At Butterfield & Robinson, we pride ourselves on scouting out the best places in the world to walk, bike and immerse ourselves in local culture, no matter how far flung. Along the way, our journey often takes us through some of the world’s most famous and culturally rich cities. Never ones to squander an opportunity, we asked B&R Guide Agustin Calvetti to apply his expert eye to his hometown and compile a B&R-inspired list of things to see and do that you won’t find in a travel guide.
Buenos Aires Hotels: Where to Rest Your Head
Faena Hotel + Universe
Over the top? Sure. We are, after all, talking about a place where the main restaurant is decorated with rows of unicorn heads. But, as designed by Philippe Starck, it’s as cool as it gets. It features two great restaurants in El Mercado and El Bistro, and the suites have some of the best views in Buenos Aires.
Mansion Dandi Royal
With its tango inspired décor, this dance academy and hotel takes the cake for best value. Reliable and charming, I highly recommend this hidden gem.
A themed boutique hotel, each of its 11 rooms is dedicated to an Argentinian icon, including famous writer Jorge Luis Borges and tango singer Carlos Gardel. Designed to emblemize Argentina’s “legacy of settlers, Indians, Creoles and immigrants,” the concept just works, and includes miles of style and comfort.
Buenos Aires Restaurants: Where to Eat
Created by the Concaro sisters, Tomo I is now run by Federico Fialayre, who doesn’t skip a beat. It truly represents French cuisine with an Argentinian vibe and stopping here should be a no-brainer.
Located downtown, this is a pizza place with an artsy edge and a party atmosphere. Try one of the salads—they’re phenomenal!
A true classic, this is the oldest café in Buenos Aires. Started in 1858, it has maintained its charm and become an important piece of Porteño history. Go mid-morning to avoid the touristy crowd and you may even spot some locals!
Not a restaurant, per se, but not to be missed. Located in Belgrano, Buenos Aires’ Chinatown started some years ago with only a few restaurants and has since grown into a fascinating and diverse place to eat and wander. With the recent influx of Peruvian cuisine and the freshest fish in town, you won’t want to miss the food stands where you can munch on eastern delicacies al paso (on the go).
Buenos Aires Sights: What to See + Do
You first stop should be the MALBA, otherwise know as the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, which offers a private collection of Latin American art. After that, check out the MNBA, the Museo National de Bellas Artes, only five minutes away and boasting an impressive collection of classical international art. If you still have some time afterwards, take a peak at the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo (MNAD) paying special attention to the French chateau-style building. In need of a coffee after all that culture? The café is charming too!
This classic, older neighbourhood is often overlooked by visitors. Sure it’s busy and can be hectic at rush hour but trust me, it’s worth it. Take your time and pay attention to some of the incredible buildings such as the French-style châteaux built by architects at the beginning of the 20th century for wealthy European families. Make sure you keep an eye out too, because a few are open to the public. Some of my favourites are Palacio San Martin and Palacio Paz.
Located just outside of town, Olivos offers visitors the chance to see the city skyline and Rio de la Plata in all of its splendor. Filled with beautiful homes and gardens, this is one of the greenest suburbs of Buenos Aires. Bike paths line the coast of Rio de la Plata, running all the way up to Tigre, another neighbourhood worth checking out for its art museum and Puerto de Frutos (fruit port). The best part? You can jump on a boat with your bike and commute back to the city in style (and comfort!).
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