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  • Writer's picturePatricia Etchehun

San Telmo Market

Historic indoor market offering everything from antiques to great coffee.

Present in tours

This large indoor market has stalls offering everything from antiques to fresh fruit and spices. With a typical Italian facade and large interior spaces, the Mercado de San Telmo opened in 1897 to cater to the needs of the new wave of immigrants arriving from Europe. The stalls have since been updated but the market conserves its original structure of metal columns and beams, so a visit is still like stepping back in time. There are stalls selling food, antiques, crafts, records, and toys, making for an eclectic mix, while the coffee stall is said to have some of the best coffee in town.

A place packed with history

The market harks back to Buenos Aires' past. Locals make their daily purchases of fresh produce, picking up things that are sometimes hard to come by in other stores, while others simple wander browsing the vast range of stalls, admiring antiques, records, old toys and eclectic mix of other items that give the market its charm.

When to go

The market's open from Tuesday to Sunday, but some stalls may be closed during the week. Sunday is the busiest day, with the biggest number of stalls open, but also large numbers of visitors, so the best day to visit might be on a Saturday. The market's open 10.30am to 7.30pm from Tuesday to Friday and 9am to 8pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

A gem to look out for

The Coffee Town stall offers a wide range of coffees from different origins and is tended by expert baristas who can recommend a blend for every taste.

A bit of history

The market was inaugurated in February 1897 to supply produce to the new waves of immigrants who were arriving in the city from the Old Continent. The market conserves its original internal structure of beams, arches and metal columns, its sheet metal and glass roofing, and a grand dome in the centre. The structure was designed by Juan Antonio Buschiazzo (1845-1917), only the second architect to qualify in Buenos Aires. Buschiazzo had arrived from Italy at the age of four and went on to work as Director of Public Works during the Torcuato de Alvear's tenure as city mayor. He designed banks, hospitals, government buildings and residences, and was one of the main architects responsible for tracing the Avenida de Mayo. San Telmo Market was declared a national historic monument by Buenos Aires City's Secretariat for Culture in the year 2000.

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