Thursday, April 17, 2008
San Telmo and Plaza Dorrego
A must on any Buenos Aires tour is the the Sunday street market in the barrio of San Telmo. Street Tango, street musicians, artists, antiques, crafts and an occasional transvestite make for an interesting scene.
We finally made it last Sunday after saying we wanted to go for the last 7 months. Why we have not been is beyond me. It is a short bus or taxi ride to the other side of Plaza de Mayo and we had a great afternoon even though I'm not into the whole craft fair kind of thing.
The crowds on Sunday can be quite large. Despite the crowds, the whole walk from end to end is quite manageable and makes for an interesting stroll. The knick knacks compete with the people watching as the main attraction. But there are plenty of sideshows with Tango performers and other musicians panning for your coin along the route.
The best place to start is at Plaza Dorrego at the far end of Defensa street which they close off to traffic during the fair. The plaza is filled with antique vendors selling everything imaginable.
There will be plenty of photo ops and entertainment as you make your way up Calle Defensa towards Plaza de Mayo. On the street, the antiques will share billing with local handmade crafts from the neighborhoods more bohemian citizens.
There are plenty of great restaurants to eat at along the way. I can recommend Bar Plaza Dorrego or La Divina Comedia. Both have outdoor dining right on Calle Defensa and are well suited to watching the parade of people pass by on Sundays.
San Telmo itself has some great, albeit faded architecture with the city's largest concentration buildings from the 19th century. The architecture ads to the neighborhoods bohemian feel.
If you are planning a stay in Buenos Aires, be sure to put a trip to San Telmo on your list.