Villa Crespo is a lesser-known Buenos Aires neighbourhood located close to the trendy Palermo area. While often overlooked in favour of the latter, Villa Crespo very much has its own identity and there is plenty of stuff to do here as a visitor to Buenos Aires. Check out our guide to the things you can’t miss out on.
Most visitors to Buenos Aires will quickly learn that it is not really a shop-til-you-drop kind of city. Many consumer goods are overpriced and of poor quality, but one thing that you should definitely consider spending your pesos on is leather. The cow is king in Argentina, and just as Argentines consume beef by the ton each year, leather products are also a big deal. Head to the area around Murillo street in Villa Crespo to find a wealth of leather shops that sell bags, jackets, wallets and whatever your heart desires.
Villa Crespo is home to part of Buenos Aires’ large Jewish community, and as such it has lots of Jewish cafés, bakeries and restaurants. Head to La Crespo for your fill of lox, cream cheese, latkes, pastrami sandwiches and pastries. Alternatively, you can get your fix of Jewish treats at El Chiri de Villa Crespo, or go for a kosher asado at the Asian Kosher Grill Fusion Steak House on Cordoba Avenue.
Another thing Villa Crespo is known for is its street art. Many of Argentina’s most well-known artists, such as Ever, Jaz and Pastel, cut their teeth painting murals in the this part of town, and around the cross streets of Castillo and Serrano there are plenty of murals to check out. If you want to find out more about graffiti and street art in Buenos Aires, take a tour with Graffitimundo, as they sometimes head over to Villa Crespo, depending on what murals have taken shape recently.
If you just can’t say no to a bit of shopping while you’re visiting the Argentine capital, the outlets in Villa Crespo are the closest you will get to high-street shopping in the city. Around Loyola and Serrano you will find plenty of shops selling everything from sportswear to formal dress, so if you decide to spend a few hours trawling the outlets you are sure to find a bargain.
This park is situated right in the geographic centre of Buenos Aires, and is great to visit at the weekends, when a large street market lines the periphery of this circular recreational space. Drawing a crowd from all walks of life, Parque Centenario has been beautifully landscaped as part of a recent renovation, and you can even attend a show at the amphitheatre on site. Take a picnic in summer and laze about on the grass, and you will see people practising yoga and hear others playing the guitar.
If you’re looking for a nighttime activity in Villa Crespo, look no further than Cafe San Bernardo. This Buenos Aires institution is part pool hall, part ping-pong room and part old-school watering hole. It still retains its traditional vibe, but these days is populated with hipsters shooting pool and dancing around each other at the ping-pong tables. Go on a Tuesday night when a live DJ gets the crowd going, and don’t be afraid to mingle.
No trip to Buenos Aires would be complete without seeing some tango. Villa Crespo has lots of milongas, or tango dance halls, that are popular with the city’s serious tangueros. Salon Canning and La Viruta are two of the biggest names on the Buenos Aires milonga scene, but if you are looking for something a little bit more low key, head to Villa Malcolm, get a glass of cheap wine and see some amateur tango up close.