If you only have a weekend in Buenos Aires, you might want to consider staying in either the Palermo or San Telmo neighborhoods, two of the most lively in the city. Both have a slew of great bars, restaurants and cafes and are close to some of the city’s most significant sights. If you only have one Friday night in Buenos Aires, make it count by chowing down on the best meat around at famed steakhouse Don Julio. Don Julio regularly battles it out with La Cabrera for the best parilla in Palermo, so word to the wise – Don Julio wins hands down for the quality of the meat and the classic decor, best described as gaucho meets urban cowboy. Head for drinks after dinner, if you still have room, to the bustling cocktail bar Rey de Copas, where you can see a great selection of eclectic artwork and antiques from all over the world adorning the walls, then check out the rooftop terrace for some of the best vibes in the city.
If you are staying in Palermo, wake up late at around 10am and head for breakfast in one of the many quaint cafes in the neighborhood. Languish over tasty sweet treats with coffee and juice to start the day in either Ninina Bakery or Cocu Cafe, or hit Full City Coffee for one of the only fry-ups you will find in Buenos Aires. Breakfast can be quite the feast, so walk it off with a leisurely stroll through Palermo towards the upscale Recoleta neighborhood. Continue through the Bosques de Palermo – one of the city’s most popular parks – and down Avenida Libertador past the law faculty and the Museum of Fine Arts, where you can view the exhibition of international and Latin American art.
Once you’ve had your fill of art, cross the busy road and head towards the Recoleta cemetery, located beside the Recoleta Cultural Centre, Buenos Aires Design Centre and a pleasant park in which you can relax if you’re tired from all the walking. When you’re ready, hit the cemetery, but check if a free tour is about to start, as this will give you a better insight into the history of the cemetery and the famous people buried there. Eva Peron is perhaps the cemetery’s most well known resident, and although her tomb should not be missed, the entire area is worth a wander around as it showcases various architectural styles and is a lovely place to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Seeing as you’ve been out and about all day, you may be wanting a nap, and the timescale that Buenos Aires abides by allows you to do just that! It is common for people to take a siesta between about 6pm and 8pm, giving you ample time to rest and get changed before your tango show and dinner in the evening. Tango shows usually start about 9pm, and a full three-course meal complete with steak and endless glasses of Malbec is a delicious precursor to the entertainment in store. Esquina Carlos Gardel is a popular tango show situated in the heart of Buenos Aires’ tango mecca Almagro, or the show in Puerto Madero’s fancy Faena hotel is a great option for those looking to celebrate a special occasion in style.
Head over to the historic San Telmo neighborhood for brunch in one of the many restaurants or cafes in the area. The natural oasis of the Reserva Ecologica is nearby, and on the way you can walk through the regenerated docklands area of Puerto Madero, which the rich and famous call home. Aim to be brunching around 11am and you will miss the madness of the San Telmo market, which you can look forward to in the afternoon.
Bargain hunters delight, the San Telmo market is waiting to draw you in! Stretching down the whole length of Defensa street from Avenida Belgrano to Plaza Dorrego, this weekly street market has everything you could possibly want, from souvenirs and antiques to vintage clothes. Take your time and peruse the many stalls selling local handicrafts, and pop into the shops lining the street. If you’re feeling peckish, there are street vendors selling choripan and crepes, or head into the famous Banco Rojo to try one of their fried empanadas with a beer. Once you’ve had enough of the fair, you can go to the Kirchner Culture Centre (CCK) to see one of the many free events held in the recently converted former post office building, a delight to visit in itself. Afterwards, finish off your weekend in Buenos Aires with a slice of pizza from famed pizzeria El Cuartito or Guerrin, both just a short distance away from the CCK on Avenida Corrientes, the theater district.