Top 5 Fairs in Buenos Aires

Shopping season is here with Christmas right around the corner and this year we propose looking for unique gifts at some of the city’s most well known weekend fairs where you can find antiques, handmade crafts, one of a kind designs, typical local tokens and more.

fair

Pedro Maia de Brito

San Telmo: Probably the most famous, the San Telmo fair is known mainly for its antiques, however it has also become a spot for artisans to sell some of their carefully crafted designs as well.  Defensa and Humberto 1, San Telmo

Other things to do in the area: stop by the MAMBA and check out some great contemporary art exhibits, and then pause for a chocotorta at the Pride Café.

fair-2
Lauro Maia

Parque Lezama: Also in San Telmo, this fair is located in Parque Lezama which is set in front of a stunning Russian Orthodox church and next to the National History Museum. Defensa and Brazil, San Telmo

fair-5

Ligia Berg

Plaza Francia: This fair which takes place in the stunning Plaza Francia in Recoleta just in front of the MNBA (the National Museum of Fine Arts) is a great place to buy leather, silver and knits, and is well known for the quality of the products and designs. Av. Libertador and Av. Alvear, Recoleta

Other things to do in the area: tour the Recoleta Cemetery and stop by traditional café La Biela for a break.

p-serrano

Mariano García-Gaspar

Plaza Serrano: The Palermo fair in Plaza Serrano is surrounded by stores that open up on weekends for new and upcoming designers to showcase and sell their stuff. Also, it is full of great spots to stop for a bite or drinks.  Honduras and Serrano, Palermo

Other things to do in the area: Walk a few blocks to the Botanical Garden and cool off in the shade after an afternoon of shopping, or stop for some wine and a good read at nearby wine & bookstore, Alamut.

espuelas

Monk fotografia

Feria de Mataderos: slightly further away from the city center, this Sunday fair is perfect for those looking for typical local products and gaucho style souvenirs. Lisandro de la Torre and Av. de los Corrales, Liniers

Other things to do in the area: the Bolivian market which offers andean food and complements opens on Sundays in front of the fair, and the Mercado de Liniers, which commercializes cattle, is right next to it.

 

Fierro Loves Hollywood: Dorrego Flea Market

(Photo by jikatu)

The Dorrego flea market in Palermo, not to be confused with the outdoor antique market surrounding Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, is a great place to look for knick-knacks, antique furniture and unique finds. The market, which opened approximately 25 years ago, is one of the largest in South America, and offers all sorts of distinctive objects from all around the globe due to the colorful migratory history of the country. There is also some interesting urban art in the surrounding area.

The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm and is located at the corner of Dorrego and Alvarez Thomas, at the limit between Palermo Hollywood and Colegiales.

Shopping for Antiques

(Photo by _Teb)

The ships from the old world that docked at the new found opportunity and riches in the unexplored lands of South America, and left behind some of their own wealth and culture. The port city of Buenos Aires is a treasure trove and as such displays this historic phenomenon in its many antique markets.

Generally, the neighborhood associated with nostalgic valuables is San Telmo, where the largest concentration of antique stores in the city is. It also hosts the weekly Sunday fair where the most endearing trinkets from the past can be found.  Another vintage and antiques hotspot is the Mercado de Pulgas in Palermo, which we often recommend as it is full of quirky colorful finds.  Further up north, in the outskirts of the city, are two smaller antique centers, both part of the Tren de la Costa circuit. At the Maipú station in Olivos, near the Quinta Presidencial (where the presidents live during their political term),  is another antique focal point with stores that sell toys, records, furniture, and oriental antiques, and a million other artifacts. During the weekends, the Barrancas station also features an antique fair by the railroad tracks.

Neighborhood Markets and Fairs in Buenos Aires

(Photo by jvc)

Neighborhood markets are charming places to find local characters and unique flavors and knickknacks. Below is a list of markets in BA where you will come across traditional foods, trinkets, craftwork, bargain prices and freaky finds.

Belgrano

Feria Modelo de Belgrano: Foodies will enjoy this indoor European style fair which was started in the 50´s in a well preserved 1800´s building and is now the place to go for gourmet products such as Patagonian trout, mushrooms, cheeses, and unique meat cuts like quail or armadillo. Open Mon-Fri from 8am-1pm and 5pm-8.30pm, and Sat from 8am-1pm. Ciudad de la Paz and Juramento.

Barrio Chino: Also in Belgrano is the local china town, a popular place amongst locals and foreigners who seek oriental specialties, and unique colors and flavors.  Juramento and Arribeños.

Palermo

Mercado de Pulgas in Palermo: The Dorrego Flea Market in Palermo is often overlooked and is the perfect place to go on a treasure hunt.  Antiques and curious finds are waiting to be dug up and claimed in this charming neighborhood market. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm.  Av.Dorrego and Conde.

Recoleta

Feria de Artesanos Plaza Francia: If you´re looking for hand woven textiles, wood carvings, artisanal leather goods and other local craftwork the Artisans fair in Plaza Francia, right next to the Recoleta cemetery, is the place to go. Open on weekends and holidays from 11am-8pm. Av. Libertador and Pueyrredon.

San Telmo

Feria de Antiguedades de San Telmo: San Telmo is a world known antique center where valuable collectors items are sold, but also, where knick-knacks and unique objects from the immigrants that populated the country can be found.  Although the neighborhood is full of antique stores that can be visited during the week, it’s the fair on Sundays that gathers visitors and locals alike.  Defensa and Humberto 1.

Caballito

Mercado del Progreso: This food market in the Caballito neighborhood is one of the oldest in the city having opened in 1889. Colorful vegetable stands and butchers that sell meat fresh from the farms are what the market is known for. The market is also around the corner of the antique tram, which you can visit on the weekends.   Market open on Mon-Sat from 7.30am-1pm, and 5pm-8.30pm. Av. Rivadavia 5430.

Mataderos

Feria de Mataderos: The Mataderos fair is held every Sunday and offers regional foods, gaucho accessories, knitwear, and leather bags amongst others. Gaucho traditions, such as the “carrera de sortija” and typical dances from around the country are also carried out on a stage. The fair is on Lisandro de la Torre Avenue, in Mataderos on Sunday. To get there, we suggest you coordinate transport with the hotel, as you will have to go through some dodgy areas to arrive.

More:

For organic produce, eco products and a laid back atmosphere head to El Galpón de Chacarita. Wednesday and Saturday 9am to 6pm. Av. Fédérico Lacroze 4171, Chacarita. 4554 9330.

Cheap bargains, unusual finds (including odd shaped mannequins) and noisy crowds at the Once shopping district.

Argentine Gifts

Christmas is all about giving, and traveling is a great opportunity to buy original gifts, be it for the festive season or for the sake of generosity. Below is our selection of top Argentine tokens to give away or take home as a souvenir.

Mate: Mate is a traditional bitter tea like beverage, which was originally taken by the Guarani Indian as a ritual. The yerba (dry mate leaves) is poured into a special gourd and then a metal straw is inserted. Hot water (but not boiling) is poured into the gourd and the beverage is sipped from the straw. The mate is then refilled with hot water and passed on to the next person, be it a friend or family member. This makes mate drinking a special community tradition and the preparation has many associated rituals to it. Additionally the beverage is full of antioxidants. Mate gourds, metal straws and other accessories can be readily found all around the city, and the perfect compliment to this gift is The Mate book.

(Photo by tditz_gb)

Facón: The facón is an elaborate gaucho fighting and utility knife that is carried in a leather sheath on a belt. Many are delicately carved with intricate silver designs and make beautiful decorations and gifts. To aquire silver facones head to Marcelo Toledo and Juan Carlos Pallarols in San Telmo, where other amazing silver objects can also be found.

(Photo by Eduardo Amorim)

Dulce de Leche and Alfajores: These are probably some of the most popular souvenirs people take back home after traveling to Argentina and there´s good reason for it. The famous caramel spread, and the sweet, cake like sandwiches with dulce de leche fillings are easy pleasers.

(Photo by bradlauster)

Wine: Argentina is famous for its top quality wine at friendly prices. Wine bars, and gourmet restaurants (including Fierro´s HG Restaurant) offer harder to find gems, and are well worth browsing.

(Photo by vmiramontes)

Tango Music:  A tango record is a great gift for music lovers and romantic spirits.  Other tango paraphernalia such as dancing shoes can also make a good present. To shop for tango music head to Zivals on Corrientes Avenue and in Palermo, or  buy  directly from their online tango store.

(Photo by totordenamur)

A San Telmo Antique: San Telmo is a world known antique center where valuable collectors items are sold, but also, where knick-knacks and unique objects from the immigrants that populated the country can be found.  Another place to look for antiques and unique finds is the Dorrego Flea Market in Palermo.

(Photo by lauromaia)

Buenos Aires Urban Art: Anyone who has been on the graffitimundo, or Juanele AR tours has had the chance to see that the local urban art is booming. Once a year, during the Christmas season, Palermo art gallery Hollywood in Cambodia  hosts a special sale of some of the best local stencils, graffitis, and illustrations by some of the most active Urban artists of the Buenos Aires scene.

(Photo by jimsnapper)

Buenos Aires for Bibliophiles

(Photo by br1dotcom)

Buenos Aires is known for its literature and avid readers. Anyone who has walked the streets or traveled in the public transport system will readily agree that the city is full of bookshops and bookworms which is why it’s no surprise that it was picked as the 2011 book capital of the world.  Naturally, it is also a great place to buy books.

Those looking for  rare finds, first editions, and foreign language books should stop by the bookstores on Avenida Corrientes and Avenida de Mayo.The Plaza Italia book fair is also a good place to find unusual picks at an extra good price as everything they sell is second hand, whilst antique books can be found mostly in San Telmo.

For those looking for both a place to acquire these beautiful noble objects and to enjoy them over coffee we  recommend the following bookstores:

 

Ateneo Grand Splendid: This impressive bookstore is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.  Set in what was once the Grand Splendid Theatre,  and conserving its grandiose architecture whilst adapting its function to a bookstore, it is one of the city jewels.

The balconies, the original velvet curtains, and the cupola, on which an allegoric representation of peace was painted after world war one, can all be enjoyed whilst browsing for books or having something to eat on the once stage.

Av. Santa Fe 1860, Recoleta

4813-6052

 

Opening Hours:

Mon-Thu 9am-10pm

Fri-Sat 9am-12pm

Sun 12am-10pm

 

Libreria del Pasaje: This bookstore, record store and bar in Palermo offers a great selection of books, advice on what to buy, and a relaxing modern environment in which to sit and read. Additionally they have a lot of cultural events including photography and art exhibits and activities for children.

Thames 1762, Palermo

4833 6637

 

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sat 10am-10pm

Sun 2pm-9pm

 

Eterna Cadencia: Warm lighting, dark wooden furniture and a extensive selection of books can be found in this bookstore and publishing house. The spacious cafe is a great place to sit and read or even to just stop by for a coffee break.

Honduras 5574, Palermo

4774-4100

info@eternacadencia.com.ar

 

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 10am-9pm

Sat-Sun   11.30am-8pm

Off the Beaten Path: Day Trip to San Isidro

(Museo Pueyrredon by Fernando)

Although out of the way from the downtown area, San Isidro is a historical neighborhood founded in 1706, which is well worth visiting. The upscale residential area still conserves many of its colonial constructions and offers shady streets lined with jacarandas to walk thorough and explore.

Start the day early and take the Mitre train from Retiro or Carranza station (close to the hotel). Check that you get on the train going to Mitre, which is where you have to get off.  Cross the Maipú Avenue and go into the Tren de la Costa. Take the train to the Barrancas station where a weekend antique fair. A close walk away is the Pueyrredon Historical Museum set in an old homestead where General Pueyrredon and San Martin planned strategies against the Spanish. Whilst in this area of San Isidro you can stop for lunch at La Anita, an old food store with a courtyard which was turned into a restaurant preserving the 100 year old furniture.

Get back on the train and get off at the San Isidro station where you can walk up the beautiful Mitre Park to get to the neo-gothic San Isidro Cathedral. Around the block, set in the Tres Ombues lane is the well worth visiting Beccar Varela museum at Quinta los Ombues, which was built during the vice royal period, and displays the historic heritage of the area.

Only ten blocks away is the stunning Villa O Campo where you can explore the local literary legacy, walk through stunning gardens and end the afternoon by having scones at the Villas teahouse.  On your the way there is El Altillo pizzeria a neighborhood classic and El Piove ice cream where the owners have their ice cream maker displayed and it is sometimes possible to get a scoop right from the churners.

Museums

Pueyrredon Historical Museum

Rivera Indarte 48, Acassuso

4512-3131

Quinta Los Ombues

info@quintalosombues.com.ar

Adrián Beccar Varela 774, San Isidro

4575-4038

Villa O Campo

Elortondo 1837, Beccar

4732-4988

Places to eat

La Anita

Vuelta de Obligado 415, Acassuso.

4743-7604.

El Altillo

Av. Libertador 17000, San Isidro

4743-0990

Piove Ice Cream

Av. Libertador 17002, San Isidro

47477856