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The Perfect La Latina Sunday in Madrid

The Perfect

In honor of my upcoming trip to Madrid (!!!!!) next week, today I’m going to be throwing it back to my happy-days in Spain!

In Spanish culture, Sunday is a day purely for relaxing, recuperating from the week before and catching up with family and friends- a tradition that doesn’t take very long to get used to.

Sleeping in and rising late on Sundays is typical for most Spaniards, particularly if their Saturday night carried over to morning.  In the early Sunday hours you will find most city streets deserted and many businesses outside of touristy areas will be closed as well.

So if an entire day of relaxing at home on the sofa wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, what should you do?

Unlike the rest of Madrid, there is one neighborhood that comes alive on Sunday. La Latina is where most Spaniards flock for a drawn-out day of shopping followed by copious amounts of eating and drinking. From a morning hunting for treasures through the streets of the Rastro to an evening indulging in drinks and tapas on Calle Cava Baja, the La Latina neighborhood is always packed with madrileños trying to make the most out of the end of their weekend.

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How to Spend the Perfect La Latina Sunday in Madrid

A Late Morning Breakfast

No better day than Sunday to wake up late and leisurely enjoy a creamy ‘café con leche.’ Many cafés will be filled with Spaniards, crowded around a tiny table, catching up on their weeks with family and friends, while nonchalantly enjoying their breakfast of ‘pan con tomate.’ Don’t expect the tables to clear quickly as no one is in a rush, the beauty of the Spanish Sunday.

Try one of my favorite cozy cafés in Madrid’s Malasaña:

  • Café de la Luz- Calle Puebla, 8
  • Bicicleta- Plaza de San Ildefonso, 9
  • Toma Café-Calle de la Palma, 49

cafe pan tomate

A Shopping Trip at the Rastro

Plaza de Cascorro

After a late breakfast, make your way over to Madrid’s famous weekly flea market, the Rastro. This market opens every Sunday in the colorful streets of La Latina around ‘Plaza de Cascorro.’ The best time to hit the Rastro is at about 1PM, which allows 2 hours for browsing before the stands begin to close. At this time the Rastro is usually a bit less crowded, as you miss the earlier morning rush.

At a first glance, you may see a lot of stands offering ‘Made in China’ junk that could be purchased at any tourist shop, but given a fair chance there are many hidden gems to be found.  Keep an eye out for my favorite stand at the Rastro- a small table accompanied by a man selling hand carved bracelets. His bronze, silver and gold colored bracelets are one of the few unique handmade items that you will find at the Rastro.

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You will also find several stands selling Indonesian tapestries, pillow cases and sofa covers, hand-painted in earth tones with swirling patterns of elephants, camels and paisleys.  I find that aside from decoration, the tapestries double as great beach or picnic blankets.


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Javier Martin Croquettas & Café

Calle Toledo, 74

After perusing the Rastro, continue on to Javier Martin’s for some of Spain’s infamous “croquettas.” Aside from offering the typical potato, cheese and ham croquette, there are 32 others to choose from. The croquette menu includes a little of everything from savory and salty to sweet and fruity. Two of my favorites are the ham and melon followed by the mix of dark and white chocolate.  Do it like a Spaniard and top it off with an ice-cold tinto de verano (red wine mixed with lemon soda) or a caña of draft beer.

croquettas 

Mercado de la Cebada

Plaza de la Cebada

Just up Calle Toledo you’ll find your next stop, Mercado de la Cebada. Outside of this market, in a fenced off area, you will find an alternative scene of makeshift bleacher benches and provocative vibrant graffiti. Every Sunday this area fills with Madrid’s hipsters, artists and musicians eating, drinking and relaxing while the local musicians take turns serenading the crowd.

**Drinking in public is not legal in Spain, but this area seems to be a sort of safe zone. Stop at an alementación or “chino store” along the way to stock up on some unbelievably cheap Mahou or Don Simon Sangria.

cebada

Tapas Crawling at Calle Cava Baja

As the day slowly creeps into night, head to Calle Cava Baja, right around the corner from Mercado de la Cebada. Here you can continue with a few more drinks with friends before calling it a night. Cava Baja is the most popular street in La Latina, which means most of the restaurants will be pretty crowded by this time. My advice, wait out the crowded restaurants, because in Spain if a restaurant is crowded, that’s the place to be. If you prefer something a bit more calm, head to surrounding streets such as Calle Cava Alta for a little more space and quiet. Some bars on this street will even give you a free small tapa with your drink order.

Some of my favorite Tapas Bars on or near Calle Cava Baja:

  • Casa Lucas- Cava Baja, 30
  • Taberna La Concha- Cava Baja 7
  • La ChataCava Baja, 24
  • Taberna Almendro 13Calle Almendro, 13

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How do you like to spend your Sundays? What activity above would you like to try? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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How to Spend the perfect weekend in Madrid's La Latina Neighborhood


Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!
Consider yourself a wanderer?! Well then, this Blog Hop is for you!
Meet your hosts: ME, Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World.
Here on Wanderful Wednesday we hope to promote an open and supportive community for like-minded bloggers- expats, travelers and all kinds of wanderers!
The linkup will take place every Wednesday at 8AM GMT.
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This week I’m highlighting 2 Weeks in Dubai by the Numbers by Anna of Slightly Astray. This was such a creative way for her to look back on her time in Dubai and was so fun to read! I’m also super proud of Anna for tackling her first ever real solo trip. YOU GO GIRL!! If you haven’t already, be sure to go check out post and spread the love! Thanks for linking up with us Anna! ?
Happy Hopping Friends!! 😀