Mercado de Motores: It is an old train station that gets transformed into a vibrant market every second weekend of the month, giving you
the opportunity to wander from wagon to wagon
replete with original designer products
By Maja Jakić
Photos: Dante Biazzi
One cannot escape from all the maravillas Madrid has to offer.
Madrileños live on the streets, there is constant activity, a need for hanging out, spending time with friends and family, or just enjoying the art, music, food and good weather all by yourself.
One of the reasons I fell in love with Madrid is the mercado culture which makes the city so great. That culture has become a crucial part of my monthly breakaways.
Mercado is a place where people meet up, get closer together and bond, all because they share and enjoy the same experience. It’s a lifestyle that most Madrileños have adopted and are now trying to pass around among the non-natives.
Altough I have been overwhelmed by the multitude of offer at the mercado, I’ve managed to pick my ultimate favourite: the Mercado de Motores.
Welcome to the awesome world at the old train station
You cannot call yourself a true connoisseur of Madrid’s lifestyle if you haven’t been introduced to this charming market that takes place at Museo Ferrocaril (Railway Museum) close to Paseo de Delicias.
It is an old train station that gets transformed into a vibrant market every second weekend of the month. Just the location itself is pretty authentic, giving you the opportunity to wander from wagon to wagon wagons and discover original designer products. Clothes, jewellery, accesories — you name it! An experience that isn’t likely to be found elsewhere with such ease.
The visitors are provided with a variety of offers indoors and outdoors. The indoor market is where there are numerous stands of local businesses hawking their own products, whether it be food and beverage or clothes and handcrafts.
The outdoor market resembles a hipster market where vintage lovers can jump aboard a time machine, so to speak, and enrich their collection with the unique pieces they might stumble upon. And you can also sample different cuisines from food trucks. All that, accompanied by great live music.
Inclusiveness through music
Mercado de Motores is a place where music is definitely one of the main reasons why people keep coming back.
The bands are the perfect ambassadors of this energetic market and they sure know how to keep the crowd moving with the beat.
What makes the experience so unique is that you have an opportunity to be a star yourself, come up on a stage and sing your heart out. Thanks to the talented guys from Kararocker who invite all of those who are bold enough, you are welcome to join and seize the moment. While enjoying the delicious food and drinks, you can study the list placed on the tables by the band, take your pick and enjoy the experience of live karaoke!
For those who have better shots at impressing the crowd with dance, there’s a great swing session brought by the amazing Qin & the Sapiens.
Rock ’n’ roll classics such as “Rock Around the Clock” or “Blue Suede Shoes” won’t let anyone standing still.
The marvelous mix of authenticity and tradition
All these put together — the food, the music and the merchandise — make this mercado pretty “wholesome” but it’s not the reason why it has become so popular. It’s the authenticity that comes with tradition that does.
People love having a routine, something assured and could be counted on and looked forward to. Mercado de Motores offers more than just a short-lived experience.
You revisit familiar faces, whether it is your friendly samosa guy giving you the finest Indian snack, the bartender with his special vino de casa or your favourite vendor, all of whom you already call by their names.
It’s about the same group of friends gathering together at the same time at the same place soaking in the cherished family atmosphere. And is there a better feeling than the one of belonging?
Finally, it’s necessary to reflect on the importance of this particular mercado for the local businesses. The significance lies in the recognition of the value of entrepreneurship and originality.
All the products are made by individuals and local manufacturers competing each day against multinational companies and brands. It’s individuality versus mass production, variety versus tiresome uniformity. The mercado gives everyone equal opportunity to express themselves and to succeed while doing what they’re passionate about!
Make sure you’re there for the next edition of the Mercado de Motores. The 10th and 11th of this month of March will be something special!