The Best Street Fair In Buenos Aires: San Telmo Market

Buenos Aires San Telmo market is the city’s most vibrant and eclectic street market. Every Sunday, the cobblestone streets of Calle Defensa in the San Telmo neighborhood come alive with musicians, artists, and vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to antiques and vintage clothing. This bustling street fair, known as the San Telmo Market, attracts both locals and tourists, looking for unique souvenirs, or one-of-a-kind treasures. If you just want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, the San Telmo Street Fair offers a truly authentic Buenos Aires experience that should not be missed. Join the crowds on a leisurely Sunday stroll through the charming streets of San Telmo and discover the magic of this iconic market. 

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Mercado De San Telmo And San Telmo Sunday Market: Know The Difference

The Mercado de San Telmo and the San Telmo Sunday Market are two distinct attractions located in the San Telmo neighborhood.

Mercado de San Telmo

Mercado de San Telmo is an indoor market. It is on Calle Defensa (Defensa Street) and Calle Carlos Calvo. Opened in 1897, it is a large building with high ceilings and an iron structure. It is open daily.

Mainly food products are sold there: meat, fish, and cheese among others. There are also eateries where you can try traditional Argentine foods like empanadas and milanesas. Some stalls sell souvenirs, antiques, and vintage items.

The San Telmo Sunday Market (Feria de San Telmo) is a Sunday street fair. It takes place every Sunday. The stalls occupy Calle Defensa from Plaza Dorrego and stretch to a block away from Plaza de Mayo.

You will find at the market stalls artisan products, such as leather goods, handmade jewelry, textiles, artwork, antiques, and collectibles. If you are looking for the best souvenirs from Argentina, a visit to the San Telmo fair is a must.

Alpargatas shoes in Buenos Aires

Tango dancers, musicians, and other street performers add to the vibrant atmosphere.

San Telmo Market: A Bit Of History

The street market began informally in the mid-1970s. Initially, it was a small gathering of antique dealers and collectors who would set up stalls around Plaza Dorrego on Sundays to sell their wares. 

Over the years, the market grew in size and popularity, extending along Defensa Street and attracting more vendors selling a variety of goods beyond antiques, including artisan crafts, food, and souvenirs.

Handicraft leather goods are the best souvenirs from Argentina

Year after year the market became a key cultural event, representing the bohemian and artistic spirit of San Telmo. It drew both locals and tourists, becoming one of the main Buenos Aires attractions.

What To Expect At San Telmo Market?

At San Telmo market in Buenos Aires, you’ll find a bit of everything you need to know about Argentina’s culture and history. San Telmo is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the city and its vibe will take you back in time.

One of the highlights of the market is the tango show that you can catch while strolling around the stalls. If you need a break, there are plenty of places to eat around. 

Why Visit San Telmo Market?

San Telmo Sunday Street Market is a must-visit in Buenos Aires if you are looking to experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city. The market is filled with unique handcrafted goods, antiques, and artwork from local artisans, making it the perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home. In addition to shopping, you will enjoy live music performances, street tango dancers, and delicious street food. 

Mate kits make one of the best souvenirs to bring back home from Argentina

Practical Tips For Visiting San Telmo

The market is held every Sunday from around 10 AM to 5 PM. The peak time is usually in the early afternoon. If you arrive early (around 10 AM) you will find just a few stalls as Argentines are not early risers.

To get there by public transport, use the subway (Subte). The nearest Subte station is Independencia (Line C and E). If you are staying in the city center, San Telmo is within walking distance from neighborhoods like Puerto Madero or the Microcentro.

Read also: Where To Stay In Buenos Aires: Insider District Tips

Bring cash in Argentine pesos. While some vendors accept credit cards, most only take cash.

Read also: Money In Argentina: Ultimate Guide To The Exchange Rates

Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking on cobblestone streets.

The market can get crowded, so be mindful of your personal belongings to avoid pickpockets. Keep your bags zipped and valuables secure. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when taking photos or getting caught up in performances.

Read more: Is Buenos Aires Safe For Tourists Visiting Argentina?

It’s common to negotiate prices, especially for antiques and handcrafted items. Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount.

Traditional souvenirs from Argentina

Examine items carefully before purchasing, especially antiques and vintage goods, to ensure they are in good condition.

Look for one-of-a-kind items and support local artisans by purchasing their handmade goods.

Take a break at one of the local cafes or restaurants. Some of the best historic bars and cafes in Buenos Aires can be found in San Telmo.

Take the time to enjoy the street performances, including tango dancers and musicians. They add to the vibrant atmosphere of the market.

Tango dancers at San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires

Don’t forget to take pictures, but always be respectful of performers and vendors and ask for permission first.

Must-Visit Spots And Things To Do In San Telmo Neighborhood

In the San Telmo neighborhood, you will find many of Buenos Aires’ off-the-beaten-track attractions.

Visit the nearby indoor San Telmo Market (Mercado de San Telmo) for more food options and a different shopping experience. 

Explore nearby attractions like the Buenos Aires Museo (Buenos Aires Museum) or try to find the Casa Mínima, the narrowest house in Buenos Aires.

Walk El Paseo de la Historieta (Comic Strip Walk) and try to spot Mafalda and all the other iconic characters from Argentine comic strips. Paseo de la Historieta starts in front of Capilla San Roqie. 

Hopefully, you won’t need to buy any medicine but do go to the Parmacia de la Estrella, the oldest pharmacy in Buenos Aires, and take a look at its period interior.

One block away from Pharmacia de la Estrella is La Librería de Ávila, the oldest bookstore in Buenos Aires. If you’re into antique books, old postcards, and photos, don’t miss it.

Avila bookstore Buenos Aires

To Wrap It Up: A visit to Buenos Aires San Telmo Market is a cultural experience. It blends shopping, tango music, history, and culinary delights. Whether you are looking for unique items, enjoying live performances, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, the market offers something for everyone.

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