Browsing for treasures at El Rastro (©Madrid Tourist Board)
South of Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s famous flea market, El Rastro, takes place every Sunday morning. Stalls wind all the way up Calle Ribera de Curtidores and sell everything from tacky clothes and souvenirs to leather goods, underwear, arts and crafts and kites. The street name means Tanner’s Alley and recalls the pungent trades that took place down here, out of sight (and smell) of the smart neighbourhoods at the top of the hill. The surrounding shops are mainly devoted to antiques and bric-a-brac, although you’ll still find plenty of leather goods. The atmosphere on a Sunday is wonderful; after the stallholders have packed up, everyone heads to the surrounding bars for tapas and a well-earned cold beer. Watch out for your bags.