Boenos Aires, Argentina

From historic cafes and baroque cemeteries to the world’s most boisterous football club—this is Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We’ve seen Buenos Aires referred to as the ‘Paris of South America.’ For Argentina’s greatest novelist, Jorge Luis Borges, his native city was an imaginary throng of cloisters, labyrinths, myths and doors, recognizing the city “with a joy on the edge of vertigo.” Football, fiestas, fast-moving food, and world-class museums are the backbone of this remarkable metropolis. The well-heeled district of Palermo Soho watches the world go by from chic, shaded balconies, while the old town’s cobblestones bang and clatter with dancing shoes and pointed heels. It’s a lot to take in.

So, in place of a Borgean labyrinth, this is our quick guide to the city of mate and jacarandas. Get stuck in.

The best restaurant in Buenos Aires

When we spoke to famous Argentine chef Fernando Trocca, the well-coiffed restaurateur reminded us of his new outpost in trendy Palermo – Orilla. Emerald walls, modernist lines, and warm bulbs set the mood for its menu of seasonal produce and incredibly high-quality steaks. Or – he suggested – you could hit up A Nos Amores, with its chummy, neighbourhood vibe and bohemian charm.

The unmissable street food

Choripán is the street food institution of Buenos Aires. Put simply, it’s chorizo stuffed – a la hot dog – into crusty bread. Chori serves up thoughtful takes on these alarmingly moreish pillows of meat, salad and salt, as well as all your classic faves. The joint’s mascot – a sort of leering, arrogant sausage – covers the walls, sometimes depicted doing slightly unsavory things. The food, however, is perfection.

 

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Cerdo Ahumado = Hongos + Lechuga + Naranja + Ajo 💛

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Cafe culture in Buenos Aires

Difficult. Buenos Aires is all about the cafes. Eighty-two of them are designated as being of historical interest, known as bares notables. Protected national monuments in their own right (take that, Giza), their faded glamour and neighbourhood atmosphere make for a truly Argentine experience. Savour the experience of El Banderín, which harks back to the soccer fever of the 1960s. If football doesn’t get you worked up, try La Flor de Barracas (est. 1907) – a charming spot which provided the backdrop for Pino Solanas’s tango film, Sur.

The best art gallery

For a city teeming with artists and their patrons, it’s a hard task to choose one over another. We like Hollywood in Cambodia for its focus on bright, bold, and fresh international artists. What’s more, its downstairs drinking hole, the Post Street Bar, is ineffably cool. Its gallery program changes monthly, so keep an eye on their listings. We’ll cheat and add one more – Galería Mar Dulce, which features only Argentine artists. Cozy, with soft chairs and fresh flowers, it’s treated as a place of contemplation as well as a platform for local art.

Learn about Argentina’s history

Located in the up-heel neighbourhood of Recoleta, this cemetery is teeming with curious, baroque graves and memorials – numbering some 6,400 in total. From Grecian temples to miniature cathedrals, the graves draw widely – and inventively – on different architectural and cultural styles that have been in vogue in this multifaceted city. Rather than being grim, it’s a fascinating glimpse into not only Buenos Aires but the broader Argentine imagination. 

 

The best luxury hotel in Buenos Aires

Personally speaking, nothing beats that species of attention-grabbing and palatial luxury quite like the city’s Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt. Located in the city’s chic Recoleta neighbourhood, it is a grand, thundering white palace which wouldn’t look out of place on the Cote d’Azur. It has an in-house tailor and a terraced garden with strong Last Year in Marienbad vibes. We adore it.

Watch the beautiful game

It’s no exaggeration to say that, alongside tango, football is the lifeblood of Buenos Aires. La Bombonera (or, The Chocolate Box) is the home stadium of the local team Boca Juniors. Matches are boisterous and energetic and exciting. Any fan of the beautiful game should book some tickets and enjoy the fireworks.

Buenos Aires’ most Instagrammable spot

It’s possible that Frida Kahlo – the artist who painted even from her sick-bed, her body wrapped in cast – appears on more pieces of art merchandise than any other. At the better end of these is Campos Jesses’ Kahlo mural at the junction of Dorrego and Cabrera. Being in Palermo, it’s also only a stone’s throw from some of the city’s chicest bars and restaurants.

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Jorge Luis Borge, Argentina’s most iconic writer, called Buenos Aires his hometown. Discover how the city inspired him to write of labyrinths and entrancing encounters with a luxury getaway to this startling city.

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