¡Hola! Today I’m bringing you the second post of my series of travel blog posts in English. The last time we talked about taking a short trip to Mendoza, Argentina, now I just got back from a super quick trip to Buenos Aires and I came up with the idea of bringing you guilt-free (or not so much) shopaholic girls (and guys) a guide to a 2-day shopping spree, plus some sightseeing (something I can never say no to!) So without further ado, here it is:
Day 1: We stayed at a 3-star hotel at microcentro, which is downtown Buenos Aires. There are many affordable hotels in this area, so I recommend that if you’re staying for only a couple of days like me, or would rather just spend your money shopping, you check those hotels out. Ok, I arrived around noon, so technically I spent a day and a half there. Within walking distance from my hotel there’s Florida street, a pedestrian street that consists of block after block of stores and shops. This is a very touristic street, so chances are you’ll be offered “cambio” (exchange of your currency) every two steps. Just bear with it, keep on walking, and laugh it out! There are all sorts of gift and souvenir stores, as well as small shops in the middle of the pedestrian area. The atmosphere is lively: men in suits, foreigners, and kids walk in all directions.
In this street there’s the huge Galerías Pacífico, one of Buenos Aires’ best known malls. It consists of three floors within what looks like a very old fashioned gallery from the outside. Here you’ll find some of the best international brands, such as Chanel, Estee Lauder, Tommy Hilfiger, and Swarovski. There are also high-end Argentine brands, such as Las Oreiro (I love their designs!) The mall is gorgeous, and the clothes, accesories, jewerly, and all items are great. I always like to check out art galleries during my trips, and the top floor of Galerías Pacífico is mainly used as a museum where different Argentine artists show their work throughout the year. A must-see for art lovers!
At night we ate at one of Buenos Aires’ traditional bars, where the food is delicious and affordable, the staff is very friendly, and they always have menus in English available if you ask for them.
Day 2: On the second day we drove to Recoleta neighborhood (less than a 10 minute drive from downtown) mainly to see the world-wide known cemetery. Recoleta is known as the posh area, where many Argentine celebrities live. The cemetery is incredible. It’s very old fashioned, and all of the people buried in there were from wealthy families. They have lots of big statues of virgins, angels, and crosses that decorate the mausoleums in a lavish fashion. The cemetery is filled with tourists, tour guides, and school kids on field trips, since most of Argentina’s presidents are buried there, includying Eva Perón (her tomb reads “familia Duarte” because of her maiden name), whose tomb is always surrounded by visitors and decorated with lots of colorful flowers. The atmosphere is lively, but take away the people and noise, and you feel like you’re in a horror movie, in the best possible sense. It’s thrilling and interesting, to say the least.
I could say a lot more about this neighborhood, but let’s get to what this post is about, shall we? Right near the cemetery you’ll find Alvear Avenue. This is a main street full of stores, ideal for those who are looking for some inexpensive, original clothes. Not many high-end brands will be found here, but some nice fashionable stores that you’ll enjoy if you’re in your twenties, or thirties (or whatever age, really!) and are into the most trendy stuff. I strongly recommend checking it out if that’s what you’d like to shop for. There are some great well-known malls near this avenue, but I chose to go to Alto Palermo. This mall is technically in Palermo neighborhood, not as posh as Recoleta, but one where the coolest crowds are. The mall is huge, and as soon as you step inside, you’ll feel like you’re in America. All your favorite fast food restaurants are here; Wendy’s, KFC, and McDonald’s, among many others (hello, globalization!) There are a lot of super nice Argentine stores, such as Alló Martínez, Ay not Dead, and Complot, where you’ll find anything from cool and trendy to chic and sophisticated. I recommend you check it out, there’s a reason why this mall gets so much attention!
So there you have it. I know there is a lot more about shopping in Buenos Aires, a city that is known for its unique sense of fashion. Many people like to shop in the more inexpensive fairs, of which there are TONS. At those you’ll find artisans’ and independent designers’ beautiful clothes and accesories at great prices. Due to the shortness of my trip, I only covered very little of what there’s to see, but if you’re staying in Buenos Aires for a short time, want to remain close to the downtown area, and enjoy couture brands and beautiful malls, then this guide is for you! Enjoy, and see you next time!
– M –