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The Amazing and Cheap Insanity of the Barcelona Flea Market

As a kid, growing up in Italy, I used to often read the Babysitter’s Club series, along with similar kids’ books about everything American, such as tree houses and baseball and shopping malls. I remember being particularly stuck on the concept of garage sales. My mind was boggled by the notion of why in the heck and a hand basket it would be called a garage sale, if it was actually in someone’s yard (it would be about 10 years before anyone made me aware of the existence of yard sales). In particular, however, the idea of being able to go and find your own personal treasure for only a pocketful of change amidst someone’s old possessions was oddly fascinating to me. “If only we had something like that in Europe” I remember wishing “…and carpeted floors, too.” (I was a weird kid).  It turns out that, yet again, I was ill-informed.  Why? You might ask…

Because! In Europe, they have the most badass, cheapest, and weirdest flea markets ever!

If you’ve ever traveled this side of the ocean, you’ve probably seen them. Markets set up in the middle of the city, displaying old photographs, doorknobs, skeleton keys, dolls, books, electronics, terrible clothes, modern appliances, and underwear.

Here, in Barcelona, the flea market is at the Gloriés Metro stop, at Mercat dels Encants (translated as the Market of Charms; trust me, you cannot get any fucking cuter than this).

encants-flea-market-mirror roof

Mercat dels Encants (translated as the Market of Charms) Barcelona Spain

 

Best described as chaos under a neat-o mirrored roof, I often go there to buy new socks or old cameras. This article is, however, not about my adventure to buy new socks. I am here to give you a taste of the ridiculous and cheap things you can find at Encants for peanuts (although the exact amount is unknown to me – I love you, dear readers, but not enough to haggle for you.)

flea-market-at-encants-barcelona

Mercat dels Encants (translated as the Market of Charms) Barcelona Spain

 

 

 

Here, you can find a variety of amazeballs items, such as:

The tiger skin rugs you’ve always wanted but have never been able to go to India to obtain yourself because Peta is on your ass and you’re blacklisted from Air India for drinking too many virgin Bloody Marys and pretending you were drunk just to make the plane ride go faster.

These tiger skin rugs you’ve always wanted but have never been able to go to India to obtain yourself because PETA is on your ass and you’re blacklisted from Air India for drinking too many virgin Bloody Marys and pretending you were drunk just to make the plane ride go faster.

Action figures from Aladdin, the failed Orgy & Drug Birthday Bash edition, complete with not-Bratz dolls, a horse, and a lizard monster for the best party ever.

These action figures from Aladdin, the failed Orgy & Drug Birthday Bash edition, complete with hypersexualized dolls, a horse, and a lizard monster, for the best party ever.

Everything including the kitchen sink, a wholly unnecessary amount of tape, a terrifying sketch that comes out at night to tape you to the wall (with above mentioned tape, obvs) and to take embarrassing pictures of you, and a questionably racist doll.

Everything including the kitchen sink, a wholly unnecessary amount of tape, a terrifying sketch that comes out at night to immobilize you (with above mentioned tape, obvs), and a questionably racist doll.

This babe.

This babe.

A reminder of a time when pimps carried parasols, not canes, or when fancy ladies were actually Madams.

A reminder of a time when pimps carried parasols, not canes, or when fancy ladies were actually brothel Madams.

Piles of clothes that bats probably live in and dress up like little winged people at night, like in some sort of Fraggle Rock or perhaps the actual entrance to Fraggle Rock OMG YOU GUYS.

These piles of clothes that bats probably live in and dress up like little winged people at night, like in some sort of Fraggle Rock, or perhaps the actual entrance to Fraggle Rock OMG YOU GUYS.

This amazing sweatshirt that I may or may not have bought and I am probably not wearing as I type this.

This amazing sweatshirt that I may or may not have bought for 1 Euro and I am probably not wearing as I type this.

This pile of stuffed animals that hopefully squeaks annoyingly when you jump in it, a piece of information that I am unfortunately not privy to because I resisted the temptation to push this unsuspecting, random lady into it as I walked by.

This pile of stuffed animals that hopefully squeaks annoyingly when you jump in it, a piece of information that I am unfortunately not able to verify because I resisted the temptation to push this unsuspecting, random lady into it as I walked by.

This magnificent creature of the sea with bedroom eyes.

This magnificent creature of the sea with bedroom eyes.

This inspiration for your ideal living room, complete with exercise bike, a bar with no booze but an infinite amount of fancy glasses, a beautiful picture of dead-eyed children, and a mirror that said children can climb out of at night, and eat your face off.

This inspiration for your ideal living room, complete with exercise bike, a bar with no booze but an infinite amount of fancy glasses, a beautiful picture of dead-eyed children, and a mirror that said children can climb out of at night, and eat your face off.

A spoon that you can carry around while you annoyingly announce that your spoon is too big, thereby launching you as the new king or queen of (possibly copyright infringing) prop comedy. Also, a scary knife and a sparkly rainbow box, in case you live in the Tenderloin in SF.

This enormous spoon that you can carry around while you annoyingly announce that your spoon is too big, thereby launching you as the new king or queen of (possibly copyright infringing) prop comedy. Also, a scary knife and a sparkly rainbow box, in case you live in the Tenderloin in SF.

A pile of “Chachorros,” meaning puppies, but which I have decided are actually groundhogs, translating into Bill Murray’s worst nightmare.

These boxes of “Chachorros,” meaning puppies, but which I have decided are actually groundhogs, translating into Bill Murray’s worst nightmare.

This infinite amount of state-of-the-art, modern wooden duck toys that kids today totally still use all the time.

This infinite amount of state-of-the-art, modern wooden duck toys that kids today totally still use all the time.

This grandfather clock and a very regal headboard, perhaps the remnants of the Czar’s bedroom, which can now be yours for mere pennies.

This grandfather clock and this very regal headboard, perhaps the remnants of the Czar’s bedroom, which can now be yours for mere pennies.

This assortment of stuff the most important of which is obviously this completely non-terrifying doll.

This assortment of stuff, the most important of which is obviously this completely non-terrifying doll.

This brand new pair of roller skates, aggravatingly sold without the brand new key.

This (almost) brand new pair of roller skates, aggravatingly sold without the brand new key.

John Silver, depicted as a sad little gentleman with a powdered face, gender-bendingly long lashes and a scar on his face that can only mean business. Also included, a tiny turntable and the Spanish box set edition of Lost.

John Silver, depicted as a sad little gentleman with a powdered face, gender-bendingly long lashes and a scar on his face that can only mean business. Also included, a tiny turntable and the Spanish box set edition of Lost.

Whether you’re simply traveling through or actually living in Barcelona, this is a great and cheap/FREE way to pass a day and acquire some stuff! Plus, if you do end up spending a couple bucks on a great souvenir or a unique decorative piece, you’re not only paying for the item, but also for the evil spirit that haunts the creepy child picture, the terrifying doll, or the box set of Lost. So really, it’s a bargain.

evening-encants-barcelona-flea-market

The Market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 9am to 8pm.

Más Información:

http://www.encantsbcn.com/#&panel1-2
http://encantsbarcelona.somdemercat.cat/en/blog/2013/09/25/un-gran-dia-pels-nous-encants/

 

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Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae Bathgate - Down and Out and Overseas

Rae, known also (depending on the country) as Rachelle/Raquel/ Rachele (and often sadly mistaken as Richard, because biblical names are hard you guys) is an aspiring writer and now sort of a dick for having actually defined herself as such. She was born and lived over the first half of her life in Italy; she then moved to the States and lived a good ten years there (including in SF). Currently back in Europe, she is neither a hapless American tourist nor a snobby European jerkyjerk; luckily for you, she is some weird ungodly combination of both. Also, she’s broke and is probably stealing bread crumbs from pigeons.