Buenos Aires has some great markets offering everything from traditional and modern artisan crafts to flea market bric-a-brac and vintage treasures. Here's our guide to shopping at the best markets in the city.
Feria de San Telmo
The San Telmo market is one of the biggest street markets and is a must-do for any visitors in Buenos Aires on a Sunday. The lively market stretches for nearly 2km through the charming cobbled streets of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighbourhood. Browsing through the assortment of trinkets, vintage clothing and curios from another era, you get a sense of Argentina's storied past. You can also find local artisan leather goods, jewelry and other crafts as well as artworks from local artists, making it the perfect place to shop for souvenirs. The streets also come alive later in the day with tango dancers, drummers and street performers. Take your time to wander the length of Defensa then finish with a cerveza or glass of vino tinto in Plaza Dorrego at sundown.
Open every Sunday from around 10am to 5pm
Feria de Recoleta
Conveniently located next to one of Buenos Aires major landmarks, the Recoleta cemetery, this weekend market mostly features the handicrafts of local Argentine artisans and artists. Not quite as hectic and crowded as the San Telmo market, it's a great spot for high quality artisan goods such as handmade sterling jewelry, ceramics, leather belts and artwork as well as the more traditional mate cups, gaucho knives and ponchos. Once you've finished shopping, do like a local and relax on the grass with some freshly-made empanadas from a local vendor and watch the world go by.
Saturdays and Sundays and holidays from 11am to 6pm
Feria de Mataderos
A little off the main tourist track, the Mataderos barrio hosts a lively food and crafts market every Sunday. One of the best-kept secrets of Buenos Aires, the market brings together gauchos (Argentine cowboys) from the campo, traditional handicrafts, regional cuisine, folk dancing and live music. While you can pick up some authentic gaucho-style souvenirs at great prices, one of the main draws of the markets is the array of food offerings. Be sure to try a choripan from one of the many open grills on the streets or warm your belly with a steaming bowl of locro, washing it down with a glass of craft beer. Stick around for the main attraction later in the afternoon, which is the Carrera de Sortija in which gauchos race their horses at terrifying speeds towards a small ring hanging from a raised metal frame overhead, competing to be the first to spear it. He who succeeds must then present said ring to the woman he loves.
Sundays, 11am to 8pm (depends on time of year)
Mercardo de las Pulgas
Located in a converted warehouse space in Palermo Hollywood, this indoor flea market contains all manner of curiosities, including retro clothing, antique glassware, antique and restored furniture and artwork, as well as other more random novelties. Every vendor has a story to tell and takes pride in the varied contents of their stall. When you're done, hit up one of the cool new wine bars or restaurants on the scene in the surrounding Hollywood neighbourhood.
Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 7pm
Buenos Aires Food Market
This popular monthly food market brings together some of the best chefs and suppliers on the Buenos Aires food and drink scene covering all areas of gastronomy, from artisan cheeses to natural yoghurt, organic fresh produce from local farmers, craft beer and gourmet snacks, including lots of good options for veggies and vegans so be sure to go hungry. There are also regular talks, workshops and cooking demonstrations. The venue changes every month so check the website for upcoming venues and dates, www.buenosairesmarket.com/