Since spending three weeks in Buenos Aires in 2012, I’ve been dreaming of a return trip. Finally, the opportunity came! I felt giddy, retracing my steps in Palermo, Recoleta, Monserrat, San Telmo, and La Boca. I find the city to be so photogenic…
My friends and I arrived to Buenos Aires from Uruguay by Buquebus ferry. The vessel had an electric blue plush carpet, which was in pristine condition since all passengers were required to wear shoe nets. But more importantly, even economy class was extremely comfortable and outfitted with a cafe and electric outlets. It dropped us at Puerto Madero, just south of the Recoleta neighborhood. I love strolling through Recoleta Cemetery where the beloved Eva Perón is rumored to be buried. Each grave is like a small house; and with them side-by-side, you feel like you’re walking through a miniature city.
Staying in Palermo was non-negotiable, since we wanted in on the art, culture, fashion, and culinary scenes of the city.
During my past visit, I happened upon Paul French Gallery, which I quickly deemed as my favorite place in Buenos Aires. A narrow corridor opens up into sunlit courtyard where beauty and serenity await. I would decorate my backyard in this exact style, if I had one.
Nestled inside is a tea shop called Tealosophy by Inés Berton. Last time I picked up a small bag of her Jasmine Pearls. This time I indulged with a four-pack sampler with Royal Fruit, Green Earl Grey, Monsoon Wedding, and Indian Delight.
Tealosophy has blends in restaurants throughout the city, such as Malvón, a charming brunch spot in Palermo Soho.
For me, the “couldn’t miss’ dinner spot in Palermo is Parrilla Don Julio. The steaks are excellent, as are the grilled provolone appetizer and chocolate mousse dessert. (The salads were rather disappointing.) Empty wine bottles tagged with names of guests (like my friends and me!) add coziness to the restaurant’s decor.
For a non-steak dinner option, I highly recommend Casa Felix, a private supper club hosted by Diego and Sanra at their home, northwest of Palermo. They only seat 15 per night and serve guests a pescetarian or vegetarian menu.
Every Sunday, San Telmo holds a street market on Defensa Street, starting at Plaza Mayor. I couldn’t pass up a visit!
Even though the Villa Crespo neighborhood is known for leather goods, I found the items there to be less fashionable and more classic in design. I spotted some great leather bags in Palermo Soho and at the outlets at streets Gurruchaga and Aguirre; but the leather bag I actually bought came from the market at San Telmo….where haggling is part of the experience.
After San Telmo, I decided to keep walking south on Defensa to find Caminito located along Gral Gregorio Aráoz de Lamadrid. The market and shops have the feel of a giant tourist trap, but the colorful buildings are too fun to miss!
The best part of traveling to Buenos Aires in November was having a chance to catch the Argentine Polo Open Championship (Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo). We bought tickets the same day and enjoyed the event, trying to learn the rules and etiquette as the game went on!
Tip: If you’re planning a trip to Argentina, research the blue dollar before you go. In November 2014, the currency black market was offering almost 50% more value when exchanging American dollars for pesos than what one would get when using an ATM or credit card.