Spanish Street Markets

Spanish-street-marketsThere are a great number of street markets throughout Spain and everyone is different and offers visitors a great way to see the local products and merchandise. Many markets combine flea markets, produce stands and boot sales where great bargains can often be had. The street markets are not meant to be tourist traps with inflated prices, this is where the locals go to buy such things as clothes, produce, personal and household products.

The location of the city may dictate the majority of wares sold at these fairs. For example, beach towns will have numerous swim suit stalls and beach apparel, whereas cities more inland may concentrate on antiquities, olive oil, wine and products that are locally produced. Markets in Andalucia, with its close proximity to Morocco have plenty of stalls selling authentic Arabic wares such as pottery, metalware and leather goods.

Most Spanish street markets are once a week and listings for times and locations of the markets can be found in the local papers or at the tourist office. Apart from the usual weekly markets, there are ones specially targeted for the holidays. Around Christmas time, special holiday markets will begin to pop up everywhere. They are filled with special holiday items such as nativity scenes, books, pastries and traditional gifts given at this time of year, especially for the Three Kings Day on January 5th (the traditional gift-giving day in Spain). Oftentimes, music and food booths will also be put up, making it a fun day of shopping.

Though many things are inexpensive and are a good value for the price, it is important to keep an eye out for poorly made items that will only last you one use or wear. Test the electronic items before purchasing them and examine clothes and shoes for flaws. In the larger cities there are also pick pockets just waiting to prey on oblivious shoppers. So, keep a firm hold on your purse and wallet and watch for pick-pockets.

The markets are vivacious and usually packed with excited shoppers, which makes the street markets fun to attend – great people watching and bargaining…… but they are not for the timid. You may have to push your way through the crowd to get a good look at the items and be aggressive to get the attention of the vendor to pay for your merchandise. Don´t forget – you can bargain, vendors are expecting this, so go for it!

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