Sunday in Buenos Aires, the place to visit is the neighbourhood of San Telmo. Every Sunday thousands of people, Porteños and foreigners alike, browse the hundreds of market stalls, sit and chat over cafe con leche, hunt for that special antique piece, buy leatherwork, eat choripan (a loaded chorizo hot dog) and marvel at the street entertainers and (of course) the incredible tango performances.
Around 9am every Sunday, thousands of pieces of china, glassware and other curios are lovingly unwrapped and displayed on tables, blankets, and shelves, ready for the day to begin. The permanent indoor San Telmo market is known as the place to find antiques and collectibles in Buenos Aires, and the adjacent Calle Defensa is lined with many antique shops. However in San Telmo, Sunday serves as the nucleus for people to buy and sell glassware, silver cutlery, fur stoles, leather bags, tin signs, antique jewellery and all types (and decades) of clothing among other things.
Even if you are not interested in antiques, it is still worth your while to come and browse the different stalls inside the market. After a cafe cortado and a medialuna (literally a half-moon – croissant), head out to Calle Defensa and wander the artesian market vendors lined from Plaza De Mayo to the Plaza Dorrego.
San Telmo is the oldest barrio (neighbourhood) in Buenos Aires, dating back to the 17th century, when it was first home to dockworkers and brick-makers. Nestled amongst the restored colonial buildings, the industrial spaces, the new architecture and the older peeling and shuttered buildings there is also detailed and beautiful street art – each one lending a different personality to the area.
San Telmo is also home to many cafes and bars, so once you have shopped, snacked and wandered, you can rest up over (more) coffee and cake, or a glass of fine Argentinian wine and enjoy the summer evening. A perfect way to spend a Sunday.