Outdoor flea markets with second-hand clothing, jewelry and knick-knacks can be found in many large parks and public spaces across the city. Many of them operate on Sundays only, although a few do remain open throughout the week. Ferias, or street fairs, are a touch more festive in nature and include all forms of arts, crafts, antiques, specialty wares and tourist-focused souvenirs, as well as vendors on foot selling empanadas and ice cream, and street musicians and performers trying to earn some spare change. Ferias can get packed, so keep an eye on your belongings and try not to look like a tourist when you’re browsing the stalls. Also be sure to take small denominations of bills as the vendors won’t have a large amount of change on them. Some of the more popular ferias are the following:
Feria de San Telmo: Avenida Defensa is li ned for several blocks every Sunday with stalls selling antiques, everything from instruments to door knobs to fine lace. It’s a tourist magnet, and Argentine memorabilia abounds commemorating tango, Evita and Che Guevara. Be prepared for higher prices than you would find in the comparable antique stores during the week, but don’t be afraid to bargain for a better deal.
Feria Artesanal de Recoleta: Located downhill from the Cemetery on Plaza Intendente Alvear, the Recoleta fair has a big range of artisan’s goods attracting tourists and bohemians alike. Leather accessories are numerous, and if you need a break from gazing at all the crafts, there are plenty of foodstuffs of the non-parrilla variety to keep you satiated. Open 7 days a week.
Feria Plaza Serrano: On the weekends, this small plaza in Palermo Viejo (located at Honduras and Jorge Luis Borges) is the focal point for shoppers looking for fashionable shoes, hats, purses and scarves, and there are also offerings of Eastern and New Age crafts and medicines.
Feria de Mataderos: Well off the beaten path, this market is a gateway into an Argentina that feels rustic and rural and absolutely refreshing. You’ll find much to learn about the culture of the gauchos, the Argentine cowboys who play a mythic role in the country’s folklore, and there’s even a museum close by devoted to their history. Located at Lisandro de la Torre and Av. de los Corrales; the 126 and 180 bus lines go to the fair, but set aside an hour each way for the trip. Take a taxi if you’re returning home late; the cost will be around AR$70-80 to the center. Open Sundays, but hours vary throughout the year. Find out more at the website: http://www.feriademataderos.com.ar/.