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Madonna may have immortalized it in pop culture terms with that song in Evita, but this city lived in the imaginations of many long before Hollywood got a hold of it, and the romantic notions it conjures will survive long after the movie goes into the vault. Even the name Buenos Aires has an air about it: romantic, exotic, mischievous…sexy. Tangos, fútbol, succulent steaks, friendly locals with a zest for life, weekly fairs and colorful neighborhoods…these are all the dreams, but you’ll come to the happy realization while visiting, that they are realities as well. It is not considered "The Pearl" of South America for nothing. This may very well be the city that has it all. The majestic European architecture of its founders combined with the passion of its people makes Buenos Aires a beautiful, eclectic and vibrant city like no other. From the colorful and the charming neighborhood of San Telmo (its poor residents’ use of paint from the shipyard resulted in a neighborhood of multi-colored houses) with its abundanceof antique shops, to the art haven of the MALBA, the city offers a rich history melded with vivid flashes of everyday life that any traveler will count among his or her treasured memories.
La Recoleta Cemetery
Calle Junín 1760 (Recoleta)
Tel. +54 (11) 4804.7040
In a city of rapid changes, this monument to the notable deceased – from famous musicians to Eva Peron – is the literal example of the city’s respect for its historical identity. Just three short blocks from the Alvear Palace, La Recoleta is the Manhattan of cemeteries. Don’t expect Evita’s mausoleum to be the most ostentatious, but do expect to wait among a queue of admirers to take an unobstructed picture of the glamorous darling. Buy a professional map in the front and take a self-guided walking tour of this "active necropolis" that American poet Robert Lowell called "hundreds of one-room Roman temples."
Avenida Figuroa Alcorta 3415
Tel. +54 (11) 4808.6500
Who says Latin America doesn’t produce world class fine art? This light and spacious gallery features works by Fabian Marcaccio, Frida Kahlo, and excellent temporary displays.
Lafinour 2988 (Botanico)
Tel. +54. 11.4807.0306
If you're a fan of Evita (Eva Peron) than this is a must see! The photography and the displayed wardrobe of this iconic person tells a story of someone whose early media driven rise to fame can only be surpassed by her premature death.
Tel. +54 (11) 4378.7312
Tours of this historic theater are available everyday. It opened in 1908 (with a production of Verdi’s Aida) and is now one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Located in the heart of the city, it stages shows year round. May 2008 marked its 100th anniversary.
Museo Nacional de Belles Artes
Avenida Del Libertador 1473
Tel. +54 (11)4803.0802
Opened in 1896, Argentina’s National Museum of Fine Arts showcases artifacts dating from the 12th century, along with the work of Argentine and European artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. While the museum houses an extensive collection of European greats from Cezanne to Van Gogh, the highlight is the Argentine collection, with works from major artists over the last five centuries.
Buenos Aires revels in it's street art like no other city. Graffiti is a big thing here in bringing new artists to the attention of the masses. Graffitimundo has organized tours that take you to neighborhoods like Villa Crespo where new and rising artists paint their there way to success.
Arroyo 872 (Retiro)
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4313.6093
This flower and wine shop has a hidden secret. A fantastic subterranean restaurant and lounge. The cocktails are totally inventive, not to mention the terrific food. You'll be mixing with the locals. Very late!
Cabana Las Lilas
Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo 516
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4313.1336
You really came to Buenos Aires for the beef. This may be the most "touristy" place in Buenos Aires, but so many deem their T-Bone second to none that the touristy aspect can’t hold you back. The skirt steak is excellent. Sit out back and people-watch portside. Enjoy delicious appetizers and ask the staff which Malbec will pair best with your steak.
1658 Uriarte (Palermo Soho)
TEL: +54 (0) 11.4833.1112
This high end place is known for its clubby scene including the busy bar. The food is contemporary and the wine cellar has over 250 regional labels. The chef, German Martitegui, is well regarded. Try the Argentinean veal tenderloin.
Costa Rica 5602
Tel. +54 (11) 4771.4255
Another no frills steak place but this one features a cool and hip decor. The loft like space manges to feel cozy thanks to potted plants and wall textiles.
Parisian comfort food come to Buenos Aires in San Telmo area. Always a buzz!
Head to La Recova, a cluster of fashionable restaurants located under a previously derelict highway overpass where you’ll find these delightful Italian restaurants right across the street from each other. At the former, a more formal restaurant, you’ll find giant portions (made for sharing) of excellent Italian cuisine, from homemade pasts to veal scallops, along with an eight page wine list. The latter is a more casual parrilla, offering some of the same Italian dishes but incorporating a variety of local meat and seafood.
Estados Unidos 465 (San Telmo)
Great Ribeye and Malbec to pair with this traditional and dependable San Telmo steak house.
Alicia Moreau de Justo 1160 (Puerto Madero)
Gourmet and modern contemporary chic with views of the Puerto Madero docks. This beaurtiful and serious restaurant has won many awards and if you're interested in a long night of fine dining this is one to consider.
Avenue Quintana 596 (Recoleta)
Tel.+54 (0) 11.4804.0449
After seeing the cemetery and Eva Peron’s mausoleum, head to La Biela for a light bite and some great people-watching. Opened in 1850, this sidewalk café became a favorite haunt for Argentinean racecar drivers, whose pictures reside on the walls today.
With two locations on Calle Florida and 46 others throughout the city, this dessert café offers you plenty of chances to enjoy a delicious dulce de leche cookie sandwich with an espresso. Teenage waiters in army fatigues embolden a theme of revolutionary Cuba. Boxes of these delicious dulce de leche (dulce de leche is the national sweet) sandwiches can be bought at the cafes or at the duty free shops at Eziza airport.
Jardin Japones Restaurant
Avenida Casares 2966
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4800.1322
Have some of South America’s Japanese cuisine at this restaurant in the city’s own Japanese gardens. Rumor has it that their sushi and sashimi rivals that of Nobu in New York. No comment on that one, but the food is exquisite all the same. Arrive early to stroll across the charming bridges and among the bamboo and fish ponds of the garden.
Costa Rica 5852
Tel. +54 (11) 5291.3333
Week end and late night dinner (around midnight) bring Portenos (locals) to this glam dining venue on the outskirts of Palermo
Tel. +54 (11) 4807.6691
Like the Japanese have flooded Sao Paulo so to have the Italians come to Buenos Aires. About a million by the early 20th century. What they've brought is great pasta and ice cream (gelati). Sottovoce is your classic Italian family restaurtant where you'll get great service.
Astrid & Gaston
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4802.2991
The many Peruvian immigrants have made themselves known in Buenos Aires, so it was know surprise that famous Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio would open an incredible restaurant in this magnificent city. Come hang out with the always stylish crowd and sample the tasty ceviches, along with other favorites like grilled octopus with mashed garbanzo beans, chimichurri, and piquillo peppers, and the lamb with pumpkin ravioli and seco norteño sauce.
Avenida Rivadavia 3899
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4808.0754
Founded in 1884, Las Violetas offers classic dining in a beautiful atmosphere that offers the elegance of the old world. Though it maybe be “classic” in its appearance, Las Violetas prides itself of continually offering new dishes by hosting a different international chef every week. Of course, they have an amazing selection of steak and beef dishes, but they offer a significant amount of poultry and seafood as well. Stop by the cafe for coffee and pastries as well.
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4300.1112
Take a break from all the beef and come to Oviedo to enjoy their fine selection of seafood fare. Their crisp-seared tuna is incredible, along with their ceviches that are rich with avocado. No matter what their catch of the day is, you can order it with confidence knowing that it will be prepared in a delectable way.
5099 Calle Cabrera
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4831.7002
Beautifully decorated with an air of elegance, La Cabrera has become the quintessential gourmet steak house experience in Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you will be seated by waiters in white shirts and berets who later on will bring platters of grilled meats, including some of the finest steaks in the world. Get as reservation as it is always packed, once you have a bite of their steak, you'll know it was worth the wait.
Tel. +54 (0) 4116.1923
Part of the Buenos Aires trend known as “After Office,” Godoy is part bar, part restaurant, and always a good time. Focusing on finger food with a “no knives” theme, they serve scrumptious bite-size dishes like curried prawns, samosas, and sushi. As the night goes on, the lights turn down, the music turns up, and the dance floor becomes the focus of attention.
Between Peña and Pacheco de Melo
Tel. +54 (0) 11.6132.4146
Part of the “closed door” restaurant trend happening in Buenos Aires right now, Casa Saltshaker works on a simple concept. First you must book your reservation online, then you go to chef Dan Perlmann's own home where he cooks a five course meal served family style to you and his other guests. Encouraging good food and conversation, Casa Saltshaker is a great place to meet people as your bond over his deliciously prepared daily menus.
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4777.9295
Another underground restaurant, Casa Coupage focuses on wine rather than food and provides separate tables for dinners making it feel more like a traditional restaurant. Accompanied by two attentive sommeliers to guide you through their selections, they offer you a wonderful chance to try delicious Argentinian wine along with perfect food pairings.
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4303.5917
Chef Francis Mallman brings the gaucho tradition to Buenos Aires at Patagonia Sur. Located in a renovated town house not far from Caminito, the menu, of course, is a carnivore's delight offering three-course samplers with no a la carte options. The patagonian lamb is delicious and succulent, while the rib eye with chimichurri sauce makes an incredible dish. Accompanied by spectacular empanadas and vegetables, this meal will surely show you how to eat in Patagonia.
Calle Florida 750 (at the corner of Cordoba & Florida)
The most successful shopping mall in Argentina has over 150 stores including leading brands and over 18 food venues. It was declared a National Historic Monument because of its architecture and striking murals.
El Salvador 4692
Tel. +54 (11) 4832.2662
Red hot innovative designs meet a traditional Argentinean leather look at this boutique, which features sherbet-colored pouches and hand bags made from natural cowhide and cow skin. There is no doubting the Argentinean design connection here.
Tel. +54 (11) 4832.6284
This very fashionable men's clothing store is unique because the clothes are mostly designed by the shop’s owner, Gustavo Samuelian. Everything is done in playful contrasts such as a green corduroy blazer lined with sky blue and white polka dots. He also sells vintage military clothes from Argentina, America, England and Germany.
Tel. +54 (11) 4831.1816
If you’re looking for top quality leather rugs, this is the place. Their rugs are made up of patches of leather, in their natural state or dyed in brilliant colors. The best part: they cost a fraction of what they would anywhere else in the world.
La Casa de las Botas
Tel. +54 (11) 4776.0762
www.casadelasbotas.com.arThere is nowhere better in the world to buy exquisitely handcrafted riding boots than in the Argentine capital. The store's vast range, from jodhpur boots to polo boots, are stitched on site, and made to order if the leather of your preferred style is not in the right shade or nap. (From $600)
Whether you need a quick city tour, private guide or maybe a day trip out of the city Embrace Argentina is our choice.
Official Buenos Aires Tourism Site
Read this clean, easy and professional guide before you go. It is a helpful resource, complete with excellent downloadable tourism guides and travel distances to major cities around the world.
Quick City Info
This no-frills site has practical information on getting around Buenos Aires and a basic introduction to Buenos Aires culture.
Gay City Guide
Buenos Aires has become a gay destination of choice in South America. The lawyer in his twenties who started and runs this easy to use site continuously updates it with day trip and tourism ideas for gay and straight alike. It includes a current listing of gay nightlife.
The government’s official tango site. You read that right: an official tango site. How Argentinean.
Buenos Aires Subte (Metro)
Riding in an unmarked taxi can be unsafe. Getting around Buenos Aires is fast and easy on the subte (metro).
What's Up Buenos Aires
Biglingual guide to the city's arts, music and cultural offerings.
Tel. +54 (11) 4829.1562
Live music is big in Buenos Aires and this is one of the clubs where your likely to catch new artists like Fernando Tarres (he incorporates video and computer generated sounds into his new art music)
Plaza Dorrego Bar
Calle Defensa 1098 (San Telmo)
Tel. +54 (0) 11.4361.0141
Fun waiters, pictures of tango deity Carlos Gardel and antique signs give this place a kind of old-time authenticity that may be surprising considering its central location on the tourist map. (Their oddly translated slogan is "Timeless ageless, the date you can’t miss!") Established in 1891, it was the first bar in Buenos Aires, and maintains that simple charm. The menu offers a good selection of beers and coffees, that come served with peanuts or shortbread cookies. The patio is the perfect place to spend a warm afternoon.
Humberto Primo 599 (San Telmo)
Have an espresso and cheesecake at this Scandinavian-looking coffee shop. The textural art on the walls and the mixed crowd of hip students and elegant older couples gives the place an eclectic, relaxed feel while the crystals dangling in the window add character.
Avenida Scalabrine Ortiz 1331 (Palermo)
Tel. +54 (11) 4342.4794
This is one of the best milongas in Buenos Aires, and one of the few open on Monday nights. It is tango tradition. Sit and watch tango at various speeds, or hop in and try to keep up with the natives.
Cecilia Grierson 225
Neighborhood: Puerto Madero
Tel. +54 11 4315 8666
This club used to be called El Divino at one point in time. Today, it is the most posh disco in the city, with 3 dancefloors and a Sushi bar. It's famous for its Syney Opera House feeling. Outside the club, on the patio, you can catch Latin music while inside the DJs play house. Every Wednesday, there's a party from 8p-2a. If you ony go to one dance club in Buenos Aires make it this one.
Armenian Cultural Center
Tel. +54 (11) 4774.6357
If you’re into tango, or want to be into tango, this club in the basement of the Armenian Cultural Center is the place to take some lessons. Beginner classes are at 10:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 9:30 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Best of all, after the classes the party goes until 6:00 am.
Esquina Carlos Gardel
Carlos Gardel 3200
Tel. +54 (11) 4867.6363
Begin the evening here with dinner and a movie on the evolution of Tango. At 10:30 pm the real fun begins when tango dancers, vocalists and other performers take the stage.
This century old down town building has a very popular Tuesday night drum and bass party.
Lim y Novak
Godoy Cruz y Guemes
A drag queen friendly bar in Palermo