From Palermo to San Telmo

I’d planned to do four blog posts about our time in Buenos Aires. And honestly, the wonderful experience we had there warrants four posts. But my real job is very busy at the moment and that’s what keeps us traveling, so instead I’m just doing two BA posts – our We’re Home from a couple weeks after arriving and this summary post.

Wrapping Up Palermo

After my prior post, we had two more weeks to enjoy living in the neighborhood of Palermo and we made the most of them. We visited the wonderful MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) and the so-so Museo Evita. We returned to many of the restaurants we’d tried in our first two weeks, with more duplicated restaurant visits than any prior destination. And we continued to enjoy walks and picnics in our nearby parks. We also visited the dentist and I got two cavities filled and we both continued to work a lot. Our Airbnb (review below) continued to suit us very well and a highlight of our home cooking was trying fresh gnocchi and pasta from a neighborhood pasteria, Milena Pastas Artesanales.

However, at the end of our four weeks total in Palermo, we were ready to experience another part of the city, especially because we know we’ll be back to Buenos Aires and the Palermo neighborhood in the future. There is much more of Argentina to see and having a long stay in Buenos Aires will always be a pleasure.

Move to San Telmo

Our wonderful Palermo host was kind enough to stay until mid-afternoon when we checked out and took an Uber a half-hour ride down to the San Telmo neighborhood. Our Uber driver spoke English and was pretty skeptical about our move from Palermo to San Telmo, saying much of that part of town is unsafe. But as we got closer to our building, he said that in our immediate new neighborhood, we should be fine as long as we’re alert (as you’d want to be in any part of a big city). The location was very close to the San Juan, just south and east and a couple blocks east of Plaza Constitucion. But we took our Uber driver’s advice to heart and never tried venturing west of Plaza Constitucion and only as far south as Parque Lazama except for our soccer match tour (more on that below).

Our new Airbnb host was waiting for us and was very kind showing us around the apartment (review below). And the building was very secure with electronic key fobs for entering and leaving. Although the same number of rooms as our Palermo home, it was much larger. Every room seemed at least 25% bigger and it had a great walk-in closet for storage. We found our new kitchen to be much easier to cook in too.

Southern Museums and Sights

We’d put off many of the parks and attractions in the southern part of the city knowing we’d be making this move so right away the next day (a Sunday) we headed over to visit the parks on Puerto Madero and visit the Museo de la Cárcova, which hadn’t even been on our radar but was recommended by our Palermo host when we checked out. The parks were charming with lots of families out enjoying the beautiful weekend and we loved the museum, which is housed in a former art school and is a collection of full-size replicas of famous sculptures. We walked from Puerto Madero to Mercado San Telmo, where we’d thought to have an early dinner but on a Sunday it was much to crowded so we adjusted our plans with appetizers on Avenida Caseros next to Parque Lezama close to our Airbnb and decided to try Mercado San Telmo the next day with a little shifting of our meal plan.

Unfortunately, on Monday several of the eateries in Mercado San Telmo were closed but we did get to try the fantastic empanadas at El Hornero. We followed them up with a very tasty vegetable pie at the charming (though inconsistent, we’d later find) Bar Britanico on Parque Lezama. Before our meal, we enjoyed an hour at the Museo Moderno, which is about halfway between our Airbnb and Mercado San Telmo. Yet another excellent Buenos Aires art museum. Easy access to fantastic art was one of our favorite parts of the city.

Our other fun southern adventure was a morning spent at the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur on Puerto Madero. We took an Uber over because we were a little pressed for time (though bus would have been possible) and really enjoyed our 4-mile nature walk there. Definitely a treasure of the city. 

Toward the end of our time in San Telmo we ventured farther south to Caminito Street, in the the La Boca neighborhood. There we visited the Fundacion Proa (a contemporary art museum) and got the requisite photos of Caminito Street. It’s a pretty touristy-feeling area but I’m glad we saw it.

A Football Match

Our other great adventure in during our time in San Telmo was attending a Boca Juniors soccer match at the famous La Bombonera stadium. We came to Argentina planning to see a match when their season began at the end of January, but when I started researching I learned it is very difficult and complicated to get tickets to any of the major teams. If you’re not a season ticket member (for which there’s a 10-year wait for Boca Juniors), you’re not technically allowed to attend, though there are a couple of tour operators who have worked out doing this in the standing room sections. The tickets are outrageously expensive ($150 per person for Boca Juniors). Our first reaction was “that’s too much” but found everything else in Buenos Aires to be much cheaper than I’d budgeted (especially public transit) so after a few weeks we decided to use the savings to buy tickets.

We went with a company called Pibe del Barrio and had a good experience. The guide met us and six other tourists in Parque Lezama, which is walking distance to La Bombonera. The guide took us through the street party of Boca Juniors fans hanging out before the match to a quieter area where he bought us either choripan (sausage sandwich) and a bondiola (pork shoulder sandwich) and beer or fernet and coke, a national drink of Argentina (fernet is a dark aromatic liquor similar to ones we tried in Italy). We tried both sandwiches but both chose fernet and coke to fully embrace the Argentine spirit. And since there was a little time left, we split a local beer we hadn’t tried yet (Schneider).

Then it was time to walk to the stadium. The guide prepared us as best he could for all the security checkpoints we’d encounter to enter, but since it was the first match of the season, some delays surprised even him. But we all made it into the correct gate and found a place to stand for the match. The Boca fans around us were loud but a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the match was pretty lackluster (0-0 draw) but it was still really fun and an unforgettable experience. Maybe not worth the high price tag, but if we hadn’t done it, we’d have probably regretted missing out. 

More Great Meals (and Tango)

The rest of our time in San Telmo featured more great meals at home and dining out, including our traditional Super Bowl KFC. The Chiefs won again so we had a great time watching the Super Bowl, staying up well past midnight for the overtime and celebrations since Buenos Aires’s time zone is three hours ahead of home. Other highlights were seeing a tango performance in Plaza Dorrego and a nice walk through the parks by Retiro station and the famous Calle Florida (a classic H&M-strasse). 


Our six weeks in Buenos Aires were truly wonderful and we’re already planning to come back within a few years. There is much more of the city to see and much more of Argentina to see. I look forward to getting to know both better in the future.

Review of our Palermo Airbnb – My husband and I loved our 4-week stay in this apartment. The location is excellent, with stores and restaurants in close proximity and great access to public transit. It is also just a pleasure to walk in the neighborhood and there are lots of parks within easy walking distance or short bus ride. The apartment was clean and cozy. The bed is very comfortable and the kitchen is equipped for light cooking. The wifi worked very well during the day and usually also in the evenings, especially in the living room. Communication with Isabel before and during our stay was excellent. Check in and check out were very prompt and easy. I also appreciated being able to have the cleaning person come during our stay. I liked using the laundry service around the corner rather than the one across the street, which is slower. All in all, everything with our stay was great!

Review of our San Telmo Airbnb – My husband and I were very happy with our stay here. We loved the vibrant neighborhood. The apartment was very secure and comfortable. Ricardo had great communication all through our stay and was waiting for us when we arrived with lots of local recommendations. Everything was clean and ready for us. I was worried when we saw the air conditioning was only in the living room, but with the fan that was provided, it reached easily into the bedroom to make the whole apartment very comfortable on even the hottest days. Wifi worked well and the kitchen was easy to cook in. Great place!

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