Our home is located in San Telmo, so you can simply walk out the door and start experiencing some of San Telmo. Pop-up art galleries, late-night bars and street murals lend old San Telmo a bohemian vibe. Lined with antiques dealers and raucous steakhouses, Defensa street (which begins 3 blocks from our home) cuts through Plaza Dorrego, where a flea market and street performers attract tourists every Sunday. In Parque Lezama, paths wind around tall jacaranda trees and the Italianate Museo Histórico Nacional. Upscale tango dinner-show venues dot the neighborhood.
For us, this neighborhood had some kind of wonderful, strange gravitational pull that we couldn't escape. Our hotel was on the northern edge of the neighborhood, and the first day we were in Argentina we went out to explore it. We found a barrio full of antique shops, cafes, tango bars, parrillas, dogshit, and magic. Every day after that, we had big plans – check out Recoleta, Palermo, the Boca, Colonia – and we did some of that. But every single day, we wound up hanging out in San Telmo much longer than we'd planned, it's relaxed charm making us reluctant to leave, and eager to come back. Some of our favorite places: San Juan Cafe (one of the best meals I've ever had), and the Coffee Town Cafe in the antiques market (the best coffee in Buenos Aires).
Ok, I'm biased because this is the area of Buenos Aires I've chosen to live in, but here's why. I love the authenticity of San Telmo. It's gritty and a bit beat up, but it's also lively, funky and welcoming. The massive street fair on Sundays brings in hordes of people. On the other days of the week, San Telmo changes greatly depending on what time of day you're here. There are lots of new cafes, restaurants, boutiques and the like, but it's still not the trendiest neighborhood around so there's less snobbery. I love the architecture, the graffiti, the indoor market, the street vendors at Plaza Dorrego, the outdoor milonga on Sundays, and the fact that I hear way more Spanish than English everywhere I go.
San Telmo is a must on Sunday for its famous street fair. Go around noon and plan to spend the day. Bus #29 which you pick up on Corrientes in front of the Carrefour supermarket takes you there. It's also a 30 minute walk. I would get off at Plaza de Mayo and walk along Defensa street to get a full view of the fair. Favorite restaurants: Desnivel for budget and the quirky aand La Brigada for less concern for budget and a more traditional atmosphere. I also do Desnivel!
San Telmo is an old aristocratic area of the city. The wealthy deserted it in the XIXth century after an epidemic and took refuge onto the slightly higher ground of Recoleta where the apartment is. Over the past Decade or so, San Telmo has become increasingly fashionable so old houses are being restored, antique stores are being replaced with clothing stores, and several good restaurants have opened their doors. On Sunday, the main square hosts an antiques fair. It is a great area to stroll around. Take a taxi from the apartment, 15 mns.
Yeah, it's touristy, in the same way that one might levy the charge against Times Square or the Champs in Paris. But San Telmo has something that every other 'can't miss' tourist spot lacks - it's actually really, really, enjoyable. Street performers are oddly delightful, shops are kitchy and cool, random tourist tango (aka not the real stuff) are nonetheless a good time, and the market is just varied enough to be enticing. All in all, a really cool (if not guilty pleasure) type vibe.
In my opinion, San Telmo is the most beautiful district in Buenos Aires. It is filled with wonderful sites, old buildings, great graffiti murals, amazing shopping, cafes, restaurants, ice cream shops, souvenir shops. It is the home of the Ferria De San Telmo, which is an incredible display of local arts, antiques, and much more. You can catch tango dancers here, especially on weekends. The cobblestone streets and antique look of the area make it all a really delightful experience.
A fashion and very popular place to be, lots of antiques and flee markets , safe and lot of bars
Beautiful neighbourhood, great antique shops. Come here on a Sunday to experience the street market and numerous tango performances in the street.