The Mercat dels Elcants is one of the oldest markets in Europe, but by no means does that mean that it’s old-hat, although you may be able to find a few! Known as also as the Encantes Viejos, its actual name is Fira de Bellcaire.
The market started in 1358, as a union of the city’s markets, and it has survived through the ages. At the vintage market you can find everything - clothes, jewellery, shoes, books, furniture, and it’s free to enter. But be warned, you’ve got get here early to get the pick of the crop, because such is the nature of vintage fairs that when it’s gone, there isn’t any others ‘in the back’. The market has 80 shops, 150 stalls, a restaurant area and two bars - what else could you ask for? On Monday, Wednesday and Friday there are two auctions, one from 7am - 9am, then another one at 12. But again, although the market does stay open after 12 am, most stall owners start to shut up shop around then - so it really is the early bird which catches the worm here at the Mercat dels Elcants.
The market was reopened after extensive renovation work in 2013, so its super modern and certainly doesn’t look ancient. Many local designers scour through its haul finding the hidden gems to use in their pieces, so if you think you’ve got a good sense of style, come to the Mercat dels Elcants and test it out! This place is mixing cutting edge architecture with ancient practises, but also it’s a great place to grab a bite. The order of the day: Street food, and there’s such variety from Catalan to East Asian, so something is bound to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters. It's also pretty unmissable due to its location, it’s located between the Avenida Merdiana, Calle Caspe and the Calle Castillejos. So it’s close to the Teatro Nacional de Barcelona, the Jardines del Bosquet Encanta and it’s just 15 minutes’ away from both Citadel Park and the Arco del Triunfo.
The market is also very well connected to public transport and it’s served by line 1 Glòries and Line 2 Encants y Monumental, with bus and tram networks also available.