By Kristen Schlotman

It’s Sunday morning in Madrid. I’m still exhausted from the long night of dancing just hours before. The only thing I can think about is my need for a little more sleep. Until I remember something; a very special event is happening only a few minutes from my La Latina apartment. So I pull myself out of bed, quickly get ready, and walk on over to the Rastro.

The Rastro is a world-famous flea market smack in the center of Madrid. On Sundays and festival days from 9 am to 3 pm, the streets of La Latina are packed with shoppers and vendors selling all types of products. You can find nearly anything from paintings to clothing accessories and antique books to furniture. Go early to haggle as the best deals are before 10 am and remember to keep an eye out for pickpockets.

With 3500 different stalls, the Rastro is no easy feat. So after trudging through its streets, make sure to stop by one of the many cervecerias near the market. Try a tosta or bocadillo, but don’t expect to relax too much. Most of the bars and cafes will be crowded with people and a table will most likely be out of the question. If your hunger is still not satisfied or you are craving a drink, wander over to Cava Baja. This street is lined with tapas bars and people overflowing from them. A Sunday in La Latina is one of the best parts of Madrid and shouldn’t be missed.