Home of flamenco, Malbec red wine, steak and gelato. Buenos Aires is a place to experience life on a grand scale with lavish restaurants, sophisticated bars and unbelievable shopping set in a enormous city also called the dirty Paris of the southern hemisphere. Mainly because there is dust flowing in from all locations and the exquisite buildings that decorate the streets could come out of Napolean’s city plan. Faena Hotel + Universe is a highlight although away from the beaten track but there are restaurants and a pool bar to bask in the midst of the cities elite. Puente de la Mujer bridge is close by and is a homage to the elegance and grace of women in Puerto Madero and although it once was a shipping yard it now changed to be something far more modern in contrast to the older parts of BA.
Hotel in new part of city
Art Galleries and fashion make BA a culturally rich destination. The contemporary art gallery MACBA has a range of leading local artists that really challenge the way you think about the world. When I went there Marta Minujin was the featured exhibition and had a maze of fluorescent mattresses to raise awareness for property in Argentina. Using art to communicate social issues is innovative and refreshing to see the wealthy making efforts to help others in need.
Strolling down Montevideo Street in Recoleta you will see all the high end retailers like Louis Vuitton, Mont Blanc, Ralph Lauren along with the best local stores. Patio Bullrich is shopping mall featuring cafe’s and more local stores under one roof.
It is also close to the Recoleta cemetery where you can see where Argentina’s wealthy and powerful rest for eternity in style. One of the world’s most extraordinary graveyards, with over 6,400 grandiose mausoleums resembling Gothic chapels, Greek temples, fairytale grottoes and elegant little houses. Famously the actress turned president Eve Peron or Evita has an marble tomb where locals often leave flowers at the entrance as her story lives on.
Palermo is a tree-lined, bohemian and trendy neighbourhood with the odd spotting of dog shit. Milongas or tango dancing, restaurants, bars, to live music and markets really makes this part of BA come alive. It is a more affordable part of town without compromising on atmosphere. The happy hours are sometimes from 4am to 5am as dinner starts late in BA. The Spanish spoken in Argentina is so fast, even if you have mastered a few introductory words it is easy to get lost. Palermo is a great place to meet the locals and get a better handle on the language in a more relaxed setting. There are also many parks to stroll through for a break of the big city in these oasis’s.
Its easy to go loco for the food, culture, passion and energy that lives within BA’s four walls. Dress up to the nine, and enjoy everything that is on offer.
Faena Hotel + Universe is a good place to start with a luxurious pool bar to mix with the elite
Floreia Atlantico is hidden behind a florist and has the cities cocktail expert, enough said
Droppel Ganger is in the older part of the city and has more of a Porteno experience
Festival for industrial chic bar with DJ’s turn out great tunes
MACBA for cutting edge creativity from leading artists
Recoleta Cemetery to visit Eva Peron’s Tomb
Sottovoce is my favourite restaurant and literally ate there every day to try everything on the menu
Bistro Sur at Fayena Hotel + Universe has iconic white horses dotted around the dining room and has equally unique yet traditional food of a high standard
Elena is a good go to place in real style
Malvon for a casual brunch
Patio Bullrich for all that glitters and thats gold
Giesso for easy Argentine style
Park Hyatt for the cities most exquisite hotel in the best location ($500 pn)
Faena Hotel + Universe is a little out of the way but has all the Argentine charm ($500 pn)
Hotel Pulitzer is modern in the perfect location to get to all the best restaurants easily ($130 pn)
Savoy is a little out of the way but the hotel is traditional and opulent ($130 pn)
Note: There are day trips to Uruguay by ferry for a whole new experience. Most of BA is safe to stroll through except for La Boca with the iconic colourful buildings where you will need to go in a group and during the day. US dollars are used in Argentina. There are two airports a domestic and international at different ends in the city if you are catching a local flight. There is often a $100 fee you have to pay at the airport to enter Buenos Aires unless you have a New Zealand passport or similar. You can easily catch a cab from the airport to your hotel or a shuttle if travelling in a group.