A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to buenos aires and I felt in love with the city within a second. It was my birthday weekend and I had no idea where our plane was going to bring us until the pilot wished us a good flight and spilled the bean by saying the name of our destination. Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina and has a population of around 15.6 million people of multiple ethnic groups and different religions.
All the tips in this post are based on my own opinion and own experience. I didn´t got payed for any of them nor did I got a discount or free sample. So I´ll only write them down to give you some recommendations and to help you with your planning.
The best things to do in Buenos Aires
We spend a long weekend in the city and stayed in the trendy neighborhood Palermo Soho, which is my absolute favorite.
place to sleep
- Selina Hostel – Palermo Soho is definitely one of my favorite hostel chains. They have lots of trendy hostels all over the world and I loved the stylish rooms. Everyone was really friendly to us, the rooms where not only clean but also pretty and they had great food and a rooftop bar. The rooms have individual paintings and I would really like to have a pretty wall behind my bed like that. At the entrance is a couch with the iconic saying of You are exactly where you need to be and you will find lots of other instagram-worthy spots in this hostel. For me it´s the perfect spot to stay, cheaper than an original hotel and located between trendy fashion boutiques and cool craft markets. I liked the vibe and also loved the panoramic view over the city at sunset time.
places to drink:
As you might already know about me I´m a fan of hidden bars and speakeasies – I mean I wrote a hole article about my favorite one´s in Paris, right. But Buenos Aires brings the secret bars to a hole new nevel! There is even a bar hidden in a metro station entrance.
the best secret bars:
- Nicky Harrison got even elected as one of the 50 best bars in the world from Lonely Planet and has an elegant atmosphere. If you want to visit the bar, you have to either have a membership card or eat in the restaurant before. I can really recommend you the food as it was pretty delicious and the vintage look of the bar is definitely worth it. We spend my birthday night here and tried some of the best cocktails.
- Victoria Brown is the biggest speakeasy in Buenos Aires and a good place to go with friends. You might think that it´s just a tiny café but there is actually the coolest bar hidden behind a wall that opens. It has a great vibe and the decoration in inspired by the victorian era.
- Frank´s Bar is a legend in Buenos Aires and the men behind the cocktails with his iconic mustache is the best barkeeper I have ever met. We visited the bar the night before my birthday and counted down the minutes until we can cheer on the new decade. It´s a chill ambient and as my boyfriend visited the bar before and talked a lot with the chief bartender on his last visit he created a special cocktail AND a shot just for me. Even though I still have no idea what was in that cocktail I still think it´s the best cocktail ever, cause it tasted like a mixture of all my favorites: a fresh lemonade with a little spiciness and a killer-shot.
- 878 looks like an old house from outside, but there is actually a wide place with simple decoration inside. They also have some food, which we unfortunately didn´t try.
- Florería Atlánrico in the neighborhood of Recoleta is the pretty flowershop which actually has a bar inside aswell. You have to walk town some stairs and will feel like you are in one of the coolest new yorker bars. It was pretty full, with tons of people and the music made me want to dance right away. The drinks were pretty good but way bigger than expected and afterwards I definitely felt like I need take a break and get some water to make sure that I´m not fighting the biggest hangover ever. So it´s not a place where you go just for one little cocktail, but mainly for a couple of drinks with some friends on a night out.
the best rooftop bars:
- Salón 1923 is one of my favorite spots in the city. You can either do a tour and walk up millions of stairs or take the short way and use the elevator like we did. You have to pay a little bit more for that, but will get a ticket to use that payed amount of money for a drink. The drinks where actually cheaper than expected and when my boyfriend ordered a glass of vine, while I went for an aperol, he actually got a hole bottle instead of just a glass. This is a pretty typical thing in Argentina, so you might check with the waitress before ordering on some spots as you might not end with different bottles when you go out with friends and actually expect just a glass.
- Trade Skybar – lovely ambiente, perfect drinks, nice barkeepers – a place you can always go to.
places to eat:
- Ninina Bakery is a pretty café in Palermo Soho and I recommend you to try some of the cakes or eat an avocado toast cause mine was full deliciousness.
- Padre Coffee has not only fantastic breakfast – I recommend you the pancakes and a coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice – it´s also a bar at nighttime with craft beer. They have lots of different coffees and know a lot about them. As a coffee fan you shouldn´t miss out on it.
- La Cocina, La Morada and De Rosa are all great spots for delicious empanadas.
- II Matterello Ristorante in La Boca has the best pasta of the town. It´s a little italian restaurant with a nice ambiente, friendly waiters and you can mix your pasta and the sauce(s) together how you would like them to be. I was surprised how cheap the lunch actually was for the good quality that we got. Pasta is also a pretty typical thing in argentina as they had lots of italian immigrations.
- La Cabrera or Don Julio – As the argentinian country is so famous for their meat you shoud definitely go and have an asado (BBQ). La Brigada is a cheaper but very very good restaurant as well, if you are a fútbol fan you will have a fantastic time here as everything is decorated with fútbol things.
- Cadore has the best icecream in the city you can get. Some other got spots are Alchemy, which has delicous icecreams with cocktail tastes and Heladería Scannapieco.
- Café la bieLA is one of the most famous café of the city. They have great traditional breakfast and are super fast with ordering it.
…there are so much more!
- La Chila has a tasting menu which I can really recommend. It´s a romantic restaurant and we had a great view over the water at nighttime. Tasting menu´s always are an adventure, but the one in La Chila really got me. It was a delicous food experience with not too many dishes and I adored the desserts. I took a picture of some of the dishes, you can find more in my instragram in the story highlights of Argentina.
- The Tegui Restaurante is definitely a spot for a special occasion. There is a menu with 15 dishes and a vine tasting. The food creations were tasteful and I liked, that you could look in the kitchen to see how they actually prepared the dishes. Even though the tables were pretty, I didn´t felt comfortable in the restaurant. The atmosphere was a little bit hectic and half of the guests are seated with their back to an aisle which the waiters walk down all the while – not the best arrangement. It gave me a hectic feeling which you definitely don´t want to have while enjoying a romantic dinner, especially for such a fancy spot. But the food was good, even though 15 dishes are a lot and I would have preferred to eat a menu with not so many to enjoy them more. So it´s one of the best restaurants, but I would recommend La Chila more.
- Sacro is my biggest food recommendation of the city and I wish I could try all the things from the menu. It´s a plantbased restaurant with a trendy cactus decoration, so it was basically heaven on earth for me. We went for a lunch and tried 5 different dishes and as we were the first ones that arrived on that day, we even got a little private tour of the restaurant.
places to visit:
- the palermo soho neighbourhood We we designer items, independent designer stores, trendy restaurants, colorful houses and of course the marvelous streetart. I absolutely adore the street art in the city and could walk around for hours to just explore the creative expressions.
- One of my favorite things was to visit the Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid which is the most beautiful bookshop I have ever been to. It´s used to be a theater and even has a little café where you can eat some cake.
- The Marvel at the Teatro Colón is a cultural thing that you shouldn´t miss out on. The theater is one of Buenos Aires most famous symbols and it´s considered as one of the 10 best opera houses in the world.
- Caminito in La Boca You can take colorful shots here and explore the pretty streets. It´s a very touristic spot, but still nice to see as you might spot some tango dancers doing a little show on the terrace of a restaurant.
- MALBA museum is definitely worth a visit. It´s the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires and has an impressive permanent collection.
- La Casa Rosada & the Plaza de Mayo -Plaza de Mayo is the square where the famous pink building is. The pink house is the main government building and the spot where the president works on weekdays. On the weekend you can visit it and there are free walking tours.
- San Telmo Market – If you are in Buenos Aires on a sunday I highly recommend you to go to the San Telmo Market. It´s one of the oldest neighborhoods and you can feel the authentic heart of the city. There is plenty of food, entertainment and you might find some pretty jewelry.
- Centri Cultural Nestor Kirchner When we visited Buenos Aires there was an incredible exhibition of Julio Le Parc in the museum. Colorful paintings and cool installations, but my favorite part was the boxing area, where you could have some fun with the boxing sacks which had the faces of caricatures on them. There have been some other fun things as well and we spend a few hours in the museum.
…and there is so much more to see!
Buenos Aires is definitely one of my favorite places that I visited in the last years. I loved the bohemian style of some parts of the city, the individual designer stores, the amazing food and even better cocktail bars and everyone that we met was so energetic and inspiring that I can´t recommend a visit enough! If you have some more tips of the city please let me know in the comments below, so that I can check them out on my next visit!