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Shopping in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

San Telmo, Buenos Aires
Colorful markets, shops, & cafes abound
in the San Telmo barrio in Buenos Aires.

Of the neighborhoods, or barrios, of Buenos Aires, San Telmo contains the most old-world charm.

An afternoon stroll through the heart of San Telmo will reveal cobblestone streets, rich with history, museums, antique stores, quirky boutiques and charming bars and cafes.

When San Telmo first developed as a residential area in the 17th century, it was home to industrial workers and immigrants. The area became more prosperous in the mid-1800s until a cholera epidemic hit in 1871, taking more than 10,000 lives. The affluent porteños, or cityfolk, migrated upwards to the barrios of Recoleta and Palermo, and San Telmo fell into ruin.

In the first part of the 20th century, artists began flocking to the area, drawn by cheap rent and a bohemian atmosphere, which it retains to this day.

To arrive in San Telmo using Buenos Aires public transportation, use the Subte line C and get off at Independencia. Walk eastward on Avenida Independencia and take a right on Calle Defensa, one of San Telmo's main drags. Check out El Mercadillo (Defensa 854), which sells affordable, quirky clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, sunglasses and other objects from independent Argentine designers.

Adom Club (Defensa 856), across the street, also sells clothing and accessories from local designers, but with a more urban, street vibe. The warehouse-type space also contains a café for relaxing and listening to music.

Switch gears from the latest fashions to dusty antiques at the indoor antiques market further down Defensa. Browse through old postcards or pick up an old telephone or typewriter, then head further down to check out the food stalls and the rustic men who run them.

For handcrafted jewelry, leather goods and souvenirs, along with odd street tango performances, nothing beats the quaint daily market in Plaza Dorrego, the heart of San Telmo. Grab a cerveza and a snack in the atmospheric Bar Plaza Dorrego (Defensa 1098) and relish in the old-world spirit of Buenos Aires.

More about San Telmo, Buenos Aires shopping around the Web:

San Telmo Market, Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires/San Telmo - Wikitravel

About the Author... Jessica Arriola Marati


also see -> Watching Tango in Buenos Aires

Argentina Wineries & Vineyards

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