Final Word on SAN TELMO (especially if you live there)


Mar 17, 2008
I can't seem to get a definitive feel about how safe (at night) and lively (at night) San Telmo is. I used to take a taxi down there from the San Martin area little Hotel I would stay at for Tango shows but that was it (besides day time visits to the weekend flea market in the square/park). So, is it safe to walk a few blocks or more (say from a bar/restaurant to your hotel/apartment) at around midnight or 1 am? Are there many people on the streets at night or is it more like a ghost town? Why do I hear some people say it's dangerous and creepy and some people say it's pretty safe or very safe?(places usually have one solid reputation that's pretty accurate). Really appreciate your comments, Thanks, Dudester
Hi The question isn't if San Telmo is dangerous the fact is that Argentina is and if you go there you are going to get hurt.
I'm gonna say ST is both safe and lively at night. That is my impression after going there regularly for dinner and milongas at night for 2.5 months.I think if you end up buying into fear in general or the FUD and cranks on this board, those regular people on the ground in ST who find it fun and lively and social would just stare at you and say WTF if you told them you didn't go there because you feared it. It's just a place with a ton of restos, hotels, hostel, milongas, pretty buildings, parks, hippies, musicians, artists, etc. I can't show you my certificate of definitiveness, though. I'm just some gringo who goes into ST for dinner and dancing.
Dear Blake, thanks a lot, that's the kind of well thought out answers I'm looking for - your observations from personal experience. As far as Elpanada goes, amigo, that is one wack statement IMHO. I doubt Argentina is as dangerous as the USA - we have guns EVERYWHERE. The USA just made history yesterday. One of our Pilots (US AIR) just shot off his "FAA approved in the cockpit" hand gun by accident while the plane was still in flight - I think that's a first in non military, civilian aviation history. Anyway, I would really appreciate some more accurate comments about the night vibe in San Telmo from people who live there or visit often. I might get a very small apartment in BA in the next year and San Telmo is one of my favorite neighborhoods but then again safety is obviously very important also. All comments are greatly appreciated. Dudester
Dudester, the killing rate is actually higher in Argentina than in the United States, though most of that is attributable to a much greater rate of highway deaths (three times the American, if I remember correctly). I can't add much to comments about San Telmo, but the very few times I've been there late at night I've felt a little on edge -- though nothing's happened.
RWS, Yeah, I know, it has that feeling when you come out of the Tango shows and there's no taxi around for a few minutes. I was hoping it changed with more people walking around. Let's see if I get anymore comments but it sounds like what I'm used to from my visits in the past, Thanks, Dudester
Okay, mang, empirical science time tonight: round about 11PM I'm gonna walk from Plaza de Mayo to roughly Peru and Independencia, milonga it for a few hours, then about 2 or 3 I'll walk back to PdM and catch a taxi home. I will report back whether my throat was slit or I felt otherwise menaced. As a side note, I would gladly do the same thing in Boca, and I would say Boca has a decidedly more sketchy late-night feeling going on than ST.
Quoting "Blake":
". . . . I will report back whether my throat was slit . . . ."
If you don't report back, we'll KNOW that your throat was slit!
Quoting "Blake":
". . . I would say Boca has a decidedly more sketchy late-night feeling going on than ST."
No argument on that one!
I've walked through San Telmo at night with nothing worse than a bad feelling. I can get that feelling walking through Boca during daylight.
Okay, the streets were a little moist. Knew they would be: it was humid as heck during dinner and I told some friends, "Nothing but stars out, but it's fully gonna rain tonight." They say, "You sure it's not just residual humidity from the last rain?" "Uh, yeah." So anyway, just another 2:30AM walk through the ST park. No menacings.
Muchas Gracias Blake, that was very brave of you... and you still have your throat !!! Well, I guess the danger is more in our imaginations but I still picture San Telmo deserted at night while Palermo (Hollywood? Soho?) is packed with people having fun at night, going out to bars and restaurants. Never really having been to Palermo but can only imagine the nightly street life from what I've read...... Is it as lively as they say (or is it just more imagination going on)?? Dudester