101 GuidescityTravel

buenos aires

by Grace Bonney

today’s city guide is devoted to a vibrant south american city that i have been dying to visit for years: buenos aires. thankfully blogger/designer/stylist manvi drona-hidalgo was kind enough to share her favorite spots with us today- so i can live vicariously through her recent travels. our d*s fall/winter intern rabeika messina will be reporting from buenos aires next month, but today we’re getting a special tour of the city from manvi- focusing on places to shop, eat, drink, and have fun. [image above via travelpod]

*manvi’s guide doesn’t focus on detailed descriptions for each shop, but includes a link for each store so you can check out their specific style online.

CLICK HERE for the full buenos aires guides after the jump!

Buenos Aires, Argentina is a vibrant and hip city. French architecture, English lifestyle, Spanish culture and Italian flair makes this a truly fascinating South American destination. This past May, my husband and I had the good fortune to spend almost two weeks in Buenos Aires. Needless to say, we loved it so much that we just can’t stop talking about it.

Getting Around

Buenos Aires is a fairly walkable city but you need to hop on a public bus {collectivo}, subway {subte} and or taxis to travel between neighborhoods. Taxis are relatively inexpensive and I recommend the radio taxis.



Neighorbood: Recoleta

Home / Office + Lifestyle

buenos aires design; a home and lifestyle mall a few blocks from recoleta cemetery. The stores in the mall sell home related products ranging from fabrics, funiture, appliances to bath fixtures. Two stores that I recommend are morph and claudia adorno. morph; modern accessories and furnishing for living rooms, kitchen, bath, garden etc. I went a little overboard shopping for rugs and cushion covers here. Ask for the tax free forms if you are an international tourist. claudia adorno; trendy collection of home wares and ceramics.

Shuttle buses are available to take you from BA design to other malls like patio bullrich.

Fashion + Accessories

patio bullrich; expect to find most international and local designers in this upscale shopping center. within walking distance of recoleta cemetary and buenos aires design.

Neighorbood: Palermo, Palermo SoHo and Palermo Viejo

Home / Office + Lifestyle

augustina cerato; has darling bedding for lovers of pinks, red, polka dots and stripes.

blvd; boulevard are makers of modern furniture and provide customized carpentry, tapestry and iron-cast projects.

elementos argentinos; unique handcrafted rugs, blankets and other woven goods. I like their coloful woven poofs.

interiorzate; eclectic selection of home accessories and lighting

raval warehouse; This design store refurbishes vintage furniture and transforms them into modern edgy pieces.

dabbah-torrejon; this gallery showcases contemporary Argentine and Latin American art.

desde asia; as the name suggests, source for asian inspired furniture and home products.

juan diciervo; a native, juan designs and sells modern lighting fixtures and lamps.

kalpakian; a good resource for well crafted rugs

lamersa; fun, vintage inspired eclectic home accessories and furniture.

manifesto; colorful, trendy and energetic selection of furniture, rugs, lighting and decoration pieces by well known design houses like kartel and artemide.

modocasa; collection of glam and modern furniture

muchatela; this is such a cute store selling lovely hand made textile and fabric products. nice collection of graphic cushion covers.

tramontina; a good source for outdoor furniture.

Fashion + Accessories

rapsodia; trendy clothes and acessories

prune; great collection of handbags, belts, shoes and other leather products.

tucci; i love the facade of this brand/ store with equally hip and uber modern clothes and accessories.

wanama; charming vintage inspired clothes for men and women.

chocolate; stylish and sexy women’s clothing

ayres; this is one of the top argentine brands for women’s fashion.

allo martinez; sexy women’s fashionline

paula cahen; designer clothing for women and kids inspired by the sport polo

kosiuko; flirty clothing for women

garcon garcia; greece {the movie} meets preppie clothing for men

objecto; clothing and accessories for women

peter kent; designer handbags and accessories for women

ezequielt; urban designer clothes for women

las oreiro; this is your source for a great dress to tango or salsa in. clothes, shoes, bags and accessories for women.

nadine zlotogora; a super talented women’s fashion designer, nadine’s store has a diverse collection from lacy dresses to khakis.

teran; for the mister. good quality dress shoes.

lamerceria; armenia 1609. tel: 4831.8558, Stylish boho accessories and clothes. I loved their silk scarves and scented soaps.


palermo paper, is a treat for lovers of all things paper. They have a good collection of gift wrapping papers, art supplies and journals.

Neighborhood: Belgrano

Feria de Artesanías de Belgrano, outdoor weekend fair/ flea market. 10-5 weekends.

casa del angel: upscale shopping center, you can find brands like prune here. stroll over to dada cafe {san martÌn 941. tel:4314 4787} for lunch or coffee afterwards.

cabildo, this is a very busy street lined with mass produced products including clothes and luggage.


elite chocolates, I am addicted to their chocolates. DO NOT leave the city without a box of their dulce de leche bonbonaires

Neighborhood: San Telmo

Art galleries in san telmo barrio. This a one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city with cobblestone streets and numerous art galleries. This area has lots of anque shops and street markets.

Neighborhood: La Boca/ El Caminito

Shop for souveniers or local crafts at the street fair. This is where you see coloful row houses and street performances by tango dancers. PROA if open, this is a must stop for exhibitions and displays. The famous boca juniors soccer stadium is also in this area.

See + Do

arte ba; I higly recommend this annual contemporary art fair held in May.

malba museo; Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415,entre Salguero y San MartÌn de Tours. contemporary art museum.

El ZanjÛn de Granados; Defensa 755,entreChile y Independencia. architectural museum and event space

Museo Casa de Yrurtia; O’Higgins 2390, y Blanco Encalada

Museo de Arte EspaÒol

Enrique Larreta; Juramento 2291,y Vuelta de Obligado

Museo de Artes Pl·sticas Eduardo SÌvori; Avenida Infanta Isabel 555, y Libertador

recoleta cemetery; JunÌn 1760, entre Guido y Vicente LÛpez

casa rosada; or pink house is the presidential palace. guards run free tours of the casa at regular intervals. this is where Evita Peron gave her famous speeches.

Eat + Drink

Neighborhood: Recoleta

A must do for tea + coffee lovers is the tea at hotel Alvear Palace. Slightly on the steeper side, but totally worth it. Plan to spend a couple of hours enjoying champagne and yummy treats along with your tea. Reservations required. For an even more indulging experience, try their spa and wet area before your tea…bliss!!!

Neighborhood: Palermo

minga; costa rica 4528. tel:4833 5775, palermo

miranda; costa rica 5602 esq. this is a busy bar/ restaurant. Gets even busier on weekends. The entire block is filled with good restaurants.

Neighborhood: Belgrano

las huazas; arcos 1984. tel:4783 7577, belgrano. good food and chic interiors.

lo de paka; congreso 2011. tel: 4701-3857, belgrano, We absoultely loved this hidden gem. sophisticated interiors, helpful staff but more importantly great food. we loved this place so much we ate there twice. closed on mondays

don bar; trendy bar and light dinner spot, next to the international house.

Night clubs in BA open pretty late {1-2 am} and are in full swing till about 7-8am. We went to Pacha and Crobar but the city has LOTS of trendy nightposts. For Tango lovers, I recommend the Armenia cultural society in Palermo. You might find this link helpful to look for additional Tango spots.


Day trips and overnight excursions around BA

We planned on making several day trips out of Buenos Aires like Tigre, Montevideo, Uruguay and some ranches. But we loved the city so much that we ended up leaving only once for an overnight excursion to Colonia, Uruguay (image above). Colonia is a quaint town with cobble stone streets. We took a buquebus rapid boat and it took about an hour and a-half each way and they offer stay + eat packages as well.

Suggested For You


  • Friday, saturday and sundays, around eight at night, in Barracas de Belgrano ( the square in front of the train station) it´s meeting point for tango lovers. Winter doesn´t stop old couples to dance!
    In San Telmo, visit the El Mercado, one of the first markets on BA and now a big antique flea market.
    For furniture, go to El mercado de Dorrego, a little away but worth the trip.
    If you are in Palermo Hollywod, visit Eterna Cadencia ( http://www.eternacadencia.com.ar ), and talk to Pablo, that will be the most beautifull bookshop you desing lovers will ever see.
    I could keep on going all night, so if you need more details, send me an e mail and i will be happy to point you in the right direcction.
    And do not, please do NOT but things on florida street (tourist price!!)

  • First thing each morning when I arrived at the office is have a look to Design Sponge. What surprisingly this one when I see a clear “resumè” of one of my favorite cities – not to say the most – where I was born and lived for 38 years. Now I live in Spain, but my heart urgently summons me to come back to the city. Love & The City is my slogan to define counter-exposed feelings. Thank you very much for including such a great article of the city of my dreams. THANK YOU! Love, Mónica

  • Thanks so much grace and design sponge for the opportunity to share my experience with this AWESOME city. I love BA and hope to live there sometime.

  • We were pretty exhausted by the time we reached Buenos Aires, but the few places we dragged ourselves out to were well worth it! I would definitely second the choice of Palermo Paper and the San Telmo market. Buenos Aires Design mall near Recoleta, not so much, but the handmade craft vendors outside, yes! The best part however was our hotel. I would highly recommend HOME! At around $100 US per night it was reasonably priced, well designed, had pleasant spa services, and was a reliable place to catch a healthy, tasty meal.

  • i ❤ buenos aires! just loved nadine zlotogora’s boutique & their friendly great dane. there’s a shop called “sopa de principe” (www.sopadeprincipe.com.ar) in palermo as well, runned by a couple of gals that make some really cool handmade dollies. great places to eat too! thanks for bringing back the memories :)

  • I am visiting BA in November and staying in Palermo and Boedo. Any more restaurants/activities/shopping to recommend? Anything to stay away from? Tried and true visitor websites?

  • Great guide! My wife and I were lucky enough to visit BA at the beginning of the year. What an amazing place. Great shops, great people + great parks. Plus you can’t beat the exchange rate.
    Amazing all around, and would recommend a visit to anyone who loves to travel.

  • the timing on this is so perfect for me as i just booked tickets to visit for my first time this december! my boyfriend was born in buenos aires and his parents still live there. maybe i’ll be able to introduce them to some new places using this fantastic guide. thanks so much!!

  • My husband and I were in BA this May too. We had an awesome time. We highly recommend: a La Boca soccer game, a guided bike tour of the city, sidetripping to Iquazu Falls and small tango clubs. For one part of the trip we stayed at Lina’s Tango Guesthouse (http://www.linatango.com/); Lina will make sure you have a fabulous time tangoing!

  • hey chiming in with the i was there earlier this year crowd!

    what an amazing city!

    i strongly recommend a day trip to tigre. take a river boat down to tres bocas and have a fernet y cola. you won’t regret it i promise!

  • it’s a really nice review, I didn’t know there was so much interest from outside. I live in Argentina and I don’t like it that much.. at all actually. But I guess one thing is visiting a place and a completely different one is living there, but I don’t know, It’s just my opinion. Beautiful guide though, very informative, and the photos are beautiful I liked the last one the most

  • hola,vivo en buenos aires y también recomiendo visitar lugares relacionados con nuestra cultura como por ejemplo la casa de vistoria ocampo en san isidro y los museos como el proa y el malba.muy buen sitio .Espero que entiendan en castellano
    gracias !

  • Buenos Aires is a great city, has so many great things to offer that i still get surprised by some of the things you can find after 22 years of living here.
    Even though i could whine forever about living in this city, i still can appreciate how cool it is.


  • You should go if you can. Buenos Aires uses the peso and it has a great exchange rate. You can really take advantage of all the great artists work there — and the price.

  • as an argentinian who lives in Bs As, I recommend:
    – a day visit to EL TIGRE. Interesting neighbourhood by the river. You can rent a boat, do some shopping in “Mercado de frutos”, have bbq too!. Very lively during weekends.

    – Tren de la Costa, San Isidro. Another river walk, beautiful neighborhood. There’s an antique fair on weekends.

    – In Palermo, my two favourite shops:
    “Calma Chicha” (kitch souvenirs and colorful furniture) and
    “Juana de Arco”, the most amazing, funny lingerie and clothes.

    visit “Museo Fortabat” in Pto Madero is pretty new and has an amazing argentine art collection. Once you are in the area, take a walk in “La reserva Ecológica”, and if you’re brave enough grave something to eat in one of the many “carritos de la costanera”.
    In Palermo, pay a visit to TURBO gallery. Hip artists.

    – Nightlife: I recomend Niceto, Le Bar, La Cigalle, Million.


  • Hola!
    I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the States about 6 years ago. BA is a fascinating city and it makes me so happy to see articles like this one.

    About a year ago I created Puerta Sur, with the idea of sharing with my new home the creativity that is part of my culture. I sell different accesories handmade by Argentine independent artists.
    Please feel free to visit my website: http://www.puertasurshop.com/

    Thanks again for the beautiful article!

  • thanks for this great post. my husband and i are planning to move to BA next year – we love it so much that we got engaged there! i must add another spot to the food list: los immortales has hands down the best pizza i have ever had. do not leave BA without trying it!

  • i am planning to visit buenos aires in mid-october. does anyone know if the weather is warm then? i have heard that it is, but want to be sure it is a nice time of year to go!

  • Thank-you for your inspiring blog. My husband and I have been to Bas three times and are planning another month in February 2010. I always like to try new things as well as our old favorites. Anyone know anything about a day trip with a meal on one of the islands in the Tigre?

  • It would really do the people of Buenos Aires right if you updated this post with photos. I traveled there last year, and although you can find photos of the major landmarks in travel books, photos of the more quaint places are few and far between. And we all know how important it is to see what the business looks like/sells if you’re determining where to eat or shop!

  • Well ,Lindsay .I live in Brazil and I am going to BA in october ,too.The weather is warm , but it is always good to prevent and carry a warm cloth at least!

  • Thanks for a great list! I am from the States but am married to an Argentine man and live in BsAs. It is an amazing city with lots of treasures and surprises. I was happy to see you include some not-so-publicized places like Lo de Paka (my personal favorite parilla!) on the list along with some of the old tourist stand-bys. I feel blessed every day to live in such an amazing place!

  • I’m from BA ,,, happy to see my city in your blogwith such good tips,,, I really like what you do and recommend you from my blog,,, congrats and keep it on!

  • My boyfriend and I just got back from living in BA for a year, and this travel guide made it fun to reminisce. I could add a thousand tips, but I’ll boil it down to two::

    1) The BEST purse store I found is Carla Danelli which is located in Palermo Soho. It’s a good thing we moved back because I bought 5 purses and a wallet there and could have bought more. Beautiful, modern leather bags.

    2) The best local guide for restaurants is called SaltShaker:
    http://www.saltshaker.net/ The guy who writes the reviews also runs a ‘closed door restaurant’ called Casa SaltShaker which is a cool concept. You can find out more from the link above.

    Please contact me if you’re going and have more questions. I have a good friend down there who gives private city tours and would be happy to show any d*s readers around!!

  • Yes!! Thank u very much to make a post about Buenos Aires.
    I’m from Argentina, but I live in Cordoba, another fantastic place to visit. In Buenos Aires u have the sea, the ocean, but in Cordoba u hava mountains, lakes, rivers..
    It’s amazing! :D

  • My boyfirnd and I were in BA this July, and we wanted Cupcakes for his Birthday. A friend of us from the Embassy called Les Muffins Bakery…
    Their Exotic flavors are Amazing!!
    We recomended them! They are lovely people too.

  • What a great post! I love it all, and don’t forget to book Home Hotel WELL in advance when you go!
    Vintage wallpaper, the furniture is either custom or vintage danish modern. Then there is an amazing garden & pool with one of the best breakfasts ever! This is absolutely one of the best places in the world to stay. And then there’s the outstanding service. This place is truly a home away from home. (we just got back & I already miss it.)
    I could write a whole post on so many of the amazing restaurants in BsAs. Not just great food, but so many are so well designed.

  • I recently spent a week in B A and I absolutely loved it!!!! I am from Dallas,Tx so it was the perfect place for me to get a good steak!
    I wanna share some of the places I went to:

    I loved LA CABAÑA and LA CABRERA for good meat.
    My favorite museum was MALBA and all the art galleries in ARROYO street.
    Some cute artsy boutiques like GABRIELLA CAPUCCI in ritsy Alvear Avenue and JUANA DE ARCO in Palermo,have amazing knits.
    I enjoyed the tango festival,superb dancing!
    If you have the chance to go there,you must visit EL ATENEO bookstore,set on an antique theatre.Worth taking pics of!

  • Great tips. We have just returned from a shopping trip to Buenos Aires. We discovered many of the places you mentioned and will for sure take your list as a guide for our next visit!

  • I got married in Buenos Aires and we lived there for the first 8 months of marriage! It doesnt get much better than that! Its fantastic!

  • Hi! Love this blog, and I’m very happy to read this post from my city. I’m from Bs.As too and I live in Belgrano.
    You must visit too this other places in Bs.As: “La Boca”, “Tigre”, “La Feria de Mataderos”, “San Isidro”, “Puerto Madero y Costanera Sur”.
    Thank you and best regards, Maricel

  • I came across ypur blog a minute ago…Great blog, so inspiring…and THEN, I find all this about my native town….so many souvenirs !!!!! Thanks averybody for your comments..you made me feel proud of being “portena”..
    Now I blog about Paris and food..from an Argentine angle….

  • Hi Grace, I’m from BA and I’d like to thank you because you’ve been my inspiration for starting blogging 4 years ago about Trendy Palermo Viejo. I run an arts & crafts store there (ATIPICA) since 2003 and I have witnessed all the changes in the neighbourhood, first an indie spot, and now the place where all the big labels want to be. I loved to find my city listed in Design*Sponge.
    Regards from Buenos Aires.

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