The Independencia station, on the E and C lines, will get you to Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida Independencia, on the edge of San Telmo. Follow Independencia for six blocks and then swing right for another four to get to Plaza Dorrego. Alternatively, it's an interesting 12 block stroll from Plaza de Mayo, with easy access to the A and D lines. On Sundays, the Plaza Dorrego market spills over onto Defensa for almost 10 additional blocks of souvenirs and flea market crafts.
A narrow house in San Telmo, at Pasaje San Lorenzo.
Manzana de las Luces or "Illuminated Block". This block, surrounded by the streets Alsina, Moreno, Peru and Bolivar, is home to many of the most importants and traditional educational, religious and cultural institutions of Buenos Aires, dating back to the 17th and 18th century. The name of this block comes from the number of intelectual institutions that were present in the old days. One of the most interesting attractions is a mysterious subterranean network of tunnels that communicates each building.
San Telmo Market Daily market housed in a huge wrough-iron hall. Everything from fresh basil to antique shoes and coins is on display in this permanent marketplace. Come during the week to see the local produce and meat market. On Sunday, when the action is outside, it's mostly empty.
Plaza Dorrego The second oldest plaza in Buenos Aires, six days a week the plaza is a relatively quiet, shady space lined with restaurants and cafes. On Sundays an antiques market takes over and you can hardly see the plaza for the people and market stalls. The stalls get cleared away from about 5 pm, and from 8 pm there is public dancing, including tango.
Tango in the streets There is tango in Plaza Dorrego at nighttime and sometimes in the afternoon, but mainly on Sunday nights.
Museo Historico Nacional, 1600 Defensa, open noon to 6 pm except Mondays. History of Argentina, but all captions are in Spanish and neither comprehensive nor well-organised. Entry by donation.
Pasaje San Lorenzo. Walking along Balcarce street, before arriving to Av. Independencia, you'll see the street "San Lorenzo". One of the interesting things to see, is the narrowest house in the neighborhood, among the street itself, which is very pleasant. Also, between San Lorenzo and Av. Independencia, in Balcarce street, you'll find the Almacen Don Manolo. For those who know Mafalda, almacen Don Manolo is where Mafalda used to go for shopping. The store in Balcarce street nº 774 is actually the one from which Quino inspired for the cartoon.
El Zanjon de Granados. The most important architectural building in San Telmo and one of the most importants of the city. It has nearly 500 years of history. Check the website for more info.
Tango San Telmo is the heart of the "tourist tango" scene with a dozen different venues offering $30 dinner-and-show combos to the tourbus crowd. While it might be a good spot to get your feet wet, you'll have a more authentic experience elsewhere.
Learn the art of Fileteado or dance Tango at La Independencia, Independencia Avenue Nº 572, San Telmo
Take Tango classes each day at Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso - Defensa 1575, San Telmo
Sunday Market Sunday 10AM-5PM. Plazza Dorrego and the outlaying streets fill up with tonnes of craft and antique booths, supplementing the numerous antique shops, collectives, and malls in the area. You can get stamps, judaica, tins, clothing, office equipment, chandeliers, furniture, paintings, etc.
Pasaje La Defensa, Defensa street nº 1179. This used to be a tenement where poor families settled after a yellow fever hit Buenos Aires and made the richs to move to the north part of the city (today Recoleta and Retiro). It has been restored and today it has some antique shops.
El Solar de French, Defensa street nº 1066. In the old days this building was Domingo French's house. Today it has leather shops, silver souvenirs, among other typical stuff from Argentina.
Defensa and its side streets, especially Chile, offer everything from Thai to gourmet ice cream with plenty of parrillas and bares y cafes notables (historic bars and cafes).
The Gibraltar Calle Perú 895 near Estados Unidos, 011-54-11/4362-5310. A rare find in Buenos Aires featuring spicy dishes including Thai green chicken curry and a beef jalfrezi curry. Beyond the smoky pool table in the back is an outdoor seating area. Gibraltar is also a good drinking spot and serves good imported beer on tap and on cask.
Desnivel Defensa between Estados Unidos and Av. Independencia. ¨Parrilla¨ at an excellent price, but the surroundings and presentation are sub-par. If you can't tear yourself away from shopping long enough to sit down, you can get choripan and sandwich de lomito to go starting at $2.
Don Ernesto's 375 Carlos Calvo. A large menu with very good food at reasonable prices. It is somewhat more expensive but nicer than Desnivel.
Cafe San Juan 450 San Juan, 011-4300-1112. Very nice meals at somewhat higher than average prices. A reservation is recommended.
Amici Miei, 1072 Defensa on the upper floor overlooking Plaza Dorrigo, 011-4362-5562. Italian restaurant at average to slightly above average prices. Nice food.
Mash, 518 Mexico, a British "curry house" but it will adjust the spiciness level down as required. Especially recommended if you are missing the ability to converse with someone else in English, and the food and prices are good.
Gran Parrilla Del Plata, 594 Chile, 011-4300-8858. Good food at less than average prices.
Krakow Café Bar (Krakow Pub), Venezuela 474, San Telmo/Monserrat (betw.Defensa & Bolivar), ☎ +54 11 4342 3916, . 6PM-3AM, F,Sat to 5AM. This popular pub offers the best selection of tap beers in San Telmo, a huge variety of cocktails and top shelf liquors in a beautiful period location. Great European menu includes moderately priced tapas, picadas, pizzas, hamburgers and mains. An international crowd enjoys a large projection screen for sport events, Nintendo Wii, board games, free WiFi and comfortable sofas in the living room/club section of the pub. The staff is multilingual and modern music is kept at the right volume. Happy Hour is every day till 10PM.(-34.613795,-58.373033)
Pride Cafe is on Balcarce and Pasaje Giuffra. Modern decor and an outdoor seating area. Gay themed show on Thursday evenings. Open until 11PM, later on show nights.
La Coruna Bolivar 994 (at Carlos Calvo). A bar notable popular with locals. You'll realize just how well preserved this place is when you notice the wooden refrigerators still in use. Beer is the drink of choice. Snacks and sandwiches also available.
Bar Britanico, Brasil and Defensa. Historical, pleasant bar notable -- a great place for a drink.
San Telmo is chock full of hostels and budget hotels making it an affordable option with easy access to downtown. Every other doorway along Carlos Calvo and Chile seems to be a hostel, so that's a good place to start if you show up without a reservation. Another option for sleeping arrangements is renting an apartment. There are a ton of apartments for rent in the San Telmo area and you can find very reasonable rates on furnished apartments.
Bar El Hipopótamo, Brasil and Defensa. A beautifully decorated bar and cafe that also serves food (light snacks mostly). Very pleasant.
Art Factory Hostel, Piedras 545, ☎ (54-11) 4343 -1463, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. With more private rooms than most hostels and with each one painted and designed by local and international artists, this converted 1870s mansion attracts young backpackers from all over the world, families on a budget as well as Argentinians visiting Buenos Aires. The vibe is lively, but not hectic or loud, intimate but without plenty of room to stretch out. A rooftop bar features local musicians, art openings and cheap beer. Weekly asados, or beef BBQs, occur every week on the large terrace. The best and grooviest hostel staff in Buenos Aires.From 11 USD.
Rayuela Hostel Tel +54 (11) 4342 5951 Av. Belgrano 887 Rayuela is the hottest hostel in Buenos Aires right now. It is very homey and fun, with big rooms w/AC, hot water 24 hours a day, and a common room stocked with statellite TV, Dvds, a pool table, ping-pong table, tea and coffee machines comfy couches. Hands-on owners who love to help. Very clean and fun. Minihostels members get 10% off their stay.
Babel Boutique Hotel, Balcarce 946, ☎ +54 (11) 4300-8300, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Hotel Babel is a smart boutique hotel set in an historic mansion in San Telmo, the bohemian colonial quarter of Buenos Aires. Superb central location, privacy and comfort.
Hostel Sol, Lima 1169, at junction with San Juan (Across Av 9 de Julio from San Juan subte station), ☎ +(54 11) 43043019, . Conveniently-located hostel with sociable staff and guests. Housed in a slightly old three-story building with wi-fi available both in the lobby and the rooms. Hot showers and computer terminals are available.Ar$34 onwards for dormitory bed.
Pax Hostel (Pax Hostel Buenos Aires), Salta 990, ☎ +54 (11) 4305-1400, . Dorms from ARS 40; private rooms from ARS 90 pp.
Ayres Porteños, Perú 708, near Av. Independencia, ☎ +(54-11) 4300-7314, . checkout: 10:00. Quirky tango themed hostel with spacious rooms and a social atmosphere. Possibly the best breakfast you'll ever have in a hostel. Not a quiet hostel, can be loud at night due to buses and festive guests.ARS 45 for dorm bed, more for single and double rooms.
Hotel Residencial Carly, Humberto 466, San Telmo, just off Plaza Dorrego. Cheap and clean rooms for long/short term stays. Friendly staff. Tel: 5411-4361-7710.
El Hostal de San Telmo Carlos Calvo 614. Tel : 54 11 300 9028. Just off Plaza Dorrego. From 8 USD (25 argentinian pesos). Clean. Kitchen. Wifi and 1 computer for guests. Decent breakfast. Good atmosphere. Barbecue on the roof..
The Hostel-Inn Buenos Aires,  Humberto 1º 820; tel: +54 (11) 4300-7992,  This Hostel is in the heart of San Telmo, right next to the famous Plaza Dorrego. It offers a shared-kitchen, a dvd room, free internet and weekly organised asados. It´s location in this bohemian barrio means that most sights are in walking distance! dorm: from AR$ 25.
Gardenhouse Hostel, Ave. San Juan 1271 (San Telmo); tel: +54 (11) 4304-1824., . With only 16 beds, a tiny but pleasant hostel, it takes only a hour to know all guests. It is located at the outskirts of San Telmo close to the San Juan metro station. Has an outdoor terrace, but conversation is hard due to the noise of the nearby highway. A dormbed cost 21 pesos (approx. €5.25) per night and comes with breakfast.
The Hostel Nomade Carlos Calvo 430 (just off Plaza Dorrego)[www.hostelnomade.com] Housed in a renovated old mansion. It is frequently sold out. Decent breakfast of pastries, bread, butter, jams, dulce de leche, coffee, tea, and mate. Four dorms with 6 beds in each room, a quad and two double private rooms. Shared bathrooms, lockers. There is a nice rooftop terrace, a pool table, free internet, and friendly staff.
Hostel Carlos Gardel 500 block of Carlos Calvo (between Bolivar and Peru).
End of the World Hostel San Telmo, 818 Ave San Juan, dorms from Ar$ 23 incl breakfast. Situated between two noisy streets and with equally noisy inhabitants, this cheapy is only for those spending the nights with tango and sleeping during the day.
Carlos Calvo Escape, . Fully furnished and modern apartment available by the week or month. Same owners as Casa Del Sol. Corner of Carlos Calvo and Balcarce.
Casa Del Sol, . Fully furnished and modern apartment available by the week or month. Same owners as Carlos Calvo Escape. Corner of Humberto Primo and Bolivar.
ByT Argentina,  Furnished apartments and lofts for rent in San Telmo. Well equipped apartments. Economy, Luxury, Classic or Modern, spacious or small apartments. All the apartments are fully furnished and equipped and can be rented for short and long-term stays in Buenos Aires. Advanced search tool that will allow you to find an apartment available for the dates of the stay. Better value than a hotel so long as you are staying for a full week.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!