Toot toot! Old trains mixed with vintage clothes and hot dogs.
Once a month, El Mercado de Motores (meaning the Engine Market) takes over an old train museum in downtown Madrid for a unique flea market experience. Independent collectors and designers set up vintage stands right alongside Madrid’s old trains, creating a mix of 20th century charm with cluttered treasure madness.
As you walk along the platform, amidst the stands you’ll find handmade leather shoes, vintage jewellery, funkily upholstered arm chairs, quirky lamp shades, and much more. The market started out as a community-led effort to popularize second-hand goods. Now it sells everything from current designer items, chic furniture, rare art and even retro pieces, plus it also offers tons of outstanding food, a happening outdoor space, and free live music.
One of the other highlights of the market is its outdoor ambience. On a sunny day, it’s such a nice place to eat outside with friends and family. Sample from all types of food stalls, some selling regional Spanish dishes such as paella and fabada (Asturian white bean stew), others selling sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs, and find a place to sit. Here’s when you should start to linger and enjoy the ambience, listening to live music as it spontaneously comes on.
My friends always get the hamburgers or hot dogs, as is tradition at an outdoor market. But I love the bocadillos de jamón serrano with a glass of red wine in a plastic cup. That’s my favorite outdoor treat.
After eating through fideau (a traditional noodle dish from Valencia) and finishing your beer or Asturian cider, feel free to move on to the cocktails. Don’t hold back.
And grab a gelato on your way out, or hop on a new bike!
Mercado de Motores gets packed to the brim, as it caters to whole families and hipsters alike. So I highly recommend going on off hours, such as 11am or right after lunch, around 4pm. Or just be prepared for a huge crowd.
Mercado de Motores:
Where: Paseo de las delicias, 61
When: one weekend (Sat & Sun) per month, check out their Facebook page