The ´Fira de Bellcaire´, more commonly known as Els Encants Vells, is an enormous flea market selling a huge variety of goods where if you are prepared to sift through the single shoes and other such oddities there are some fabulous bargains to be had.The market is one of the oldest in Europe with its origins being traced back to the 14th century and specialises in the following; old and used furniture, antiques, second-hand clothes, second-hand electrical goods, books and music and collectables.
The furniture section is particularly well regarded and many an unfurnished Barcelona rental apartment has been happily decked out with items from this market.There are over 500 stalls set into a 15.000m2 area so it is not ideal if in a hurry!Haggling is expected for pretty much anything, or you can attend the auctions held in the mornings for commercial buyers.The auctions start at 7am, but then are repeated at midday where any previously unsold goods can be picked up with a dramatic drop in price.
Although the market is open until 6pm many of the stalls close at 12pm so it is important to get there early; many also close throughout August.Saturdays are particularly busy so if you can make a midweek trip it is definitely worthwhile.As with all markets, where there is much to be seen and people are easily distracted, pickpockets are in operation, so make sure to keep a close eye on wallets.
Calle Dos de Maig, 186 Plaça de la Glòries
Opening times: 9am-6pm (auctions 7-9am), Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
Metro: Glories (L1)