The central barrio of San Telmo is one of Buenos Aires’ tango haunts. Formerly an upmarket residential area, the area’s “old mansions and faded glory” vibe set the perfect scene for the artists and musicians who now call this enclave home. The streets here are picturesquely cobbled, and the fascinating little shops are well worth a browse.
As one of Buenos Aires’ most colorful and quirky neighborhoods, San Telmo features on just about every sightseeing tour, along with La Boca, the Obelisk, La Bombonera soccer stadium, Plaza de Mayo, and Puerto Madero.
San Telmo is also one of the best places in town for dinner and a tango show. For something more casual, stop at one of the cafes surrounding Plaza Dorrego to take in the sights and sounds, including a possible impromptu tango performance right on the street.
Things to Know Before You Go
San Telmo is a must-visit for tango lovers, shoppers, and all first-time visitors.
Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
Remember to bring cash if you plan to shop at the antiques market.
Dinner and tango show tours in San Telmo typically last about four hours and often include hotel pickup and drop-off.
How to Get There
San Telmo is six blocks south of Plaza de Mayo and a few streets north of La Boca. The closest metro stations are Independencia and San Juan, a few streets to the west near Avenue 9 de Julio.
When to Get There
If possible, try to visit San Telmo on a Sunday when the Plaza Dorrego antiques market is in full swing and tango buskers are performing for onlookers. The neighborhood has a completely different vibe after dark, so it’s a good idea to plan a couple of visits.
Attractions in San Telmo
While San Telmo is all about soaking up the atmosphere, there are a couple of noteworthy attractions in the neighborhood as well. History buffs shouldn’t miss the National History Museum (Museo Histórico Nacional) that tells the story of Argentina’s independence. The neighborhood is also home to an 18th-century convent, Santo Domingo convent (Convento de Santo Domingo), where Manuel Belgrano, a hero of the independence movement, is entombed.