If you have read my other Shopping Tips, you would have figured that I am crazy about local handicraft stalls, weekend markets, etc... and you are absolutely right!
In each city, I try to find the weekend or daily market to visit.
For those local produce markets, it is more to people-watch, get into the 'vein' of the city as people go about their regular shopping, to check out what are the things sold, etc...
For handicraft markets, I love it even more. On the one hand, I get to join in the festive atmosphere and watch the people relax, interact, enjoy the shopping, food and the company of their friends and families. On the other, the handicraft on sale can be very interesting as well, if they are original and creative.
But, more often than not, especially in the other countries I have been (not Argentina), the goods sold are imported, mass-produced goods (like bags, trinkets, etc...) of dubious quality, and even if they are of good quality, they are repetitive and it will be a great delight to find something that really stands out as super-creative.
So what is truly striking about the handicraft stalls of Argentina is that very often, the crafts are made by the artists themselves who are there to sell them, and the crafts are indeed very, very, very creative and gorgeous!
Very often, I tell myself I want to buy an apartment in Argentina, just to stock it with all these lovely crafts and furnishings.
After scouring handicraft stalls all over Argentina and South America, I will have to crown the BEST 'feria' in Argentina and yes, in South America... (I am tempted to say 'the world' but I still have lots of places to go before I can truly state this) to be PASEO DE LAS ARTES in Cordoba.
You can truly spend hours and hours wandering through the labyrinth of stalls, checking out the beautiful handicrafts that really set you wondering what was going through the artists' minds for them to think of creating such amazing things.
What to buy: Very creative crafts like innovative lamp-shades, photo frames, candles, key holders, wind-chimes, tea-and-coffee sets and other kitchenware, glass displays, etc...
What to buy:
Arts and crafts fairs in Cosquín (2nd. and 3rd. week in January) and in Córdoba (March/April).
Pottery black, leatherwork, semi-precious stones.
Pastries, sweets and home-made dried or smoked sausages
There are tow shopping centers in Cordoba, one is Patio Olmos, located downtown. The other one ( i don't know the name) is located just in front of the Sheraton. Take advantage of the peso devaluation and shop :)
What to buy: The one in front of the Sheraton is the biggest in town and includes a department store. Both have shops of different kinds of clothes and restaurants.
The flashiest, most comfortable place to shop (and therefore the least interesting) is the Patio Olmos shopping center, where you will find designer shops, restaurants and an amusement area for the kids (which they will need if you are mean enough to drag them to this place).
You won't find anything here that you wouldn't find at home.