It doesn’t have the beauty of Barcelona’s famous Boqueria, granted, but I don’t care. El Mercado de Maravillas is a cavernous marvel of a market that never fails to excite me with its colour and bustle. Whenever I travel, I like to seek out the best and biggest market to get a real scent and flavour of a place; I hit the jackpot with Maravillas in that sense. Although Madrid leaves visitors spoiled for choice for wonderful markets, Maravillas is the largest (over 200 stalls) and most emblematic.
It’s a thriving, multicultural Aladdin’s cave for foodies and anyone looking for great ingredients at amazing prices. If, like me, you prefer the lively buzz of a market to the sterile aisles of a supermarket, make a beeline for the Mercado de Maravillas!
It’s so big that I guarantee you will get lost amongst the many stalls. As well as all sorts of fresh fish and seafood, meat, dairy, olives, spices, seasonal fruit, veggies and herbs, you can buy Latin American produce here; Chinese vegetables; French cheeses and special teas – all under one roof.
There are lots of great places to eat inside as well. Try some authentic Peruvian or Venezuelan dishes, or just have a beer or coffee while you take a break from marketing to do some people watching.
And bonus; instead of tossing packets into a shopping trolley, you can practise a little Spanish too – see you there!