastro, Madrid 

This famous flea market in the La Latina neighborhood is always packed with madrileños and locals looking for a deal. With over 1000 vendors, you’ll find all sorts of items, from artisanal pieces, clothes, and accessories to books, vintage newspapers and antiques. It’s a tradition to end your visit with a stop for an aperitif and tapas at a bar or bistro—personally, we loved Bar Santurce (Plaza del Gral. Vara de Rey, 14). It doesn’t look like much, but the sardines were delicious and the view for people watching even better. 

Calle de la Ribera de Curtidores, open 9AM-8PM weekdays and 9AM-3PM weekends

La Boqueria, Barcelona 

Between Gaudi’s architecture and the variety of food, flower, art, and flea markets, Barcelona is one of the most colorful cities we’ve visited in Europe. In Barcelona, we alternated between beach days and exploring some of Barcelona’s neighborhoods, including the medieval Gothic quarter, not too far away from the famous La Boqueria market. It dates back to 1217, and as soon as you walk through its iron gates from the Ramblas, you’re struck by fruit stands stocked with vibrant pink dragon fruit and pomegranate, bright green kiwi, and spotted prickly pears. You’ll also find fish, meat, vegetables, and little bistros where you can take a break from all the shopping. 

La Rambla, 91, open Monday-Saturday 8AM-8:30PM 

What are some of the best markets you’ve visited on your travels? tag us @shopnilu on Instagram and tell us your travel stories! 

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