Spending six days in Buenos Aires? This is what I would do.
Assuming it was Tuesday and assuming you’d just arrived after a grueling red eye flight, why not start your trip off right with some spa treatments at the divine Ser Spa in Palermo. I think you’ll need a massage to get started, and then sweat it all out in their lovely steam sauna.
In the theme of self indulgence, why not proceed to the landmark Alvear Palace Hotel for high tea? Delicious tea infusions, scones and finger sandwiches are followed by a dessert so rich that even I couldn’t finish it.
And you wouldn’t be doing your first night in Buenos Aires justice if you didn’t go for steak. Whynot start it out easy at La Cabrera, in Palermo. Enjoy a glass of champagne and mingle with other tourists before you start a love affair with your first piece of Argentine meat.
Assuming it is a Wednesday, why not take a walk downtown. Window shop, people watch and lookout for pickpockets on the always busy Florida Street. If you walk the whole way down, you’ll end up at the historical center, Plaza de Mayo, where you can visit the President in the Pink House and the old Cabildo building.
Then hail a cab to Palermo Soho to visit a beautiful boutique hotel that hosts wine tastings in their stylist lobby. Anuva Wines wine tasting boasts five different specialty wines with authentic Argentine food pairings. Be careful, their pours are endless.
Since you’re in the neighborhood, Palermo Soho has some great shopping. Check here for some of my favorite brands.
After a long day of walking, drinking and shopping, try some local empanadas for dinner. Three or four (or six if you’re really hungry) is the normal dinner portion size. All South American countries have their own version of the empanada, and Argentina’s are pretty good. Typically empanadas come either fried or al horno – baked. Here are some of my own recipes if you want to make your own.
Assuming it a Thursday, and you’re looking for a break from the city before the weekend,
why not get out of town and head for the country.
Check out nearby San Antonio del Areco. The town is lovely with it’s charming chocolate factory, silver museum and old time bars complete with authentic modern day gauchos.
Then you can visit one of the many nearby polo clubs. If you’re lucky maybe you can eat a delicious asado cooked over an open fire, go for a long horseback ride and drink some mate while you watch a polo game. As sun sets, head back to the city.
Wow, Friday already. This calls for a celebratory steak lunch. No place better than Puerto Madero’s Cabaña Las Lilas. Their steak is divine and their wine menu is a very expensive novel. If there are two in your party, I would recommend splitting a steak and a side dish. Feel free to linger for hours of dessert and coffee.
Help your digestion by taking a long stroll down Puerto Madero’s waterfront. Stop and pose for pictures in front of it’s scenic ‘Bridge of the Woman’. (I won’t tell you why they call it that.) This is the newest and most modern part of the city.
Well since your long lunch probably started at 3pm, and lasted no less than three and a half hours, after your walk it should be getting dark, assuming it isn’t summer. Guess it’s time to head back to base camp and get ready for some Buenos Aires nightlife. For me, that means taking a nap, and then applying ample mascara.
A recommendable bar to start your night is Milion. This trendy hot spot is located in an old haunted mansion. The house is gorgeous and the garden is even better. Their drinks are pricey, but their music is always at the perfect volume, which to me is priceless. The place really is haunted, the lights often flicker, and a black cat lurks around.
Milion also has many English speaking patrons. So meet some cute ones, and you can decide on a boliche (dance club) to head to next.
Spend the day appreciating art and architecture without having to set foot in a museum. At the Recoleta park, you can visit the local artisans who sell their hand crafted goods. This is the perfect place to find unique gifts for friends back home, and one of a kind souvenirs. When you tire of shopping, be like a real Porteño and take a seat in the grass and enjoy some mate.
Right next to the fair is the unbelievable Recoleta Cemetery, which is in my humble opinion, the most interesting site in Buenos Aires. You could easily spend hours getting lost among its blocks and blocks of masterful mausoleums. Be sure not to miss Evita’s grave.
I encourage you to wake up and head out the door before eleven in the morning, which is easier said than done in this nocturnal city. Make your way to Defensa Street for the mother of all street fairs. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the combination of artisans, leather crafters, hippies and antique dealers all selling their unique goods for tax free prices. It is easy for shoppers and people watchers alike to spend several hours and dollars at this fair.
When you get a little tired and ready for your lunch steak (as opposed to your breakfast steak), turn down Estados Unidos Street and enter into La Brigada, a landmark restaurant with a menu just as classically Argentine as its soccer memorabilia themed decor. The meat here is so tender, they cut it with a spoon!
Now hurry back to your hotel and pack your bags. You can arrange a trip back to the airport with Manuel Tienda Leon, or barter with a cab driver.
Hope you had a great trip! I know I did.