The City of Buenos Aires is home to a treasure trove of souvenirs, and they’re yours for the taking. Whether you’re just browsing or making a day of it, here are the best places to start gift hunting…
Every weekend, a charming fair takes place in Buenos Aires. On a hillside in the European-esque neighborhood of Recoleta – and held in Plaza Francia – the Feria de Artesanos (artists’ fair) offers an enormous variety of handcrafted wares. You’ll find everything from hand-carved knives to hand-cast pottery. In fact, there are so many vendors that it usually takes around an hour just to see everything that’s on offer. So come prepared to stroll, or familiarize yourself in advance with the list of vendors here.
What: Feria de Artesanos
Where: Plaza Francia, Av Libertador and Av Alvear, Buenos Aires
When: Every weekend and holiday, 11 AM -8 PM
Feria de Mataderos
If you want to do some souvenir-hunting and enjoy a full-on cultural experience at the same time, Feria de Mataderos is the stand for you. Held every Sunday (except in February), this event not only boasts 700 souvenir stands, it also has folklore rings, traditional dancing, crafts, food, lectures and workshops on gaucho life, and more. The fair was founded almost 30 years ago and attracts an estimated 15,000 people every week. Keep your eyes peeled for bombachas de gaucho, which are traditional pants worn by gauchos, and alpargatas, which are comfortable slip-on shoes – also of gaucho origin.
What: Feria de Mataderos
Where: Avenida Lisandro de la Torre and Avenida de los corrales, Buenos Aires
When: Every Sunday March-December, 11 AM – 8 PM. In February, the fair is held on Saturdays from 6 PM.
San Telmo Street Fair
Another fair that’s ideal for a Sunday stroll, San Telmo’s street fair winds its way through the cobble-stoned streets of Buenos Aires. A famously bohemian neighborhood that sees vendors spilling onto the sidewalks, here you’ll find stalls playing tango music, while others hawk candied nuts and freshly-baked empanadas. Among the many delights of San Telmo, you’re guaranteed to have a good time – but expect busy crowds. There’s no end to the souvenirs on offer, as well as loads of vintage posters and other antique paraphernalia.
The Leather District
Argentina is renown for its luxurious leather goods. While goods are often readily available throughout the city, the leather district in the Villa Crespo neighborhood offers unusual custom-made items at bargain prices. Want to design your own leather jacket? No problem, Argentina’s leather district has got your back.
What: The Leather District
Where: All along Murillo Street, starting at Murillo and Malabia
When: Monday – Saturday during business hours
This colorful market is an easy one-hour train ride from Buenos Aires to the delta city, Tigre. Here you’ll find the bustling Puerto de Frutos, or Port of Fruits. Although the name itself has little to do with the variety of things on offer, at Tigre market you’ll find lots of woodwork, cheap souvenirs, mate tea sets (if you’re not sure how to drink mate, read this), and so much more. Still on the fence about it? Why not check out the market’s official live-cam market here.
What: Puerto de Frutos
Where: When you leave the main train station, walk two blocks down Enciso Street, take a left on Guareschi, walk five blocks, take a left on Peru and a right on Sarmiento.
When: The market is open daily, but weekends are the best time to visit.