Buenos Aires
Overview

If you’re anything like us, your wellness routine takes a nose dive as soon as fall sets in. After months of GOOPing, detoxing and cross training, we are in the mood for some good old-fashioned indulgence, putting the sultry South American city of Buenos Aires at the top of our itinerary. BA excels in all things rojo: red wine (most famously Malbec), red meat (fresh steak from the Pampas, please), red hot dance (it takes two to Tango) and red-blooded Latin Lotharios (think rugged ranchers and polo princes), making it the perfect place to please your palate and and pamper your pleasure center. Just ask the celebs who have jetted down to this glam with a touch of grit getaway. Miley Cyrus was seen antiquing on her world tour stop, while Lady Gaga dined out on local Argentine fare during hers. Jennifer Lopez hit the town decked out in designer duds, and Selena Gomez showered boyfriend The Weeknd in some serious PDA whilst on a romantic stroll. It isn’t just songstresses who partake in BA’s cultural offerings and sophisticated environs, however. Actresses Emma Watson, Margot Robbie (along with co-star Will Smith) and Natalie Portman have all filmed in the capital, but the city’s most memorable cinematic moment has to Madonna doing her darndest to portray former first lady Eva Peron in the lukewarm-reviewed Evita (don’t cry for her, seriously).

It’s not hard to see why this city is nicknamed the ‘Paris of South America’. Cafes and bars line the cobblestone boulevards, many wafting live music onto the streets where Tango-ing duos’ rhythmic sways will have you feeling the beat. Grand hotels, varied museums and historic landmarks built in breathtaking Belle Epoque, Louis XVI, Empire and Art Deco architecture, as seen in trendy Recoleta, certainly bring France to mind. Yet, the crazy colorful facades of Italian-originating La Boca have an essence all their own and even hipsters can find foodie haunts, speakeasies and boho shops in Palermo. Each barrio, or neighborhood, is injected with a distinct flavor, creating something for everyone in Buenos Aires. The best part of a sojourn to the Southern Hemisphere is the reversal of the seasons. On a trip to Buenos Aires, you can still sport your summer favorites (and tan) all while getting your Christmas shopping finished! Make like Justin Bieber and party at the Faena’s Poolbar, which calls for a slinky Saloni sundress and a red lip. For your first tango lesson, why not try a festive and flouncy Johanna Ortiz ensemble, because, who knows who you could meet? During a day on horseback at an estancia, channel your inner @chufy and go gaucho glam in layers of natural neutrals topped with the perfect poncho. Travel alert: the cosmopolitan capital warns of muggings, but you can easily trick those baddies by ditching your Rolex and adding a super secure crossbody – try Clare V.’s version. Style an OTS top from Caroline Constas with Marques’ Almeida super flared jeans and you’re ready for a late night parrilla dinner – and we do mean late, Argentinians don’t even consider dinner until 10PM. But can you blame them? There is simply too much to fit into a BA day, and so many possibilities each night.

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Where to stay

Indulge

Indulge

DINING

Café, parrilla, wine, repeat — there's no better way to describe the decades-long buzzing dining scene in Buenos Aires than this.  No longer a secret, the upscale hotspot Don Julio is known for its sizzling meats and family-run charm. Located in Palermo Soho and lending a feel of a gaucho farmstead, this is the place to experience what the Argentine parilla is all about: top grass-fed sirloin, rump, and skirt steak, crispy sweetbreads, and Malbec by the bottles.  A detour to Puerto Madero to dine at the elegant steakhouse, Le Grill, is a must. One of the city’s best steakhouses, the restaurant is a sophisticated dining room captured within a former factory building. One of the only other spots in Puerto Madero that’s actually worth dropping a pretty peso for is Chilawhere a Spanish-trained chef serves modern takes on traditional Argentine dishes in a stylish dining room. Occupying an old mansion in the heart of the city near the ObeliscoClub Del Progreso attracts BA’s elite.  This historic supper club serves traditional grilled dishes and baked goods in an adobe oven on the first floor; and pastas, stews and fish dishes on the second floor. Shiny bronze doors without proper signage open up to celeb-favorite Casa Cruz, an uber-hip supper club in Palermo featuring haute cuisine. Even though meat reigns supreme in BA, porteños have a thing for sushi, especially of the Japanese-Peruvian persuasion. For years, the secret 12-seat Club M Omakase above Bar du Marché sliced some of the best fusion sushi in the city.

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 And now, Palermo’s hidden gem has moved into bigger digs past the dining room, kitchen, and underneath the new location of the French wine bar – with sushiman Fabián Masuda serving Argentina’s best sliced fish to a few more.  Take another break from BA’s usual meat-filled meals at the casual I Latina, where three Colombian siblings transport you from the charming villa space to their native beaches via a seafood-rich tasting menu of Caribbean coastal flavors.  A casual yet fashionable bistro in the Moserat neighborhood, Aramburu Bis features an a la carte menu brought to you by a rising Argentine chef. An all-day stylish eatery set in the emerging Villa Devoto neighborhood, Alicia features an indigenous menu that melds flavors of the Mediterranean and eastern Asia. While a handful of BA’s top restaurants are more about the fashionable set than they are about the food, Casa Felix falls in the latter – a culinary paradise for those looking to dine in a little less white light and a lot less Dior. The intimate dining venue is a Puerta Cerrada–a ‘closed-door’ a.k.a. underground—restaurant that takes place thrice weekly in a private residence. It’s a one-of-a-kind, five-course feast that’s as authentic as it gets. For serious epicures wanting a gourmet wonderland, the one-room glamorously spare dining room at Paraje Arévalo in Palermo Hollywood awaits with an unforgettable experience. 

NIGHTLIFE

In a place where Malbec comes cheaper than water and there is no shortage of liquid courage to tango the night away, it's safe to say Buenos Aires holds steampunk speakeasys and milongas (tango clubs) in spades. Secret bars have seemed to pop up all over Buenos Aires, but few deliver on the prohibition-era speakeasy concept greater than Frank’s Bar in Palermo Hollywood. After getting through a doorman and a password-protected telephone booth, enter an old world vibe with endless cocktails and live entertainment late into the night. Inspired by the works of Jules Verne, Verne Cocktail Club pours exquisite elixirs inside a stunning vintage steampunk venue. A lively bodega and mixology bar hidden in a Retiro flower shopFlorería Atlántico is Buenos Aires’s hippest, speakeasy-style spotAlthough it's no secret and there are no passwords required, you cannot help but feel like you've just found the world's best hidden gem.  A ‘20s beaux-arts mansion turned cocktail lounge, Milion is a multi-level space with tons of dramatic details, candle-lit corners and a cool courtyard framed with a cascade of greenery. Forget about ordering cerveza aDoppelgängeras vermouththe spirit of choice of the early Spanish and Italian immigrants who settled in BA – is the name of the game hereIn a slightly out-of-the-way location on the southern fringes of San Telmo, Doppelgänger welcomes a cool, quiet clientele to its emerald-green interiors. Inspired by the British Industrial Revolution, Victoria Brown is a bar-cum-café in Palermo where the focal point is a huge frieze of Queen Victoria that looms above the black-and-white checked floor with relics from a bygone era. By day, find a humorous British menu with homemade delights, and by night – join the flocking crowds behind the secret door to find a sexy bar donned in industrial décor. At Congo Bar in Palermo, not only will you find arguably the best garden terrace in the city, but you'll also find plenty of manicured polo players to cozy up with while you knock back a few 25-peso cocktails. 

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Explore

Explore

Walk off all that steak and explore the best of Buenos Aires' rich cultural history. Make your first stop at Teatro Colón, one of the most important opera houses in the world and a major pride of the Argentinian culture. For some of the most unique and valuable European and Argentine art, head to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. A significant religious and architectural landmark, Catedral Metropolitana is the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires with an exceptional interior and elegance. A visit to Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento is a must: this French-style historical church is considered of the most luxurious of Buenos Aires, as well as the most magical place to celebrate weddings. You wouldn't go to D.C. without seeing the White House, so you most definitely wouldn't go to Buenos Aires without seeing Casa Rosada, an emblematic pink palace where the legendary Evita spoke on the balcony  or sung, in the case of the musical. For the love of art, see the impressive contemporary collection and exciting temporary exhibitions at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos AiresTake in all of Buenos Aires’ beauty by visiting Parque 3 de Febrero. Also known as Bosques de Palermo, this magnificent parkland consists of calm lakes and cute gazebos where you can find bikers, skaters, and joggers all day long. Here, you’ll also find the Jardín de los Poetas  monument and a fairytale-like rose garden called Rosedal 

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As polo is the game of choice in Argentina, it's an absolute must – so sport a sophisticated country look to an afternoon match at Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo. To make a day out of it, head an hour outside of the city and attend a match at Hurlingham Polo Club or Tortugas Polo Club. BA is famous for its tango and there's certainly no shortage of splashy shows to see: just head to the Faena to catch one of the city's best. For a more authentic look at the forbidden dance, try the milongas, small bars where porteños – both the professional dancers and amateurs – go to dance into the wee hours of the morning. And for those that want to get in on the fun, take a tango lesson from a local. 

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SHOP

Where to Shop

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With endless old-guard haberdasheries and new-wave boutiques, Buenos Aires is ground zero for shopaholics of every stripe. From the retail-rife Recoleta and Palermo Soho to the lesser-saturated neighborhoods of Puerto Madero and San Tolemo, here are the ins and the outs to shop like a true Porteño! 

RECOLETA

The renowned Recoleta neighborhood is not only the poshest and the most fashionable neighborhood, but also the most upscale. Lined with boutiques, galleries, cute cafés and some of the best restaurants – there's serious damage that can be had. More than just a weekend street fair, the Feria of Recoleta is the heart of the district and transforms into an incredible haven for handmade jewelry and accessories. Founded by former banker Marcelo LuciniAiredelsur is home to the now Deco-loving designer's swoon-worthy home cor pieces made by regional artists. His collection has expanded into fashion accessories: think metal and onyx clutches, gloves in leather with lizard and fur trim and gold jewelry that’s pure eye candy.  At the studio in Buenos Aires, not only will you find a larger range, but you’ll also snag them for a significantly lower price than you’d find at a Barneys, Bergdorfs oNeimans… At Comme Il Faut, you’ll find the Manolo Blahniks of tango shoes – which are beautifully hand-made from the highest quality materialsEmbossed clutches, pom-pom touches, and shoes galore is the name of the game at the classic-meets-whimsical de MARIAFor structured classics with intricate details, go to town at TramandoAt Jessica Trosman’s namesake boutique Trosman, you’ll find a very unique line of contemporary designs. 

PALERMO SOHO

In the avant-garde Palermo Soho neighborhood, you'll find some of the best boutiques in all of Buenos Aires. An upscale boutique showcasing local fashion, stop by Panorama for accessories galore and for that one-of-a-kind coat with the most intricate details. Buying a leather jacket in Argentina is almost a right of passage for some of us who are serious shoppers – let Doma be your spot. With tons of chic colors and unique silhouettes, you’ll feel like a little kid in a candy shop. At MIN AGOSTINI, you’ll find structured architectural pieces that are truly works of art. The Argentinian-born, architect-turned-designer is one of the country’s most innovative and stylish designers whose name has surprisingly remained hush-hush. For killer-shoes that have been rumored to immediately catch the eyes of the costume department for the Sex and the City movie – a.k.a. the Holy Grail in media footwear endorsement – pop into Lucila IottiIn an almost psychedelic store design you’ll find clothing with a nod to the sixties at Mariano Toledo. It’s where pleated skirts, polka-dot dresses, and all things floral can be found – and where everything seems to take inspiration from the likes of fashion legends Pierre Cardin and Ossie Clark. 

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SAN TELMO 

More of a bohemian-vibe, San Telmo is the place to go for all things vintage. Locals flock to San Telmo's flea market on Sundays, filled with stacks of 1930's magazine prints and flatware that may have once graced the finest sideboards in town. Beyond the square, up and down Defensa, are a seemingly endless series of antiques centers. Stroll through Mercado de San Telmo, make your way to HB Antigüedades to find the finest antiques like an Art Deco clock meant for a massive mantel, and discover trinket treasures at the strange-but-cool Churrinche, where only four people are allowed in one time and vintage license plates share space with spindly crystal drinking glasses. 

MICROCENTRO

In Microcentro, you'll find a few trendy retailers and tiny custom leather shops. For over two decades, Bettina Rizzi has been churning out custom leather and furs to some top-notch celebs around the world. BA’s most elegant socialites flock to Charles Calfun for luxurious lizard and croc bags and sumptuous mink coats. 

PUERTO MADERO 

The lively riverfront Puerto Madero neighborhood comes to life at night with superb restuarants and hip clubs, but by day, this underrated area is booming with unique shops worth the scouting. Find cool, chic clothing like patched denim jackets at KosiukoA Chloé-meets-Marant aesthetic reigns at AWADAAnd for those minimalists that go heavy on the black and white, make Pablo Ramírez your go-to. 

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