Els Encants Vells is officially called the Mercat Fira de Bellcaire. Since 2014, the Encants Vells has been located in Bosquet dels Encants Vells, south of Plaça de les Glòries, between Carrer Castillejos and Avinguda Meridiana, in the Fort Pienc (Eixample) area.
Els Encants Vells is more than an old and itinerant market. Despite its seeming convention, it focuses its centuries-old activity on current demand, offering an alternative to existing distribution and trade models. About 500 professionals and traders covering an area of 15,000 m² make this possible.
The Bellcaire fair is one of the oldest markets on the European continent, and some references date back to its origins in the 14th century. It used to be located north of Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, between Carrer d’Independència, Carrer Cartagena, Consell de Cent and Carrer Gran Via, in the Sagrada Família (Eixample) and El Clot (Sant Martí) area.
In the early 19th century, during the French occupation of Barcelona, it was a Sunday market for junk and old clothes at the top of Les Rambles boulevard, above Palau Moja. In 1928, it was located north of Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, between Carrer d’Independència, Cartagena, Consell de Cent and Gran Via.
The fair is commonly known as Encants Vells, to be distinguished from Encants Nous, a commercial gallery opened in 1931 by a group of merchants with the Mercat Fira de Bellcaire and located nearby at the intersection of Valencia Street and Dos de Mayo.
The market is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am to 8 pm. A public auction (unique among many flea markets in Europe) of goods is held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 19:00 to 21:00.
Nearest metro station: Glòries.
According to the Department of Statistics of Catalonia, about 100,000 people visit the market every week.