Madrid: Places to Explore

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Rastro and Lavapiés

Bordering the old city wall (torn down in the mid-19th century) to the south, Rastro and Lavapiés were Madrid's industrial areas in the 17th and 18th centuries. The old slaughterhouses in the Rastro area (and all the other businesses related to that trade) are the origins of today's flea market, which spreads all over the neighborhood on Sunday. Lavapiés has the highest concentration of immigrants—mostly Chinese, Indian, and North African—in Madrid, and as a result the area has plenty of ethnic markets and inexpensive restaurants as well as bustling crowds, especially at the Plaza de Lavapiés. Purse snatching and petty crime are not uncommon in these two areas, so be alert.

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Rastro and Lavapiés at a Glance

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