The Vintage Neighborhood of Buenos Aires

Plaza Dorrego bar in San Telmo, Buenos Aires (photo: Aaron Buenos Aires)
The neighborhood of San Telmo in Buenos Aires, with its antique shops and houses of tango is a charm only. For those who enjoy a return to the past, San Telmo is sure fun. There you will find more than 500 antique shops and small museums with free admission.
According to, venture ¬ in the streets and squares of San Telmo with its old street lanterns and in your market in Plaza Dorrego is like taking a walk back along the time between a number of objects of 30 years as pocket watches, Matchbox cars, leather saddles, vintage clothes, old photographs, paintings, toys, jewelry, art deco, and everything you can imagine.

Located in one of the oldest areas of the city, it’s hard not to be enchanted with the charm of the houses from the 18th and 19th centuries that if transformed over the years into charming cafes, small hotels, restaurants, hostels, and antique shops.
This area of the city was one of the first to be populated. There is a colonial style houses and cobblestone streets. The neighborhood grew around the Church of San Pedro Telmo, (hence the name of the neighborhood). At first, the neighborhood was inhabited by aristocratic families of Buenos Aires, until the 1871 yellow fever epidemic forced the families to move to the North of the city.
The market: El San Telmo Market is another point that deserves a gastronomic tour. Opened on 14 February 1897, the market stalls of butcher, fish, vegetables, florist, bakery and shoe store. Soon, the market became one of the favorite places for the residents of San Telmo. In the year 2001 was declared a national historic landmark.
Pasaje de la Defensa: was the residence of a typical Argentine family. Built in 1880, is one of the best examples of the typical houses of San Telmo. Has inner courtyard around which the rooms were distributed. The great height of the ceiling and the style of your facade are marked by Italian influences. However, with the crisis of 30, the building did not escape to the needs of the moment and has made € a tenement where 32 families lived. It was refurbished and since 1981 houses a shopping centre, with antique shops, art galleries and small shops.
Tango: Tango is the ultimate expression of the “porteño” temperament, beautifully set to music and that your dance is full of charm and sensuality no doubt. But only in San Telmo, you can follow in the footsteps of the real Argentine tango, dance in the square by the old guard of the tango.
The tango and the Bohemian life are part of the neighborhood. The coolest San Telmo district, the neighborhood retains the essence of the old Buenos Aires where you can still find a bar where you can listen to tango and drinking with the locals from the neighborhood. San Telmo has a Bohemian atmosphere and is the place chosen by artists. There is still running some of the oldest and traditional cafés in town: the historical café El Federal de 1864.
And the home of the city’s most traditional Tango: El Viejo Almacén offering dinner and show in a very nice and cosy environment.
Fair: the antiques fair that happens every Sunday since 1970 without missing a Sunday even, is the most amazing attraction of the neighborhood. At the fair, you find relics dating from all ages: madripérolas Combs, jewelry, Crystal, porcelain and gold and silver cutlery. In addition to a plethora of lovely quinquiliarias.
Aiás, sweet is the right word to define San Telmo, every bit of the square, takes you on an unforgettable ride through a universe filled with nostalgia and enchantment. For those who enjoy a walk into the past and is intending to include Buenos Aires vacation route, San Telmo is without doubt one of the best options.
Address: Plaza Dorrego, Defensa and Humberto I Street, San Telmo.
Bus: lines 22, 24, 28A, 28B, 29, 33, 54, 61, 62, 74, 86, 93, 126, 130, 143, 152 and 159.
You can reach walking from the Plaza de Mayo, 10 blocks.
Fair schedule: Sundays from 10 to 17 hrs.