Fly to Buenos Aires
Why visit Buenos Aires?
It’s cosmopolitan and chic but with a healthy dose of chaotic Latin American attitude, a flourishing food and cocktail scene and an abundance of low-cost or free cultural activities.
Palermo’s ever-green Parque Tres de Febrero. Jog around the lake, sneak a kiss in El Rosedal (rose garden) or stargaze at the Planetarium. Look out for people sharing a drink with a metal straw. They’re sipping yerba mate, the national tea.
You probably didn’t know
Before it became Argentina’s most famous square, housing the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Metropolitan Cathedral, Cabildo (town hall) and the Bicentenary Museum, Plaza de Mayo was used for bull running and executions.
Suggested viewing about Buenos Aires
El Secreto de Sus Ojos, which won the Best Foreign Picture Oscar in 2009 is essential viewing.
Buenos Aires facts
- Population: 2.8 million
- Annual visitor numbers: 2.1 million (2016)
- January mean temperature: 25°C
- August mean temperature: 15°C
Things to do in Buenos Aires
Chef Tomás Di Lello reinvents porteño classics such as revuelto gramajo (egg, ham and potatoes), also dishing up delectable steak tartare, milanesa (veal escalope) and abundant, perky salads. An off-the-beaten track bistro in northern barrio Núñez in Buenos Aires that’s worth the flavours and service, the wine list is excellent.
One of Buenos Aires’ most emblematic parrillas (steakhouses), head to La Cabrera at 7pm sharp for 60 minutes of beefy happy hour including the abundant, brick-size bife de chorizo at 40 percent off. For leisurely dining, pay full whack, leaving space for homemade gelato.
This hip new bakery is creating waves for its excellent bread selection, including sourdough and multigrain loaves, as well as making vermouth and a steak sandwich. When you fly to Buenos Aires, snap up a citrus and Hesperidina (a local orange spirit) bun for a sweet, boozy win.
Purveyor of great craft beer and packed chicken sandwiches made with lashings of flavour from the Deep South, NOLA is run by expats Liza Puglia and her brewmaker boyfriend Francisco Terren. Those in the know order the wings, an evergreen classic never written on the blackboard.
Helmed by dynamic mixology duo Seba García and Gon Cabado (their friendship was cemented at The Harrison Speakeasy), Presidente is a stunning new watering hole in Recoleta. Offering class with a story served in a cocktail glass, classics include Seba’s Old-Fashioned; this is the place to try Argentina’s beloved Fernet in a more sophisticated setting.
La Flor de Barracas
Buenos Aires is home to a plethora of authentic bares notables (notable bars), old-school drinking-holes under city government protection orders, often located on busy corners. To catch a slice of porteño life as you sip a cortado (small coffee with a dash of milk), head to this Barracas beauty, open since 1897 and given a new lease of life two years ago.
Sipping and shipping are fused together at Dársena – a spacious new craft brewery and cocktail bar that gives freight containers a new lease of life. Freshen up with a Ginger Mojito or a pint of Golden Ale. The vast urban garden provides space for groups.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid
This theatre-turned-bookstore might be the world’s most glamourous bolthole for bookworms. Shelves replace folding seats while stalls make for a quiet corner to tuck into a novel. Head upstairs for an Instagrammable bird’s-eye view but avoid taking a coffee break here; you don’t get much bang for your buck.
Mercado de San Telmo
Serving the San Telmo community since 1897, this is a glorious mishmash of butchers, peddlers, chandelier specialists and vintage stores. Coffee Town is one of the best purveyors of coffee in Buenos Aires.
Mercado de las pulgas
Offering a dose of nostalgia courtesy of its many antiques sellers, Buenos Aires’ biggest flea market attracts restaurateurs and Pinterest fans in search of inspiration. The antique toys, custom-made furniture, curios and coloured glass soda syphons are enough to make you look into shipping prices. Dorrego 1650, Colegiales.
Shop Hop Buenos AIres
Stylist and British expat Sophie Lloyd has been touted as the saviour of BA’s shopping scene. Whether you want to splurge on a tailor-made calf’s leather jacket or need original souvenirs from Argentina, her bulging contacts book ensures the ideal shopping tour at private boutiques and tucked-away ateliers.
Centro Cultural Kirchner
A major Latin-style facelift saw the former Correo Central (Post Office) spring back to life 18 months ago, reopening as an impressive cultural space in Buenos Aires. Retaining the original bureaux and decor from its working days in the lobby. All CCK events – spanning temporary exhibits to piano recitals and tango classes – are free.
Pick Up the Fork
Food blogger Allie Lazar organises bespoke gastro tours of her favourite spots around Argentina’s capital. From hidden hole-in-the-wall choripán purveyors to steak at a classic bodegón (wine cellar), sport your baggiest trousers with an elasticated waistline to cope with Allie’s vast knowledge of the porteño food scene.
As the adage goes, it takes two, so if you travel to Buenos Aires, find your tango partner at La Viruta’s beginners’ tango class. If you’ve mastered the basic eight-step, find a better partner among the aficionados who come to show off their moves at this cool milonga (dance hall).
Events to look out for when you fly to Buenos Aires:
- February, Carnival four-day weekend
- April, Bafici independent film festival
- April and October, BA Food Week
- May, ArteBA
- 25 May, Independence Day/Revolution Day
- August, Tango Buenos Aires Festival
- 21 September, first day of spring and Students’ Day
- November-December, Argentina Polo Open
Flying with Norwegian
Eat and drink on board
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