Visit South America’s most European city, and live like a native Porteno
A. 9am: Start your day with a light breakfast at Porota (porota.com), a café in Palermo. Argentine breakfasts are simple affairs: coffee or tea and a pastry. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure the pastry comes with dulce de leche, Argentina’s best-loved caramel.
B. 10am: Take the subway to Recoleta and visit the massive Cementerio de la Recoleta. Set over six hectares, this is a veritable city of tombs and mausoleums, holding Argentina’s most respected politicians, artists, generals, and writers. It may take some searching, but make sure to pay your respects at the tomb of former First Lady Eva Perón, known to the world as Evita.
C. 12:30pm: On your way out of the cemetery, check out La Feria Recoleta in Plaza Francia, a market featuring local crafts, jewellery, and light snacks. If you’re lucky, you may see street-performance tango dancing. Then see the nearby Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, a church built in the early 18th century by a now-disbanded order of monks.
D. 1:30pm: When it comes to Argentine food, two things come to mind: steak and great Italian fare. Argentina is considered a country of immigrants, and many of them came from Italy in the mid-19th century, bringing their love of pizza with them. Prove this point at Pizzeria Güerrin (Tel +54 11 4371 8141) on Avenida Corrientes.
E. 3pm: After filling up, walk east just a few blocks, and take in the 67-metre-high Obelisk of Buenos Aires.
F. 3.30pm: Then head a few blocks south, to Avenida de Mayo. One of the street’s most interesting landmarks is the Palacio Barolo (pbarolo.com.ar), an architectural masterpiece built to hold the remains of Dante Aleghieri – but his body was never sent there. The facade is designed to reflect the three locales of the poet’s Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
G. 4pm: Sit and enjoy a glass of Malbec wine at Café Tortoni (cafetortoni.com.ar), Argentina’s premiere tango academy. Call ahead to arrange a class, or just watch the dancers from the comfort of your table.
H. 5pm: Continue east on the Avenida de Mayo to Argentina’s presidential palace, La Casa Rosada (presidencia.gob.ar). Its trademark pink walls were supposedly painted with white paint tinted with pig’s blood. The northern balcony is where Evita used to stand to address adoring crowds.
I. 6pm: After walking all afternoon, nothing could be better than a scoop (or two) of gelato. Head to Palermo de Soho and visit Persicco (persicco.com), their dulce de leche flavour ice cream is unbeatable.
J. 7pm: Resist the urge: it’s just too early to go to dinner. Argentines are night-owls, and at this time most of the restaurants won’t even be open. Instead, enjoy the fading sunlight on the rooftop of Bar Antares in Palermo de Soho (cervezaantares.com), where they pair dark, cold beers with eclectic music in a low-key setting.
K. 9pm: Now the moment you’ve been waiting for: the gaucho steak of Buenos Aires. One of the best: La Cabrera (parrillalacabrera.com). Start out with an appetiser of jamon crudo (dry-cured ham), and then move on to the bife de chorizo, a giant piece of steak that is so soft your waiter will cut it for you with a spoon.