What to do in San Telmo

What to do in San Telmo, a list with the best options to visit in this beautiful Buenos Aires neighborhood.

The San Telmo neighborhood is the second oldest in the city and despite being the smallest of all, it concentrates much of the spirit of colonial Buenos Aires mixed with a strong culture of diversity, immigration and unique traditions such as its famous Sundays Fair.

The neighborhood can be visited any day during the week is very quiet, with a little more activity closer to the weekend. Without a doubt, the best day to visit it if you want to fully enjoy it is Sunday, when the traditional fair takes place.

A good plan if you are there on Sunday and want to delve deeper into the history of the oldest part of the city, is to join our tour of San Telmo, which begins in the morning in the Jesuit block in Montserrat and enters the heart of San Telmo where you can enjoy its beautiful fair in the afternoon.

Here we are going to tell you everything about what to do in San Telmo:

San Telmo Market

what to do in san telmo The San Telmo market is one of the few large markets that continue to function of those that existed in all the Buenos Aires neighborhoods at the end of the 19th century. It was built by the architect Buschiazzo in 1897 and served as a large market supplier of fruits, vegetables and food. The building has an iron arched structure that is wonderful. Today the market is a mixture, it still has some stands selling food such as butcher and greengrocers, but some antique dealers have also been established since the neighborhood organized the antiques fair in the 70s and in recent years the market began to evolve into a very rich and varied gastronomic pole with grills, coffees, sandwich shops and all kinds of food on the way and in the bar.

 

San Telmo Fair and Dorrego Square

what to do in san telmoThe San Telmo Fair takes place every Sunday and originated around the famous Dorrego Square, the second oldest square in the city after Plaza de Mayo. There, surrounded by picturesque colonial and classic buildings and with the towers of the church of San Telmo in sight, antique dealerships are established that since 1970 have sold artistic objects of all kinds. The fair began as an idea by the architect José María Peña as a way to rescue the neighborhood and its traditions and invite everyone to visit the neighborhood on weekends.

 

San Pedro Gonzalez Telmo Church

what to do in san telmoThe San Telmo neighborhood takes its name from Saint Pedro Gonzalez Telmo, protector of sailors. The church that takes its name is located a few meters from Plaza Dorrego and is one of the most beautiful in Buenos Aires. It is a colonial church originally built by Jesuits but which was later clad in the 19th and 20th centuries with a Baroque-Iberian facade. Inside there are several paintings of saints in the Buenos Aires filleting style. Next to the church is the colonial cloister that today is the prison museum.

 

Ezeiza Family House | The Defense Passage

what to do in san telmoOn Defense Street, reaching Avenida Independencia, there is an old house built in 1876 for the Ezeiza Family. The house is one of the last aristocratic residences built in the neighborhood during the great move of wealthy families to Recoleta. It is an Italian-style residence with lined courtyards, iron columns and even the old cistern that has been maintained, creating an atmosphere of old Buenos Aires before the great development of French academicism towards the north of the city. Undoubtedly one of the most picturesque places in San Telmo. Today the house is a commercial gallery called The Defense Passage (Pasaje la Defensa) with clothing, handicraft and antique shops.

 

French Solar Gallery (Galería Solar de French)

This gallery is the most “intagram friendly” place in San Telmo. It is a commercial promenade located on the site where the patriot Domingo French lived. The house has kept its old layout of consecutive courtyards with beautiful plants and flowers and covered in colorful umbrellas, a fashion started in Portugal and spread throughout the world, to give a magical touch to the environment.

So, if you don’t know what else to do in San Telmo, a good option is to enter this beautiful house and take lots of photos!

 

Minimum House (Casa Mínima)

what to do in san telmoIn San Telmo is the narrowest house in Buenos Aires. It is a facade of only 2.5 meters located in the picturesque San Lorenzo Passage and which is popularly known as “the minimal house”. The legend says that a freed slave lived there and the house would be a connection with that old Buenos Aires past where the Afro-descendant population was still a large part of the population of colonial Buenos Aires. The reality is a bit more disappointing: architect José María Peña, who founded the San Telmo fair and was an expert on heritage, concluded that the minimal house is a subdivision into parcels of a larger old property. Likewise, the minimal house continues to enchant all visitors to San Telmo for its curious appearance and the legends that surround it.

 

Zanjón de Granados

In 1985, by accident, a businessman who had invested buying an old house from 1830 for a gastronomic project found archaeological remains of the tubing of the old Tercero del Sur, a stream that crossed San Telmo and emptied into the Río de la Plata. This businessman then decided to change his plans and dedicate himself completely to the archaeological rescue of the ancient tunnels that can be visited today. It is undoubtedly the best archaeological site in Buenos Aires and the only place where tunnels under the city can be seen in a clear and accessible way. The visit is paid and with a guide, so we recommend scheduling it or leaving it for a second visit to the neighborhood or if you live in Buenos Aires. Although it is interesting, for international or foreign tourists who will only spend a day in the neighborhood, it can be ignored.

 

Mafalda

In San Telmo there is part of the “Paseo de la Historia” (Comic Tour), a series of nice statues that remind us of great people from Argentine comic strips and comics from the 60s and 70s mostly. At the corner of Defensa and Chile is the most famous and beloved character of all: Mafalda, who according to its author Quino lives in the San Telmo Neighborhood. It is common to see tourists from all over the world lining up to get their precious photo with this girl who touches the hearts of all Argentines.

 

Lezama Park and National Historical Museum

Lezama Park is a traditional park, it was originally the Garden of the House of José Gregorio Lezama and later donated by his widow to the city of Buenos Aires. The park is characterized by its romantic design of winding paths, gazebos, statues, vessels, and an old amphitheater. Also there is the monument to Pedro de Mendoza and on Calle Brasil street the Russian Orthodox church that dazzles with its Moscow style. On Defense Street, the old Lezama mansion in a picturesque Italian style remains, which today is the National Historical Museum, a must for those interested in Argentine history.

 

Caseros Avenue

Caseros Avenue separates the San Telmo neighborhood from Barracas and is where some of the most beautiful buildings in the area were built. There the houses were built for the British workers of the Southern Railway called “tenement of the English” in a beautiful building that transports us to a classic European boulevard. Continuing uphill we also find several very beautiful buildings. Today the avenue has become a gastronomic pole with an interesting offer of bars and restaurants.

 

Map of Attractions

Lezama Square (Parque Lezama)

Lezama Square (Parque Lezama), the most luxurious green space in the city of Buenos Aires.

lezama squareIt is a traditional walk in the City of Buenos Aires. Located in the San Telmo neighborhood, on the border with La Boca and Barracas, between Defensa, Brasil, Av. Paseo Colón and Av. Martín García streets.

Headquarters of the National Historical Museum, which used to be the home of one of its many owners, Gregorio Lezama.

A characteristic of this place are the tree-lined avenues, the ravine that falls towards Martín García and Paseo Colón avenues, and its beautiful amphitheater with stone steps.

Some historians maintain that this space is the old Puntas de Buenos Aires, where Pedro de Mendoza made the first foundation of the city in 1536.

The land belonged to different owners during those years, until, in 1857, Gregorio Lezama bought it.

He imported exotic trees and plants, European landscapers designed one of the most luxurious private gardens of the time, and also transformed the mansion.

Upon his death, Lezama’s widow sold the land to the commune in 1894 on the condition that it become a public walk with her husband’s name.

lezama squareIt has several sculptures, monuments such as Pedro de Mendoza, a viewpoint and a fountain.

In front of the Lezama Park, is the Russian Orthodox Church, on Brasil Street. Easily recognizable by its Muscovite style and blue domes. It is a work of the architect Alejandro Christophersen.

On the intersection of Brasil and Defensa streets, there are two notable bars in the city which are El Británico and El Hipopótamo. Two great options to eat and enjoy a little more about the typical history of Buenos Aires.

Undoubtedly, this huge space is ideal for you to spend a day outdoors, to fill yourself with fresh air and walk all its corners.

In addition, you have many other attractions nearby that you can read in this note!

And if your plan is to enjoy more green spaces, we leave you this other note where we provide you with a list so you can enjoy Buenos Aires outdoors!

 

Map of Location

Full Day in San Telmo & Downtown

Full day in San Telmo & Downtown, the best attractions so that you don’t miss these wonderful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires …

In addition to our Free Buenos Aires Tours, we also have suggested itineraries. These are tours that you can do on your own, like this one that we tell you about now!

In this case, we present you a full day in San Telmo and in the Center of the city of Buenos Aires, commonly known as Microcentro.

Special Days:
  • Sunday: San Telmo Market.

 

Visit Manzana de las Luces

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownHistorical and architectural tour. The Manzana de las Luces is made up of the Church of San Ignacio, the National College of Buenos Aires, and the old University of Buenos Aires.

It is named after the renowned and historic intellectual institutions.

 

 

Cartoon Route

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownThen, you can take Balcarce Street and head south, appreciating some of the cartoons that reflect Argentine society.

It is a section of the Paseo de la Historieta where you can see Mafalda, Isidro Cañones, Larguirucho, Matías and Clemente.

Minimum House

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownOn the way to Plaza Dorrego, you can visit the narrowest house in Buenos Aires.

Located on San Lorenzo y Defensa street.

Anibal Troilo Mural

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownSan Telmo is a neighborhood of Tango like La Boca and Almagro.

On Av. Independencia and Av. Colón there is a very beautiful mural dedicated to one of the glories of tango, the bandoneonist Anibal Troilo.

Plaza Dorrego

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownIf it is Sunday, you can visit the fair, if not, you can enjoy other days of the week, since it is a historic square with recycled mansions from the 19th century that completely surround it.

In these old mansions, you can find cafes, restaurants and antique shops.

It is a historic square because the independence of 1816 was announced to the people of the city there.

City Center Tour

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownTaking Av. 9 de Julio you can have a nice postcard of Buenos Aires: Evita Mural and the Obelisk. After that, you can head to the main door of the National Congreess to start our Free Tour in the City Center. It starts every day at 3pm. You will discover Barolo Palace, Cathedral, Pink House, Cabildo, as well as significant spaces for the history and current affairs of Argentina such as Avenida de Mayo and Plaza de Mayo.

Take into account checking the information of the Tours before making plans, since, in the face of the COVID-19 virus, some activities have undergone modifications and new protocols.

Café Tortoni

Full day in San Telmo & DowntownAt night, you can take advantage of your visit to the center to enjoy the Tango Show at the Tortoni Historic Café.

It is one of the cheapest shows without including dinner. It is important to make the reservation in advance. To read more about Café Tortoni click here!

Given the situation of the COVID-19 virus, we recommend that you stay informed before doing any planning.

 

Map of the Attractions!