Barcelona, Europe, Spain

The Biggest Flea Market In Barcelona Has Special Treasures.

October 5, 2011
Encants Vells Market

“Special Treasures” Await You At The Encants Vells Market

As it was my first time in Barcelona, I really wanted to take in some of Gaudi architecture so naturally, the first place I wanted to visit was the Sagrada Familia.

When I left my hostel that morning, I decided that I’d walk there. It was a hot, sunny day and I wanted to enjoy every moment of the beautiful weather that had avoided visiting Berlin this past summer. Not in any hurry, I slowly made my way towards the cathedral, taking pictures and stopping to look at anything that appeared interesting like a couple of hole-in-the-wall art galleries.

A short while into my walk, I stumbled upon the Encants Vells market completely by accident. I thought, why not take a look? I’m glad I did as it turned out to be a rather fun and unique experience.

Encants Vells Market
The greatest thing about this flea market is the bizarre assortment of things being sold. As I entered the market, I came across toilets, bras and even underwear for sale.

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market
Turns out that the Encants Vells market is the largest flea market in Barcelona and is one of the oldest markets in all of Europe – actually dating back to the 14th century. The market currently spans 15,000 square meters and receives 100,000 visitors weekly.

As you can guess by now, the market is mostly full of junk. In addition to bras, underwear and old toilets, you can pick up creepy looking dolls, glass figurines, shoes, old books … and pretty much anything really. If you’re patient and willing to sort through the piles of stuff, you’re sure to find some “special treasures”.

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market
You’ll see other tourists at the flea market but you’ll also see lots of locals too. It’s fun to spend an hour or so here, looking at the junk and watching people attempting to bargain with vendors.

Encants Vells Market

Encants Vells Market
Due to the popularity of the market, petty criminals like to hang out there so they can pick the pockets of tourists. Keep this in mind and don’t let your guard down for even one second. The thieves in Barcelona are professional! I should know as my wallet was stolen from my purse without me even realizing what had happened. Several people from my hostel were robbed as well. So be careful whether you’re at the market or anywhere out and about in the city.

The flea market is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

Getting There. Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 8, Barcelona.


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10 Comments

  • Reply Don Faust October 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Wow – we stayed only two blocks from Sagrada Familia – I wish I have known about this flea market! We went to the food market on La Ramblas though – that was pretty cool. I love Barcelona.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

      I loved the food market on La Ramblas. I have a food intense blog post coming up on that actually. 🙂

      I also love Barcelona but not the getting robbed part.

  • Reply Tania @ Passport2Design October 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I love visiting markets, no matter how much junk is for sale, I always find something to take home as a keepsake 🙂 Thanks for sharing this – the photos look great, can’t wait to sift through the junk for treasures of my own (if I ever get to Barcelona!).

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I do hope you make it to Barcelona! The market was a fun experience. Maybe I should have picked up one of those creepy babies? Ha ha.

  • Reply Mark – ramblecrunch October 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Looks like fun! My family is on a year-long journey through Europe and Turkey. Our path takes us to Barcelona in February. I will make a point of seeking out this giant flea market. I can’t wait.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      It was a fun time. And certainly glad my post could provide you with inspiration as what to do in Barcelona! Best of luck on your year-long trip as a family. 🙂

  • Reply Andrea October 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Hmmmm – who buys this stuff? As long as it’s new I don’t find the underwear so weird, but the dolls and stuff must certainly be there for artists…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 8, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      I guess!? I know I wouldn’t buy those dolls. I liked all the books though!

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica October 10, 2011 at 4:00 am

    I love random travel moments like this.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Me too! I had no idea it was such a big market until I returned home and did the research. Was fun!

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