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).
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.)
Here, you can find a variety of amazeballs items, such as:
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.
The Market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 9am to 8pm.