What is a rastro?
A rastro is nothing more than a second-hand store. Rastro is the Spanish word for “track”. And there are user tracks on second-hand items. Reusing furniture and other items is very common here in Spain. If you want to get rid of your old furniture, you can simply put it on the street. It is often taken by someone within a few hours. In La Nucia also many people drive around in vans scouring all neighborhoods in search of discarded things that have been dumped on the street. They use these things themselves or they sell it on the second hand market.
Where can you find a rastro?
You can find these stores and markets everywhere. For example, there are some second-hand stores along the N332 in Altea. These are, for example, open almost every day, except on Sundays. If you are lucky, you can find beautiful second-hand furniture. Usually you are unlucky and you mainly find old-fashioned furniture that probably comes from houses of deceased (elderly) people. Benidorm also has a nice place with second-hand stuff, called El Cisne. This rastro is only open again during the weekend. There is a restaurant present. The people who sell goods there have rented a place there for a long time. Another nice rastro is Don Quijote in Alfaz del Pi. This rastro is close to my house and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Here too regular sellers who rent a spot for a longer period of time. Don Quijote also has a restaurant and playground for children. Live music is also regularly available. The sellers at Don Quijote are mostly Spanish, Dutch and British. Finally, every Sunday in La Nucia there is a rastro on the industrial estate. This is more like a (free) market. Few furniture is sold.
Is visiting a rastro fun?
It is certainly nice to visit a rastro, even if you don’t buy anything. I like to come here for paintings and other decorations on the wall. You have to be lucky for furniture. In my view, most are too old and dusty. But sometimes you are lucky if there is something modern and relatively little used. The sellers collect most of their merchandise from people at home who want to get rid of used furniture or if a house needs to be emptied after someone’s death. When I bought my house in Spain, I also got the furniture. The furniture was not to my taste. They went to a seller who has a thrift store. Futhermore, I got a few garden chairs from a thrift store. A quick cleaning and they looked like new again. In conclusion, the circular economy is doing well here.