Visiting Buenos Aires (or as the locals refer to it: “Capital” or, as the expats call it: “BA” )? Overwhelmed or not sure where to stay in the city? Many of our travelers have had the same question. I lived on and off between Argentina and the US for almost 8 years and during part of that time I went to college in Buenos Aires. I have lived in numerous barrios, neighborhoods, around the city and have recently come up with a short list of the best places to make your base while exploring “The Paris of the South”.
RECOLETA: Up-scale neighborhood where many designer clothing shops are, high-end restaurants, long boulevards that remind visitors or Paris, great plazas/parks (Plaza Frances is where most college students hang out. On Sundays there is market there and often small music or art performances are going on). This is of course also the neighborhood where the famous Recoleta cemetery is (Evita’s grave/mausoleum is here). Our city tour will take guests here briefly however, if you have time and want to come back, it is a nice place to bring a picnic and wander around. This neighborhood has a few subway connections but best to take a remis/taxi when going out of the neighborhood if trying to move more quickly.
PALERMO: This is the chic, hip, SOHO (they even have a part of Palermo called “Palermo Soho”) neighborhood of BA. There are loads of small unique shops, art galleries, traditional old houses and buildings, more up-scale shopping, and recently microbreweries and burger joints have exploded everywhere here. The heart of the neighborhood is Plaza Serano where on Sundays there is an artist market and all the nearby streets are closed off. There are great restaurants all over this neighborhood (cheap to high-end). There are several subway stations that service this neighborhood and lots of buses as well as taxis/remises. From here you can walk to the Botanical Gardens and Parque Palermo which are huge parks and nice to enjoy during the afternoon.
SAN TELMO: This is a bohemian neighborhood and is the heart of Tango in the city. This neighborhood feels like artistic parts of Paris and is the oldest neighborhood in the city. All the famous Argentine writers have stories that take place in San Telmo. This neighborhood has numerous small cafes, great restaurants and local bars. Shopping is mostly local art, antiques and up and coming clothing designers with small shops. On Sundays there is the famous San Telmo antiques market that goes down Dorrego street and ends in Plaza Dorrego. Almost any given night in Plaza Dorrego there are local musicians playing and tango dancers in the street. Parque Lezama, a beautiful park to relax in, is within walking distance. You can also rent bikes from the company Orange Bicycle and ride over to the Reserva Ecologica (ecological reserve) (You can of course visit this reserve from the other neighborhoods too but you need to drive). The food carts next to the Reserva Ecologica, along what is called, La Costanera, make the most famous Choripan (grilled sausage sandwiches in fresh baguette) sandwiches. There is one subway that serves San Telmo but best to take remis or taxis if trying to move around quickly.
Your friendly Argentina expert,