It is Sunday afternoon and the corner of Humberto I and Defensa Street is full of people. Tourists come and go. They walk and stop to see 270 official stalls distributed in a 1 km long in front of Dorrego Square, in the neighborhood of San Telmo.
The San Telmo Fair is a must when touring Buenos Aires. It is the most famous fair of the city and receives 10,000 visitors every Sunday, most of them are foreigners. The fair has its heart in Dorrego Square, but it extends through the surrounding streets, especially on Defensa Street.
It is a walk to the art, melancholy and memories. At the fair antique objects are sold such as lamps, postcards of the city, watches, fans, jewelry, bills and coins, music boxes, cameras, siphons, stamps, books and magazines, medals, etc. There is also a wide variety of antiques and period costume houses on Defensa Street.
You can also find regional dishes and handicrafts as mates, hats, purses, wallets and leather belts, knives, toys or souvenirs. Tastes and sounds make this space a place of great diversity, there will always be something to take home or to make a gift.
On the narrow cobbled streets you can enjoy street performances as living statues, guitarists, saxophonists, folklore dancers or couples dancing at 2×4 tango rhythm.
The fair is an excellent walk for anyone who wants to learn a little of the history and culture of the city of Buenos Aires. It is worthy getting lost among the stalls and discovering their antiques and why not taking some souvenirs.
Getting lost in time and among the crowd is a temptation.
A bit of history
The official name of the fair was Fair of San Pedro Telmo and it was opened in November 1970 with 30 stalls in the open air. They had an iron structure with a grey roof. At that time there were not many antiquarians as today, there was only one called “Casa Pardo”. The first fair was made hastily for those interested in participating. The organizer of the event, the architect José María Peña, had been publishing in some newspapers the announcement that if people wanted to sell their old stuff they had to do it in a square. Over time more people arrived and so a regulation was created for exhibitions.
- Defensa Street and Humberto I corner. San Telmo neighborhood.
- Every Sunday from 10 am to 17 pm. It is not suspended by rain.