Everybody loves a good market—there’s something universally charming about the gritty hustle-and-bustle and perpetual exchange of one person’s garbage for another’s kinky treasure. The Mercat del Encants is such a trove of bric-a-brac riches, functioning as Barcelona’s largest and best-known flea market, serving-up an eclectic mix of rubbish—from adult videos and old cosmetics, to junk jewelry and funky shades, as well as authentic vintage steals. Saturdays are heated affairs abuzz with crowded stalls swarming with all manner of eager junk-seekers.
If you’re an early-riser, sniff out some sweet deals on specialty antiques by visiting the morning auction, where commercial buyers converge at 7:00. If you’re a savvy-shopper, come to the high-noon auction, when all of the morning’s unsold goods are offered at ridiculously reduced prices. The market tends to wrap-up in the afternoon, as merchants begin disassembling their stalls before taking a late lunch. Note that the market significantly diminishes in size during the month of August, as many of the business owners are on summer holiday during this time.