Best Outdoor Markets in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a shopper's paradise filled with boutique stores and designer dens, but few experiences are more authentically Porteño than exploring one of the city's outdoor markets, or ferias. The city is home to a multitude of pop-up markets, with vendors and artisans hawking all manner of goods from hand-carved mate gourds and silver jewelry to antique seltzer bottles and vintage gramophones. Sharpen your bargaining skills, and set out to explore our 5 favorite ferias.
Feria de San TelmoHands down, the sprawling San Telmo market (Fiera de San Telmo) is the city's most famous and liveliest. In the midst of its many vendors, tango dancers and musicians give impromptu performances, creating a boisterous, party atmosphere.
When: Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Number of vendors: 250-300
What to buy: Visitors will find a world of antique vendors selling jewelry, colored glass seltzer bottles, vintage posters and more. More contemporary sidewalk vendors hawking artisan goods as well as cheap baubles and sunglasses are also present.
Good to know: With fame comes crowds, and ultimately crowds of tourists. While the fair draws some 10,000 people each week, Buenos Aires locals are few and far between.
Where: Plaza Dorrego, Defensa and Brasil and along Defensa in San Telmo
Feria de MataderosPerhaps the most traditionally Argentine of all Buenos Aires's fairs, Feria de Mataderos vendors hawk an interesting assortment of used goods, artisan wares and traditional crafts. This weekly festival also features traditional folkloric music and dancing, as well as a gaucho (Argentine cowboy) horseback riding competition.
When: Sundays 11a.m. to 8 p.m. April through mid-Dec.; Saturdays 6 p.m. to midnight late Jan. to mid-March
Number of vendors: 150 – 200
What to buy: Traditional handicrafts are ample here, including the seemingly omnipresent mate gourd, ashtrays made from horse hooves and leather goods. Arrive hungry and shop at gourmet food stalls dishing up dulce de leche liqueur, cheeses, empanadas, cured meats and tamales.
Good to know: Be prepared for a trek; Mataderos is located in Buenos Aires's far western suburbs, about an hour bus ride from downtown.
Where: Av. Lisandro de la Torre y Av. de los Corrales, in Mataderos
Feria de Plaza SerranoLocated smack in the heart of the Palermo neighborhood, the Feria de Plaza Serrano is a must-visit, chock-full of hippie vendors and artisans selling a unique collection of wares. The fair itself is small compared to the city's other mega-markets, but worth a stop to admire the handcrafted jewelry and art.
When: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Number of vendors: 35-50
What to buy: A decidedly bohemian vibe infiltrates this funky fair. Artisans selling jewelry and, ahem, "tobacco pipes" in unique designs; artfully crafted clothes from up-and-coming designers, and the occasional painter or photographer can be found lining the sidewalk stalls.
Good to know: The plaza sits in the center of a bustling hub of boutique shops, bars and restaurants where it's tempting to recuperate from shopping with a cold Quilmes beer and a snack.
Where: Plaza Serrano, corner of Serrano or Borjes and Honduras in Palermo Soho
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