The Encants Vells Market is Barcelona´s biggest and at the same time, oldest flea market. With over 15,000 square meters of space and literally hundreds of little stands this is the perfect place to get lost with your camera.
I heard lots of weird stories about this mythical market in Barcelona before actually deciding to go. I was very curious about it, and anxious to capture some nice shots. So my girlfriend who likes this place very much, took me for a visit. And I can guarantee you, it is not gonna be my last.
Els Encants Vells was originally known as Mercat de Fira de Bellcaire which literally means the old charms fair. It is the oldest market in Barcelona and one of the oldest in Europe. Dating back to the 14th century, this market has been an example of the commercial dynamism of the city. Today it has 15,000m2 and more than 100,000 visitors a week. So this is one big historic market to explore.
This place is a treasure of ‘new’ old items. Here you can find almost everything and anything. Antiques, clothes, books, electronics, old cameras, jewelry, underwear (not recommended), tools, furniture, cosmetics, you name it. There is a lot of rubbish though, but if you take your time, you might come across some gem. Trust me, there are a lot of deals to be made here; and yes, bargaining is accepted. But the best of all, have to be those special images waiting there to be captured by our curious eye.
If you get tired of searching, you can sit in the cafeteria and enjoy the bizarre spectacle while having a coffee or eating a snack. This market is without a doubt a clash of cultures. You see people from all over interacting and not all of them like curious photographers.
The Encants Market is easily accessible by metro, bus, tram or by feet if you feel like walking half an hour forty five minutes from the center of the city. It is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7.00 till 15.00. But if you are looking for the real bargain I suggest you to arrive early. Also some stalls close in august, so for the whole show it’s better to go any other time of the year. Another important point is to watch out for the pickpockets cause they are always around.
If you come to Barcelona and look for an option to the commercial stores, want to buy a special present or simply search for an exciting place to capture some nice images away from the tourists, this is it. Go to the Encants Vells market and enjoy time and atmosphere far beyond Barcelona’s