After having been in Buenos Aires for many months now studying Spanish, I have had the fortunate luck and time to do nearly everything I wanted to do here. During this period, I have had some visitors from home who had limited time in Buenos Aires and consequently, have wanted to show them the best of what Buenos Aires had to offer. I have included things for the week of activities that I personally love to do, and things that a visitor simply should not miss. I have tried to combine plenty of cultural and food experiences that I really hope you will all love!
As many museums and galleries are actually closed on Mondays, take advantage of the sun and take a stroll to Palermo’s Los Bosques. Walk, bike ride or rollerblade around the park’s perimeter and don’t forget to see the beautiful rose garden (El Rosedal).
After this, jump in a taxi (this mode of transport is relatively cheap in BsAs) and visit one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, El Cementario de Recoleta. The Recoleta Cemetery deserves a good hour to walk through it’s numerous ‘streets’ where you can discover the mausoleums of Eva Peron, Jorge Luis Borges and several Argentine presidents.
In front of the Cementario are many restaurants with outdoor sitting áreas. These spots can be a little touristy, however you are sure to find a delicious steak or pasta here.
If you have recently flown into Buenos Aires, it is likely that you’ll need to take an afternoon nap. Take advantage of this as you have quite a big night and week ahead!
Tonight go and see the amazing drum show, La Bomba de Tiempo, where you will spend much of the time dancing crazily along with the crowd. It starts at 8pm at the Konex Centre, Sarmiento 3131 (Abasto) and entry is 50 pesos. Many people go for drinks after the show so if you have the energy, it’s safe to just follow the crowd to various bars closeby.
Today visit the La Boca área of Buenos Aires. I recommend to go around lunch time so you are able to sit down at a restaurant and watch some fantastic tango dancing. Afterwards, take a walk around the area and see the historically interesting and famous ´colourful houses´ and port of Buenos Aires.
After lunch, take a wander through the Fundación Proa, an excellent modern art museum just a stone’s throw from La Boca’s main thoroughfare (Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1929).
Enjoy a steak dinner during happy hour at the famous La Cabrera (corner Thames and Cabrera, Palermo). A serious line will start to form around 6:45pm so be prompt. As this is considered incredibly early to eat dinner in this city, don’t rush, or if you choose, go at a later time outside of happy hour. Either way, you will receive an array of exquisite condiments including anything from mashed pumpkin, couscous with cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic and mini onions to potato salad, and of course a gorgeous bread basket.
If you’re in the mood for a delicious beverage in a funky place after dinner, try 878. 878 (Thames 878) is closeby and has an impressive cocktail and wine menú.
Spend the morning strolling through the streets of Palermo Soho, enjoying a lovely coffee and medialuna (croissant) at either B Blue Café (Armenia 1692) or Cocu (Malabia 1510). Have a look at the wonderfully-designed shops that line the streets of Soho (particularly Honduras and Gurruchaga).
Walking distance from Palermo Soho, visit the Museo de Evita (Lafinur 2988) which opens at 11am and learn about the life of Argentina’s most influential woman. Have a light lunch at the restaurant ajoining the museum after your historical tour through the museum and enjoy the leafy courtyard.
Spend time in San Telmo tonight and enjoy what this barrio has to offer. Dine at Sagardi, a great place that specialises in Basque-style tapas (Humberto 1° 319). Afterwards, immerse yourself in Buenos Aires’ tango community at La Maldita milonga (Peru 571). A wonderful orquestra starts at 11pm and the talented locals will start dancing to the tantalising tango music shortly after.
Why not visit the centre of the city today? Start off at Plaza Lavalle where you will see beautiful neoclassical-style buildings including the Teatro Colón and Tribunal Superior de Justicia, the main synagogue of the city and the Jewish museum beside it. Next, just a short stroll from the plaza is Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world. From this avenue, you will be able see the fantastic obelisk and also the enormous portrait of Eva Peron on the north wall of the Ministry of Health (both great photo opportunities!).
Walk towards Eva’s portrait until you come to Avenida 25 de Mayo. Turn left and walk down to Plaza de Mayo, one of the most historical spots in the city. The most notable buildings here are the cathedral, el cabildo, and of course La Casa Rosada, the fantastic pink government building.
After this, take a short taxi ride to Puerto Madero for lunch at Siga la Vaca (Alicia Moreau de Justo 1714) or Sottovoce (Alicia Moreau de Justo 176).
¨Puerto Madero currently represents the largest urban renewal project in the city of Buenos Aires. Having undergone an impressive revival in merely a decade, it is one of the most successful recent waterfront renewal projects in the world.¨
Considering it’s success in upscale development, it is one of the more pricey places to spend time. Nevertheless, the view of the river, the many bridges, La Reserva Ecologica (a 360-hectare green area that runs the length of the wealthy Puerto Madero neighborhood) and the Faena Hotel all contribute to the charm and make it extremely easy to spend a lovely afternoon in this área.
Tonight, check out Milión (Paraná 1048, Recoleta). Set in a French-style mansión, Milión comprises of a stylish restaurant, bar and garden. The food is modern Argentine with some Mediterranean elements and the drinks are simply devine. Enjoy the ambience of this gorgeous building and the experience that just oozes with charm.
Today may be perfect for a well-deserved sleep in after all the weekly activity. After a late start, I recommend a relaxed walk through the beautiful tree-lined streets of Palermo Hollywood. My favourite passages are through Soler, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Fitz Roy as many charming businesses can be discovered. Also, the quiet of these streets is much appreciated after all the noise that Buenos Aires produces.
For lunch, Las Cabras is an absolute must (Fitz Roy 1795). Previously discussed on other blogs, this place offers amazing meat, fish, salads and quesadillas. Highly recommended is the Gran Bife Las Cabras to share which will leave you satisfied well into the afternoon.
After lunch, why not join a Graffitimundo tour group? Buenos Aires is famous for it’s Street art and the tour will take you to some of the city’s most impressive areas. Click here to organize your tour.
Tonight get ready to dance as I’m about to recommend a place that will make you want to keep moving til at least 4 in the morning! The Roxy (Niceto Vega 5542, Palermo Hollywood) specialises in playing pop/rock classics that you can’t help but love. Wear something comfy as excited dance-jumping is common here 😉
Weekends in Buenos Aires are full of open-air markets. Today, check out either the fair in front of the Recoleta Cemetery (Plaza Francia) or the market in Plaza Serrano (Palermo). Wherever you do go, families and big groups of friends are out in force celebrating free time and beautiful weather so it’s a lovely atmosphere anywhere in the city.
Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, Sarkis (Thames 1101, Villa Crespo) is also a must. Also mentioned on previous blogs, Sarkis is famous among locals for authentic Armenian food. A great experience as each meal time the huge restaurant is filled to the brim with satisfied customers feasting on grilled lamb with yogurt, tabbouleh, pita bread and dips and moussaka just ton ame a few dishes.
Spend the rest of your day taking your time to walk around whichever neighbourhood you feel like you must return to or yet to discover. Belgrano is great for wandering upon gorgeous old houses if that is your interest.
Today is the Feria de San Telmo, probably one of the most special antique markets anywhere. Along Calle Defensa, many stalls sell typical market bric-a-brac, however behind the stalls lie permanent antique stores whose collections of beautiful old things are outstanding. It is a fantastic atmosphere here-there are many tourists but also many locals soaking up the beauty of this old neighbourhood.
For lunch, go to El Desnivel which is situated along the market street. Also a favourite local’s place, El Desnivel specialises in cuts of meat cooked to perfection for a very reasonable price. The salsa criolla that comes with the bread basket is also simply amazing!
To cross off 2 big markets in one day is quite an achievement, but if you do have the energy, the Feria de los Mataderos, in the neighbourhood of Mataderos is simply sooo Argentine and worth a look. Accessible by taxi or bus, the market signifies Pampas life in Argentina and there is even a gaucho skill show during the afternoon. Hand-made goods are sold here amongst the billowing smoke coming from the huge barbecues grilling every cut of meat possible. Very much a sight to see if you do not have time to discover that much of Argentine culture!