If you have more than one day in Buenos Aires, we encourage you to see the best of Recoleta and Palermo. You’ll have spent day one checking out the major tourist landmarks downtown, so you’ll be primed for a more off-beat second day full of art and an evening of local nightlife in Palermo.
If you decide to hit Recoleta early and have breakfast outside your accommodation, Le Pain Quotidien, Nucha, and Tea Connection all serve beautiful breakfast menus. One of the best-known historic cafes in the area is La Biela, or if you’re in the mood for pampering yourself, head to L’Orangerie inside Alvear Palace Hotel.
After breakfast, stretch your legs and walk to the Floralis Genérica sculpture in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, and then past the University of Buenos Aires’ School of Law until you reach the famous cemetery. Far from creepy, this cemetery is actually quite serene and home to the burial place of Eva Perón, which you can pick out by looking for the tomb covered in fresh flowers. Then, grab a mid-morning snack — a coffee, alfajor, hot cocoa, or some caramelized almonds — from a street vendor and head toward Alvear Avenue where you can marvel at the colonial architecture. Wander towards Palacio Pizzurno and end your Recoleta tour by taking refuge in the Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
From Ateneo Grand Splendid, take the subway north and get off at Scalabrini Ortiz station. Walk toward Plaza Inmigrantes de Armenia; here, you have all the foodie options you could ever ask for from veggie meals to steakhouses to Asian fusion cuisine.
Take a taxi to Colegiales where, most days, street art tours start around 2:30 or 3:00 PM. BA Street Art tours run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and graffitimundo tours run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Both are walking tours that last around three hours and finish in Palermo Hollywood. You will enjoy fabulous murals by both local and international artists.
If you’re interested in fine dining, restaurant Tegui has garnered acclaim for its always-changing, seasonal tasting menu. For Naples-style pizza, head to Siamo nel Forno, and for a restaurant with not only traditional food but also a heavy dose of history, go to Perón Perón and ask a local to guide you through cheekily named dishes on the menu.
After dinner go to Thelonious Club for jazz, La Viruta for tango, and the area around Plaza Dorrego — popularly known as Plazoleta Julio Cortázar — for relaxed bar hopping or fancier drinks at Isabel.
Now you have seen some of the most iconic and culturally rich places in the city. If you have a third day, check out our itinerary that takes you to the quieter outer suburbs.