Sunday, 6 October 2013

Mercado de Motores: Vintage shopping in Madrid

railway museum in southern Madrid may not seem the most obvious place to pick up a vintage clothing bargain. Unless you're visiting on the second weekend of the month, that is.

Not your average vintage shopping experience

Once a month, the Museo del Ferrocarril becomes one of the city's hippest, most atmospheric places to be. The Mercado de Motores trundles into town and takes over the space, filling it with indoor and outdoor stalls selling vintage clothing, accessories, furniture and assorted odds and ends, with jewellery and clothing by independent Spanish designers thrown into the mix. The relatively low prices and variety of goods available should prove enough of a draw for most keen second-hand shoppers, but the quirky location, live bands, food stalls and friendly atmosphere make the Mercado de Motores a fun day out for the whole family.

Turning a loss into a gain

Visiting in September, my friend and I picked up a wool Burberry coat, a vintage dress and two jackets (one leather, one sequinned) between us. And we had change from €70. In the UK, 'vintage' can be a synonym for 'overpriced old tat'; thankfully in Spain the concept of second-shopping is yet to go mainstream. The range of vintage and used goods on offer meant there was plenty to peruse for a few hours, and most sellers were happy to haggle. Vintage stalls are located outside, at the side of the museum, while independent designers have their puestos in the museum itself. Not being much of a trainspotter, the Museo del Ferrocarril isn't somewhere I'd have visited otherwise, but the Mercado de Motores really brings it to life. Shoppers can clamber on and off the old steam trains, and on-board cafes serve refreshments to thirsty patrons. If you're looking for lunch, outdoor stands sell food from around the world: barbecued burgers, Lebanese lamb rolls and Spanish fare. There's a mini train for children (although the parents seemed to be enjoying it just as much as their offspring), and DJs and live bands throughout the day. The market's understandably popular with hipsters, but the atmosphere is completely unpretentious: we found it relaxed and friendly, with all ages enjoying the experience.

Forget the pushing and shoving of the Rastro: the Mercado de Motores is where it's at.

Where: Museo del Ferrocarril, Paseo de Delicias (Metro Delicias, line 3)
When: The second Saturday and Sunday of every month from 11am. Go early as it soon gets crowded, especially in good weather.
Free entry.
To find out more, go to the Mercado de Motores Facebook page.
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