Sundays in San Telmo

I love Buenos Aires (BA). BA is one of those unique, terribly fascinating cities that one stumbles upon, falls in love with and keeps coming back to. One of my favourite things to do in Buenos Aires is join in the festivities during the Sunday Market in the borough of San Telmo. San Telmo (map) is a rustic, atmospheric borough that’s packed with antique shops, art galleries and cosy restaurants and cafés. Defensa is the main thoroughfare and runs through the heart of San Telmo from the Plaza de Mayo (where the Casa Rosada is situated).

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Loved this guy. He sang beautifully!

San Telmo is a pretty tranquil neighbourhood during the week; most tourists tend to stick around the main square Plaza Dorrego where there are various cafés which double as public seating for the many tango performances on the square. However, every Sunday, the borough bursts into life with its world-renowned street market. The Plaza Dorrego and Defensa Street are packed with stalls selling antiques, books and many curiosities, whilst the huge variety of street performers is astounding.

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Antique stall at San Telmo

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Colourful glass bottles

Sundays in San Telmo is absolutely a feast for the senses. The sights and sounds, and throngs of people are simply fascinating. If you’re lucky, you might catch the beats of the 40-member strong samba band which performs along Defensa street/Plaza Dorrego in the late-afternoon. It is an awesome sight and the beats are irresistible: you’ll soon find yourself dancing or swaying along to the powerful samba rhythm.

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Samba band in the streets of San Telmo

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A student ensemble

The markets slowly clear out in the late afternoon and make way for more music and dance performances. Plaza Dorrego is where it all happens. It’s great to just sit here with a drink (I recommend a sangria!) and/or a meal and watch the world go by. The people-watching is some of the best I’ve experienced – there’s just so much to see: tourists mixing with the locals, gorgeous tango and flamenco dancers, and vendors selling small trinkets. In the evening, the mats are rolled out in a section of the square, the speakers are installed and a DJ takes his place on a rickety wooden stool. Mesmerising tango and flamenco music quickly fills the square and the locals jump to their feet.

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Seductive flamenco dancer – she really wooed the audience!

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Locals dance the tango at Plaza Dorrego on Sunday evenings,

This is a sight no visitor will easily forget. The music is loud and the locals get together and dance the whole evening. The passion, the sensual movements and the nimble footwork are absolutely stunning. Where else in the world would you have the samba, the tango and the flamenco all within the same square on the same day?!

Buenos Aires is simply marvellous and if you’re visiting, make sure you set aside some time in your itinerary for the fabulous Sundays in San Telmo.

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15 Responses to “Sundays in San Telmo”

  1. velvet 18/06/2009 10:44 am
    #

    Hi Nellie,
    Yes, BA is certainly unique. Loved it there. And San Telmo is awesome. The next time I’m in BA, I’m certainly staying there again! Glad you’re having a fab time in Argentina.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  2. WildJunket 18/06/2009 3:14 am
    #

    Keith! We stayed at a hostel in San Telmo, and the neighbourhood was exactly like how you described – eccletic, quirky and one-of-its-kind. Buenos Aires is definitely fascinating, and San Telmo might just be the soulful heart of this sensual capital.

  3. velvet 12/06/2009 4:29 pm
    #

    Thank you Jen for the kind words and for the award! Awesome! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Keith

  4. jen laceda 12/06/2009 3:29 pm
    #

    Hi Keith, I think your blog is awesome, so I’m sure this won’t be the first time you’ll be receiving an award. However, I still wanted to show you my appreciation, so I’ve given you an award at my blog 🙂
    -Jen Laceda

  5. Bharat 11/06/2009 10:47 am
    #

    Really Lovely..What a fantastic post !! Great One..Also I Have Started My Own Website And Would Like You To Have A Look At It.I Would Love To Have Your Comments On That Also.Unseen Rajasthan

  6. Amy @ The Q Family 11/06/2009 6:04 am
    #

    It seems the music is everywhere. Wow! thanks for such a great description and now I fall in love with Buenos Aires without even going there yet.

  7. velvet 10/06/2009 7:49 pm
    #

    Hi Jill,
    Thanks for your comment. 🙂 Buenos Aires is awesome, eh?

    Cheers,
    Keith

  8. Jill 10/06/2009 7:17 pm
    #

    OMG – Love this. Buenos Aires is one of my favorite cities in the world. Love these pics, love this description, what a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing! (I found you through EliteTravelGal on Twitter). Beautiful.

  9. velvet 10/06/2009 4:17 pm
    #

    Thanks Sara! It’s easy to fall in love with Buenos Aires…. and once the emotions are there, the words just flow! 🙂
    Greatly appreciate your kind words.

    Cheers,
    Keith

  10. Sara 10/06/2009 4:08 pm
    #

    Very vivid description that communicates an essence that I have not yet experienced. Well done for being able to do that. It sounds like a city I would love!
    Sara (http://www.thebestofzambia.com/)

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